About the Author

Ben Schoon

@NexusBen

Ben Schoon is a Senior Editor at 9to5Google, working for the publication as one of its primary news writers for the past 5 years. In 2013, Ben helped start an independent tech publication where he learned the skills used at 9to5Google including writing, product photography, and videography. He is located in the city of Winston-Salem in North Carolina where he lived with his wife Melissa, married in 2019.

He primarily covers Android products, including Google Pixel devices, Samsung Galaxy smartphones, as well as devices from OnePlus, Oppo, LG, Motorola, and more. Beyond just covering news about these products, Ben also spends time using these products himself, speaking from experience with the articles he writes. Some of Ben’s most recent hands-on reviews include; Galaxy S21 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, Fitbit Versa 3, Nest Thermostat, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Fitbit Sense.

Ben is also a leading source for information about Google’s Android TV, diving deeply into important parts of the platform including its powerful Operator Tier, explaining future changes to the platform, and reviewing its products such as Chromecast with Google TV, Nvidia Shield TV, and more.

In 2019, Ben leaked one of the first in-person photos of the Pixel 4 before later revealing the Recorder and Pixel Themes apps months ahead of launch. In 2020, Ben also reported on multiple upcoming Pixel devices including Pixel 5a and the first report of Google working on a foldable Pixel smartphone. That same month, he was also the first to correctly report the $49 price point of what became the Chromecast with Google TV.

Ben Schoon is active on Twitter, @nexusben, but can also be found on Instagram and LinkedIn. For questions or tips, you can email him directly, and his portfolio is also available online.

Email: schoon@9to5mac.com | Encrypted Email: benschoon@protonmail.com

Ben Schoon's Favorite Gear

Today

Verizon stops selling Pixel 6 Pro with 512GB of storage

Google’s Pixel 6 Pro was the company’s first device with half a terabyte of storage onboard, but it’s just a little bit harder to get that model now. Verizon has stopped selling the Pixel 6 Pro in its top storage tier.

The Galaxy Watch 4 is still, for now, the best smartwatch for Android users. With Wear OS on board, it serves almost every Android users well, whether they’re using a Samsung Galaxy phone, a Pixel, or others. But it’s still very much a Samsung-first smartwatch, and Samsung’s priorities taking the lead. One of the most frustrating things about the Galaxy Watch 4 is that its second button, now almost a year later, is still virtually useless.

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Yesterday

Galaxy Z Fold 3 gets Samsung’s Expert RAW camera app

Samsung’s flagship foldable is picking up a new camera update with the company’s Expert RAW app rolling out to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 today.

Just a day after Samsung announced the program, the first beta program for the Wear OS–based Galaxy Watch 4 is already showing up in the Samsung Members app – but with a couple of caveats.

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Earlier this month Pixel fans were treated with a preview of the company’s entire 2022 lineup, from this year’s Pixel 7 down to next year’s Pixel Tablet. The device that was missing, though, was the “Pixel Notepad.” As it turns out, it seems Google has decided to delay the foldable Pixel Notepad yet again.

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Google’s Cast standard has been around for quite some time and, at this point, it’s not uncommon for someone to own a hefty handful of compatible speakers and displays. To help surface the device you might be looking for, Google appears to be testing “Suggested” Cast devices.

Update: This post has been updated to reflect new details from Google.

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May 24

Galaxy Z Fold 4 might just lessen the crease on Samsung’s foldable display

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series has produced some of the best foldable phones on the market today, but each one has had a display quirk that many have not been a fan of. However, it seems the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will finally work to address the “crease.”

Motorola has made it clear that a third Razr foldable is on its way, and slowly we’re learning more about the device. Today, a fresh leak of the “Motorola Razr 3” is giving us further insight into what the revamped foldable will look like, especially when it comes to the display.

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Today during the company’s Build conference, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella officially confirmed how many players are using Xbox Cloud Gaming – over 10 million.

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Software is one of the best parts of the Galaxy Watch 4, with a messy but very functional mix of Samsung and Google’s strengths. Now, Samsung is looking at the next step for its Wear OS skin, “One UI Watch,” with a beta coming to the Galaxy Watch 4 in June.

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May 23

Motorola teases Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 for next foldable, 200MP camera on another device

Under Lenovo’s roof, Motorola clearly has a focus on the Chinese market, often with new devices released there ahead of other regions. This week, Motorola is taking to Weibo to tease new details of its upcoming smartphones, with a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 foldable and a 200MP camera on the horizon.

The Chromecast with Google TV is a great product, but it’s one that’s clearly showing problems as it ages. One issue is that the Chromecast hasn’t received an actual system update in nearly six months, which is why a recent tweet from Google feels like such a tease.

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It’s finally happening. After a false start last year, Google TV is rolling out Profiles starting today.

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MediaTek Dimensity 1050 is the company’s first chip with mmWave 5G

MediaTek was once known for being the go-to choice for super-cheap Android phones, but the company has been changing that reputation in recent years. This week, MediaTek is announcing the Dimensirty 1050, its first chip with mmWave 5G, as well as some other chips.

May 21

Google’s legacy in earbuds is… complicated. There’s been a lot to love with the Pixel Buds series, but also some serious mistakes. Now, we’re preparing for the launch of the Pixel Buds Pro, and they have to learn from Google’s mistakes and problems to date.

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May 20

Bandwidth: Shadow gets a ‘Power Upgrade’ as Sony confirms dates for new PlayStation Plus

The lesser-known cloud gaming service Shadow is this week getting a “Power Upgrade,” with a new subscription option that adds the power of an RTX 3070 GPU and more.

Google Stadia has dates for a bunch of new family games coming to the platform, as it also added a huge classic this week.

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Amazon’s latest Fire tablets will ship with Android 11, the first upgrade since Android 9

Amazon has one of the most popular “forks” of the Android operating system with its Fire OS for tablets, and finally, the company is upgrading to Android 11.

Bandcamp will keep in-app billing on Android for now, as Google & Epic battle it out [U]

Just last month, Epic Games announced that it would acquire the music platform Bandcamp. Now, Bandcamp is the latest reason Epic Games is taking legal action against Google, this time over the tech giant’s Android app billing crackdown.

This article was last updated on May 20. Scroll down for the latest.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates uses a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 instead of a Surface Duo

During a Reddit AMA this week, Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates revealed he uses an Android phone with a big canvas, but it isn’t Microsoft’s own Surface Duo. Instead, Bill Gates uses a Galaxy Z Fold 3 as his daily smartphone.

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