Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL specs and features leak ahead of launch tonight: Everything we know so far

Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Google Home Mini, Pixelbook set to be launched tonight: Everything we know so far

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Image credit: Evan Blass

There are no surprise anymore. Apple couldn’t keep the iPhone X, one of its biggest products in years, a surprise ahead of the launch event. And Google surely can’t keep away the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL from the leakers. The two phones, which are successor to last year’s original Pixel phones, will be launched tonight at an event in San Francisco. They will come accompanied by a number of other Google products, most important of which are going to be three – the new Google Home Mini, the Pixelbook and a new Daydream VR headset.

Of all, the most important – particular for our country of smartphone lovers – are going to be the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. Almost everything important about these phones is now known. It the last few days their images along with key specifications and features have been leaked. There has been a talk of a mysterious phone called the Ultra Pixel but that is just talk. Tonight there is going to be nothing called Ultra Pixel at the Google event. Only the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL.

Update: Just hours before the launch, a fresh leak has given us at the more detailed specs of the Pixel 2 XL. The specs, listed online, confirm that the phone will come with a 6-inch screen that has a resolution of 1440 x 2880 pixels, hence also confirming the 18:9 aspect ratio. In all likelihood this is the same screen that has been used by LG in its V30 smartphone. Also the specs sheet shows 100000:1 aspect ration hence confirming that the Pixel 2 XL screen uses AMOLED panel. Then there are other details. The front camera on the Pixel 2 XL uses an 8-megapixel sensor with F2.4 lens. The phone comes with a 3520 mAh battery. There is Gorilla Glass 5 layer on top of the phone’s display. Other specs are similar to what we heard about earlier. But there are 3 key features that have revealed by the latest leaks: The Pixel 2 XL will have dual-SIM support. But will be the regular GSM SIM, the slot will use e-SIM. There is something called Pixel Visual Core, which seems to be a special chip for computational photography. In other words, think better portrait mode photos. Finally, there is something called “advanced x-axis sensor” in the Pixel 2 XL. This seems to be the sensor that will enable “squeezable frame” feature.

So what are these phones, how much will the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will cost in India, when will they go on sale in India? Nothing is official about them yet, but as noted earlier almost everything about these phones has been leaked. So don’t expect any surprises.

– Of the the, the Pixel 2 XL is a more exciting phone. It is made by LG and it has many similarities with the LG V30. The phone is expected to sport a 6-inch screen with thin bezels, similar to what we see in the LG V30. But that is where the design similarities end. Google is expected to use a design for the Pixel 2 XL that is similar to the design of the original Pixel XL. This means, you will get the same dual-tone shell made of metal and glass, although the Glass portion on the rear cover is proportionately smaller than what we saw in last year’s Pixel phones.

– The Pixel 2 XL screen, as noted earlier, measures 6 inches. It will use AMOLED panel, will have QHD (1440P) display with 18:9 aspect ratio.

 

– The Pixel 2, meanwhile, is the smaller phone with 5-inch screen that has a resolution of 1080P. It is said to be made by HTC and it will have a design that is more generic and similar to the design of the Pixel launched last year.

– Both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are expected to come with stereo speakers. Both have a fingerprint sensor at the rear cover, under camera. Both will feature “squeezable frame” similar to what th HTC U11 has. Squeezing this frame will launch Google Assistant.

– Both Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. There was talk that these phones are going to use the Snapdragon 836, but apparently that chip is late so Google couldn’t use it. The Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will come with 64GB and the 128GB variants. They will have 4GB RAM.

– Just like the recent iPhones, the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL are going to come without the 3.5mm headphone jack. This is rather surprising because last year Google highlighted the presence of the headphone jack in its Pixel phones as one of the top features, while hinting that the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus weren’t good because they lacked it. Google will probably bundle a headphone to USB-C adapter in the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL boxes.

– The Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL are going to come with a re-designed launcher, which will have the Google search bar at the bottom of the screen. The phone will use Android Oreo software, and likely to come with (temporarily) exclusive software features like Google Lens app, which was announced at the Google I/O.

– The Pixel 2 is likely to have a 2700 mAh battery while the Pixel 2 XL will come with 3400 mAh battery.

– Both the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will have water and dust-poof design.

– For now, if there is some mystery then that is about the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL cameras. It is certain neither of these phones comes with dual-camera system. Of late, high-end phones are moving dual-camera systems to offer features like 2X optical zoom and more refined portrait mode. But not Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. These phones are going to come with single camera on the rear. The question is which camera? There are strong chances that it is going to be the sae 12-megapixel camera that is there in the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. It makes sense because this is the best camera you can get in a phone, even when compared to the camera inside phones like the recently-launched iPhone 8 Plus. But there is also another scenario. Given how much help Google has got from HTC for the Pixel 2 (and the Pixel 2 XL), it is possible that the company may se the same 12-megapixel camera that HTC uses in HTC U11. That again is a good camera so we will have to see what Google does with the HTC U11 camera hardware with its software tricks like the HDR+ mode.

Also Read: Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL to launch tonight: How to watch, expected specs, price and more

On the front, it is expected that the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will come with 5-megapixel shooter. The interesting bit about the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL cameras could be that they may lack the dual-lens trick, but if original Pixel is any indication the new Google phones too may come with the best camera in a smartphone. In addition, it is expected that Google will offer enhanced portrait node in the camera app inside the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL.

Pixel 2 XL and the Pixel 2 India price and India launch

The global prices of the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL have been leaked. The Pixel 2 XL will have a starting price of $849. The Pixel 2, meanwhile, will be cheaper with a starting price of $649. As far as India prices are concerned, nothing has been revealed so far. But these are high-end phones, and similar to how Google priced Pixel phones in India last year, the new Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will also come with a hefty price tag. It is safe to day that in India the Pixel 2 could have a string price of around Rs 55,000 whereas the Pixel 2 XL may come with a price tag of Rs 65,000.

According to leaks so far, the Pixel 2 will be available globally from October 19. This could be the date when the phone goes on sale in India too, with pre-orders starting a few days early. The Pixel 2 XL could go on sale from November 15, suggest rumours. For official date, let’s wait until tonight.

Pixel Home Mini, Daydream VR headset, Pixelbook

Of these products, the Google Home Mini has already been leaked by Walmart, which “accidentally” listed it on the website. It is exactly what it name suggests. This is a smaller Google Home, much smaller and almost pebble sized, that will sell at a very cheap $49 price. It will connect to an Android device through Wi-Fi and will have Google Assistant inbuilt. Now, although this is a speaker, we suspect it is more for other things instead of music. It’s more like the voice of the Google Assistant and is also probably going to be used to make calls.

The PixelBook is a new Chromebook with powerful hardware and a premium design. It is also said to be a convertable, that people will be able to use as a tablet as well as a laptop. With the PixelBook, the idea it seems is to take on the iPad Pro as well as the Macbook. The device will have a screen size of 12.3 inches and it will come powered with an Intel Core i5 processors, reveals the information leaked so far. It will have a global starting price of $1,199.

Finally, the new Daydream VR headset. This one is expected to be a minor update to the existing VR headset from Google. It will be sold as an accessory to the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL phones and it may come with some design changes as well as improved screens to make it more useful.

[“Source-indiatoday”]

Everything You Need to Know About For Honor’s Season Two Gear Changes

Everything You Need to Know About For Honor's Season Two Gear Changes

With Season Two of For Honor’s Faction War beginning tomorrow, Ubisoft implemented four distinct changes to gear. The developers aimed to reduce the gap between high and low level gear, have more stat varieties, show the actual stat values each piece carries, and introduce the Epic rarity sets. In addition, the costs to craft gear has been significantly reduced, though the salvage values after dismantling gear has been slightly reduced as well.

All of these gear changes will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC alongside For Honor Update 1.07, tomorrow on May 16.

Base Gear Stats

When you have basic gear (gear score zero), you should still added bonuses:

  • Arms: defense + 0.8%
  • Body: + 0.9%
  • Head: + 0.6%
  • Weapon 1: + 0.8%
  • Weapon 2: + 1.0%
  • Weapon 3: + 1.2%

For example: Weapon 1, 2, and 3 would be the blade, crossguard, and hilt, respectively.

Developer comments: We observed difficulties for certain players to play with new heroes without gear with the new gear values. To help this, default gear now has stats. To note, this does not apply when gear stats are disabled.

Epic Gear

Once Update 1.07 arrives, you should be able to scavenge Epic gear post-match if you are at least Reputation level five.

for honor season two gear

Because of the new gear rarity, the scavenging rules have been tweaked:

  • Rare gear loot rules changed from Reputation level one up to the end of Reputation level six to Reputation level one to the end of Reputation level four.
  • Heroic gear loot rules changed from Reputation level three until Reputation level 30 to Reputation level three to the end of Reputation level six.
  • Epic gear loot rules added to Reputation level five until Reputation level 30.

Developer comments: To accommodate the addition of the new gear, we tweaked the way the gear is looted. To make sure the progression is comfortable, we reduced the amount of levels at which could be looted Rare and Heroic gear.

Overall Gear Stats Revamp

for honor season two gear

Gear Stats have been rearranged on all stats bundles and gear slots:

  • Weapon 1: Attack, Defense Penetration, Block Damage
  • Weapon 2: Attack, Execution Regen, Revive Speed
  • Weapon 3: Attack, Revenge Gain, Revenge Mode Attack
  • Helm: Defense, Exhaustion Duration, Debuff Resistance
  • Chest: Defense, Revenge Mode Defense, Revenge Mode Duration
  • Arms: Defense, Stamina Use, Stamina Regen

Developer comments: To support all our balancing changes, we removed, merged and moved stats to better focus on interesting and varied builds, with more meaningful choices.

New Gear Stat Values

  • Lower rarity gear now has higher modifiers than before.

Developer comments: Common gear wasn’t impacting the gameplay as much as we would have liked. With higher starting values, gear of all levels now feels more satisfying.

  • Modifiers increase faster per level at lower rarities than at higher ones.

Developer comments: Players advising each other on gear strategies always said the same thing: Save your steel for Heroic gear. This means that many players saw very little gear progression until they got their first hero up to Reputation 3. Something that takes a long time. So by making the curve steeper at the low end and flatter at the top, we hope that players will see it as valuable to buy and craft gear of all rarities.

  • Stat penalties have been increased significantly.

Developer comments: Players were hard pressed to even notice the effect of their penalties at anything but the highest gear levels. We hope that by increasing the size of the penalties and removing skills that are of limited use we’ll make all your future gear decisions that much more interesting.

  • New type of stats offering only small and balanced bonuses even at high levels.

Developer comments: We needed to offer a more moderate option for players regarding gear, for players that liked the initial balance of the hero and didn’t want to upset it with powerful bonuses and penalties.

UI Change to Represent Gear Stats

for honor season two gear

  • You can now see the exact numeric values of all stat bonuses.

Developer comments: While gauges are excellent at showing relative strengths and weaknesses of the gear, it was hard to decipher the impact they would have on the gameplay. To actually allow players to make meaningful choices and know the effect of their gear, we changed it to numbers.

  • Added a proportional indicator when comparing gear

Developer comments: To allow to choice gear at a glance and evaluate gear quality, we added arrows right of the gear stat values when comparing gear.

Attack Stats No Longer Affect Feats

  • The gear stat Attack now only affects normal attacks and not Feats or Bleeds.

Developer comments: Having gear affect feats and bleed was both hard to understand and very powerful at higher levels.

New Crafting Prices

Here are the new Salvage Material costs to improve gear:

  • Upgrade Cost in salvage material for Common gear
    • From: Level 1: 20 / Level 2: 30 / Level 3: 40 / Level 4: 50 / Level 5: 60
    • To: Level 1: 10 / Level 2: 13 / Level 3: 16 / Level 4: 19 / Level 5: 23
  • Upgrade Cost in salvage material for Rare gear
    • From: Level 1: 100 / Level 2: 150 / Level 3: 200 / Level 4: 250 / Level 5: 300
    • To: Level 1: 55 / Level 2: 80 / Level 3: 110 / Level 4: 130 / Level 5: 155
  • Upgrade Cost in salvage material for Heroic gear
    • From: Level 1: 260/ Level 2: 390 / Level 3: 530 / Level 4: 660 / Level 5: 790
    • To: Level 1: 195 / Level 2: 255 / Level 3: 295 / Level 4: 335 / Level 5: 375
  • Upgrade Cost in salvage material for Epic gear
    • Level 1: 400/ Level 2: 520 / Level 3: 650 / Level 4: 800 / Level 5: 960

Here are the new Steel costs to improve gear:

  • Upgrade Cost in steel for Common gear
    • From: Level 1: 30 / Level 2: 55 / Level 3: 75 / Level 4: 100 / Level 5: 125
    • To: Level 1: 25 / Level 2: 30 / Level 3: 35 / Level 4: 40 / Level 5: 45
  • Upgrade Cost in steel for Rare gear
    • From: Level 1: 150 / Level 2: 170/ Level 3: 195 / Level 4: 220 / Level 5: 245
    • To: Level 1: 75 / Level 2: 85 / Level 3: 95 / Level 4: 105 / Level 5: 115
  • Upgrade Cost in steel for Heroic gear
    • From: Level 1: 270/ Level 2: 290 / Level 3: 315 / Level 4: 340 / Level 5: 360
    • To: Level 1: 150 / Level 2: 170 / Level 3: 190 / Level 4: 210 / Level 5: 230
  • Upgrade Cost in steel for Epic gear
    • Level 1: 270/ Level 2: 290 / Level 3: 315 / Level 4: 340 / Level 5: 360

Here are the updated salvage values rewarded by dismantling gear:

  • Salvage Value for Common gear (unchanged)
    • From: Level 1: 5 / Level 2: 6 / Level 3: 7 / Level 4: 8 / Level 5: 9 / Level 6: 10
  • Salvage Value for Rare gear
    • From: Level 1:30 / Level 2: 35/ Level 3: 45 / Level 4: 50 / Level 5: 55 / Level 6: 65
    • To: Level 1: 20 / Level 2: 23 / Level 3: 26 / Level 4: 29 / Level 5: 32 / Level 6: 35
  • Salvage Value Heroic gear
    • From: Level 1: 95/ Level 2: 110 / Level 3: 125 / Level 4: 145 / Level 5: 165 / Level 6: 190
    • To: Level 1: 55 / Level 2: 60 / Level 3: 65 / Level 4: 70 / Level 5: 75 / Level 6: 80
  • Salvage Value for Epic gear
    • Level 1: 100/ Level 2: 115 / Level 3:130 / Level 4: 145 / Level 5: 160 / Level 6: 175

Developer comments: Our data showed players had a hard time to level up new heroes and would not craft early gear as much while having an excess of crafting material at higher levels. To improve this, we changed the cost of steel and crafting material as well as salvage value for gear. We hope to offer a smoother curve while keeping higher level gear a long term goal for high level players.

All of For Honor’s gear changes and class changes in Update 1.07 will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on May 16.

Get into our YouTube channel to find out which games are worth your money this month, including PREY and INJUSTICE 2.

[“Source-pvplive”]

How to Play Pokemon Go in India? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

How to Play Pokemon Go in India? Here's Everything You Need to KnowHow to Play Pokemon Go in India? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
HIGHLIGHTS
You can play Pokemon Go right now on an Android phone
We played it for a few hours and found it to be rather good
However it will drain your battery and put you at risk accidents
The viral game everyone is talking about, Pokemon Go, is one of Nintendo’s first smartphone games. It released recently in Australia, New Zealand, and the US. If you have been reading Gadgets 360, you already know how to download, install, and play Pokemon Go on your Android phone even if you don’t live in those regions. We played the game for a few hours in India, and here’s what you need to know before you do the same.

(Also see: Why Nintendo Making Mobile Games Is Great News for Everyone)
How to play Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go requires you to step outside and walk around. Pokemon then start appearing on your map. You can then try to catch them. Tap the Pokemon and then throw a Pokeball to try and catch these Pokemon. You can always tap the player icon on the bottom left to see more information about your character such as your medals and tap the Journal button to see which Pokemon ran away and how many items you gained at Pokestops.

You need to go outside
At first we tried to play the game in our office but we found only one Pokemon and the game just wouldn’t work properly no matter how stable the Internet connection or how many floors we climbed. Head outside, plug in your headphones, look at the phone and you will start seeing Pokemon Gyms, Pokestops, and of course wild Pokemon.
pokemon_go_tangela_android.jpg

Don’t play it on Indian roads
If you’ve ever walked on any Indian road, you know how dangerous it is for pedestrians. Most vehicles disregard basic rules such as stopping at traffic lights, one-way streets, flashing indicator lights, etc. Pokemon Go requires you to keep looking at your phone for signs of Pokemon and other in-game landmarks. This is quite dangerous on Indian roads. We found ourselves narrowly avoiding vehicles on crowded roads and stopped playing until we reached quiet streets near our home. The game warns you to always stay aware of your surroundings. We suggest you heed its warning, especially in India.

(Also see:Pokemon Go International Release Delayed – Here’s Why)
No Internet? No game
In many places in Mumbai, we found Pokemon Go to be totally unresponsive. This happened because of poor Internet connectivity. During a 30-minute train ride from office to home, the game just wouldn’t work. If you’re on 2G, you will not be able to play. Even if you’re on 3G, the game takes time to load if the signal is weak. Since the game requires to walk outside, you’re unlikely to have Wi-Fi coverage either.

pokemon_go_warning_medal_android.jpg

It drains your battery
If battery life is precious, there’s no way you’re going to want to play Pokemon Go. The game constantly needs both Internet and location access. Unless you carry a stack of power banks with you at all times, playing this game all the time is a bad idea. On a brand new OnePlus 3, the battery went from 51 to 20 percent after we played this game for just one hour. We recommend playing this game with the battery saver mode enabled in the game’s settings.

But the game is a lot of fun
Walking around in the real world and catching wild Pokemon on your smartphone sounds like a terrible idea, but Nintendo’s execution is on point. We found ourselves taking detours to hit various Pokestops and to catch that wild Pokemon spotted across the road. These Pokemon are quite cute, and the design of the cards is well done. The game has been designed nicely, with the focus strongly being on exploration.

There are no cluttered menus and the settings menu is minimal too – with options just for music, vibrations, and saving battery. Tapping the Pokeball on screen lets you see your Pokedex and personalise your Pokemon. Overall the interface works well for this game. It’s hard to explain the game’s appeal to those who haven’t played it, but you’ll find out if you play the game.

pokemon_go_geodude_android.jpg

We’ll be going out to catch several more Pokemon and to level up enough to battle other Pokemon at the gym. Which Pokemon have you caught? Do you like Pokemon Go? Have you faced any issues playing the game? Let us know via the comments.

For the latest coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, visit our CES 2017 hub.
Tags: Android, Apps, Games, Gaming, How to download Pokemon Go, How to play Pokemon Go, Install Pokemon Go, Niantic, Nintendo, OnePlus 3, Pokemon, Pokemon APK download, Pokemon Android, Pokemon Go, Pokemon Go Android, Pokemon Go Release Date, Pokemon Go Review, Pokemon Go apk, P

[“source-ndtv”]

Twitch’s New Initiative Aims to Put Game Streaming at the Centre of Everything

Twitch's New Initiative Aims to Put Game Streaming at the Centre of Everything

Since launch four years ago, live streaming video platform Twitch has become a popular way for millions to get their gaming fix by watching others plough through new releases and hear their narration. Now Twitch wants to take that a step further, and influence game development itself with its new initiative called “Stream First”.

“In the last few years, we have seen a great deal of creativity in online interaction methods from the Twitch community, including Twitch Plays games, channel loyalty currencies, and subscriber tournaments, among many others,” Director of Game Developer Success at Twitch, Brooke Van Dusen, said in a statement. “However, these systems have always been external to the games broadcasters are playing. Stream First games by nature embrace these developments, incorporate features inspired by these creative concepts of Twitch community interaction, and bring about an entirely new genre of video games.”

(Also see: Twitter Appoints Former YouTube Executive to Head Its Gaming Division)

The first such games are being showcased at the 2016 Game Developer Conference in San Francisco this week at parent company Amazon’s booth, and they include titles as diverse as board games, strategy, and arena-style games.

Superfight is the first, and is being adapted from a card-based board game akin to Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples. The point of the game is to “determine who would win hypothetical fights between characters with superpowers and super problems”. The Twitch audience will eventually pick the winner in any contest, aided by the ability to vote within Twitch chat along with four-way live video. The game is being developed by Pipeworks – maker of the mobile game Gems of War and the Godzilla games – and will be published by 505 Games in association with Skybound Entertainment.

twitch_superfight_screenshot.jpgSchell Games, known for casual children games, is moving into the turn-based strategy territory with Wastelanders, a game that that involves both broadcasters and viewers as it converts the latter into active participants. The game’s description sounds like the 2015 Oscar-winner Mad Max: Fury Road, with “broadcasters [taking] on the role of a Warlord in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and [leading] their viewers in battle against another broadcaster-led team”. Viewers can interact in various ways directly from Twitch, and can be rewarded for their loyalty by the host.

The third and final game announced at GDC 2016 is Streamline, and it is under active development by Boston, US-based developer Proletariat. Described as an “arena-based game”, Streamline is a third-person game that converts viewers into players as well. It will have multiple modes at launch which are still being fleshed out, but one of them – Elimination – will make “Hunters” of broadcasters and “Runners” of 15 viewers chosen by said host. The Hunter is the only one with weapon and must chase down all its targets, while Runners do their best to survive and earn points.

All three games are in early development stages, and as such no release date was provided. For now, you can apply for the Superfight beta on the official website or engage in a pre-alpha build of Streamline with the game’s developers during this week while GDC 2016 runs till Friday. Bonuses, you ask? If you sign-up for Superfight, you will get a free deck when the game launches. With Streamline, you get to have your name in the credits and an early access game key.

(Also see: YouTube Gaming for Android Gets New Features)

Twitch’s Stream First programme displays its intent to deepen its relationship with game creators and the audience, in a bid to hold on to its dominant market share in face of competition from YouTube Gaming. By asking developers to think at such an early stage, the live streaming service is hoping it can become an essential part of gaming culture itself, though some would argue it already has.

Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobiles.

Tags: Amazon, GDC, GDC 2016, Pipeworks, Proletariat, Schell Games, Stream First, Streamline, Superfight, Twitch,Wastelanders
[“source-Gadgets”]