Google has finally revealed the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G today, following months of leaks and rumors. Both phones are available for pre-order starting today, and while the pricing is the same no matter where you get them from, some stores offer bonuses and trade-in promotions that sweeten the deal.
5G is a necessary and transformative technology, you'll get no argument from me. It's going to allow our cellular networks to scale to previously unimaginable levels, and connect everything from traffic lights to tractors to truck assembly plants in the process. But if you're like me, you probably know 5G first and foremost as the next generation of wireless connectivity for your smartphone. That also overwhelmingly remains the core purpose of almost any 5G deployment on earth right now, aspirational IoT marketing aside. And here's the thing about those networks: they're fairly awful to actually use right now.
Having switched between a number of 5G-ready phones and the two meaningfully extant 5G networks in the US (sorry, Verizon — if I can't see it on a 50 mile scale map, it isn't real coverage), I can say confidently that the only thing 5G has succeeded in accomplishing is making my phone less reliable and more aggravating.
AT&T went to great lengths to resist changing its misleading 5G icon, but it needs no encouragement when it comes to changing up cellular plan options. Over the weekend, the company rolled out updates to its unlimited plans — and it looks like customers with multiple lines could save some significant cash.
Samsung is getting better with updates in general, but that doesn't seem to apply to carrier variants of its mid-range tablets. AT&T has just pushed the Android 10 update to the Galaxy Tab S5e (SM-T727A), months after it started rolling out to models in other regions.
Now that Android 11 has been released, we've reached the part of the update cycle where news about another phone receiving Android 10 is met more with rolling eyes than thunderous applause. Late system updates are still better than no system updates, though, and Android 10 is now rolling out to AT&T's version of the Stylo 5+.
You may not have heard of ad-supported phone plans before, but companies have experimented with them since the early 2000s. According to an interview with CEO John Stankey, AT&T is looking into such plans and could announce them in as soon as a year.
Look, we all know the state of 5G here in the US. The latest testing proves that it's not great. AT&T's 5G may be suspect in its home country, but now it's announcing a new roaming agreement that gives customers traveling abroad access to 5G in Japan.
Motorola jumped into 5G with both feet in 2019 with the 5G Moto Mod, and the company has launched several smartphones with fully integrated 5G since then. Moto's latest 5G effort in the US is the Motorola One 5G, which will cost less than $500. This device will launch only on AT&T and Verizon, but Verizon's phone will add millimeter wave 5G, and you know what that means.
If you have an Echo speaker at home, you'll be happy to know you can now use your Alexa-enabled device to make and receive calls using your AT&T subscription. Once the feature is turned on, your speaker will be able to replace your phone, even if the latter is out of reach, turned off, or out of battery.
A year after the phone was first revealed, the Surface Duo is finally available in stores. Microsoft's dual-screen invention is now available at a handful of stores, and pre-orders for the Duo are starting to arrive at buyers' doors.