In a roundtable interview with journalists at MWC, Google’s hardware chief revealed the company won’t revive its premium Chrome OS laptops of the past.

The few generations of Chromebook Pixels that you’ve grown to love over the past few years? They’re the last of its kind. If you’ve got one, might as well put it into storage for preservation.

Google’s Rick Osterloh told TechCrunch and other journalists at Mobile World Congress that the Pixel laptop — the first-ever-of-its-kind premium Chromebook — has officially reached the end of its life.

When asked if Google had plans to make more Pixel laptops, Osterloh replied that the company had none at the moment, nor did it have plans to make more of the previous Pixel laptops that had sold out in August.

Chrome OS is still fine, though. “Chrome OS is a huge initiative in the company,” Osterloh reassured. And then he added: “Google hasn’t backed away from laptops. We have the number two market share in the U.S. and U.K. — but we have no plans for Google-branded laptops.”

In the meantime, Asus and Samsung make some pretty convincing Chromebook alternatives. And if you’re still aching for something that’s Pixel-branded, but more mobile, there’s still the Pixel C and Pixel smartphone for sale.




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Spec hounds and photographers, this is the P10 you’ll want to buy.

The Huawei P10 looks like a promising new flagship for the Chinese firm, bringing the technology first seen in the Mate 9 to a smaller form factor, with a palette of unique colors and finishes. But if you want the very best Huawei has to offer in terms of specs, camera optics and storage capacity, the beefier P10 Plus is the one you’ll want to buy.

The P10 Plus is based on the same Kirin 960 platform as the smaller, version, but ups the RAM to 6GB, and bumps the internal storage all the way up to 128GB, which is expandable even further via microSD. And you’ll enjoy a larger, higher-resolution display as well, with the Plus packing a 5.5-inch panel with Quad UD (2560×1440) fidelity — backed up by a bigger 3,750mAh cell. The overall design is essentially identical to the regular P10, save for the difference in size, and while it isn’t quite as easy to one-hand, the ergonomic design.

And yes, we’d be lying if we said the P10 Plus didn’t bear at least a passing resemblance to the iPhone 7 Plus, with its characteristic antenna band patterns.

As we’ve already seen from the Porsche Design Mate 9, 6GB of RAM allows Huawei’s EMUI software to keep a ton of apps in memory, ensuring you’ll only rarely need to reload apps from scratch. On top of the low-level enhancements Huawei has made to EMUI 5.1, it’s no surprise to see the P10 Plus offering beastly performance in apps and games.

But photography is where the P10 Plus really reaches above and beyond any previous Huawei phone. The core camera hardware is similar to the regular P10, which is to say it’s basically the Mate 9′s camera, with one crucial difference. Instead of using f/2.2 lenses for its 12-megapixel color sensor and 20-megapixel monochrome shooter, the P10 Plus boasts a brighter f/1.8 lens, meaning its low-light photo capabilities should be significantly improved. (That’s what makes it a “Leica Camera 2.0 Pro Edition.”)

The new ‘Pro Edition’ camera with f/1.8 lens is a big step up.

In our brief time with the P10 Plus so far, we’ve found it manages to retain more color detail with less chroma noise compared to the regular P10 and Mate 9. So signs are promising for Huawei to become really competitive in photography in the coming year. Expect further comparisons in our full review.

The Huawei P10 Plus will sell for €699 in Europe. In the UK, we’re told it’ll be ranged on Vodafone, EE, Three and Carphone Warehouse.

More: Huawei P10 hands-on from Mobile World Congress




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Lessons learned will translate into two very different flagships each year from LG.

As I traveled across the web reading what everyone had to say about the LG G6 I noticed two very distinct things:

  1. Just about everyone who has touched one is pretty impressed.

  2. The majority of the comments on articles about it are filled with disappointment and loathing.

The first thing can make that second thing hard to understand. Yes, phones are polarizing and no matter how much one person likes a thing there will be people who don’t. But for the hivemind of the internet-of-Android to be so aligned against a thing that really does seem done well made me think a little bit. I decided the answer is actually pretty simple — there is no rule that says LG can only make one high-end global model per year.

If you’re an internet Android enthusiast, the G6 isn’t made to impress you. That’s what the V30 (?) will be built to do.

The G6 is beautifully simple

The LG G6 is a complete opposite fo the G5. It’s simple, beautiful, and designed to be the perfect phone for people who want a really good phone. That’s far removed from experimental coatings and pluggable modules.

It’s obvious that LG was concerned about the display, the size, and the user experience more than anything else. Not having touched it, I’ll give them the display and the size — they certainly fit what most anyone would say is the standard for a great phone in 2017. Hearing others remark on the user experience part makes it sound like they’ve done a good job there as well, with a refined operating system and great camera. The G6 looks to be one of those phones that you’ll be able to recommend to most anyone who actually needs a recommendation.

The G6 is LG’s answer to the iPhone or the Pixel and it looks like they might have pulled it off.

Even the controversial moves of limiting wireless charging and high-definition audio to certain markets was a smart play. LG’s market research says that most people don’t care about either, and the people who care most have access to what they might want in their perfect phone. Not adding both options to every model keeps costs down, at the expense of different SKUs to keep track of. As does the 32GB storage space which is the size the vast majority would have bought had multiple options been available.

The G6 wasn’t designed to replace a computer or to carry around entire seasons of your favorite shows or full 32-bit uncompressed audio libraries. That’s because most people don’t want any of that, and for those who do LG will have you covered with the V series.

The niche market wants more

And yes, enthusiasts that want more than the basics are a niche market. The V20 was made for us, and expect to see an even bigger rollout for the V30 (or whatever names gets attached).

Giving power-users a model with all the bells and whistles separate from the more consumer aligned G series makes sense in a lot of ways. For starters, LG needs to build a phone that they can sell and make some money. A phone that’s simple, looks good, and does a few things really well is the right way to do it. Toss experimental ideas into a phone designed for people who appreciate experimental features and move the best of them into your consumer model.

Some of us want more than a Pixel or an iPhone can offer and LG has that covered with the V series.

If that sounds familiar it’s because that’s exactly what Samsung has been doing for a while. Think of the G6 as a reboot of LG and a new starting point.

If research shows people love the second screen and it can be used in the G7 without taking anything away, expect to see it. Expect to see the next crazy idea from LG to be in the next V phone, so people who love crazy new ideas can use it and provide feedback. Power users are more forgiving when it comes to aesthetics and we make a great group of lab monkeys. We’re also the people who want things like removable batteries and a ton of storage to keep our music library for listening on expensive audio components.

Don’t get too hard on LG for making their version of the Pixel or iPhone, because there are plenty of people who want to buy it. Carving out a chunk of that market is tough enough without being weighed down by things like modules or extra screens at the top to scare people away. Instead, sit back and think of what crazy-genius idea they might have in store for another V phone later this year.




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The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are coming to Canada, but not the U.S. Here’s why.

When Huawei announced the P10 and P10 Plus at Mobile World Congress this week, we assumed, like many other members of the tech press in Barcelona, that the launch would be focused on Europe. And it was — for a while. But now we know that in addition to Europe and the UK, Huawei plans to bring its new flagships to Canada in the coming weeks.

Specifically, the P10 will be launched on Rogers, Bell, Fido and Videotron, while the larger and better-equipped P10 Plus will be a Rogers exclusive. Prices and availability aren’t yet available, but based on the phones’ European prices of €649 and €749 respectively, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them broach $700 and $800 or higher.

So why are the phones launching on Canadian carriers but still shut out of the U.S.? In an interview with MobileSyrup, the company’s vice-president of corporate affairs, Scott Bradley, said that Huawei had been pushing for a move into Canada’s high-end market for several years — it’s sold mid-range devices for a while, including the recent Nova series — after finding tremendous success with the Nexus 6P.

He said that the Nexus 6P was incredibly popular at Canadian carriers, and improved Huawei’s brand recognition amongst regular Canadians. The Chinese company also invests a lot of money into research and development within the country, so there is a positive brand sentiment overall.

In contrast, Huawei doesn’t sell any phones through U.S. carrier channels, and only recently introduced its first high-end devices in the Honor 8 and Mate 9. One impediment to getting those devices into the market was Enhanced 911 certification, which is required by both the FCC and Canada’s regulator, the CRTC. It took until mid-2016 for Huawei’s homegrown Kirin chips to be certified for E911, which is why Huawei kept its high-end phones out of the U.S. for so long.

The tepid response to the Honor 8 may have been the P10′s downfall in the U.S.

Unfortunately, despite the Mate 9 selling well through unlocked channels, disappointing sales of the Honor 8 likely precluded Huawei from pushing forward with a go-to-market strategy for the P10 series, despite its significant improvements. Without carrier support, a mid-sized phone in the $650-700 range would easily be overshadowed by the Samsung Galaxy or LG G flagship of the day, and Huawei currently feels more comfortable competing in the less crowded phablet space — one where the Mate 9 fits nicely, especially in the absence of a Galaxy Note.

What’s nice about the P10 and P10 Plus launching in Canada is that they will be optimized for North American carriers, making importing the devices a more tantalizing prospect than the equivalent Asian or European SKU, which wouldn’t have the right bands.

Would you import a P10 or P10 Plus into the U.S. from Canada? Let us know in the comments!




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