Flagship Android Battle: Pixel 7 and 7 Pro vs. Galaxy S22 and S22+

Google’s Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones are finally a reality. But they face tough competition from Samsung’s Galaxy S22 lineup. In the Android world, the Pixel and Galaxy phones generally lead the way in the US market, so we’re anxious to put them side-by-side. For now, that means nitpicking spec differences, though we plan to fully review the new Google handsets in the days ahead.

Google Pixel 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22
Looking at the two lower cost phones first, we have the Pixel 7 and Galaxy S22. The price difference is stark: The Pixel 7 starts at $599, whereas the Galaxy S22 costs $799. That $200 in savings could easily make the Google device a more viable option for your budget. Both devices come with 128GB of storage but no microSD card slot. If you need more storage, the 256GB versions of the Pixel and Galaxy devices cost $699 and $849, respectively.

For power, the Pixel 7 uses the Tensor G2 chip and the Galaxy S22 runs on the top tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform. We still have to benchmark the new Tensor hardware before we can definitively declare a winner, but based on the first-generation Tensor’s performance, we expect similar overall output from the newer processor. Both phones stick with 8GB of RAM.

The Pixel 7’s 6.3-inch, 2,400-by-1,080-pixel screen is a little bigger than the Galaxy S22’s 6.1-inch, 2,340-by-1,080-pixel panel, but the pixel density is almost identical at 417 and 423 pixels per inch (ppi), respectively. The S22 does offer a higher refresh rate (up 120Hz), however, whereas the Pixel 7 maxes out at 90Hz.

Cameras are a huge factor for many in the smartphone buying decision. The Pixel 7 comes with a 50MP primary sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide lens, which matches up exactly with the Galaxy S22’s 50MP main sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide unit. But the Samsung phone also includes a 10MP 3x telephoto lens, something the Pixel 7 doesn’t have. Google’s exclusive software features such as True Tone, Magic Eraser, and Face Unblur might be more important to you, however.

Connectivity isn’t much of a differentiator. Both phones support Wi-Fi 6E and the latest 5G technologies.

Google and Samsung both pledge five years of security updates for their phones, which means you should be safe through 2027. That said, Samsung promises four years of software version updates whereas Google offers just three. Something else to mull is whether you prefer Google’s clean version of Android or Samsung’s stylized OneUI.

Google Pixel 7 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S22+
The Google Pixel 7 Pro competes most closely with the Galaxy S22+. It starts at $899, whereas the S22+ sells for $999. Because of the similar price, the spec differences matter more here than in the previous comparison.

Both phones come with 128GB of internal storage and don’t offer any storage expansion. If you want more space, Google offers 256GB and 512GB versions for $999 and $1,099, respectively. Samsung charges $1,049 for a 256GB version of its phone but doesn’t have a 512GB variant.

The processor specs (listed above) are the same: The Pixel 7 Pro uses the new Tensor G2 chip and S22+ runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform. Interestingly, the Pixel comes with 12GB of RAM while the Galaxy stays with 8GB of memory.

The Pixel 7 comes with a 6.7-inch, 3,120-by-1,440-pixel QHD+ screen and the Galaxy S22+ has a 6.6-inch, 2,340-by-1,080-pixel panel. Google easily takes the resolution win (513ppi compared with 390ppi), but both phones have a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz.

Both handsets offer a 50MP main sensor and 12MP ultra-wide camera, but the Pixel 7 Pro adds a 48MP telephoto lens with a 5x optical zoom and up to 30x Super Res Zoom. The Galaxy S22+ features the same 10MP 3x telephoto lens as the base S22.

Connectivity shouldn’t be an issue with either: Each supports the latest 5G and WiFi 6E standards.

On paper, the 7 Pro offers better specs across the board and costs less. But we still want to wait for a chance to complete a full review before we make any definitive conclusions. Again, a choice between stock Android and Samsung’s One UI could factor into your decision. And keep in mind that you get that extra year of software feature updates with Samsung.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Google Smartphone Replacement Battery
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Samsung Smartphone Replacement Battery

Laptops News

Living with the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s

One of the more interesting—and more curious—laptops I’ve tried in a while is the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s, one of the few ARM-based Windows systems on the market. The machine is designed to provide the laptop features we expect with the advantages we expect from phones, such as better battery life and instant on. It does have some nice features, and is a definite improvement from last year’s ThinkPad Flex 5G, but I’m still not convinced that Windows on ARM is ready.

The machine looks like an ultraportable ThinkPad, with a 13.3-inch display, black matte color, magnesium cover, and the familiar red pointing stick in the middle of the keyboard. Measuring 0.53 by 11.8 by 8.13 inches (HWD) and weighing just 2.5 pounds (3.16 pounds with the included 65-watt charger), it’s light and easy to carry.

It doesn’t offer much in the way of ports, however: the left side of the machine has two USB-C ports, but without support for Thunderbolt; and the right side has a SIM socket, a lock, and a headphone/mic jack. No USB-A, no HDMI. There’s a 5MP webcam enclosed in a lip that protrudes from the top of the screen, with a key that physically covers the webcam, though no user-accessible shutter.

Like most of the current ThinkPad series, it has a decent-size touchpad with physical left and right buttons. It has a reasonable keyboard, but it seems a bit shallower than that on other recent ThinkPads I’ve tested.

The X13s has a fingerprint reader embedded in the power button, on the upper right-hand part of the keyboard, though this was problematic. On the other hand, Windows Hello worked quite well with facial recognition.

What makes this unit stand out is the processor, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. This is an 8-core processor running at a nominal speed of 3GHz, with Qualcomm’s Kryo CPU cores and Adreno 690 graphics, manufactured on a 5nm process, rumored to be made by Samsung. My test model had 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, along with a 13-inch 1920-by-1200 display with the currently popular 16:10 ratio.

Compared with the earlier Snapdragon 8cx in the Flex 5G, this year’s processor is said to be much faster, and now supports 64-bit x86 (Intel or AMD) applications through emulation as well as 32-bit x86 and native ARM applications. It supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1 and includes a Microsoft Pluton TPM architecture for added security.

The good news is that you can run most Windows applications. There are now ARM-based versions of the Microsoft Office suite, so Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, and Edge all work. It does fine with Chrome, Firefox, and Zoom.

It’s notably slower on most benchmarks than I would have expected. Qualcomm has been positioning the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 as competitive with Intel’s Core i5 processor, but I didn’t get performance scores that were anywhere near that (even given that most of the machines I’ve tested lately were Core i7’s so I didn’t expect the scores to be quite as high.) On the Applications test in PC Mark 10, it scores 7862 vs. scores of about 11,000 or higher on Core i7 or Ryzen 7 lightweight x86 notebooks; and it scored less than half as well on Cinebench. Still, in daily use with light-duty tasks, I didn’t notice a lot of difference from running an AMD- or Intel-based laptop.

On more performance-oriented tests, the Snapdragon just didn’t compete. It took the ThinkPad X13s 89 minutes to run a big spreadsheet in Excel (a native ARM application), compared with 41 minutes for the current (Intel-based) X1 Carbon Gen 10. On the X13s, converting a large video using Handbrake took 3 hours and 38 minutes with the native version of the app; and 4 hours and 5 minutes in an emulated 64-bit version, compared with 1 hour and 55 minutes on the X1 Carbon. And a big Matlab model just simply would not run. Bottom line: this isn’t the right machine for you if you run heavy-duty applications.

It’s also a problem if you want Thunderbolt connectivity. I knew the chipset didn’t support Thunderbolt, but I expected such devices to work via USB-C, albeit at lower speeds. That didn’t seem to be the case. It wouldn’t recognize an OWC Aura Thunderbolt drive at all, and while it recognized Lenovo’s Thunderbolt dock, it wouldn’t pass through video signals.

The model I had included a Snapdragon X55 sub-6 5G modem, and the unit came with an AT&T cellular account. I saw download speeds ranging from 50 to 80Mbps and upload speeds ranging from 7 to 21Mbps in New York; in Connecticut, I saw download speeds as low as 17 Mbps and as fast as 131 Mbps. These are fine for most purposes, but hardly exceptional. Cellular connectivity is a relatively rare option on laptops, but there are a variety of other models that do offer it, and I’ve seen similar or better speeds on x86-based machines.

For video conferencing the 5-megapixel webcam over the display was very sharp—better than on most of the ThinkPads I’ve tested lately, but it displayed a yellowish tint and tended to blow out direct lighting behind the screen. Speakers on either side of the keyboard were again fine, but nothing special.

The X13s has a list price of $2,169 with the unit I tested going for $2,309, which seems pretty high; however, as I write this, it’s available on Lenovo’s website for $1,385. Better, but it still seems high for what you’re getting.

What makes the X13s stand out is the ARM processor, which by itself offers somewhat faster resume from sleep and somewhat better battery life, but with the tradeoff of notably worse performance for heavy-duty applications. It’s a tradeoff that only works if you really, really care about getting the best possible battery life.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Replacement Lenovo Laptop Battery


Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro Hands On: More Changes Than Meets the Eye

At a glance, Google’s Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro might seem like minor upgrades from the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. But I got a chance to spend some time with the phones at Google’s launch event in Brooklyn, and while they look similar, several under-the-hood improvements should help differentiate them from their predecessors in at least a few key ways.

Appearance: Mostly the Same
When held side by side, the new Pixels hardly look different from the old Pixels. These phones are tall and slim glass sandwiches, with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back, and recycled aluminum in between. The glass features rather steep curves along both the back and front edges. While this smoothes over the feel of the phones when holding them, it erodes the screen real estate a little bit.

The Pixels feel strong and nicely made. They don’t meet any sort of rugged specifications, but they are rated IP68 for protection from dust and water (as all flagship phones should be).

The color palette is a little different this year. The smaller Pixel 7 is available in Lemongrass, Obsidian, or Snow, while the larger 7 Pro is available in Hazel, Obsidian, or Snow. Snow and Obsidian might as well be called white and black, while Lemongrass is a pale yellow and Hazel is a deep, nutty, brownish gray. All of the shades feature a glossy finish rather than matte, which some may like and others may not. The phones are certainly a bit slippery and heavy.

One of the most distinctive visual features of the phones is the Camera Bar that rides across the rear panel. The Camera Bar was a raised glass ledge on the Pixel 6 family. This year, Google replaces the glass with an aluminum strap that should be less breakable. That said, I liked the glass and am not sold on the aluminum look yet.

The screens are excellent. The Pixel 7 has a 6.3-inch screen with 2,400 by 1,080 pixels and a 90Hz refresh rate. That’s a little smaller than last year’s, but just as quick with the refreshing. The 7 Pro’s display is larger at 6.7 inches and more pixel-rich with 3,210 by 1,440 pixels. It’s also faster, with an LTPO OLED that cycles from 1Hz up to 120Hz to balance power use and smooth experiences. They both look luscious in person, with bright color and plenty of brightness (1,400 and 1,500 nits for the 7 and 7 Pro, respectively). Google keeps the bezels in check, though there’s a slight chin on both phones. The selfie camera is visible in a small punch hole at the top.

Buttons are kept to a minimum. There’s just a power key and volume toggle on the right edge, the same as last year’s phones. The action of the keys is very good, though the buttons have a rather flat profile that might make them harder to locate in a hurry. You won’t find a headphone jack, but there’s a speedy USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port on the bottom. A physical SIM tray is tucked into the left side of the phone, and the Pixels also support eSIM.

Engines of Creation
The new Google Tensor G2 system-on-a-chip is what makes the Pixel family go. Google explained all the upgrades in its custom chip this year, though they are not as extravagant as they could be. This octa-core chip has two performance cores, two midrange cores, and four efficiency cores to balance out tasks and battery life. Surprisingly, Google is sticking with the Cortex X1 for its high-performance cores rather than the newer X2. The company also keeps clock speed improvements to a minimum. The Tensor G2 also gets an improved Titan M2 security coprocessor, a second-generation Tensor Processing Unit, and other nips and tucks—all of which are meant to help with features that rely on machine learning and artificial intelligence.

It’s hard to glean just how improved the performance is after only a few moments, but we tested some of the new camera features and came away impressed. For example, Photo Unblur can take old, out-of-focus photos, apply machine learning algorithms, and sharpen them up in a way you might not think was possible. The camera now also supports Cinematic Blur when shooting video, which allows the camera to focus sharply on the subject and softly blur the background. While the iPhone and other Android phones have offered this feature for a while, it’s nice to see it come to the Pixel line.

Other under-the-hood goodies include upgraded 5G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth radios, and expanded GPS support. We can’t wait to explore these features in detail as we spend more time with the phones.

The Pixels ship with Android 13, of course, which is further enhanced by the stock software experience available to Google’s own devices.

The phones are available for preorder now and reach store shelves on October 15. The Pixel 7 starts at $599 and the Pixel 7 Pro starts at $899. We look forward to testing them, so make sure to check back soon for our full reviews. Until then, head over to our hands on with the Pixel Watch, Google’s first smartwatch, to see how it stacks up to offerings from Apple and Samsung.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Replacement Google Smartphone Battery


Apple Says New M2 Chip Won’t Beat Intel’s Finest

Expectations have been running exceptionally high for Apple’s new M2 processor to outpace Intel’s best CPUs, but in the end, the M2 won’t beat Intel’s fastest chips. That was the news from Apple’s WWDC keynote Monday.

The new 8-core M2 processor will appear in a redesigned MacBook Air, as well as in an updated MacBook Pro laptop. The M2 features 50 percent more memory bandwidth than the M1, and CPU performance is 18 percent faster, Apple stated.

But despite its cutting edge 5nm TSMC process and 20 billion transistors, Apple actually said the new M2 is slower than Intel’s best chips.

Obviously, Apple wasn’t emphasizing that narrative, and its performance slide below shows the new M2 besting an Intel 10-core Core i7-1255U in a Samsung Galaxy Book 2 360.

What exactly Apple is claiming the M2 is faster in, well, we don’t know, as the company has never publicly defined the meaning of its performance criteria. We have no doubt it’s based on reality, as public companies don’t make things up in fear of lawsuits, and the original M1 is a stunningly fast chip.

When the M1 came out, Intel’s best CPUs were pretty elderly—but today is a different story. Intel’s new 12th gen CPUs are actually quite competitive against Intel’s key adversary AMD, as well as its side enemy, Apple.

That much can be seen in Apple’s second slide, which I’m pleasantly surprised to show off, as Apple actually admits the new M2 is slower than the 12-core Core i7-1260P in an MSI Prestige 14 Evo laptop. Apple should also be lauded for showing the full performance graph, as it took a lot of flak for essentially truncating performance of Nvdia’s GPUs to make the M1 Ultra look more powerful. So, yes, shocker: Apple actually says the Intel Core i7 is faster.

Obviously, it’s not all just about raw performance, and Apple’s main point is it can offer outstanding performance with the M2 at a fraction of the power consumption of an Intel Core i7-1260P CPU. That’s actually been Apple’s key strength, since it can’t lean on the “we’re so much faster” argument anymore.

I won’t be petty and belabor the point that it’s not a shock a 5nm chip is more efficient than a 10nm chip. But I’m sure someone will do so on Reddit, YouTube comments or Twitter. In the end, if you’re into longer battery life, you have to seriously consider a MacBook as an option.

But I do want to point out a fallacy of anyone arguing a Core i7-1260P is a full-time power hog. Intel’s mantra of late has been to push extremely high boost clocks for a few microseconds or milliseconds to increase responsiveness. In reality, that MSI Prestige 14 Evo would coast along at low power usage, and when you click on a browser link, it could spike up to 55 watts for a fraction of a second and then settle down again to low power use.

I don’t want to appear partisan and only show off the split wins by Apple on the M2. One area where Apple appears to dominate is in graphics. With its additional graphics cores, Apple says it can outperform the Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 with a Core i7-1255U by a whopping 2.3x while using less power, too.

That’s something to be lauded, as Intel’s Iris Xe graphics, although older, are a huge improvement over its UHD graphics. This last point is something sure to irk AMD fans who are still riding high by how surprising the new Ryzen 6000-series is performing. With its RDNA2 graphics cores and 6nm process, it’s currently easily outpacing Intel’s Iris Xe as well.

How would the M2 fare against an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U? That’s something we’re curious to find out.

In the end, the M2 looks to an impressive sequel to the M2, and in its very tight coupled ecosystem of software and hardware, a pretty awesome upgrade for Mac fans who haven’t even made the switch to M1 yet.


How fast is the Dell XPS 17?

The XPS series is Dell’s most premium, drool-worthy line, making some of the best laptops on the market, and the XPS 17 is the model with the most room for juicy high-end parts. So how much performance can you get out of a super-thin laptop if you throw in the latest Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia RTX graphics card?

Our review unit of the XPS 17 (9720 model) comes with a 12th-gen Core i7 12700H processor and an RTX 3060 GPU running at 65 watts, all crammed into a beautiful .77-inch chassis. While it’s no “gaming laptop,” instead focusing on productivity and media creation with its gorgeous 4K display, it’s certainly got the chops to run some of the latest high-end titles. But since this is a media creation machine, Gordon focused on more practical tests.

And practical is certainly an apt description of the XPS 17. In tests including Cinebench, PugetBench Photoshop, and PugetBench Premiere Pro, the XPS 17 holds its own against laptops equipped with the same CPU and GPU, sometimes even besting bigger machines with faster graphics cards. Chalk that up to the XPS 17’s more advanced active cooling system, perhaps. With faster DDR5 RAM, the XPS 17 can even beat chunkier designs like the Gigabyte Aero 16 with an RTX 3070 Ti for some intense Adobe applications.

As Gordon explains, the XPS 17 really isn’t designed to be a gaming machine, especially if you’re looking to play in 4K. In 3Dmark Timespy its GPU-focused scores are near the bottom of the pack for similar high-end machines. Even so, it’s an amazing laptop for creating with programs like Photoshop and Premiere, well worth considering if you don’t want to lug around a heavy “gaming” model.