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The Pixel 4 is here and it's definitely worth consideration when it comes to a Christmas phone purchase this year.  With the exceptional camera, new built in apps, cute accessories and phone stand are all welcome improvements to the Pixel.

Let’s great straight into what we like so it makes sense to start with the camera.  You can capture a perfect photo with the Pixel 4.  This phone has their largest camera upgrade to date – there are now two cameras on the back of the phone including a new telephoto lens.  The astrophotography is impressive.  Night sight already took beautiful photos in full darkness but now you can use the night sight for shots of the night sky and stars which make for beautiful pro-photographer photos but without the pro-camera kit costs.

Actual Night Sight photograph with the new astrophotography capability.

Legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz unveiled a series of portraits of individuals who are changing the landscape of their time. She used a Google Pixel exclusively; Annie encountered her subjects in the places they live and work and are inspired into action and it’s fair to say, the results which you can view here are extremely impressive.  

The project was said to push Annie who has rarely shot professional portraits on a camera phone. “I wanted to challenge myself to shoot with the camera that’s always in your pocket,” she says. “I’d heard so much about the Pixel and was intrigued.”

There a new Google Assistant too with better integration than before on the Pixel predecessors.  This means, it’s now much faster to get more done.  It’s been redesigned to allow for faster processing and to take up less space too which means its easier to multitask across different apps.   

There is appealing play factor on the Pixel 4 too where it pre-empts your reaching for the phone through its new motion sense feature.  The phone uses a miniature radar sensor to detect movement around the phone. So, whilst reaching to pick it up, it will turn on the unlock screen so it’s ready to go – pretty cool eh?  We also liked the wave your hand feature to turn off timers and alarms (although maybe this is too easy to do when it comes to turning off that early alarm clocks each day?!).

The new built-in apps add to the functionality of the phone – the Pixel 4 now includes a new recorder app which allows you save and listen to later and can also transcribe speeches too which makes it a worthy phone for the consideration of any student taking college courses.  

With the release, there are new accessories designed to help capture the best photos, get a fast-wireless charge, and in some cases, help the planet, thanks to sustainable materials.  The signature knit fabric cases come in four colours – Sorta Smoky, Just Black, Blue-ish and Could be Coral. New this year, is the fabric being used requires less water in the dyeing process which helps to minimize environmental impact.  The case has a new raised-edge design for better screen and camera protection, soft microfibre lining for cushioned scratch protection and durable fabric that's easy to clean.

The aesthetically pleasing stand (which we’ve always loved) is still standard with the new Pixel 4 is extremely functional too as you can view the screen easily whilst charging.

Now for the science bit – with 6GB RAM, a 90hz display, and Pixel Neural Core, Pixel 4 is fast and powerful.   The Pixel Neural Core is the engine for on-device processing, always-on computing, and machine learning, meaning more tasks are done on the device for performance and privacy.

Finally – for those who are hoping to channel your own inner photographer, we’ll leave you with a piece of advice from Annie: “It’s all inside you. You just go do it. It’s all there.

The recommended retail price for the Pixel 4 with fullscreen 5.7” display is from €759.  It comes in three colours – clearly white, just black, and a limited-edition orange.

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These days most of us have grown so attached to our phones that being without them almost feels like missing a limb.

We even sometimes sleep near our phones, and it is so tempting to have your mobile with you for some late night Facebook scrolling.

However, this habit is unwise and even unhealthy, warns the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

The CDPH issued a statement about the dangers of the radio frequency (RF) energy that our smartphones emit. Some scientists are worried that RF energy damages human health.

"Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones," stated CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. 

Cell phone manufacturers seem aware of these concerns. As the Daily Mail notes, Apple includes a notice about RF exposure in iPhone's settings, though their RF emissions fall within the US's safety standards. 

Dr. Smith continued, "We know that simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket and moving it away from your bed at night, can help reduce exposure for both children and adults."

With mobile phone usage on the rise, the CDPH warns that long-term, frequent use of cell phones could lead to brain cancer, tumours of the acoustic nerve (necessary for hearing and maintaining balance) and salivary glands, lower sperm count, inactive sperm, headaches, and learning difficulties. 

However, they clarified that these links are not definitive. The CDPH notes that RF energy is 'not as powerful or as damaging to cells or DNA as some other kinds of electromagnetic radiation, such as X-rays or UV rays from the sun'.

If people want to reduce their RF energy exposure though, the CDPH recommend keeping your phone away from your head or body by using speakerphone or a headset when talking on the phone.

The CDPH urge people to sleep with their phones several feet away unless they are off or in airplane mode. 

They also advised that people send texts rather than speak on their mobiles, as you are more distant from your device then. Carrying your mobile in a bag rather than your bra or pocket also helps to reduce RF energy exposure.

You should distance yourself from your phone when it is downloading or streaming large files, when you are in fast-moving vehicles, or when you have a low cell phone signal (as your phone puts out more RF energy then to connect to a cell tower). 

As well, 'radiation shields' and devices claiming to reduce RF energy or radiation from your phone may actually increase your RF exposure, as your phone emits more RF energy to get past the barriers.

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A slip, a drop, a fall – a drunken mistake: far too many iPhone screens in this world have been smashed and cracked.

Indeed, it's the feature – not to mention the €150-repair bill – that most irritates users of the Apple device. 

However, it seems there is some good news on the horizon for those who are prone to dropping their mobile: namely that the forthcoming latest model will be 'indestructible' – or pretty much so.

Step forward Gorilla Glass; the manufacturer of millions of glass displays for mobiles. 

It's just about to release its fifth iteration, and promises that it's as made of tough stuff.

Yes, lab tests reveal that Gorilla Glass 5 displays remained intact during 80 percent of drops that occurred at heights as high up as 1.8metres. What’s more, Gorilla Glass 5, which is being touted as four times as resilient as previous designs, holds up extremely well even when dropped onto rough surfaces.

“With each successive generation of Corning Gorilla Glass, we have taken cover glass technology to new levels,” John Bayne of Corning, its parent company, said in a press release.

“With many real world drops occurring from between waist and shoulder height, we knew improving drop performance would be an important and necessary advancement.”

Excitingly, Corning expects Gorilla Glass 5 to show up on commercial products “from leading global brands later this year” – a statement which is being widely inferred as referring to the iPhone 7.

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