Google may launch mid-range Pixel smartphone this summer

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Google Pixel 2 XL hands-on

Google’s Pixel phones have all been high-end models, but the company may soon switch things up with a mid-range model.

Google plans to roll out its products in India, and that may include a new mid-range Pixel smartphone. That’s according to four sources speaking to the Economic Times, who add that this mid-range device would be made especially for price-sensitive markets like India.

In addition to this mid-range phone, Google plans to launch its Google Home and Google Home Mini smart speakers, its home automation products, and its Pixelbook laptop in India, says today’s report.

Google is reportedly aiming to launch devices like the Google Home and Google Home Mini at the end of April with prices of Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,999, respectively. The mid-range Pixel device is expected to arrive sometime around July or August.

Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are great smartphones, but because they’re premium models with high-end specs, they’re rather pricey. A mid-range Pixel could help get Google’s smartphones into the hands on consumers that can’t want to or don’t want to spend the money for a flagship-tier model and get them into the Google ecosystem.

Would you be interested a more affordable, mid-range Google Pixel smartphone?

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Mid-range Pixel for developing markets could land this summer (joined in India by Home, Nest stuff, practically everything Google sells)

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Whether you’re selling phones or powering the platforms behind them, there’s little that’s more exciting for a company seeking out growth opportunities than a rapidly expanding market. As other markets around the globe see slumping projections or sales threatening to plateau, India’s doing gangbusters, and last year sales of smartphones were up 14 percent. This growth hasn’t gone unnoticed, and today we’re checking out some signs of Google’s increasing interest in India, including rumors of a possible new Pixel phone targeting India and other “price-sensitive” markets.

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Mid-range Pixel for developing markets could land this summer (joined in India by Home, Nest stuff, practically everything Google sells) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google to launch a mid-range Pixel phone in India

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The Indian smartphone market keeps growing and evolving with every new day and Google has taken notice. According to at least four senior industry executives, the Alphabet company is planning to make an aggressive move in India that will include a new mid-range smartphone, a new Pixel phone by Diwali and the launch of Pixelbook soon. Google is also expected to spend a lot on marketing for its consumer products, with plans to take on rivals as Apple, Samsung and Amazon. Trade meets took place in Malaysia, the US and the UK, where even some Indian retailers took part. According to one…

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Samsung introduces Exynos 7 9610 AP, elevates mid-range phones with premium image processing and video capture

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Samsung Electronics announced a new application processor (AP), the Exynos 7 9610. Manufactured on Samsung’s 10nm FinFET process, it offers premium features to mid-tier smartphones, boasting deep learning-based image processing and slow-motion video capture capabilities.

Comprised of four Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.3GHz and four Cortex-A53s at 1.6GHz, plus a Mali-G72 GPU, multimedia is the focus with the Exynos 7 9610. The highlight here is the neural network engine powering the improved image and vision processing.

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Samsung introduces Exynos 7 9610 AP, elevates mid-range phones with premium image processing and video capture was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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ARM unveils mid-range Mali-G52 GPU as well as the entry-level G31

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Over a year ago, ARM introduced the Mali-G51 GPU for mid-range chipsets. However, it didn’t see any use, chipset makers stuck to G71/G72 and just dialed back the number of cores. Well, time for another go – here are the Mali-G52 for the mid-range and G31 for the entry-level. Mali-G52 The Mali-G52 promises a 30% boost in “performance density” compared to a G51 on the same process node. Since bigger chips cost more, with G52 chipset designers can get higher frame rates for the same price or a cheaper chip with the same performance. Power efficiency gets a modest 15% bump. And…

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Huawei’s midrange Mate SE is $20-off in the US

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The United States doesn’t see Huawei (pronounced ‘wow-way’) phones very much. However, the company’s other brand, Honor, has seen success in selling unlocked smartphones in the sub-$ 250 price range. Honor has sold its X model since the Honor 5X, which went on to become a best-seller on Amazon US in the unlocked phones category. The phone maker hopes that it can find similar success with the Huawei Mate SE. It’s very identical to the Honor 7X in screen size, CPU, and hardware design and camera features, but carries Huawei’s branding. The Mate SE runs for $ 250 but is currently…

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Leaked Huawei P20 Lite may bring the notch to mid-range phones

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Well-known leaker Evan Blass has given us a look at Huawei's upcoming P20 and P20 Lite smartphones, but now we appear to have access to some of the latter's specs thanks to Vodafone, which accidentally published them in its March catalog. Spotted by…
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Should Essential make a mid-range phone?

Essential Phone

The Essential Phone is an interesting device. It’s a handset that’s designed to be the hub for a lot of different products, especially through its modular design. Snapping on accessories is meant to be a breeze, and, eventually, the idea is that the smartphone will be the central part of an ever expanding ecosystem of Essential (-branded) devices.

That hasn’t really happened just yet. We’ve got the Essential Phone –with three new Spring Collection colors!– and if you take a quick look at the company’s online storefront, there isn’t a lot to be excited about. There is the 360-degree camera, which attaches via the modular design, and . . . wireless charging support, even through the “Click Connector”. That’s not even available yet, so there’s just one option right now.

If this were Apple we were talking about, or Samsung, or HTC, or even OnePlus at this point, there might be something to build upon here. But the truth of the matter is that, technically speaking, Essential is a startup company that’s just trying to get up off the ground. Yes, the company is worth a ridiculous amount of money, and there are some very talented people working there –including Andy Rubin– but that can’t change the reality of the situation.

Essential is a new company that’s trying to make a name for itself in a very, very competitive market.

The Essential Phone didn’t seem to make much of a wave in 2017, either. The latest report from research firm IDC shows that Essential sold 88,000 devices since launch — not a great number. One of the recurring elements I saw when that report came out was that Essential was trying to not only jump into the smartphone market, but jump into the market right at the high-end level.

Basically, Essential came out swinging, but it was trying to hit targets like Apple and Samsung. I don’t think anyone thought that would actually work out, and, well, that looks to be the case. Essential wants to sell more phones, and so it will be interesting to see how the Essential Phone’s successor attempts that.

The trouble for me comes from the fact that if the Essential Phone, which is a great flagship handset, couldn’t make a dent, why would the Essential Phone 2? Samsung isn’t going to stop making phones. Neither is Apple, or LG, or HTC, or even Nokia (by way of HMD Global). The competition is only going to get more competitive, and the high-end market isn’t going to somehow free up space anytime soon.

So, I thought about Essential changing its tactics. Maybe the company goes for a mid-range device this time around, and it gets even more aggressive with the price tag. Essential could go after the likes of OnePlus, and maybe Andy Rubin and crew have a shot there.

Then again, the mid-range market is even more saturated, and Samsung, HTC, Nokia, and other major companies have a foot in there, too. But then, maybe Essential can try to start over, launch a mid-range smartphone this year, and then work upwards. Kind of like how OnePlus has slowly increased its flagship smartphone’s features, but also gradually given the price tag an uptick, too.

None of that would work, though, probably. Because that would be honestly pretty crazy if Essential suddenly changed its game plan and opted out of launching a high-end smartphone as a successor to a high-end smartphone. Plus, the backlash there would be intense. The safe bet is that Essential is going to offer another high-end flagship device this year, and it will be up to features, marketing, and more to try and propel Essential to the top of the heap.

Now that we’ve seen where Essential stands in the market, even if it’s just a brief look via a research note, it’s going to make whatever happens next pretty exciting. I’d love it if Essential became a major player in the market. And it will be interesting to see if they can achieve that. And, if they do, how they get there.

What do you think? What should Essential do to shake things up this year and get even more people to buy the Essential Phone successor? Let me know!

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Samsung ISOCELL Dual sensor solution to bring dual cameras to mid-range and entry-level smartphones

Several smartphone makers have already released budget smartphones with dual rear cameras, now Samsung has introduced its new dual camera solution with ISOCELL Dual image sensors and proprietary software for refocusing (bokeh) and low-light shooting (LLS) for budget and entry-level smartphones. These were previously exclusively only to their premium smartphone lineup. Samsung introduced new ISOCELL Image Sensor Brand that includes Bright, Fast, Slim and Dual sub-brands at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai last year. Samsung says that its total dual camera solution will simplify the dual camera implementation and enable mid- to entry-level mobile devices to take advantage of certain camera features that are available mainly in premium devices equipped with an extra image signal processor. The company is offering industry’s first total dual camera solution, with both ISOCELL Dual sensor hardware and sensor-optimized algorithm software for mid-range and entry-level smartphones to utilize dual camera features like refocusing and LLS. The refocus algorithm will be available in 13-megapixel (MP) and 5-megapixel (MP) set of image sensors, and its LLS algorithm with a set of two 8-megapixel (MP) sensors, to simplify implementation by OEMs. Source
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New midrange HTC device appears on GeekBench with a Snapdragon 625 and Oreo

A new smartphone has appeared on GeekBench’s database with an HTC model number: 2Q5W1. This isn’t a new HTC flagship, however. Based on the specifications from GeekBench, the tested device is powered a Snapdragon 625 CPU with 3GB of RAM. New HTC mid-ranger listed on Geekbench… 2Q5Wxxx, running Android 8.0 “Oreo” on a Snapdragon 625 (MSM8953 it says) with 3 GB RAM. https://t.co/CkhNO3IsL4 pic.twitter.com/xZYbUp9eNO— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) February 2, 2018 The HTC U11 already has three other variants: the HTC U11+, U11 Life, and U11 Eyes. So there are a couple of possibilities as…

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