Google’s Pixel 2 pops up at the FCC with Active Edge and Android 8.0.1

With Android O allegedly being officially announced on August 21, another much-anticipated Google product has taken another step in its march towards its eventual launch; the smaller Pixel 2 (Walleye) has made its way to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As previously rumored, it does indeed appear that HTC is manufacturing the smaller of the two Pixel 2 handsets, with the Taiwanese handset maker filing most of the documents for the phone with the FCC. 

Sprint steps up the bloatware game in a bad way with BlackBerry KeyOne

Getting a new smartphone from a carrier usually means putting up with the bloatware that carriers install. This can be in the form of the carrier’s own specific apps that it believes you just cannot live without or it can be third-party apps from vendors the carrier has struck business deals with. The bloatware landscape has improved a little bit over the years and users can now disable or remove some apps in many cases. However, reports of what Sprint may be doing with the BlackBerry KeyOne may point to a disturbing new escalation in the field of bloatware.

Lenovo PHAB2 Pro to be stuck on Marshmallow

Yesterday Google released new Android distribution numbers and we noted the trends point to manufacturers relying on users to upgrade to new devices instead of installing operating system updates. This strategy means the manufacturers do not need to devote resources to preparing updates as a way of controlling costs. A good example of that is revealed by Lenovo and the PHAB2 Pro smartphone. Last year Lenovo launched the first smartphone utilizing Google’s augmented reality Tango technology in the PHAB2 Pro. At launch the device came with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Even though it is mere months old, Lenovo is indicating the PHAB2 Pro will not even get an update to Android 7.0 Nougat, much less Android O when it is released.

New T-Mobile REVVL officially launches

Earlier this year we reported on T-Mobile wanting to bring back a trend from a few years ago – carrier-specific and branded devices similar to the DROID line of devices on Verizon. At the high end of the spectrum, T-Mobile was planning to release an Alcatel/TCL manufactured smartphone called the REVVL. Today T-Mobile officially took the wraps off the carrier-branded REVVL, a phone that T-Mobile says answers “the needs of customers” by providing “a ton of features without breaking the bank”.

Official invites sent out for LG V30 announcement on August 31

We pretty much already knew LG was planning to unveil the new LG V30 at a press event on August 31st just before IFA 2017 opens based on a previous press event announcement. The timing made sense and the image in that invite had a not so subtle hint that the next V series phone would highlight LG’s announcements. LG is now sending out invites that specifically name the LG V30.

Essential announces they’ll announce a release date next week

The announcement and release of the Essential Phone has been weird, and honestly, not great. It was supposed to be available within 30 days from May, but that’s come and gone thanks to a few speed bumps for the company. Then the listing for the device went up on Best Buy’s site, which made it sound like it should be available very soon.

Unfortunately, no.