We expect to see the official release of the next generation Pixel XL sometime in the fall. That being said this is one of the least rumored devices of the season. It appears the phone may have finally broken cover. The image above is based on information from inside sources. The photo depicts what is to be the device codenamed "Taimen". We are seeing much of the same design language from last years Pixel devices with a partial glass back. The fingerprint scanner lays a bit below the glass panel in the image. We can see a display with minimized bezels.
The display is apparently LG made and 6" with a 2:1 aspect ratio. The glass here also looks to be 3D with curves on the edges while the display itself remains flat. We were expecting dual front facing speakers which we don't see here. We do however see a longer speaker on the front which may be used in tandem with a bottom firing speaker for a stereo effect. Sources suggest that the Pixel XL 2 will feature a squeezable display like the one we saw with the HTC 11. So far there is no release or pricing info. I can't wait for this device to arrive!
The Moto Z2 Play has already been announced but we are otherwise patiently waiting to hear from Lenovo about the Moto Z2 and Moto Z2 Force. We now know what the phone will look like along with some of the mods that will be available at launch thanks to a new leak direct from Moto! These devices are expected to be announced at an event on July 25.
The official website posted an image of the Moto Z2 briefly. The phone is much like the Z2 Play with moto mod support and a dual lens camera setup on the back. The phone is also expected to feature a 5.5" QHD AMOLED display, Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, Android 7.1.1 and should be on par with devices like the Galaxy S8 when it comes to performance. This looks like a pretty great device and if you are in to moto mods this may be the device for you.
Samsung just released the Galaxy Note FE in South Korea. In case you were not aware this is simply the refurbished Note 7. The phone features the same design and specs with a smaller battery. Samsung has confirmed they will only release 400,000 units in South Korea, but a new report suggest their may be a global launch later this month. While we may see the phone launch in other countries in Asia and Europe we already know that we won't see the phone in the US as Samsung has already confirmed that much. A global launch may allow you to get your hands on the device closer to the retail value. For now the only way to get the phone is to pay a premium on Ebay.
We are seeing a new leak of the Note 8 which appears to suggest Samsung may have AR planned for the new device. The leak via slashleaks is labeled "Samsung Note8 AR (21MP/F1.7 MAIN LENS WITH COMPLETE AR SUPPORT SIMILAR TO ASUSZENFONEAR). The leaker has a brief history on the slashleaks site. Augmented Reality isn't that mainstream of a feature. I guess it would be nice if Samsung included it as an added bonus feature. Would this extra feature make you any more likely to drop $1000 on the device when it releases next month?
One of the most anticipated Android offerings of 2017 has to be whatever Google will be launching in the fall. We fully expect to see a Pixel 2 release this year. We expect to see two devices with rumors pointing towards an LG made larger device and possibly an HTC made smaller device. These devices will likely be announced in October with sales being official a few days later.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 will both offer top of the line specs. The smaller device is expected to sport a 4.97" Full HD display, Snapdragon 835 cpu, 4GB of RAM, and a base storage option of 64GB. We may even see dual front facing speakers. We may see the removal of the headphone jack, and will likely not see a dual lens setup on this device. The Pixel 2 is expected to be dust and water resistant with an IP68 rating.
The larger of the two devices will have essentially all the same specs as the smaller, but will feature a 5.99 QHD display and larger battery. Android O will be featured on both devices at launch. The latest rumors suggest both phones will feature a very similar design to the Pixels of last year. These are expected to be pricey devices like we saw last year. The smaller version will likely be around $700 and the larger around $800 at launch. Are any of you holding out for these devices to be released?
There was plenty of hype surrounding Andy Rubin's me too Essential phone. The phone sports all the specs you would expect from a modern flagship such as a Snapdragon 835 cpu, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and even some features you wouldn't expect like modular accessories. The phone was scheduled to ship within 30 days of announcement. Eager fans put in their preorders and the 30 day period ended June 29th. We are more than a week away from that date and the phones have still yet to ship. The company has given no explanation as to why the device has not shipped. This doesn't bode well for a first impression.
If you are wanting a new, but cheaper Galaxy Note device the Note 7 FE might be the phone you are looking for. Everyone expects the Note 8 to be one of the most expensive Galaxy handsets ever, but the Note 7 FE is actually affordable at the suggested retail price of only $600. It packs all the specs and even the design of the Note 7 from last year. The only difference is a smaller battery to guarantee no explosions. The phone is currently only being sold in Korea, but you can buy one now on Ebay for a bit of a premium. The units are going for $829 there. If you are truely desperate for a new Galaxy Note you can head to the link below to pick one up.
Last week OnePlus investigated a bug being reported by many OnePlus 5 users that was affecting the screen. They came to the conclusion that the "Jelly Effect" is a natural occurrence in the display and they would not be taking any action to fix it. Users were urged to just deal with the issue. Now users are reporting a new more frustrating bug that affects video recording.
Videos recorded in landscape mode are being rendered with inverted audio. This means sound captured from the right side of the phone is being output over the left speaker and vice versa. This is one fix that OnePlus should consider fixing. The fix would be a simple fix that could take place with a software update. Who knows if or when OnePlus will actually decide to fix this real bug.
One of the biggest complaints facing the Galaxy S8 and S8+ has been the less than average durability. Several of my youtube buddies have announced over twitter that the S8 was the first device whose screen they cracked. I have even seen many commentors on my videos say that the phone screen cracked from just a foot or two with a case.
If you are looking for a more rugged option the Galaxy S8 Active may be on your radar. Over the years Samsung has released a ruggedized option of their S lineup a few months after releasing their latest handset in the series. The S8 Active has just passed through the FCC and should be ready for release soon. The phone has protected corners and sides, and an AT&T logo is present on the back. The Active series normally has hard keys on the front. If this is the case the phone may be lacking an infinity display. We don't know exactly when this will be released but it should be soon!
The LG G6+ was recently announced and we are starting to get some details on the device thanks to an official video released by LG. Marine Blue and Terra Gold will be two new colors featured on the new handset. The phone will also be water and dust resistant. The phone features 128GB of internal storage and will have wireless charging in some regions, but is otherwise identical to the LG G6. The phone will also come with a free set of Bang and Olufsen earphones. We aren't yet sure about the devices pricing or availability.