The Google Pixel 4 is here to replace Huawei with its massive 3-lens Camera setup!

It’s quite unlike Google to add fuel to the product-leak-conspiracy fire, but around this time yesterday, Google uploaded a preview image of the Pixel 4 on their Twitter account (nobody would check Google+ apparently), and a lot of things immediately caught my eye. Here’s what we know so far about the rumored Pixel 4!

Google has come a long way in the hardware department, but nothing captivates users more than A. Google’s pristine stock-Android experience, and its timely updates, and B. That sweet-as-maple-syrup camera. Google has managed to single-handedly dethrone Apple as the king of the smartphone camera with some incredible behind-the-scenes computational photography. In fact, while companies are introducing multiple lenses to their smartphone camera setups to make them better, Google has, for three long years, easily done what its competition struggled to do, with just one single lens and its secret-sauce image-processing algorithm. With the Pixel 4, however, all that changes.

The Pixel 4 is Google’s iPhone 4 moment, with a radically different design that shows that Google takes being the best rather seriously. It ditches the two-tone finish on the phone’s back (a standout feature that set the Pixel apart) for a flat, glossy surface, devoid of even the fingerprint sensor. Upon this remarkably clean surface sits Google’s piece-de-resistance. Its first foray into primary multi-lens shooting.

With Huawei now practically out of the picture, Google can rightfully claim the throne as the best smartphone shooter, with Samsung and Apple playing catch-up. Sitting like a crown on the Pixel 4’s rear are not one, not two, but THREE lenses and a flash, all arranged into a pretty massive camera tile (I can’t honestly call it a bump anymore). There isn’t much word on what the three lenses are, but as a Pixel user myself, I can only imagine that every single Pixel camera feature will get significantly better! Who knows, but the phone may even come with Google’s Project Tango, allowing it to scan/capture 3D imagery. Three primary lenses would probably even help Google perform better AR tracking, giving it a definitive edge over the iPhone and Apple’s ARKit.

On the front (if leaks and rumors are true), the Pixel 4 will feature a bezel-less hole-punch design… a definite upgrade over the massive notch we saw on last year’s Pixel 3. Two lenses on the front give the Pixel 4 great front-facing photography chops, as well as facial recognition, and the smartphone’s bezel-less experience surely makes the Pixel 4 feel like a premium handset.

The Pixel 4 will come with Google’s latest edition of the Android OS (codenamed Q), and reports even say it will debut Google’s Project Soli, a touch-less form of interaction that Google debuted in 2015, that may just revolutionize how we use our phones (and may also render power and volume buttons obsolete in the future!) The Pixel 4 is currently on track for its official launch in October. Let’s see what you got, Google!

Designer: Sarang Sheth

Final Image Credit: Google

The Flexo are portable wireless chargers that you can carry around with you!

Designed to be as portable as the gadgets you carry around with you, Flexo provides juice to all your wirelessly charging smart-equipment. Fitting within the venn-intersection between EDC and Consumer Electronic Accessories, the Flexo come in three styles, and can charge anywhere from one to three separate devices.

The smallest Flexo comes with a single-charger setup, and is roughly the size of an earpods case. Designed to be pocket-friendly, the small Flexo is perfect for juicing your earpods, watch, or smartphone up for a few hours, extending your battery life and productivity just enough to get you through the day with no problems. Step its size up and you’ve got a regular Flexo, that can simultaneously charge two gadgets at a time. Its size increment makes it less pocket friendly no doubt, but it also gives you more battery capacity (split between two modules) to work with. By far the most functional Flexo however, is the three-part charger, that not only works when laid down like a mat (letting you charge three gadgets simultaneously), but also folds up like a prop-stand, thanks to magnets that hold it in place, allowing you to charge your phone standing up diagonally like most traditional chargers. Perfect for carrying around in a bag, the large Flexo gives you the convenience of three separate wireless power-banks that come together to form a charging-dock that you can practically carry around with you! Which one would you pick?

Designer: Michał Szczególski

A folding iPhone that has the potential of being a phone, tablet, and even a laptop

I often ask myself that if Apple did decide to make a folding phone, what would it look like? Would it follow the design of the iPad Pro? With a flat edge design? Would it look like a MacBook? With a machined aluminum body and a wedge-design at the edge? Or would Apple just make it look like the iPhone X with a hinge on the side? Semin Jun believes it to be the latter.

Designed as a conceptual direction for a conceptual phone (I highly doubt Apple wants to build a folding phone right now, especially when the technology is so nascent and problematic), Semin Jun’s iPhone Fold looks exactly like a regular iPhone when closed, except without a notch. When folded, the iPhone Fold isn’t radically different to look at, aside from some much needed changes. For starters, in Jun’s future, even folding phones don’t have bezels and notches. The iPhone Fold conveniently fits a camera BEHIND its outer screen, and even turns the 6.5 inch Super Retina display into a speaker/receiver using piezoelectric technology. Obviously there’s no TouchID, so the two cameras on the outside perform facial tracking tasks, unlocking the phone. However, that’s just half the experience, because the iPhone Fold, as its name suggests, opens to reveal a bigger, better, glorious flexible display on the inside. (And the outer screen instantly displays an illuminated Apple logo in what might be one of the most delightful tech Easter eggs ever!)

Open the iPhone Fold and you get access to the smartphone’s hottest feature, its full-sized 8.3 inch display, that can be used either flat, like a tablet, or folded at an angle, turning your smartphone into a miniature laptop. The iPhone Fold has a few other surprising tricks up its sleeve, including a 3-lens camera that can capture incredibly detailed 4K videos while rendering the background blur in real time, as well as, wait for it… Apple Pencil support! With a hinge that not only allows you to bend the phone in half, but also lets you magnetically snap an charge an Apple Pencil, the iPhone Fold has the body of an iPhone, the aspiration of being a MacBook, and the functionality and soul of an iPad Pro… and truth be told, who wouldn’t want to live to see that day?!

Oh, and don’t @ me to ask what a folding iPhone would cost. I’m honestly not going there.

Designer: Semin Jun

I could really go for this faux carbon fiber Google Pixel 4!

With phones becoming increasingly flat and homogeneous over the past few years, many companies like Huawei, Oppo, and OnePlus have begun resorting to CMF to create a factor of differentiation, with gradients, anisotropic reflective metallic finishes, and holographic patterns. As a fan of solid colors, it seems unlikely that Google would adopt that path, but something like this Pixel 4 concept with a carbon-fiber finish is definitely something that would look like a thousand bucks (although quite out of Google’s ball-park).

The rumored Pixel 4’s back obviously wouldn’t be made out of carbon fiber, given that it would definitely affect the phone’s ability to wirelessly charge, but Google could just as easily create a faux carbon fiber pattern in their glass/ceramic back through clever etching. The end result would look as good as a vinyl clad, giving the phone a completely new avatar, with the same body and soul! Hey Sundar, think your team can pull this off?

Designer: Jonas Daehnert

Relay gives your kids the benefits of a smartphone without the ‘addictiveness’

I often ask myself this question, but what IS a smartphone? Is it the touchscreen display? Is it the app-store? Or is it the ability to use the internet to your benefit? Probably a combination of those three things? However, this also begs one to ask, can you truly build a smartphone without an app-store or a display? Relay is proof that you, to quite an extent, can.

Designed as a “smartphone for kids”, the Relay gives parents the ability to communicate with and monitor their children, while giving the children a device that A. empowers them, B. doesn’t get them addicted, and C. doesn’t harvest their personal data. The Relay is a SIM-embedded smartphone with 4G LTE capabilities, and allows kids to talk to their guardians, and even friends, just by simply pushing a button.

For a child, the Relay is their stepping-stone into a world with open communication. They can constantly be in touch with their friends and family, while getting their own sense of freedom to play longer, have sleepovers, or basically live life without physical supervision. The parent-child-communication bridge always remains open. The lack of a screen may bother the child, but is essentially better for them in the larger scheme of things. The simple one-button UI also greatly simplifies the product experience, making it great for kids of all ages.

The Relay, however, is more of a parent-empowering product. It enables them to be a good guardian without being overbearing, and especially without giving their kids an addictive smartphone that could actually disrupt communication rather than enable it. The Relay also comes with an in-built GPS module that lets parents keep a check on their kid’s locations throughout the day, and the 4G LTE capabilities let parents talk to their kids from not just one room to another, but even across the country. The Relay comes with a companion app, made for the parent, and allows them to tap into Relay’s multitude of features, from making one-on-one calls to group chats, as well as a feature Relay calls Channels, an app-store of their own that allows the Relay device to play jokes, music, or even work as a translator!

Designed to be, in its most basic sense, a very well-designed inter-city SIM-based walkie-talkie, the Relay takes the idea of a smartphone and simplifies it greatly, retaining only the core features needed for its target audience… kids, and even senior citizens! Aside from easy comms, to the GPS tracking feature, Relay’s SOS feature truly helps aid its users with effectively communicating with their loved ones in a way that’s empowering, rather than addictive.

Designer: Republic Wireless

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Smartphones Are The Future

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Federal judge rules Qualcomm violated antitrust rules

Roughly five months after the Federal Trade Commission and Qualcomm entered the courtroom over charges that Qualcomm engaged in anti-competitive behavior, a federal judge has sided with the FTC. In a decision shared Tuesday night, US District Judge L...

The DoBox Mini can turn your iPad/iPhone into a full-feature computer… with ports!

I doubt Tim Cook or Steve Jobs would have envisioned the need for such a product only because iOS is, in itself, designed to be used for mobile tasks… but the iOS devices we carry around today are undoubtedly extremely powerful. On the hardware front, the iPad Pro is as hardcore as an Xbox One, and the iPhone has the processor speed of a low-end laptop… so it’s fair to say that their mobile operating system sort of limits their abilities. The DoBox Mini lets you overcome that.

This small aluminum box, roughly the size of a power-bank, unleashes your smart device’s true abilities. It connects to your home Wi-Fi network via a cable, and to your smart device via an app… and that’s where the magic begins. The DoBox Mini now turns your iOS device into a powerhouse of sorts. Ports on the DoBox Mini become ports you can use with your iOS device. You can plug a USB Mouse, Keyboard, an HDMI-connected display, or even a USB Drive or SD Card, and they all become accessible via your smartphone or tablet.

All the control lies within the DoBox app. You can connect devices, share data, store data, and even stream movies to an external display like a television. The ability to connect a USB mouse and keyboard to your iPhone or iPad literally gives you the laptop experience, and yes, you get a cursor that you can use within the DoBox app (with a universal iOS cursor feature coming with iOS 13)! The app also comes with its own native desktop-style browser that you can control with your newly connected mouse and keyboard, giving you the unleashed desktop-style web experience on your mobile device. Want to push the desktop-style experience further? The DoBox Mini gives you unprecedented power by allowing you to control your Macbook or iMac remotely, on your smartphone. It mirrors your Macintosh device’s screen onto your phone or tablet display, allowing you to perform power-tasks on your handheld device from no matter where you are. Additionally, you can offload most of your data on the DoBox Mini by plugging an SD Card or USB Drive in, saving you space on your phone and money on an iCloud upgrade. You’ll also be incredibly happy to know that the DoBox Mini even packs an aux input to let you wirelessly connect your wired speakers to your smartphone or tablet!

iOS devices were designed to help users accomplish mobile tasks. The fact that the iPhone has now become such a powerful machine is probably attributed to how ubiquitous phones have become, and it just means that your hand-held device is now capable of being your full-time workstation… its only limitation being the Operating System. Steve Jobs and Tim Cook didn’t envision the birth of a product like the DoBox Mini because they just wanted to create the best smartphones and tablets the world had ever seen. The DoBox Mini also makes them the best computers the world has ever seen!

Designer: Mate Molnar of DoBox.

Click Here to Buy Now: $99 $149 (33% Off). Hurry, only 3/120 left!

Click Here to Buy Now: $99 $149 (33% Off). Hurry, only 3/120 left!

You know what’s better than a sliding smartphone camera? A detachable one.

I’ll be honest. Sliding cameras are a no-go for me. Here’s why I hate them. Their biggest justification is that sliding cameras create a bezel-less experience, and I honestly don’t have a problem with bezels. A small Samsung S9-style brow and a chin look perfectly fine on a smartphone (I say this as a consumer, not as a design journalist). The other things I hate about sliding cameras are that they catch dust, their presence prevents the phone from being waterproof, and you can’t really put a proper case on them. They also make phones marginally thicker, and a slight problem here or there (a bend perhaps) will render the sliding mechanism useless, basically leaving you with no camera, which isn’t ideal, right?

So what’s the solution? I Nung Huang has one that involves a detachable camera module and a proprietary contact-pin setup that allows you to snap the module to your phone, like the Essential Phone, or Motorola’s Moto Mods. The phone and module are both water-right and dust-resistant, so problem solved there. Looks like the only other foreseeable problem is accidentally losing or dropping the camera mod (like one would with an Airpod), but Huang’s nifty swivel case solves that problem, while also allowing you to use the camera in any orientation (thanks to circuitry within the case itself). What’s better is that this phone is now A. completely bezel-less on the front, and B. more secure, thanks to the removable camera. You know what? Removing the camera may do wonders for your battery life too!

Designer: I-Nung Huang

Get yourself a keychain that can charge your phone

The Mophie Powerstation Keychain gives you one more reason to make sure you’re always carrying your keys as you walk out the door. Roughly the size of a remote fob (the kind you find on car keys), the Mophie Powerstation Keychain is a small attachment for your keyring that gives you an instant 1200mAh of juice. The tiny powerbank sits along with your keys, and in dire situations, can top of your battery by as much as 50%, so you’re not struggling to book an Uber, or call your family at the end of the day on a dying battery.

The Powerstation Keychain comes with its own integrated charging cable with a Type-C jack at the end, and even packs a carabiner clip, so you can hang it by your belt-loop, or on your backpack, using it to instantly charge your Android phone whenever you see the battery dropping into no man’s land.

Designer: Mophie

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