Curious what makes Qualcomm's latest flagship SoC tick? Here's what's under the hood
These days, if you have one of the best Android flagships around, it's probably powered by one of two mobile chipsets: Google's in-house Tensor series, or a Snapdragon 8 SoC. As much as we love the Google Pixel 8 Pro, Qualcomm has been absolutely destroying this space lately, pushing ahead of the competition over the last year and looking to do it again with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. Curious what makes this chipset tick? Here's everything you need to know about Qualcomm's latest launch.
The Google Pixel 8 series made its debut in October 2023 and sports some incredible ML features
Google makes some of the best Android phones around, and with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, the company has managed to repeat history. With Made by Google 2023 now in the rearview mirror, we're looking at a pair of devices that improve on the tech giant's powerful — yet flawed — 2022 lineup in nearly every way. In fact, as our reviews found, this year's Pixel lineup is one of the best yet.
Google's custom silicon goes big on AI features
Tensor is Google's custom processors for its Pixel phone and tablet lineup. The original Tensor chipset made its debut on the Pixel 6 series in 2021. The company followed up a year later with the much-improved Tensor G2 that still powers big chunks of the company's lineup, including the Google Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet.
Going head-to-head with the Pixel on Google's home turf
Looking back at this year's crop of excellent Android smartphones, it's easy to see how Qualcomm has dominated. While Google struggled to get its Tensor G2 chipset to meet modern efficiency standards, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 built on its predecessor's legacy with impressive performance and long-lasting battery life. Now, on the back of a breakthrough partnership with Samsung — and with Google looking to impress with its recently-launched Tensor G3 — Qualcomm has returned with a new SoC for 2024.
Samsung's engineers are reportedly aiming to push the boundaries of Bixby's AI capabilities further
While Google has been at the forefront of artificial intelligence with its Tensor chips, Samsung is not far behind. The company's Exynos 2400 chip boasts a massive leap in AI processing power, and the company recently showcased a new AI tool for on-device text-to-image generation. Now, rumors suggest that Samsung is going all-in on AI for its upcoming Galaxy S24 series.
The Galaxy XCover6 Pro is durable but not invincible
If you are looking for something different and more durable than the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, then the Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Pro may be what you are looking for. This phone is strong enough to pass the rigorous MIL-STD-810H testing and can withstand whatever you throw at it. The Galaxy XCover6 Pro is hands down one of the best rugged Android phones on the market.
Convenience just got even more, well, convenient
Even if you have a phone that’s as large as the Samsung Galaxy S23, holding onto it can be made infinitely easier with a magnetic phone grip and kickstand. The small accessory can make a big difference when it comes to positioning your phone for easy hands-free viewing or holding onto your phone securely at all times.
Leica-branded lenses, flat iPhone-like edges, and a 6.36-inch flat display
Xiaomi's last few flagship smartphones have packed impressive camera specs. The Xiaomi 13 Ultra raised the camera hardware bar to another level with its variable aperture lens. But that was over six months ago, which in the smartphone world is a long time. The Chinese smartphone maker is gearing up to announce its new flagship lineup — the Xiaomi 14 and 14 Pro — on October 26. Ahead of the official unveiling, the company has revealed the design and confirmed the camera specs of the non-Pro model.
It's important to protect your Pixel 8 and add a little convenience while you're at it - that's where wallet cases come in!
There's enough praise out there about the curvy outlines of the Google Pixel 8. The phone is the perfect size, with a stylish profile and soft edges. It feels sculpted somehow so that it fits naturally into the palm of your hand.
Pixel Camera ditches the exposure controls we've had since 2019, and I really miss them
The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro have been out for a couple of weeks now, and most of us here at AP like them quite a bit. True to the Pixel lineage, Google's newest phones are extremely competent pocket cameras, debuting the latest Pixel Camera app that introduces some sorely needed organization to Google's myriad camera features. But the new Google camera experience also changes the way exposure controls work, and even after hundreds of photos, I'm still not on board.
Keep that Pixel 8 pixel-perfect with one of these top cases to save your phone from knocks and bumps
While iteration may be the name of the game for 2023's flagship phones, the Google Pixel 8 is a wonderful upgrade from its predecessors. It features a 120Hz refresh rate screen with a whopping max brightness of 2,000 nits, rounded corners for a more comfortable in-hand feel, and an upgraded ultrawide that supports macrofocus and autofocus. The Pixel 8 earns its $100 price increase and then some.
Just about a week after the rest of the Pixel lineup already got the build
Google started testing Android 14's first Quarterly Platform Release (QPR) weeks before the stable build arrived. So far, the company has dropped two beta builds, with a minor point release rolling out last week to fix some bugs related to the fingerprint scanner and SIM cards. But the Android 14 QPR 2.1 release for the Pixel 8 series was nowhere to be found, with Google noting that it is "coming soon." Thankfully, the company is not making its latest Pixel owners wait any longer and has made the build available for the Pixel 8 series.
Save up to $1,000 on one of our favorite foldables with these limited-time enhanced trade-in credits
Get up to $1,000 for your trade-in, with a minimum of $300 for any phone
It's officially Samsung Week, and that means you don't have to wait for Black Friday to roll around to save big on some of our favorite handsets. The company on Monday unveiled a number of deals, including this sweet trade-in promotion on the Galaxy Z Fold 5. For a limited time, you can get enhanced trade-in values for your old smartphone when purchasing the formidable foldable. You'll get a minimum of $300 instant trade-in credit for any smartphone model, and up to $1,000 for newer models, meaning you could score the $1,800 phone for well over 50% off.
Wireless charging, faster wired data transfer speeds, and a good periscope camera
When buying a flagship smartphone, most users will first consider options from Samsung, Google, or Apple. There's also OnePlus, which delivers a top-tier experience with its premium smartphones at a slightly lower price, albeit with some compromises. The OnePlus 11 is the perfect example of this — it packs great internals, a big display, and superfast charging but misses out on wireless charging. And that has been the case with OnePlus' last few offerings, as they have all skipped wireless charging in favor of fast wired charging. It appears that the OnePlus 12 could finally address this shortcoming.
Plenty of carrier deals and bundles to go around
For years, the A-series has been a staple on our best budget Android phone lists, delivering an impressive experience at affordable prices. The Pixel 7a is Google's most advanced A-series device to date, as it brings sought-after features like a 90Hz display and wireless charging to the phone. It also happens to be the most expensive, tied with the Pixel 4a 5G. With that in mind we've put together a roundup of all the best places to buy the 7a right now, so you can get the best deal possible on the handset.
Wanna ditch the wires? These Motorola phones can charge wirelessly with the right technology
Wires are the bane of the technology world. They make otherwise sleek and stylish technology look clunky and outdated, tethering these innovative devices to the past like a ball and chain. However, many recent smartphones have wireless charging functionality, and Motorola is starting to get with the program on more of its devices. While far from perfect, wireless charging has become an important feature that smartphone buyers are interested in. Motorola has been busy with releases in 2023 and has made strides regarding wireless charging. So, which Motorola phones have wireless charging?
Xiaomi's new Android skin will also be used in its upcoming electric car
Xiaomi's CEO, Lei Jun, recently teased a new operating system called HyperOS, which will replace MIUI. This new Android skin will be released with the upcoming Xiaomi 14 phones. While we don't know much about HyperOS yet, it's got a lot of people talking, and Xiaomi has now confirmed when it'll be revealing both its new flagship series and HyperOS.
Stay safe online and access streaming services anywhere in the world with our pick of the best Android VPNs
Staying safe online is important, and a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can give you peace of mind when surfing the web on your Android smartphone or tablet. Hiding your identity online is one thing, but VPNs can also help you bypass geo-restricted content no matter where you're located, unlock region-specific streaming service libraries to watch the best new movies, and even detect and block malicious websites. There's a lot a VPN can do for you, and each one serves up a different offering in their dedicated Android apps.
You can experiment with reading your body temperature on the Pixel 8 Pro ahead of the FDA approval, but results fluctuate widely
The Google Pixel 8 Pro’s most controversial feature is likely its temperature sensor, which seems like an idea someone had at the height of the pandemic and then nobody stopped to think if it’s still necessary in 2023. On top of this, this feature isn’t FDA-approved yet, meaning it can't officially read your body temperature. When you attempt to measure your skin temperature right now, you’ll notice that it’s far below regular body temperature. There is a trick you can try right now to get an approximation of your body temperature even before the FDA approval, though the results have us scratching our heads even more.
It just works...or does it?
Sharing your Wi-Fi password is a vital part of welcoming a guest, but don't direct them to the back of your router. There are easier ways to share your Wi-Fi password, even between iPhone and Android. Wi-Fi sharing between the two device families isn't as straightforward as sharing within their ecosystems, but we're here to walk you through it.