Sometime in the last few years, "plastic" became a dirty word in smartphones. The reasons for this — like evoking the kind of cheap and unpleasant designs that defined early Android phones — are probably less important the outcomes. A whole class of materials were re-branded as low-rent, and today even many relatively affordable phones have made the switch to fully aluminum or metal-and-glass sandwiches for the superficially premium look they impart.
But Google's newest smartphone bucks the trend, and in just the right way: the Pixel 3a stands apart with its genuinely nice, unapologetically plastic design. Read More
The Pixel 3 XL is landing on doorsteps as we speak, but how careful do you need to be with your shiny new smartphone? YouTube channel JerryRigEverything is here to absolutely wreck another phone in order to assess its durability. The Pixel comes out of it alright—it won't bend, but you might pick up some scratches. Read More
Corning announced the newest version of its ubiquitous Gorilla Glass today. Gorilla Glass 6 is, as you'd expect, the strongest iteration of the material to date, less likely to break than previous versions when dropped. The new glass was engineered not only to survive drops from greater heights, but also more drops over time, Corning says. Read More
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed in a forum post today that the company's upcoming OnePlus 6 will feature a back panel made of glass. Much like the device's display notch, glass backs are another divisive trend in modern smartphone design OnePlus seems to be in favor of. Read More
Display notches are the controversial smartphone design trend du jour: while the Essential Phone beat Apple to the punch, the notch is the defining trait of the iPhone X, and, for better or worse, it's being aped by a whole bunch of Android OEMs. Reactions have been mixed. If you're not a fan, avert your eyes—ZTE has a concept it's calling "Iceberg" that features not one, but two display notches: one at the top, one at the bottom. Read More
What's that strange feeling? Almost like I've seen a ghost. Oh, Google Glass isn't dead after all? That'll be it. There have been recent signs that the seemingly abandoned experimental wearable might be making a return in one form or another, more than 2 years after the Glass Explorer Program officially ended. The first was an update to the MyGlass app last month, after lying dormant for nearly 3 years. This was followed the next day by a mysterious firmware update making its way to any Glass Explorer Edition units still in use. Google has confirmed that was regular maintenance to the consumer device, and not related to this fresh news about the Glass Enterprise Edition that Alphabet's experimental X subsidiary (formerly Google[x]) has been busy working on for the last two years. Read More
If you happen to still own a Google Glass unit, yesterday's mysterious update of the MyGlass companion app might have had you thinking about dusting off the headset to see if it could still hold a charge... If you could ever really say Glass held a charge. In possibly the biggest tease (or troll) for Glass owners, today brings an even bigger surprise: New firmware. Yes, if you leave Glass connected to the Internet for a little while, it should download and install the brand new XE23 update.
Everyone was all hyped up about sapphire crystal displays a few years ago, then manufacturers realized what a complete pain in the butt it was to manufacture synthetic sapphire at an industrial scale. There have been a few phones and watches with this super hard material covering the screen, but Zagg offers a "Sapphire Defense" screen protector, too. That makes it sound like a sapphire glass screen protector, and the high price backs that assumption up. However, JerryRigEverything just posted a video revealing it to be nothing more than treated plastic. Read More
Google sold Motorola to Lenovo at the end of 2014, but now it's getting a small piece of it back—the CEO. Lenovo recently announced a reorganization of its mobile business. This included the departure of Moto's CEO Rick Osterloh, and now we know why. Osterloh has come back to Google where he will lead a new hardware team that's responsible for Nexus, Chromecast, Glass, and more. Read More
Google's attempt to make a wearable face computer didn't go so well, but maybe the masses just weren't ready. Now, Google Glass is reportedly on its way to businesses with a new Enterprise Edition. This assumes even businesses have a use for Glass. Google has yet to acknowledge the existence of this device, but images are now up on the FCC's website. It looks a lot like the original Explorer Edition Glass. Read More