The new Palm is a surprisingly different Android smartphone

At long last, the new Palm has been officially unveiled. TCL purchased rights to the brand name a few years back, but it has taken the company quite a while to figure out what type of device its first Palm smartphone would be.
Rather than jumping in with all the other smartphones makers on the market to tackle the high-end smartphone segment, TCL is positioning the new Palm as a simple device for those who don’t want to carry around a massive device in their pocket all day long. The Palm features a diminutive 3.3-inch LCD display with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, IP68 dust and water resistance, GPS< Bluetooth 4.2 and Gorilla Glass on the front and back. It runs Android 8.1, so you’ll be able to run pretty much any Android app you want on the phone, but you’ll likely be using it mainly to listen to music or make phone calls.

But the device does have a few other limitations. As of right now, it’ll be sold exclusively from Verizon as an add-on device for your current plan – similar to LTE-enabled smartphones. This means it will use Verizon’s NumberShare feature to replicate the phone number you use on your real smartphone so that you can throw the Palm in your pocket when you’re out on a hike, going for a bike ride or heading out for a night on the town and don’t want to worry about lugging around your Pixel 3.
Complicating the issue even further is the 800 mAh battery that’s sealed inside the Palm. The company claims only 8 hours of battery life on a single charge. If you want to extend the battery life of the Palm beyond that, you can activate its Life Mode feature which essentially puts the phone into airplane mode when the display is turned off. Doing this should extend the battery by a few days (depending on how often you turn on the display), but at that point, the device isn’t really that useful.
The Palm does have 12MP camera sensor on the back which can take decent shots in daylight and the front-facing camera does have a built-in face-unlock feature since there’s no fingerprint sensor on the phone.
The Palm will be available starting in November for $349.99. We’re not sure if it’s worth that much, but we do know that there are quite a few nostalgic Palm fans out there who will be more than happy to pay that price for a new Palm smartphone. Would you rather carry around the new Palm of wear a smartwatch on your wrist?

Review: RapidX X4 4-Port Charger

With all of the various devices that we have in our lives these days, there are rarely enough outlets or plugs available to keep everything topped up. A desk charger can help bring a number of USB cables to within easy reach and just helps remind you to plug in, but they tend to be chunky rectangular boxes that you don’t necessarily want to plop down on your desk. The RapidX X4 looks to address exactly this problem with a 4-port charger in a super slim package.
I spent a few days with the RapidX X4 to see how I liked the look of it on my desk and whether it could handle charging my menagerie of devices.

The Good
There’s a lot to like about the RapidX X4. The charger gives you 4 ports in a sleek and compact package that should fit well in any office or home.
The size is perhaps its biggest asset, it’s 4-inches long by 0.87-inches wide and deep — a tiny footprint for something that can charge up to 4 devices at once. Thankfully the tiny stand that attaches to the charger has an adhesive bottom that did a great job of keeping the charger secure even when plugging and unplugging USB cables. The original adhesive held up fine through the few transfers that I subjected it to and they conveniently include a second adhesive strip in the box if the first one wears out.
The charger also looks great on your desk, the simple X4 branding isn’t too in your face and it is otherwise extremely nondescript. It’s a matte black (there’s a white option as well) and while the stand is glossy plastic, that is virtually invisible from the front of the charger.
The RapidX X4 charger delivers enough power to trigger rapid charging on my Pixel 2 XL, 18W via the USB-Type C port and 2.4A max from each USB-Type A ports with a total of 3A if all three of the Type A ports are in use simultaneously. It makes it an excellent charger for tackling your phone, tablet, and a couple of accessories all at the same time.

The Bad
The RapidX X4 charger doesn’t provide enough juice for some larger devices to charge effectively. My Lenovo Chromebook, for example, flagged it as “low power” charging which means it will basically only charge if the laptop isn’t in use. My Nintendo Switch refused to charge at all, while my Shield Tablet and iPad Air 2 charged as normal.
The RapidX X4’s power brick is shorter than the charger itself, but it is roughly twice as thick and twice as wide. I mention this only to eliminate the idea of using this as a travel charger, along with the 6-foot power cord (something that is welcome when reaching for a home or office outlet) this is simply too big a package to justify. Also, the cord isn’t detachable from either the charger or the plug, further limiting its use as a travel charger and its repairability if the cable goes out sometime down the road. 
The $39.99 retail price feels a little steep (you can find it for $35 on Amazon) given the number of $15-25 chargers out there, but when comparing it to most those options, the RapidX X4 charger is better looking and stays in place (unlike most of the competition). 
Conclusions
If you are looking for a charger to keep your phone, tablet, and other accessories topped up through the course of the day while maintaining a clean and minimal desktop, the RapidX X4 is a solid option. There are cheaper options out there that offer comparable charging specs and ports, but you’ll have a hard time finding one that looks as good as the RapidX X4 does on your desk.
Buy the RapidX 4X desk charger on Amazon

Google reinvents the Chromebook with the Pixel Slate

Google’s Chrome OS and Chromebooks have been around for years, but Google is hitting the reset button with the unveiling of the Google Pixel Slate. The new tablet offers a completely new experience, giving users productivity in a more mobile form factor. The Slate is thin and light with rounded edges and a balanced bezel on all sides, making it the perfect device for surfing the web or sitting back and enjoying your media. It’s a far cry from the utilitarian Chromebooks of the past and feels significantly friendlier than last year’s Pixel Book.
The body of the Pixel Salte is a bit thicker than 7mm and weighs 1.6 pounds which is thinner and lighter than most other 12-inch tablets on the market. The display features a resolution of 3,000 x 2,000 pixels with a new technology which allows electrons to move 100 times faster than they do in a standard display. The Slate also features stereo speakers which direct the audio directly at the user. You also get 2 USB-C posts so that you can plug in multiple accessories (in addition to the keyboard port on the bottom. Unfortunately, there’s no 3.mm headphone jack, so you’ll need to use Bluetooth or USB-C headphones if you want to enjoy your music or video without disturbing others, but Google is kind enough to include a 3.5mm to USB-C headphone adapter in the box. And for extra security, the power button on the side also doubles as a fingerprint sensor.

The official Pixel Slate keyboard features full-sized backlit keys which are round and quiet. It also includes a full-sized trackpad. The folio design of the keyboard allows you to use the Slate at different angles thanks to a magnetic connection between the tablet and the keyboard. And when you’re done with your work, the keyboard then folds over the front of the Pixel Slate to act as a protective cover.
The cheapest Pixel Slate model starts at $599 with an 8th Gen Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. That being said there are a lot of configuration options available which max out at $1599 with an 8th Gen Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Needless to say, the pixel Slate can pack a punch, as long as you’re willing to spend the cash.

With its front and rear 8MP cameras, the Pixel Slate also uses Google’s computational photography tech so that you can take amazing images. Users will also be able to take portrait shots an have the background of the image digitally blurred. The front camera also comes with a wide angle lens and improved low light photo and video capture making ideal for video conferencing.
The software experience is pretty much what you’re come to experience with new Chrome OS devices. You have split screen support, integrated Google Assistant. And App launcher which suggest which apps you might be looking for, Android and Linus app support. That being said, the Pixel Slate will jump into a “tablet” mode when the keyboard is not connected. This means that your windowed apps expand to full-screen mode, but things switch back to the standard windowed view as soon as you’re docked with a keyboard again.
Google’s official Pixel Slate Keyboard will set you back $199 and the tablet is also compatible with the $99 Pixel Pen. Google will start selling the Pixel Salte and its accessories later this year in the US, Canada and the UK.

Google Home Hub is built to be the center of your smarthome

Google’s next iteration of its Google Home hardware was unveiled today, the new Google Home Hub. The device is Google’s take on the Smart Display device’s that just hit the market last month. The Google Home Hub features multiple speakers and microphones like other Google Home devices, but its main attraction is its large display that’s big enough to be seen from across a room.
With Google Home Hub, Google Assistant can now identify the voices of everyone in your house so that it can deliver personalized answers to your questions. Gone are the days when you ask for your next calendar appointment and you get an item from your wife’s calendar.
Since the display is pretty large, Google also made sure it wouldn’t become an eye sore. The display will automatically adjust its brightness and screen temperature based on the lighting in the room. If you turn down the lights to watch a movie, Google Home Hub will adjust accordingly so that it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
The Home View feature gives you a look at all of the devices that are connected to Google Home, allowing you to see the status of each device so that you can control it or change settings. As you’d expect, 200 million devices from over 1,000 brands. Since not all Google Home users will be upgrading to the Home Hub, Google is also enabling Home View through an app on your phone.

Naturally, there’s deep integration with Nest products. As an example, Google Home Hub’s screen will automatically switch to your Nest doorbell camera as soon as someone rings the bell.
Hub will also work with a new Live Album feature from Google Photos which updates as you take new photos of a specific location, object, events or people. Live Albums can be shared with friends and family so that they can also see your pictures as soon as they are taken. It will filter out blurry shots, duplicates and other images that aren’t perfect for sharing.
Google Home Hub is available for pre-order for $149 starting today and it comes with 6 months free access to YouTube Premium so that you can listen to music without interruption.

POLL: will you be pre-ordering the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL?

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are up for pre-order already through Google’s online store an Verizon’s website. The Pixel 3 is going for $799 while the larger Pixel 3 XL has a pre-order price of $899. Naturally, you can split the phones price over 24 monthly payments to save yourself from the upfront sticker shock, the final price typically ends up being the same.
Based on what we’ve seen, will you be pre-ordering either of these two phones? Please complete the poll below or leave us a comment to give us a bit more detail.

Take Our Poll

Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL features, specs, price & release date

Today, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL were officially unveiled at the Made by Google launch event in New York City. As expected, the to phones matched up with pretty much every leak and rumor (save for those crazy Pixel Ultra rumors) we’ve shared over the past few months.
The hardware of the phone is pretty forgettable. Google’s didn’t talk mention the Pixel 3 XL’s notch besides saying that they were giving user more usable space at the top of the phone. On stage, they did mention the new technique used to create the two-tone all-glass panel which is shiny u top and matte and the bottom to reduce fingerprint smutches.
Pixel Stand
The Glass back of the phone also allows the phone to feature Qi wireless charging with the new Pixel Stand. While the stand itself isn’t much different than other Qi stands you can get for other Android and iOS devices, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL do feature a new UI while docked which gives you quick access to Google Assistant, larger display of album cover art while listening to music, an ambient display which lights up gradually before your morning alarm goes off and many of the same features built into Google Home Hub.
Pixel 3 Camera Experience
Naturally, the main attraction of Google’s new Pixel 3 phones is the camera experience. The pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL both feature a new Pixel Visual Core chip which enables new features like Top Shot which continually captures images while the camera app is open and suggests which shot to save and Night Sight which will algorithmically decide how to light the scene in extremely low light situations so that you’ll never have to use the flash again.
The front-facing camera has also been upgraded with a secondary sensor which sports a wide-angle lens. Google claims that the ultra-wide angle lens allows the Pixel 3’s front-facing camera to fit in 184% more of the shot than the iPhone XS as able to.
The phones will also be getting new AI Emoji with new Avengers characters which interact with each other and you based on your movements and facial expressions. Google’s also promising that the new AI Emoji will be made available to older Pixel devices soon.
Pixel 3 Audio Experience
The front-facing stereo speakers of the Pixel 3 have also been upgraded and fine-tuned to deliver crisper audio that is 40% louder than what the Pixel 2 delivered. Based on what on our experience with last year’s phone, the Pixel 3 should offer the best smartphone speakers on the market. But it’s a bit of a disappointment since Google is still sticking with a USB-C connection for headphones over the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack.
With the purchase of the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, Google is also throwing in 6 months of YouTube Music for free. We expect Google wants to get as many users hooked to its subscription music service and keep the service going once their free period expires.
Google Assistant with Duplex
The Pixel phones will be the first devices which will use the company’s new Duplex feature which was introduced at Google IO earlier this year. Duplex is able to make reservations for you over the phone or answer calls for you with a new Call Screening capability. The call screening will answer incoming calls for you, ask who is calling and transcribe the conversation for you in real time. Google claimed that Pixel users who use Call Screening will never have to answer a telemarketer call ever again
Pixel 3 pricing and availability
Google announced that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are available for pre-order starting today. The Pixel 3 is going for $799 while the larger Pixel 3 XL has a sticker price of $899. Pre-orders in the US will start shipping on October 18th in the US.
Pixel 3 & Pixel 3XL Specs

table.green {
border: 1px solid #FFFFFF;
width: 100%;
height: 200px;
text-align: center;
border-collapse: collapse;
}
table.paleBlueRows td, table.paleBlueRows th {
border-bottom: 0px solid gray;
padding: 15px;
}
table.paleBlueRows th {
border-bottom: 3px solid #4cae4f;
background: #ffffff;
vertical-align: text-top;
}
table.paleBlueRows tbody td {
font-size: 13px;
}
table.paleBlueRows tr:nth-child(odd) {
background: #f3f3f3;
}
table.paleBlueRows thead {
background: #0B6FA4;
border-bottom: 5px solid #FFFFFF;
}
table.paleBlueRows thead th {
font-size: 17px;
font-weight: bold;
color: #FFFFFF;
text-align: center;
border-left: 0px solid #FFFFFF;
}
table.paleBlueRows thead th:first-child {
border-left: none;
}
table.paleBlueRows tfoot {
font-size: 14px;
font-weight: bold;
color: #333333;
background: #D0E4F5;
border-top: 3px solid #444444;
}
table.paleBlueRows tfoot td {
font-size: 14px;
}

Google Pixel 3 XL
Google Pixel 3

Screen size
6.3 inches
5.5 inches

Resolution
1440 x 2960
1080 x 2160

Density
491ppi
447ppi

Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

RAM
4GB
4GB

Storage
64 / 128GB
64 / 128GB

Battery
3,450 mAh
2,915 mAh

OS
Android 9.0
Android 9.0

Rear camera
12.2 MP, f/1.8, 27mm, 1.4µm pixel size, OIS, laser autofocus
12.2 MP, f/1.8, 27mm, 1.4µm pixel size, OIS, laser autofocus

Front camera
8MP, f/2.2, 27mm, 8MP depth sensor
8MP, f/2.2, 27mm, 8MP depth sensor

Bluetooth
v5.0
v5.0

NFC
Yes
Yes

Dimensions
158 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm
145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm

Weight
184 g
148 g

Water Resistance
IP68
IP68

Wireless Charging
Yes
Yes

Special features

 
 

Google officially unveils the Pixel 3, Pixel Slate & Google Home Hub

Ladies and gentlemen, Google has officially unveiled the Pixel 3 Pixel 3 XL, Pixel Slate and Google Home Hub. The three new devices match everything we’ve heard about them from their numerous leaks and rumors.
The Google Pixel 3 features a 5.4-inch 1080p display with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC with 4GB of RAM, 12MP main camera on the back, dual cameras up front (with a secondary wide-angle lens for better portrait shots), and Google’s amazing AI-driver computational photography algorithm to deliver the best photography experience offered on a smartphone. The Pixel 3 XL comes with all the same features while sorting a larger 6.3-inch display (yes, that notch is as big as the leaks made it look).

Google Home Hub is the next iteration of Google Home which gives you a display so that the Google Assistant can show you information rather than just talk back to you. It comes in four colors, a floating display that’s large enough to see from across the room and does not feature a camera so that user’s don’t have to worry about it spying on you. Hub will also recognize individual voices so that its responses are tailored to each individual in your house.
Google is still on stage, talking about their unique capabilities and design, but we’ll we putting together a detailed post for each product to give you a closer look at their specs are features.
 

A store in Hong Kong is already selling the Pixel 3 XL

We’re only a few days away from Google’s long-awaited October hardware event, but the leaks haven’t stopped. A store in Hong Kong has already started selling the Pixel 3 XL for HK$15,880 (around $2,030 US), and Engadget borrowed one of the devices for an early hands-on.
There’s not much new information here, except this is the final retail packaging and software. In the box, you get a pair of USB Type-C earbuds, a headphone jack adapter, a Type-C cable, and an 18W power adapter. Read MoreA store in Hong Kong is already selling the Pixel 3 XL was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

[Update: Last day to enter] Giveaway: Get one of 15 pairs of MJYUN Truly Wireless Earbuds and charging case (a $39.99 value) plus a 45% off coupon for everyone else [US]

For years now, the quirky feature of most wireless headphones has been, well, wires. Now, thanks to companies like MJYUN, we have truly wireless headphones and at an affordable price. In fact, 15 of our readers will be getting them at the price of “truly free” and the rest of you can take advantage of a 45% off coupon.
When I say truly wireless, I mean not just no wire connecting to your phone, computer, or other host device, but no wire connecting the buds either. Read More[Update: Last day to enter] Giveaway: Get one of 15 pairs of MJYUN Truly Wireless Earbuds and charging case (a $39.99 value) plus a 45% off coupon for everyone else [US] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google Duo v41 prepares contact pinning and calling Home devices linked to your account [APK Teardown]

The latest version of Google Duo has landed, but like so many other updates, it doesn’t appear to change anything immediately upon installation. However, as tradition dictates, there are a couple of interesting things to see from a teardown. It looks like Duo will be adding support for pinning contacts to the top of your list for convenient access. You should also be able to begin making calls to smart displays linked to your account for an easy way to call home. Read MoreGoogle Duo v41 prepares contact pinning and calling Home devices linked to your account [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.