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Google Pixel Buds (2020) review: Android's AirPods – Android Authority

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Positives

Auto-pairing on Android is great
Bluetooth 5.0
Wireless charging case
Sound quality
IPX4 water-resistance

Negatives

Uncomfortable after one hour
Price
AAC only, no aptX

Bottom Line

The new Google Pixel Buds (2020) boast a minimalistic design and premium features like wireless charging and water-resistance, but they’re not the best deal around. For those who rely on hands-free Google Assistant access, though, these are the ‘buds to get.

7.4

7.4

Google Pixel Buds (2020)

by Google

The new Google Pixel Buds (2020) boast a minimalistic design and premium features like wireless charging and water-resistance, but they’re not the best deal around. For those who rely on hands-free Google Assistant access, though, these are the ‘buds to get.

Everyone deserves a second chance, even audio manufacturers, and the new Google Pixel Buds (2020) exceed our expectations. Google properly marries form and function with these true wireless earbuds; the elegant design begets an elegant user experience that’s revved and ready to rival the AirPods.

What’s it like to use the Pixel Buds?

Google Pixel Buds 2020 true wireless earbuds case handGoogle Pixel Buds 2020 true wireless earbuds case hand

The Pixel Buds charging case is Qi-compatible and has a USB-C input.

It’s great, and echoes the experience of using an Apple product. This comes as no surprise since Google is considered the Apple of Android. The earbuds are remarkably thin for how many sensors are packed into each housing. While its Mentos-reminiscent appearance may not be pleasing to everyone, it’s discreet. They sit nearly flush with the ear, which is something most of the competition has yet to achieve. Even still, the earbuds caused pain after just an hour of wear from rubbing against the outer ear.

Users are afforded three sizes of ear tips, but the wing tips can’t be replaced, which is a bummer especially for those with uniquely large or small ears. This static wing tip design isn’t great for athletes, because the earbuds may not secure as well to the outer ear as they would with something like the Jaybird Vista. Each earbud has a touch-capacitive panel which supports playback, volume, and call control, as well as Google Assistant access. The touch technology is great, and never registered accidental taps, something we’ve run into while testing other true wireless earbuds such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. Automatic ear detection is also supported, so playback pauses when the earphones are removed.

Sorry, AirPods, there’s a new kid on the block.

A good charging case is indicative of a good pair of true wireless earbuds; it has to be sturdy, well-engineered, but not overdone, and functional. Fortunately for us, the Google Pixel Buds (2020) case ticks all of the boxes. The soft-touch plastic feels premium and is a pocketable size and shape. It houses a single button on the back for manual pairing and a USB-C input on its underbelly. There are two LEDs on the case, an external one to notify users of the case’s remaining battery, an interior one that communicates the earbuds’ battery levels.

How good is battery life?

SoundGuys recorded 6 hours, 8 minutes of playtime from the Google Pixel Buds on a single charge, which exceeds the company’s specs by an hour. Quick charging is supported here: 10 minutes in the case yields two hours of playtime. The USB-C case supplies an additional 24 hours of listening, which means you can get a few weeks of at-home workouts in before topping it back up. Doing so takes about two hours with the included USB-C cable or via Qi wireless charging pad.

Does real-time translation work?

A major selling point of the Pixel Buds (2020) is real-time translation. In the full SoundGuys Google Pixel Buds (2020) review, Adam Molina tested its Spanish translation. It worked and accurately interpreted what was said, but the process was tedious. Users must download the Google Translate app, and have it open on their phones when using live translations. Molina felt this defeated the purpose of the earbuds’ live-translate integration; if he had to grab his phone anyway, why not just use the app?

At a mechanical level, the translator works and is a handy tool, but it isn’t much more effective than directly using a smartphone. The earbuds add an extra step to the process, making it even more cumbersome.

Do the earbuds stay connected?

Google Pixel Buds 2020 true wireless earbuds case Pixel smartphone BluetoothGoogle Pixel Buds 2020 true wireless earbuds case Pixel smartphone Bluetooth

Pairing the Pixel Buds to an Android device is absolutely seamless.

Bluetooth 5.0 support combined with Google’s long-range wireless technology, allow the ‘buds to remain connected to your smartphone even if it’s three rooms away. Three rooms in my Chicago apartment is much smaller than three rooms in a suburban home, but generally speaking, a layer or two of drywall won’t interfere with connectivity. If you’re an outdoor athlete, say you run on the community track, these are the earbuds for you: they can remain connected the entire length of an American football field when outside as there are fewer physical and electrical barriers.

To our surprise, the Google Pixel Buds (2020) only support AAC and SBC. The former performs unreliably on Android devices, which is distressing. Seeing how these are intended to be used with Android phones, Google Pixel phones in particular, the lack of an Android-friendly high-quality Bluetooth codec has me, and the folks at SoundGuys, befuddled.

Pairing the Pixel Buds is effortless

Anyone with an Android phone can get straight to using the new Google Pixel Buds by simply opening the case and enabling Bluetooth on the desired smartphone. A pop-up card will ask for permission to connect with the Pixel Buds, and you’re ready to rock. Part of the process includes setting up Google Assistant support, so you can access by saying, “Hey Google,” or by a tap-and-hold of the touch panel.

Related: Best AirPods Pro alternatives

Pairing with an iOS device is simple, too, just not as seamless. To do so, open the charging case without removing the earbuds, and hold the button on the back of the case until the LED flashes white. Then, go to the Bluetooth menu of your iOS device and select the new Pixel Buds. Once they’re connected, you can remove the earbuds and go about your business as usual.

Do the new Pixel Buds sound good?

Google Pixel Buds 2020 true wireless earbudsGoogle Pixel Buds 2020 true wireless earbuds

The concha wing tips aren’t removable, which is an aggravating oversight.

The Google Pixel Buds (2020) accurately reproduce audio with minimal emphasis to bass notes, which is more pleasing to general consumers; it adds that extra bump in music playback that we’ve grown accustomed to from brands like Beats and Jabra. Again, this low-end amplification is subtle, so bassheads be warned: these aren’t the ‘buds for you. Kick drums sound almost twice as loud as male vocals, which can make it difficult to hear your favorite singer in notably cacophonous songs.

Adaptive sound automatically adjusts volume levels to your environment.

Isolation isn’t great, meaning clarity is just ok, but this is technically a feature of the headset. Google included vents to alleviate the “plugged” feeling that earbuds can create, while also keeping you aware of your surroundings. It’s a compromise between the nozzle-less design we’ve seen from Apple and a more standard earbud build. Awareness benefits aside, audio quality immediately degrades when external noise — think subway rattles or plane engines — come into play. That’s because loud sounds make it hard to perceive relatively quiet ones, which makes music sound “off.” To get a more detailed breakdown of the frequency response and isolation performance, go to SoundGuys’ review.

Microphone quality is great

Google’s comprehensive microphone system plays nicely with all vocal registers. Speech intelligibility can also be attributed to voice-detecting accelerometer — something we’ve seen with the Apple AirPods Pro. Sure the person on the other line will likely recognize you’re speaking from a headset mic, but background noise is effectively ignored, which is a must-have feature when speaking on-the-go.

New Google Pixel Buds (2020) microphone demo:

Should you buy the new Pixel Buds?

Google Pixel Buds 2020 true wireless earbuds caseGoogle Pixel Buds 2020 true wireless earbuds case

The Google Pixel Buds (2020) take a simple approach to advanced technology.

Google Pixel users looking for the path of least resistance should get the new Google Pixel Buds (2020). They may not be the best value true wireless earbuds on the market, but they’re a solid option that affords reliable hands-free Google Assistant access, a secure fit, and modern design. Although live Google Translate capabilities leave something to be desired, it’s cool to see a company pushing new, exciting features. The AirPods finally have their main Android competitor: the Google Pixel Buds (2020).

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Some iPhone 11 models display a green tint after unlocking – Engadget

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Chris Velazco/Engadget

A number of iPhone users are seeing a strange green tint on their devices’ displays for a few seconds after unlocking, and it’s still unclear what’s causing the phenomenon. Based on the complaints posted on Reddit and the MacRumors forum, the most affected devices are the ‌iPhone 11‌, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. However, some iPhone X and XS users seem to be experiencing the issue, as well.

Several users are saying that the green tint only shows up when they have Dark Mode and Night Shift on or if they’re in dark room. Affected users are also reporting that the issue popped up after iOS 13.4 came out, though there are those who’ve only noticed it after upgrading to iOS 13.5. At least one user says the green tint disappeared upon installing iOS 13.5.5, which is currently in beta, so it’s looking more likely that it’s a software issue. We’ve reached out to Apple for a statement and will update you when we hear back — if it is a software issue, then the tech giant is bound to roll out an update that’ll fix it in the future.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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New release date for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Season 4 has been leaked – PCGamesN

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The rescheduled date for the next season of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Season 4, has been leaked. The turnover from Season 3 had been delayed so as to not overshadow or contend with the global protests surrounding racial injustice.

Through data-mining the files of Season 3, per ModernWarzone, Twitter user Geekypastimes discovered that the ending date had been altered from June 2, to June 10. This would mean the change-over will occur at what is a regular time for new Call of Duty updates, in the evening of June 9 if you’re in the US, and in the morning of June 10 if you’re UK and Europe.

Activision and Infinity Ward announced on Twitter that the regularly scheduled next season would be delayed indefinitely on June 2. “Right now it’s time for those speaking up for inequality, justice and change to be seen and heard,” the message reads. “We stand alongside you.” It was expected to roll-out sometime June 3, containing several new weapons and maps, and a new operator. The Galil and Vector are believed to be headed to your arsenal, Scrapyard among the new locations, and one Captain Price to be a playable character.

In light of the current discussions about racial inequality, Infinity Ward has begun taking measures against racism in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s multiplayer and Warzone.

Activision’s choice to delay the update came among a wave of rescheduling across the industry. Sony has an imminent PlayStation 5 event that still needs to be re-dated, potentially containing some exciting Bloodborne news.

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Oppo confirms a smart TV is on the roadmap as it celebrates 1 year of 5G in China – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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Oppo has been rumored to be developing a smart TV at least since Christmas and we now have some concrete proof of those plans. On its official Weibo page, the company published an infographic celebrating 1 year of commercial 5G efforts in China. We thought that it was 1 November last year when that kicked off, but Oppo may have something else in mind and even so that little discrepancy is beside the point.

Down at the very bottom of the rather long image, there’s a stylized depiction of a TV in a grid of pictured existing products.


Oppo infographic chopped into more easily digestible pieces, TV in last image
Oppo infographic chopped into more easily digestible pieces, TV in last image
Oppo infographic chopped into more easily digestible pieces, TV in last image

Oppo infographic chopped into more easily digestible pieces, TV in last image

Sister company Realme recently released a couple of smart TVs in India powered by Android TV and featuring Google Assistant. Priced very competitively, they could be a soak test before Oppo’s own foray into the field.

Oppo unveiled a set of truly wireless earphones, the Enco W51 the other day. Alongside them, the Oppo Band made a debut as well. Both of these devices are featured there in the infographic next to the TV’s placeholder, but the TV itself is yet to make an appearance.

Meanwhile, Nokia of all companies launched a smart TV as well, two days ago too. Apparently, smartphone companies can’t afford to not be making TVs anymore.

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