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ICYMI: Here's the Google Pixel 5a
It’ll go on sale August 26th and come in one color: Mostly Black.
Google has unveiled yet another sub-$500 Pixel phone, the Pixel 5a, with two stand-out features: water-resistance and a bigger battery. The device will go on sale on August 26th and retail for $449. According to the company, the device will land in two markets and two markets alone: the United States and Japan. There will be one color option available, and that’s “Mostly Black” with what are apparently “forrest green undertones.”
If any of that excites you, you may as well go preorder the phone because that’s as exciting as it gets. The Pixel 5a is unlike the upcoming Pixel 6 and 6 Pro in which it sticks to the very basics and nearly replicates the experience one would have with a 4a 5G from last year.
Everything down to the specs are basically the same here. Design-wise, the 5a looks identical to the 4a 5G. The only difference is the color and the fact it’s received an IP67 rating, meaning it can survive being under a meter of water for 30 minutes. It’s a fantastic improvement, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t fundamentally change the phone in a meaningful way.
Its screen is 6.34-inches which is 0.14-inches larger than the 4a 5G, but it shares the same 1080p resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. It also uses an OLED panel, but that’s more than expected at this point.
Inside, the 5a is just a 4a 5G. There’s a Snapdragon 765G processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and sub-6GHz 5G support. Google includes a 4,680mAh battery which is much larger than the 3,840mAh cell in the 4a 5G, so at least you’ll get longer endurance on a full charge.
The cameras are also the same as the 4a 5G. On the back of the Pixel 5a, you’ll find a 12.2MP main camera paired with a 16MP ultra-wide sensor. All the same camera features like Night Sight, astrophotography, and Cinematic Pan are onboard as well.
Rounding things off is a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, stereo speakers, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack at the top.
The Pixel 5a, while being so similar to the 4a 5G, will technically cost $50 less when it goes on sale later this month. That’s always a good thing, but there’s admittedly not much here to get excited about beyond the lower price and IP67 certification. If you’re looking for something to pique your interest, wait until later this fall when the Pixel 6 series is out.
I should have my hands on a Pixel 5a soon so stay tuned for coverage.
Tapping The Wire
1. T-Mobile confirms 47 million users suffered a data breach
T-Mobile has officially confirmed that through its research, the data breach first reported over the weekend the company suffered affected 47 million users. That’s a lot of its subscriber base, and it doesn’t look like all that was leaked were a bunch of names or phone numbers. According to their findings, 40 million people who applied for credit through the Uncarrier plus 7.8 million postpaid users had their SSNs, driver’s license/ID info, dates of birth, and more all leaked.
Right now, it remains unclear what T-Mobile will do to fix this problem. So far, the company has published a website with a few details on it to calm customers’ nerves. It’s also promising two years of free McAfee ID Theft Protection, but I’m not sure if that’ll be enough to make peace with the people affected. I mean, 47 million subscribers? That’s gonna take more than 24 months of complimentary (admittedly) mediocre security software.
2. Apple isn’t concerned about collisions in its CSAM monitoring system
A GitHub user has presented a way to essentially break Apple’s methods of verifying child abuse imagery. The company basically said they don’t really care. This should be an interesting story to follow…
3. Apple releases sixth iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 betas
Safari is fixed! Well, not really. You now have the option of docking the search bar at the top or bottom, like the dock on macOS or Windows. Also, the beta confirms SharePlay won’t be shipping when either update (or macOS Monterey) launch in the fall. :(
4. Netflix now supports Spatial Audio on iPhones and iPads
Netflix has updated its app on iPhone and iPad to support Spatial Audio. The feature will work the best with AirPods (obviously) and support head tracking so character’s voices and other sound effects sound like they’re coming from multiple directions, not just the left or right channel. I suppose the feature applies to all content on Netflix, so I guess I’ll be watching the next episode of House of Cards with my Beats.
5. Samsung now lets you store your COVID-19 vaccine card in Samsung Pay
6. CES 2022 will require everyone to be vaccinated
I wrote a whole article on it.
7. Fossil’s upcoming Gen 6 watch leaks in new renders
It definitely looks a little big, and it’ll probably cost upwards of $300, but at least we’re getting a new Fossil watch nonetheless. According to rumors, it’ll be powered by the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ processor and support blood oxygen tracking. It won’t, unfortunately, run Wear OS 3. The Galaxy Watch 4 will remain the only watch running the software in the meantime.
8. Google Fi introduces new subscription plan for Pixel 5a
If you wanna get the Pixel 5a but don’t wanna shell out $449 all at once, Google Fi has a deal for you. If you’re a subscriber, you can get the device with insurance for just $15/month. You’ll have to agree to pay for it for 24 months, but it’ll save you around $220 in the long run.
9. Google won’t ship a charger with the Pixel 6
Speaking of Pixels, Google says the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro won’t include a wall charger in the box. I feel like this was expected since Apple and Samsung have done the same, but it still sucks if you want optimum charging speeds.
10. Microsoft doesn’t want you changing your default browser in Windows 11
Seriously. Microsoft has rolled out a fresh build of Windows 11 to testers, and it’s incredibly tedious now to try and change your default browser from Edge if you didn’t already do it. There are a ton of hoops you have to jump through because you now have to set the default app for certain file types like HTMLs and SVGs. The Verge dives really deep into how people are responding to the change, including some industry leaders who (for lack of better words) seem pissed.
11. At least Microsoft Paint looks good in Windows 11
It’s adorable. And it’ll come in dark mode.