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The OnePlus 8 should've had a Snapdragon 765 processor, and a lower price - Android Central
It's hard to have a conversation about the OnePlus 8 without discussing price. OnePlus should have done all it could to keep the price down, and the easiest move would've been to use a Snapdragon 765 instead.
There isn't a single discussion about the new OnePlus 8 that doesn't include mention of its price. OnePlus has historically hung its hat on offering fantastic value for money, undercutting the competition's prices by a wide margin yet delivering a flagship-like experience. In 2020, that margin is getting a whole lot smaller. The OnePlus 8 now starts at $700, $100 more than the 6-month-old 7T and OnePlus fans aren't happy. We get it, OnePlus wants to have an "ultra premium" 8 Pro with no shortcuts or missing features, and that necessitates a higher price. It has considerable advantages in display, cameras and features. But what about the 8? Being less expensive, it's inherently going to have shortcomings. A $700 OnePlus 8 is a prime candidate for a Snapdragon 765 processor. It seems like the main reason OnePlus chose the Snapdragon 865 is to make the OnePlus 8 seem like a higher-end phone than it is. The result is a $100 price jump over the OnePlus 7T, though there isn't a whole lot better about it. At the end of my OnePlus 8 review, I recommend buying the OnePlus 7T if it's still on sale. Best online learning tools for kids: ABCmouse, Reading IQ, & more This would've been a great opportunity for OnePlus to swallow its pride, step back from the expectation that it always has to have the highest specs, and choose a slightly lower-end processor for the OnePlus 8. This phone is a prime candidate for a Snapdragon 765 platform. Knowing that the Snapdragon 865 (and X55 5G modem) is costly, likely pushing up the cost of phones, Qualcomm specifically designed the 765 to fill in the space underneath the ultra-premium phones. This platform is made for phones in this ~$700 price point that need great performance, but not all of the latest and greatest capabilities. The Snapdragon 765 has performance roughly equivalent to a Snapdragon 845, with specific capabilities tailored to the price point. It has many AI, graphics and imaging capabilities similar to the 865, too. And importantly, it has an integrated 5G modem, so it can continue to offer the 8 as part of its "all in on 5G" strategy for 2020. This exact same calculation is why we're seeing rumors that LG's next top-end phone could use the 765G, and even Google could select the same chip for its Pixel 5. If OnePlus really wanted to, it could pick the higher-binned 765G nominally the "gaming" version for the OnePlus 8 to keep up some semblance of "getting the highest specs for the money." But realistically, there is absolutely nothing about the OnePlus 8 that requires or is enhanced by the Snapdragon 865. Running a display at 1080p resolution and 90Hz is well within the capabilities of the 765. All of its camera features (minus 4K60 video), voice and video processing, Wi-Fi 6, LPDDR4X RAM, and on down the list can be done on a 765. Nothing about the OnePlus 8's daily performance or features would be affected by using a 765. And considering how well OnePlus makes its latest and greatest Android 10-based OxygenOS run on 2-year-old phones with less capable processors (and less RAM), I have zero worries about how real-world performance would stack up on a Snapdragon 765. I know that the traditional OnePlus buyer really focuses on specs, but the recent price jumps have shown that demand for OnePlus phones isn't completely elastic they do care about price, at some point. With the OnePlus 8 Pro fulfilling the "every single spec imaginable" need, of course with a Snapdragon 865 running the show, this would've ben a perfect time to take the pragmatic approach of stepping down the processor in the OnePlus 8. We of course don't know the exact pricing of the 865 versus the 765, but we know it's less expensive. If that could've let OnePlus release the 8 at $670 the same price as last year's 7 Pro at launch it would've been an important win in making it feel like prices were reasonable this year. Instead, OnePlus still felt obligated to push the specs game, and it's a core reason why the OnePlus 8 is more expensive and particularly controversial this year.
Google Chat is back after nearly a decade as Hangouts Chat rides off into the sunset - Android Central
After the company dropped the Hangouts in Hangouts Meet, its enterprise-focused communication app is getting the same treatment, as Hangouts Chat is rechristened Google Chat.
When Google updated its support pages to remove the Hangouts from Hangouts Meet yesterday, we wondered if Hangouts Chat was also going to meet the same fate. Well, Google just confirmed today that it will and has officially renamed Hangout Chats as Google Chat. Despite not releasing an official statement on its blogs, the company confirmed its plans for a rebranding to The Verge. If you head over to the Google's support landing page and the page dedicated to the app, you can see the change is now in effect. The rebranding effort is far from complete, though, because not only does the Play Store listing still refer to Hangouts Chat the same is true of Google Meet, by the way but even the support pages themselves keep referring to Hangouts Chat. At least the Meet app's documentation is a bit more up to date. Best online learning tools for kids: ABCmouse, Reading IQ, & more The consumer-focused Hangouts app, though, will continue to brandish the name. "There will be no changes to the consumer (classic) version of Hangouts," a Google spokesperson said. You can also find the regular, old Hangouts in the Gmail web app. The change should certainly clear up some of the residual branding issues surrounding Google's suite of chat apps. The enterprise-focused offerings will now be referred to as Google Chat and Google Meet, while the consumer-oriented app will retain the Hangouts branding. But while it solves one problem, it also creates another. Namely, that Chat is also what Google is calling its newfangled, RCS-based SMS replacement. Way to go fighting confusion by sowing more confusion, Google! What is RCS messaging, and why is it important to Android? Have you listened to this week's Android Central Podcast? Every week, the Android Central Podcast brings you the latest tech news, analysis and hot takes, with familiar co-hosts and special guests.
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Looks like the OnePlus 8 is the phone that will make me leave the iPhone for good - Android Central
Even though I write for Android Central, I still carry an iPhone around and use it on a daily basis. The time has come to phase that out, and I'm thinking the OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro is going to be the phone that fully pulls me out of Apple's walled garden.
Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central Like many of my colleagues here at Android Central, I'm psyched about the forthcoming OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro smartphones. We all have our favorite devices and companies that we root for, but OnePlus has always had a special place in my heart as that scrappy upstart that is able to deliver high-quality devices at more reasonable prices than its competitors (yes, I know they're owned by a massive corporation). I have also always loved that the company is genuinely engaged with its fan base and takes direct feedback from them to innovate its hardware and software, not only year-over-year but from release to release. It is this admiration for the company, and many impressive and exciting leaks, that has me seriously considering ditching my daily carry for the latest and greatest from OnePlus. So what, you ask? Oh yeah, did I not mention? My daily carry is an iPhone (gasp!). Best online learning tools for kids: ABCmouse, Reading IQ, & more Elephant in the room Source: Harish Jonnalagadda/Android Central Ok, let's get this part over with, intervention-style. Yes, I am an iPhone user. Yes, I write for an Android website. No, I don't feel conflicted about it that much. The simple fact is, I've used an iPhone as my primary mobile device for over ten years. My family is exclusively on iOS. Most of my friends are, too. I love iMessage and the build quality and interoperability of Apple devices and the Apple ecosystem. That lock-in is real, y'all. I've used an iPhone for over ten years, and the lock-in is real, y'all. That being said, I've always considered myself an open-minded technology enthusiast, and have been a regular user of Android devices and Chromebooks for years. Even before coming to work at Android Central, I could tell you just as much about the newest Pixel, Galaxy, or OnePlus phones as I could the latest iPhone (thanks in large part to reading about those devices here on AC). Actually, over the years I've owned or used Android handsets from the likes of HTC, Motorola, Samsung, OnePlus, Asus, and even more obscure manufacturers such as Nextbit and Fairphone. I bet a lot of our readers can't even say that. In fact, I use a Galaxy Note 9 every day, and probably more during the workday than I do my iPhone XR. As time has gone on, however, I've found the confines of Apple's walled garden less and less of an obstacle to completely branching out. Even on my Apple devices, I mostly use Google apps, including Google Calendar, Google Photos, Gmail, and Tasks. I find myself using messaging apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and even Signal just as much, if not more so, than iMessage. Even a great service like Apple Pay doesn't have a stronghold on me, as I'm perfectly comfortable using Fitbit Pay on my Charge 3 or using Google Pay on my Android phone for contactless payments. Long story short, it's time for a full iOS to Android migration. I'm ready. But now the biggest question: What will be my next phone after the iPhone? Looking for the one... plus So, what is it about the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro specifically, and OnePlus and Oxygen OS generally, that are likely to pull me out of iOS for good? As with any good product, it's not any one specific feature, but rather the totality of features that make the OnePlus 8 the right choice for me. The things that have kept me in the iOS and iPhone world for so long are, among other things, the phones' build quality, solid software experience, good cameras, great support, and nearly seamless integration (at least with other Apple devices). Therefore, for me to switch off the iPhone, I need an Android phone that can hit all of these points. This is where I think the OnePlus 8 wins out over the other Android phones, at least for me. For starters, OnePlus phones have always had an excellent reputation for build quality, with stunning displays and unibody construction. With different materials and color choices, they've also managed to stand out against a sea of samey slabs. The company was one of the first to feature 90Hz displays on its phones and pushed others in the industry to up their screen game. It's rumored that the OnePlus 8 Pro will even have 120Hz display to compete with the likes of Samsung and some of the high-end gaming phones. That's something I've never experienced on an iPhone, and I'm really looking forward to it. OnePlus phones have always had decent battery life, but even better than that has been the company's approach to fast charging, through their proprietary Warp Charging technology. It's also been confirmed that the highest-end OnePlus 8 Pro will be the first OnePlus phone to support wireless charging. The cameras have generally been a bit of a let down with OnePlus phones, at least in comparison to the Pixels, Samsungs, and iPhones of the world. Despite the opinion of my reviewer colleagues, though, I've always thought that the pictures from OnePlus phones looked fine. The camera on the 7T was (to me) as good, if not better, than that on my iPhone XR, and rumblings are that the 8 series will be another step or two beyond that. Honestly, that is good enough for my needs and tastes. Oxygen OS is the breath of fresh air I need to survive this transition. The biggest hurdle that I would need to clear coming from iOS to Android is the feel and performance of the software experience. Not that iOS is perfect by any means, but it is generally consistent, coherent, and easy to use, and I would want for my Android daily carry to match or exceed that. I've heard reviewer after reviewer rave about Oxygen OS, and how it's their favorite implementation of Android (even over Google's). People I respect and trust, like my colleague Hayato Huseman, has even said so in his videos, and that carries a lot of weight in my book. Signs point to eight Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central I've always had one phone plus an Android now I'll have a OnePlus Android phone. Call it a funny coincidence, karma, or fate, but just as I set down to write this article, I checked my email, and the first thing in there was the message above. Was I procrastinating? That's not important right now. The important thing is that the universe appears to want me to get a OnePlus phone. As someone coming from an iPhone XR and Galaxy Note 9, I'm not necessarily as concerned with the top-of-the-line specs. I've tended to eschew "Pro" devices in favor of more mainstream offerings, and I also don't feel like forking over nearly $1,000 (or whatever the Pro version will cost), especially during these tough economic times. In that spirit, I think the "regular" OnePlus 8 is probably the right choice for me (thanks to Joe Maring for the nudge). I'm already on T-Mobile and eligible for an upgrade, so that's one less hurdle. Stay tuned for future updates on how the transition worked out for me! OnePlus 8: News, Leaks, Release Date, Specs, and Rumors! Current champ A great phone at an even better price The OnePlus 7T is the newest phone in OnePlus's lineup right now, and it continues to deliver an excellent Android experience. There's a 90Hz AMOLED display, Snapdragon 855+ processor, and a decent array of three rear cameras. Plus, thanks to the $100 discount offered right now, the 7T is a better deal than it's ever been.