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Google Pixel 8 Pro Review.

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I’ve been using the Google Pixel 8 Pro for some time now and thus far, it has performed flawlessly. Fortunately, the Pixel 8 Pro has been nothing but incredible. Although the Google Pixel 8 Pro isn’t flawless, it is the closest that Google has ever come to creating a perfect Android phone. Despite this, I’m still enamoured with the device.

I appreciate the design of the phone, and the screen is superb, the cameras are still top-notch. I love taking pictures with the Pixel 8 Pro so much that I increased my Google Photos subscription in order to switch my photo library from Apple Photos.

Though battery life and charging speeds remain problematic, I cannot help but still be smitten with the Pixel 8 Pro. It’s one of my favorite smartphones of 2023, and I look forward to continuing to use it in the coming weeks and months.

The Design of the Google Pixel 8 Pro

It has often been stated that Pixel phones are more focused on software than hardware, yet the Pixel 8 Pro appears to have disregarded this notion. Out of the smartphones I’ve used this year, the Google Pixel 8 Pro boasts some of the best hardware.

The Pixel 8 Pro’s design is much improved over its predecessor, the Google Pixel 7 Pro. Its back is made with a matte finish that is both pleasant to the touch and smooth in the hand. Rather than the dual-camera cutouts on the 7 Pro, the 8 Pro has a single, continuous cutout that runs along its camera bar. Its corners are more rounded, creating a comfortable grip for the user.

A comparison of the Google Pixel 8 Pro and Google Pixel 7 Pro can be seen with the two phones being side-by-side.

The differences between the Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel 7 Pro may seem trivial when looking at them on paper; however, the moment you hold them side by side the progress made by Google’s hardware team in one calendar year is evident. The texture of the back glass, the buttons, and the overall comfort of the phone are all remarkable and I can’t find anything to fault.

I must give kudos to Google for the captivating Bay blue color that can be seen throughout this review. It has a beautiful baby blue shade that is tranquil and calming in a manner that is hard to articulate.

The combination of the silver camera bar and black camera lenses with the blue shade of the phone is spectacular. The hue of the blue is vivid no matter how the light reflects off of it, but not too strong. It would be nice if there were more options than just the Bay shade, Obsidian, and Porcelain (black and white), however the blue color will be remembered for a long time.

The Display of the Google Pixel 8 Pro

The Google Pixel 8 Pro features a screen that is sure to impress. Its remarkable visual quality is achieved by the use of advanced technologies to deliver an outstanding experience. The display of this device is vibrant and clear, providing users with a stunning viewing experience.

This year’s Google Pixel 8 Pro has a 6.7-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2992 x 1344 pixels. Though the display is quite similar to the Pixel 7 Pro, there are a few noteworthy improvements.

The 120Hz refresh rate is back and operates just as well as before, providing a seamless scrolling and animation experience. One major difference is that it now has the capability to scale down to 1Hz instead of 10Hz, meaning it has a much lower energy consumption for things such as the always-on display or web browsing on Google Chrome. Additionally, the Pixel 8 Pro has an impressive peak brightness rating of 2,400 nits, which is 400 more than the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 2,000 nits. This high peak brightness was especially helpful when I was out-and-about, whether it was walking the High Line in New York City or enjoying some sun in Michigan, I never had any issues viewing the Pixel 8 Pro’s screen.

My iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Google Pixel 8 Pro are very similar, however, Google has gone the extra mile to make sure I never have to worry about it. One thing I really enjoy is how dim the display gets when the brightness is at its lowest setting. This is especially useful when I’m using my phone in a dark room late at night and don’t want to wake my partner.

The Pixel 8 Pro’s refresh rate and brightness are better than ever, and the display as a whole is outstanding. The sharpness, colors, and symmetry of the bezels are all flawless. Google hit a home run with the screen, just like they did with the design.

The Pixel 8 Pro’s Cameras

So, let’s discuss the Google Pixel 8 Pro’s cameras. It has the same triple-camera system as the Pixel 7 Pro, featuring a main, ultrawide, and telephoto lens. Each of these have been improved in meaningful ways.

The primary 50-megapixel camera offers an f/1.68 aperture, enhancing light sensitivity by 21%. It also offers 2x optical zoom. The new 48MP ultrawide camera has an f/1.95 aperture, resulting in a 105% improvement in light sensitivity, and allowing for macro shots as close as 2 centimeters away. The 48MP telephoto lens’s light sensitivity has been increased by 56%, with an f/2.8 aperture and 5x optical zoom. The 10.5MP front-facing shooter now has autofocus and an f/2.2 aperture.

The Google Pixel 8 Pro is capable of taking remarkable pictures, and the numerical results verify this.

It’s not shocking that a Pixel 8 Pro by Google can take amazing pictures, considering it is equipped with a 50MP primary camera. Even in the year 2023, the Pixel 8 Pro will still be providing users with remarkable images.

Regardless of the lighting conditions, I’m confident that the Google Pixel 8 Pro will deliver a photo that I’m content with. What’s even better is the ease of use; simply point the camera at the subject, press the shutter button, and I can confidently expect a top-notch image.

The Pixel 8 Pro’s 5x telephoto lens gives a strong performance. It’s not the 10x optical zoom like on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, but its sensor is of top notch quality. Images taken at its 5x range are full of details and colors that match those taken with the main camera. Even when the zoom is cranked all the way up to 30x, the Pixel 8 Pro still provides pictures that are more than satisfactory.

I believe the improved light sensitivity more than compensates for not having a larger optical zoom range. The pictures taken from the telephoto camera are stunning, with excellent sharpness, captivating colors, and the capacity to get close to the subject without compromising the quality of the image.

My experience with both the ultrawide and selfie cameras has been very satisfactory. Just like the telephoto lens, the ultrawide lens captures the same colors as those taken with the main camera. You get a much bigger angle of view with only a little bit of edge distortion. It can be visible if you take a closer look, but the 125.5-degree field-of-view does a decent job.

The Pixel 8 Pro has an impressive 50MP primary camera. The selfie camera proves to be reliable. The autofocus feature added this year is a considerable improvement and functions well. Portrait mode may be occasionally fooled by some stray hairs, but there is not much to be disapproving of.

My smartphone camera experience is not usually enhanced by having a Pro/Manual mode, however, the Google Pixel 8 Pro has just added this function to its camera app, giving users control over their brightness, shadows, ISO, and other options.

AI-driven image editing comes to the Google Pixel 8 Pro

The Pixel 8 Pro is known for taking great photos with no need for editing, but if you’re looking to adjust your images, there are some interesting features available to explore.

With the Best Take feature, you can take a picture with your friends or family and not worry if not everyone is smiling or looking at the camera. You can take multiple shots and won’t have to worry about it not being perfect. If you have a Pixel 8 Pro, you can locate these pictures in Google Photos, tap the Edit button on any one of them, and then select Best Take.

The Pixel 8 Pro provides the ability to substitute someone’s face with a better shot from other similar photos without resorting to AI-based recreation. Although it may not always be flawless, and there may be a slight delay in the feature loading, the end result is quite remarkable.

The Pixel 8 Pro is bringing the Magic Editor to the table. When a photo is uploaded to Google Photos, this Editor offers the capability to erase and manoeuvre objects/people, change the sky, add and remove portrait effects, and more. In a way, it’s like having a powerful Photoshop-like AI program in the palm of your hand.

Regardless of any other feelings, one has to be impressed with the Pixel 8’s photo-editing functions. It is remarkable that no prior training is needed to produce such great edits. The Best Take and Magic Editor tools will absolutely amaze many individuals.

The Battery and Charging Capabilities of the Google Pixel 8 Pro

Performance, dependability, and heat control have all been improved with the Tensor G3 upgrade, yet the battery life doesn’t appear to have benefitted from these advancements.

The battery of the Google Pixel 8 Pro is nothing extraordinary compared to some of the other Android phones I have used in the past year. For instance, if I use my phone starting at 7:30 or 8 in the morning, by 10:30 at night it usually has anywhere from 15% to 5% of its charge left, with around 5 hours of screen-on time.

During my evaluation, I made an effort to utilize the Pixel 8 Pro as much as possible. Had I not used it so frequently, I suppose I could have gone part of a second day before charging it again. In comparison to smartphones from Samsung, Motorola, and OnePlus, which can last two days with a comparable level of use, I had greater hopes for the 5,050mAh battery of the Google Pixel 8 Pro.

The Google Pixel 8 Pro is equipped with a USB-C port.

The charging speed of the Google Pixel 8 Pro is subpar compared to other Android phones. With its maximum wired charging speed of 30 watts, I experienced a 12% charge after 10 minutes and 29% after 25 minutes. To fully recharge the battery took almost 90 minutes. This is a slight improvement from the Pixel 7 Pro, but it could still be better.

It is apparent that there is space for improvement when it comes to charging speed with Google, as other firms have been sluggish too. However, phones such as the OnePlus 11 can reach full battery in only 25 minutes, highlighting the potential for Google to progress.

If you’re willing to accept slower charging speeds, the Pixel 8 Pro is also compatible with up to 12W Qi wireless charging (or 23W with the Google Pixel Stand). It also has reverse wireless charging capabilities, meaning other wireless devices can be powered up with the back of the Pixel 8 Pro. Although it has a decent battery and charging setup, I’m hoping that Google makes some advances in this area for the Pixel 9.

 

The Google Pixel 8 Pro stands out among the crowd of smartphones. Undoubtedly, the year 2023 has brought us an abundance of remarkable cell phones, some of which stand up against the Google Pixel 8 Pro. If you have $999 to invest and are searching for the ideal blend of excellent design, display quality, camera capabilities, AI abilities and reliable software, then this is the phone you should purchase.

 

Reviews

Infinix GT Book Review: A Promising Debut in Gaming Laptops

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The Infinix GT Book, priced at $720, marks the brand’s entry into the gaming laptop market. Available from May 27, this laptop can be configured with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU, showcasing Infinix’s commitment to delivering a high-performance gaming experience. Here are our initial impressions after spending a few days with the device.

Design and Build Quality

The Infinix GT Book stands out with its Cyber Mecha design, a signature look that extends from Infinix’s recent smartphone lineup. The metal construction of the top and bottom lids, combined with a matte finish, not only enhances durability but also minimizes fingerprints and smudges. The Mecha Loop emblem on the lid adds a touch of style, and the overall build feels solid. Impressively, the GT Book, despite its 16-inch display, weighs just 1.99 kg, making it the lightest gaming laptop in its category according to Infinix.

RGB lighting enthusiasts will appreciate the Mecha Bar, a customizable RGB strip at the back of the laptop, which complements the rear exhaust vents. The bottom panel features an orange-accented grille for intake fans and sturdy rubber feet to keep the laptop stable. All RGB elements can be personalized through the GT Control Centre.

Display and Keyboard

Opening the lid reveals a full-size keyboard with 4-zone RGB lighting and a somewhat small touchpad. The 16-inch display boasts a 16:10 aspect ratio, full-HD resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and up to 300 nits of brightness, making it suitable for gaming. The display’s anti-glare coating and slim side bezels enhance the viewing experience, while the top bezel houses a 1080p webcam and dual microphones.

Ports and Connectivity

The Infinix GT Book includes a well-rounded selection of ports: two USB Type-A 3.2 ports, an SD card slot, HDMI 2.0, and a USB Type-C DP port. For connectivity, it supports dual-band WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. The laptop comes with a 210W power adapter, which is substantial in size.

Performance and Internals

Under the hood, the GT Book features a 70 Whr battery, dual fans for cooling, up to 32GB non-upgradable LPDDR5 RAM, and up to 1TB PCIe 4.0 storage. It can be configured with up to a 13th Gen Intel Core i9 13900H processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU with 8GB VRAM. The review unit I tested had a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 12450H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 with 6GB VRAM, 16GB LPDDR5 RAM, and 512GB PCIe 4.0 storage. There is also a variant with a 13th Gen Intel Core i5 chipset and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU.

Pricing and Variants

The base variant, which we are reviewing, is competitively priced at $720. It features a Total Graphics Power (TGP) of 80W, while the higher-end variants offer a slightly higher 90W TGP. Along with the laptop, Infinix is offering freebies as part of a limited-time launch offer, including an RGB gaming mouse, RGB gaming headphones, and an RGB gaming mousepad.

For its first attempt at a gaming laptop, Infinix has delivered a promising product with the GT Book. The competitive pricing, robust design, and ample port selection make it a noteworthy contender in the gaming laptop market. While the internals are not the latest, they should suffice for gaming and video editing tasks. Stay tuned for our full review to see how the Infinix GT Book performs under extensive testing.

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Buying Guide

The Best 2-in-1 Laptops for 2024

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Tablet or Laptop? Why Not Both? Here Are Our Favorite Hybrid Machines

As technology continues to evolve, the demand for versatile computing devices has only increased. While the quest for the perfect hybrid device that functions seamlessly as both a tablet and a laptop continues, several manufacturers are making significant strides. As we enter 2024, Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung are leading the way with some compelling options. Here’s a comprehensive look at the best 2-in-1 laptops available this year, along with key factors to consider before making your purchase.

Quick Overview

  • HP Spectre x360 14: Best overall 2-in-1 laptop
  • Apple iPad Pro (M4): Best 2-in-1 laptop for Apple users
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+: Best 2-in-1 laptop for Android users
  • Lenovo Yoga 9i: Honorable mention

HP Spectre x360 14

  • Display: 14-inch OLED touchscreen
  • CPU: Intel Core Ultra 5 125H
  • Weight: 3.19 pounds
  • RAM: Up to 32GB
  • Storage: Up to 2TB

The HP Spectre x360 14 stands out as a versatile and powerful 2-in-1 laptop, making it our top pick. Its 360-degree hinge allows you to switch between laptop and tablet modes with ease, catering to both work and play. The OLED display is incredibly vibrant, providing excellent color accuracy ideal for creative professionals and media enthusiasts alike. Equipped with a powerful Intel Core Ultra processor and up to 32GB of RAM, it can handle demanding applications and multitasking effortlessly. Additionally, its premium design, excellent keyboard, and large touchpad add to its appeal.

Pros:

  • Versatile convertible screen
  • Vibrant OLED display
  • Solid CPU upgrade
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Ample ports

Cons:

  • Design remains largely unchanged
  • Haptic touchpad can be finicky
  • Average battery life

Apple iPad Pro (M4)

  • Display: 11- or 13-inch 120Hz tandem OLED XDR touchscreen
  • CPU: Apple M4
  • Weight: Starting at 0.98 pounds
  • RAM: Up to 16GB
  • Storage: Up to 2TB

The Apple iPad Pro (M4) is the ultimate choice for Apple enthusiasts seeking a hybrid device. The new OLED display is one of the best on any device, providing stunning brightness and contrast. Powered by the M4 chip, this iPad is incredibly fast and future-proof, ensuring top performance for years. The redesign makes it thinner and lighter, enhancing portability. The updated Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil Pro add significant new features, improving usability and making it a formidable competitor in the 2-in-1 market.

Pros:

  • Exceptional OLED screen
  • Powerful M4 chip
  • Thin and light design
  • Improved front camera
  • Enhanced accessories

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not backward compatible with older accessories
  • New accessories are pricey

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+

  • Display: 12.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X touchscreen
  • CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • RAM: Up to 12GB
  • Storage: Up to 512GB

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ is a solid choice for those who prefer Android. Its 120Hz AMOLED screen is perfect for consuming media, offering rich visuals and smooth performance. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and 12GB of RAM ensure smooth operation and efficient multitasking. The included S Pen is excellent for note-taking and drawing, making it a versatile tool for both productivity and creativity. Samsung’s improved keyboard case enhances its usability as a laptop replacement, though Android’s limitations as a desktop OS remain a consideration.

Pros:

  • Beautiful AMOLED screen
  • Great speakers
  • Powerful hardware
  • Responsive S Pen
  • DeX mode for multitasking

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Android is less efficient as a desktop OS

Lenovo Yoga 9i

  • Display: 14-inch WQUXGA (3840 x 2400) OLED touchscreen
  • CPU: 13th-gen Intel Core i7
  • Weight: 3.09 pounds
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: Up to 1TB

The Lenovo Yoga 9i excels in adaptability, capable of transforming into various modes thanks to its 360-degree hinge. Its 14-inch OLED display offers stunning visuals, and the rotating soundbar ensures high-quality audio in any configuration. The Yoga 9i also boasts a range of ports, a fingerprint scanner, and comes with a stylus and travel sleeve. Though its design hasn’t changed much recently, Lenovo has improved its performance with the latest Intel processors.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous OLED display
  • Powerful speakers
  • Strong battery life
  • Multiple USB-C ports
  • Physical webcam shutter
  • Included stylus and travel sleeve

Cons:

  • Noisy fans
  • Shallow keyboard
  • No built-in stylus storage

Factors to Consider Before Buying a 2-in-1 Laptop

When shopping for a 2-in-1 laptop, keep the following factors in mind:

  1. Weight and Portability: Ensure the combined weight of the tablet and keyboard suits your mobility needs. Modern hybrids generally weigh less than 2 pounds, but anything nearing 3 pounds might be better as an ultraportable laptop.
  2. Connectivity Options: Some 2-in-1s offer built-in LTE or 5G connectivity, which is great for on-the-go internet access. However, it comes with added costs for the hardware and data plans. Tethering to your phone remains a cost-effective alternative.
  3. Performance and Usability: These devices often have less powerful processors compared to full laptops. Keyboards can also be less sturdy with shallower travel. Ensure the advertised price includes all necessary accessories like keyboard cases.
  4. Operating System: Consider how well the OS supports productivity. Windows is typically better for productivity, while Android and iOS have more apps optimized for touchscreens.
  5. Budget: There are fewer budget options in the 2-in-1 market this year. For affordable yet capable devices, conventional laptops might offer better value.

By considering these factors and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each device, you can choose the best 2-in-1 laptop that fits your needs for 2024.

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Reviews

HP Spectre x360 14 Review

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HP’s new Spectre x360 14 is a standout in the convertible laptop market, keeping the 2-in-1 concept alive with modern enhancements. Featuring Intel’s latest CPUs, faster Intel Arc graphics, and a stunning 2.8K OLED display, it combines performance and versatility.

Pros:

  • Versatile convertible screen
  • Vibrant OLED display
  • Solid CPU upgrade
  • Starts with 16GB RAM
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Ample ports

Cons:

  • Unchanged design
  • Finicky haptic touchpad
  • Average battery life

Even if you don’t use the 360-degree rotating screen, the Spectre x360 14 remains a sleek and powerful laptop. It’s a more traditional alternative to Dell’s new XPS 14 but with familiar usability.

Design and Hardware

The Spectre x360 14 features a sleek metal case, a large trackpad with configurable haptic feedback, and a unified power button/fingerprint sensor. It supports 28-watt Intel Core Ultra CPUs, 10% more airflow, and a 9MP webcam with low-light adjustment. Its quad-speaker array provides clear audio, and it remains lightweight at 3.2 pounds.

Performance

 

Equipped with Intel’s Core Ultra 7 155H chip, 32GB RAM, and a 2TB SSD, the Spectre x360 14 delivers a significant performance boost over its predecessors. It also features Intel’s Arc graphics, making it capable of handling 1080p gaming.

User Experience

The Spectre x360 14’s OLED display supports a 120Hz refresh rate, enhancing the visual experience. Its keyboard remains top-notch, but the trackpad’s palm rejection could use improvement. The convertible design makes it versatile, easily switching between laptop and tablet modes.

Battery life is its major flaw, lasting only about five hours in tests, which is less than other similar models,

Conclusion: The HP Spectre x360 14 is a top-tier laptop that excels as a convertible, making it a great choice for those who value both form and function in their devices.

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