The Morning After: Our verdict on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro

Yes, we have full reviews of Google’s new flagship phones, as well as the first smartwatch. The phones perform better than the wearable, but we’re on the seventh generation of Pixel phones, so that’s to be expected.

In addition to the new software features and Tensor G2 chip, the Pixel 7 Pro gets a number of additional hardware upgrades compared to the standard Pixel 7. There’s a longer 5x telephoto zoom, and its ultra-wide camera can also shoot macro. The Pixel 7 Pro’s battery doesn’t last quite as long as its smaller, cheaper sibling, but it easily lasts for a day. But most importantly, at $899, the Pixel 7 Pro offers more bang for your buck than most of its rivals.

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The $599 Pixel 7 hasn’t changed much in specs and hardware since last year’s device, but battery life is good, lasting almost 18 hours on our video rundown test. It also has a nicer matte finish compared to the glossy Pro. Check out our full review of both phones here.

In the meantime, we’ve got all the big Microsoft news, including first impressions of some new Surface PCs.

– Mat Smith

The Biggest Stories You May Have Missed

The imperfect marriage of Google and Fitbit.

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The Pixel Watch just feels good. As Engadget’s Cherlynn Low puts it, it’s like a “smooth, shiny pebble.” But as a smartwatch? The software is competent and Fitbit’s health-tracking integrations are excellent. Unfortunately, the Pixel Watch has relatively short battery life, and a Fitbit Premium paywall blocks many health metrics. But if you’re looking for an Android-friendly wearable that feels as premium as Apple, this could be it.

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No, you didn’t misread the CPU model.

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Microsoft

It’s been four years since we got the Surface Studio 2, Microsoft’s flexible all-in-one PC. Now it’s time for a, uh, mild upgrade. The Surface Studio 2+ is actually significantly faster than before thanks to Intel’s 11th Gen CPU and NVIDIA’s RTX 3060 graphics. But we’ve also spent most of this year being impressed by Intel’s awesome 12th gen hybrid chips, which deliver far better performance than 11th gen CPUs. It’s called the Surface Studio 3 for a reason, but prices still start at $4,300.

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Can Intel and ARM models harmonize?

The Surface Pro 9 is pretty much what we expected: a leap to Intel’s 12th-gen CPUs. But Microsoft surprised us with a big shock for its tablet PCs. There’s also a Surface Pro 9 with a custom SQ3 ARM chip that includes integrated 5G. Selection! In any case, you get tablet PCs that can be easily transformed into functional laptops with their keyboard cases.

The SQ3 Arm model also has some features that the Intel version doesn’t have thanks to its neural processor. This includes some real-time improvements for video chats, such as: B. blurring your background. Microsoft says it’s possible to bring these features to Intel chips if they have their own neural chips, but unfortunately those aren’t available in Intel’s current lineup.

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But how long before they can play Doom?

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Ollie Millington via Getty Images

Researchers who grew a culture of brain cells in a lab claim they taught the cells to play a version of pong. Scientists at a biotech startup called Cortical Labs say it’s the first demonstrated example of a “mini-brain” being taught to perform purposeful tasks. DishBrain received a strong and consistent feedback signal (basically some sort of stimulus) when the racquet hit the ball and a short, random pulse when it missed. Apparently after playing pong For 20 minutes, the culture at the game improved.

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It launches a video doorbell, cameras, and smart light bulbs.

Roku is expanding beyond home theater setups and into smart home devices. The first batch of Roku smart home products it has collaborated on with Wyze includes a smart doorbell, cameras, smart lightbulbs, smart light strips and smart plugs. The company didn’t give any specs for the devices in advance, but previous reports suggested they were rebranded versions of Wyze products, including the Cam v3, Cam Pan V2, and Bulb Color. You can also use the Roku Voice Remote to view live camera feeds on your TV. Roku didn’t offer a pricing breakdown, but said its cameras “start under $27.”

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Listen to music (and meetings).

It’s always nice to see something that goes beyond what we’d expect from Microsoft. Microsoft has introduced an audio dock that, as the name suggests, combines a speaker with a laptop hub. The design focuses on an omnidirectional speakerphone and includes a 60W USB-C port for charging your computer, two regular USB-C ports, an HDMI 2.0 socket and a single USB-A port. The company leans heavily on the Audio Dock’s usefulness for meetings, whether in the office or at home. You’ll find large dedicated buttons for switching the microphone (handy for working from home) and launching Teams. Because Microsoft.

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Russell Falcon

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