This week in Android: It’s weird phone week

We got to play with a lot of cool tech at CES 2019, but little was cooler than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. Qualcomm had a reference device sporting the new SoC and we were able to put it through its paces, including our very own Speed Test G. The results are impressive.

In other big news this week, we found out Motorola is planning on bringing back the Razr phone, made famous in the mid 2000s. We don’t know a lot about the phone itself, but we can make some guesses based on a patent from August of last year.

Plus, we look ahead at the future of LG and OnePlus, including a new peculiar accessory for LG. Also, we have good news and bad news about Huawei’s security.

Here are your top stories for the week

4:20 – Snapdragon 855 performance and benchmarking: Speed Test G, AnTuTu & Geekbench

At CES, Gary Sims previewed the Snapdragon 855 processor in reference hardware. He had some fun with it.


21:45 – You’ll flip for the foldable Motorola Razr smartphone reboot

Motorola (read: Lenovo) is talking about releasing a new version of the Razr phone, this time with a folding screen.


34:40 – Google Pixel 3 Lite leaks in video review: Should you expect flagship photo quality?

The back of the Google Pixel 3 Lite. Andro News

The Google Pixel 3 Lite wanted to be just like its older siblings and come out with a full leak before its official announcement. Mission accomplished.


44:20 – Yes, there is a system-wide dark theme in this early Android Q build

You’ve been asking for it. Google’s giving it to you. A full, system-wide dark theme for those late-night phone-using sessions.


Meanwhile, here are some stories we couldn’t cover on the podcast

OnePlus in 2019: A force to be reckoned with

OnePlus made some remarkable strides in 2018, including working with a U.S. carrier for the first time. Will OnePlus be able to keep that momentum going in 2019?


Huawei Mate 20 Pro camera review

Huawei Mate 20 Pro triple camera close up

We took a deep dive into the camera on Huawei’s latest flagship and the results are a little surprising. No spoilers here though. You gotta click through.


LG in 2019: No more excuses

LG has not made great strides in the mobile space of late. It’s time for LG to do something to finally gain some world-wide ground.


LG might make a phone you can add another screen to… no joke

But honestly, LG, this probably isn’t it.


Opinion: Slider phones might seem cool, but are a design dead end

Slider phones are a great way to get smaller bezels, but they’re not a permanent solution. We break down why.


Huawei founder breaks years-long public silence to talk company security

The founder of Huawei had a few things to say about security and how the company handles security. Which is nice and all, but…


Huawei is reportedly under federal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department

Now don’t get us wrong, this particular case isn’t as bad as it sounds, but it’s not good either.


Xiaomi’s new in-display fingerprint sensor solves one big issue

Xiaomi showed off a video of a new kind of in-screen fingerprint sensor which has a larger touch area, making it easier to unlock your phone.


Galaxy S10 Plus photo leak: Is this Samsung’s new flagship?

A Samsung Galaxy S10 was spotted in the wild. Check it out here!


Who wants to win a Samsung Galaxy Note 9?

This week, we’re giving away a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 9Enter this week’s Sunday giveaway for your chance to win!

Don’t miss these videos

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Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Lite tipped to land on Verizon this Spring

Rozetked

Are Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL too expensive for you? If so, you might want to hold out on buying a new phone until Spring 2019 — that’s when Google is rumored to launch the affordable Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 XL Lite. This rumor comes from our friends at Android Police, citing sources familiar with the company’s plans.

No exact release date was mentioned, but rumor has it both phones will land on Verizon. They’ll also likely be available unlocked via the Google Store, just like all of Google’s previous Pixel and Nexus phones.

The Google Pixel 3 Lite first leaked in mid-November on Russian website Rozetked, the same folks who got their hands on the Pixel 3 XL months ahead of its release. A few days later, the same website posted some alleged Pixel 3 Lite camera samples, followed by a ton of more hands-on photos from a different Russian website, Wylsa. Finally, we saw our first glimpse of the Pixel 3 XL Lite in CAD renders in early December.

Related

According to the recent leaks, the Pixel 3 Lite will come with a 5.5-inch LCD screen at Full HD+ resolution, a Snapdragon 670 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 2,915mAh battery, as well as a 12MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. The only rumor we’ve heard about the 3 XL Lite is its screen size, which will reportedly come in at 6 inches and have a Full HD+ resolution. Both phones are rumored to have a headphone jack as well.

They’ll likely be made entirely of plastic, as opposed to the Pixel 3’s all-glass build. Oh, and one other notable design choice: Both of these Lite phones will probably look a lot like the smaller Pixel 3. That means they won’t feature the Pixel 3 XL’s gigantic notch.

Google hasn’t launched a mid-range phone since 2015’s Nexus 5X. Why launch one now? We know that the U.S. is significantly lacking in decent mid-range smartphones, so Google might see a market here. Also, the fact that these phones are launching on Verizon means customers will be able to pay for them in monthly installments as opposed to spending hundreds of dollars outright.

That’s it for now, folks. We’ll be sure to update you if we hear anything else regarding the Pixel 3 Lite or Pixel 3 XL Lite.