[From the January 3rd, 2020 Wiretapped newsletter.]
Happy New Year, everyone! I know I said Wiretapped would return on January 6th, but I decided to cut my hiatus short. There’s just too much news that broke over the past week and a half. And with CES starting this Monday, I wanted to give these stories their own time to shine because they all deserve your attention.
Let’s get started, shall we?
GOOGLE PIXEL 4A LEAKS IN NEW RENDERS W/ HOLE PUNCH DISPLAY
Last year, Google released a mid-range version of its Pixel 3 flagship called the Pixel 3a. It was well-received by critics thanks to its camera performance, battery life, and well-rounded design. For 2020, the company will be releasing a sequel called the Pixel 4a which, according to freshly-leaked renders, will feature a much more modern design.
It’s a bit odd, though. The Pixel 4a, according to the renders from OnLeaks and 91Mobiles, will feature an edge-to-edge display with a hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera. That look alone is more commonly found on flagships, and you’d expect it to appear on the Pixel 4 itself. But while the company’s $800+ phones stick with a large forehead, its mid-range counterpart will opt for a much more eye-appealing “all-screen” front fascia.
Around the rest of the phone, you’ll spot downward-firing speakers, a headphone jack, a USB-C port, and a camera square containing one sensor. Admittedly, that one sensor will more than likely be enough for some great shots since the Pixel 4’s secondary camera barely does anything, yet the phone is one of the best performers when it comes to smartphone photography.
Since the last “Pixel a” phone was released in May of last year during I/O 2019, I think it’s safe to say I/O 2020 will likely be the stage the Pixel 4a takes to make its debut. Stay tuned!
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 10 LITE POPS UP IN REAL-LIFE IMAGES
Samsung’s “Lite” version of the Galaxy Note 10 has leaked in renders, reports, and code. Now, the phone has leaked in real-life images thanks to TechTalkTV, confirming its existence even further.
We know a few details about the Note 10 Lite, like how it’ll feature an LCD panel instead of an OLED. It’ll also ship with an Exynos 9810 processor, a headphone jack, a hole-punch notch, and what looks like a pretty manageable form factor thanks to its slim profile. Rumors point to the phone debuting during CES, so there’s a chance we could see this thing officially as soon as next week.
SAMSUNG UNVEILS CHEAPER GALAXY BOOK FLEX ‘ALPHA’
A device that Samsung has debuted ahead of CES is the new Galaxy Book Flex α (pronounced “Alpha”). It’s essentially a cheaper version of the company’s Galaxy Book Ion and Galaxy Book Flex devices in which it features a more traditional 2-in-1 design with a 360-degree hinge, an aluminum build, and a normal keyboard and trackpad (no fancy wireless phone charging here). It also boasts intel’s 10th-gen chips, up to 512GB of SSD storage, up to 12GB of RAM, plenty of IO, and up to 17.5 hours of usage. it’ll start at $829.99 and launch in the first half of 2020. More details can be found in Samsung’s newsroom.
DELL REVEALS REDESIGNED XPS 13 AHEAD OF CES 2020
In the same laptop category, Dell has also unveiled a redesigned version of its XPS 13. Granted, you can still tell this thing is a Dell laptop, but it makes some welcome changes like a much slimmer bottom bezel and adopting a 16:10 aspect ratio for the screen. It, too, ships with Intel’s 10th-gen chips, specifically the Ice Lake line. It can be configured with up to an Intel Core i7, 32GB of RAM, and 2TB of storage. You can also opt for either a Full HD+ or 4K UHD display. You also get a couple of Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. It’ll retail for $999 and launch on January 7th.
BRYDGE UNVEILS KEYBOARD FOR IPAD PRO WITH A MOUSE
There’s a big argument around whether the iPad Pro can actually serve as your laptop. Some say the hardware support isn’t there, others complain about software challenges. If you fall into the former category, Brydge has a product for you.
Meet the Pro+ keyboard. Much like the company’s previous keyboard for the iPad Pro, Brydge’s new keyboard attaches to your iPad with a couple of clips at the top left and right corners, creating a sort of slotting mechanism that’s easy to remove and sturdy enough to keep your iPad from detaching. But there’s a bit of a surprise onboard: it comes with a trackpad. With proper mouse support added to iPadOS, Brydge is capitalizing on the idea that, with the right accessory, your iPad Pro can deliver a laptop-like experience. Since I have yet to try this keyboard, I can’t tell you whether this is true or not.
The Brydge Pro+ will cost $199.99 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $229.99 for the 12.9-inch model. Both go on sale starting in late February.
If you were following my iPad Pro review, I just thought I’d let you know that I linked the third part of it below since I wasn’t able to include it in a newsletter due to my hiatus. I also linked my poll which I invite everyone to take. I wanna hear what everyone is most excited for this year in technology, whether it be new phones, new laptops, new TVs, or something else.
Talk to you guys Monday as we kick off CES 2020!
– Your pal, Max
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