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The Microsoft Surface Phone: what to expect

The Microsoft Surface Phone: what to expect

22 Dec 2016
Joseph

Seph

amaysim's tech geek

There’s no denying that Microsoft’s history in mobile hasn’t been great, but could the Surface phone buck the trend? Here’s a look at the rumours so far.

The name

At this stage the name of the new Microsoft phone hasn’t been officially announced, but according to Trusted Reviews Microsoft recently bought the domain ‘surfacephone.com’. The URL only redirects to Microsoft’s homepage at the moment, and while I’m no detective, this could also be a big clue as to the name – let’s just call it the Microsoft Surface Phone for now.

The Microsoft Surface Phone’s specs

There hasn’t been much detail released about the new Microsoft Surface Phone, but if the leaks are true we could be in for something special. Reports from TechRadar suggest that the phone’s processor will be heavy duty. Qualcomm, the rumored chip manufacturer, say their newest processor is significantly more efficient, so depending what Microsoft do with the chip it’s been rumoured we could either see a 40% reduction in power consumption, or a 27% hike in performance – both really promising numbers!

The increased processing power is likely to give the smartphone compatibility with laptop-like accessories, and so if the Microsoft Surface is anything to go by, we could expect pairing with a keyboard, mouse and a stylus.

Along with some hefty hardware, the Surface Phone is also expected to be available in three models. Each version is said to ramp up the internal memory significantly, the biggest being 8GB RAM and 500GB storage – to put this into perspective, the iPhone 7 is available up to 256GB with 2GB RAM.

The rumoured camera for the Microsoft Surface Phone

Apple, LG and Huawei have all gone with a dual-camera set up for their newest models, so it’s looking likely that the new Microsoft phone will follow the dual-camera trend.

Dual-camera tech combines two different cameras, and together they produce images that are said to have a higher resolution, better depth perception and/or increased dynamic range.

The design of Microsoft's new smartphone

From the hype we’ve found that all models are expected to have a 5.7 inch screen, and an all-metal look. Apparently, Microsoft has been putting in the hours to make the Surface Phone fit with the aesthetic of the Surface Book – making it a good-looking piece of kit all round.

Price: what the Microsoft Surface Phone could set you back

With three different models we have three prices points to guess at. Trusted Reviews say the base model will come in around $699USD, about $940AUD. The premium model could be priced more towards $1099USD – when you do the math, that’s a whopping $1470AUD.

If you’re spending top dollar on a new unlocked mobile phone (queue the quick shameless plug) then you’ll want to make some serious savings on a killer phone plan with a truckload of data, so we’re here when you need us.

The release date

Rumours are pretty thin on the ground here. However reports point to the first half of 2017, so there’s still a little way to go if you’re keen to get your hands on one. If you’re pining for new tech to tide you over you could consider grabbing a Nintendo Switch to pass the time.

More Windows apps?

The lack of apps have traditionally been a major issue for all Microsoft phones. So it’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft will address this in order to convince app savvy smartphone owners to take a shot with their latest device.

Looking at all the leaks, the Microsoft Surface Phone (if that’s even its name) is going to be a serious contender in the mobile market, especially the decked out models. Whether the tech giant can crack the app problem of previous models remains to be seen, but what’s for sure is that this phone is set to breathe new life into the Microsoft smartphone market.

Will you be looking to jump ship and try something different when the new Microsoft Surface Phone lands in Australia? Let me know your thoughts in the comments – will be interesting to know what everyone has to say about Microsoft and Windows phones.

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Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5: Everything we know so far

13 Aug 2020

Fresh on the heels of the Pixel 4A being announced, the hype train for the Google Pixel 5 is now well and truly underway.

After months of speculation about whether the Pixel 5 launch would be pushed back, Google put much of this chatter to rest by providing a sneak peak of the Pixel 5 during the recent launch of the Pixel 4A.


Last years flagship device, the Pixel 4, was a phone full of potential. As we've come to expect from the Pixel series, it featured an incredibly powerful camera, however its average battery life, held it back from being a serious contender for phone of the year.

While the Pixel 4 had its flaws, it was still a really good phone overall, and it will interesting to see how this years model, stacks up against other flagship models from 2020 such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 12.

With all this said, we wouldn't count Google out from delivering something special and with such a positive early response to the Pixel 4A, perhaps 2020 will prove to be the year of the Pixel.

To help bring you up to speed on what Google has in-store with this years flagship Pixel device, here's everything we know so far about the Pixel 5.

at a glance: rumoured Google Pixel 5 features

  • Expected October release
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11
  • New camera features; Adjustable Flash, Motion Blur & Audio Zoom
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

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    Expect 5G

    It's widely expected the Pixel 5 will include 5Gconnectivity.

    The feature was all but confirmed in early August with the announcement of the Pixel 4A, where Google teased two new 5G devices, the Pixel 5 and a 5G version of the Pixel 4A, both of which are set to be released during the final quarter of 2020.

    Release Date

    Since the phone’s inception back in 2016, Google has remained incredibly consistent with their release schedule for the flagship Pixel series, with all previous launches taking place in October. This trend is set to continue, after a leak surfaced from a Google affiliated website in France, claiming the Pixel 5 will be available for pre-order from October 8.

    Android 11

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since a beta version of Android 11 is already available for public download, however it’s expected the Pixel 5 will be the first device to don the latest Android software straight out the box.

    Some of the expected improvements and features of Android 11 include a new media player widget, easier ways to control smart home devices using your phone, a new power button menu and refinements to the messaging system and conversation bubbles.

    Pixel 5 Render
    Image Credit: Google

    Design & Display

    Last year Google teased images of the Pixel 4 in the months leading up to its official launch. This time round, the only confirmed sighting of the Pixel 5 has been the side image (seen above) which Google teased during the launch of the Pixel 4A.

    Outside of this image, there have been a number of different leaks floating about which have helped paint a picture of what this years phone might look like.

    Like the Pixel 4, it's expected the Pixel 5 will feature an OLED panel, with a matte glass finish on the back and full HD/QHD resolution. According to Front Page Tech who gained access to an early Pixel 5 prototype, a forehead bezel on the front side of the device is also expected to remain.

    In terms of refresh rate, last year we got to enjoy a smooth 90Hz experience with the Pixel 4. However with Samsung (and others) already making the jump to 120Hz and Apple reportedly looking to do the same with the iPhone 12, it will be interesting to see if Google sees this as an important feature upgrade and whether they'll look to roll out a 120Hz refresh rate with the Pixel 5.

    A Mighty Fine Camera

    While earlier leaks suggested the Pixel 5 would include a triple-lens camera on the rear of the device, more recent leaks suggest Google will once again opt for a two camera setup on the back.

    The quality of images with the Pixel 4 were outstanding, so it's not as if this should be a concern. For some though, the added flexibility of a third, wide angle lens, would of been the cherry on top, for a camera that many consider one of the top-tier mobile phone cameras.

    With that said, Google doesn't appear to be standing still, instead opting to fine-tune the Pixel's two-camera setup by adding new features.

    Expected new features include an adjustable camera flash, a new motion blur feature and the introduction of audio zoom, which will allow you to zoom in when recording video to help you capture audio more precisely.

    Long story short, it looks like we're in for a treat with this years camera setup.

    Under The Hood

    In the past, Pixel devices have typically featured the best Qualcomm chip available, which this year would be the Snapdragon 865 Plus. With the Pixel 5, this might not be case, with an inside scoop from 9to5Google suggesting the phone may be shipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor.

    The Snapdragon 765 is more of a mid-range chip, unlike the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which powers the latest Samsung phones. This would suggest slightly less processing power than some of its competitors. With that said, the 765 is obviously no slouch and will still pack a solid punch in terms of performance.

    In terms of RAM, while it hasn't been a huge strength of the Pixel series in the past, there should be improvements on this front, with the Pixel 5 set to include 8GB of RAM in comparison to last years 6GB.

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