News Weekly: OnePlus Watch 2 revealed, a viral Gmail hoax, and more

OnePlus Watch 2
(Image credit: OnePlus)

This is Android Central's News Weekly, your go-to source for a concise roundup of the week's most significant tech stories. This is where we delve into the top headlines that provide the latest developments contributing to the digital landscape. 

This week, we got a glimpse of the OnePlus Watch 2, Galaxy AI has reached more devices, Huawei launched its latest clamshell phone, the Google Pay app is shutting down, and Gmail gets caught in a social media hoax. 

Sneak a peek at the new OnePlus Watch 2 

OnePlus Watch 2

(Image credit: OnePlus)

Earlier this week, OnePlus revealed the first full look at its next smartwatch. Dubbed "your partner in time," OnePlus says the Watch 2 is more than just a wearable gadget that enhances the user's daily life. This comes after the company's three-year hiatus, which it referred to as a "reflective pause."

The watch is said to have up to 100 hours of battery life in Smart mode. It comes in two colorways: Black Steel and Radiant Steel. 

While the company didn't confirm any details about the operating software for this year's smartwatch, several leaks suggest that the watch will likely be the company’s first WearOS-powered smartwatch.

The unveiling comes just ahead of its official launch, which is set to take place at the Mobile World Congress on February 26 in Barcelona, Spain.

AI magic coming to older Galaxy phones

Samsung Galaxy AI

(Image credit: Samsung)

On Wednesday (Feb. 21), Samsung announced that it is set to roll out the Galaxy AI features that debuted on the latest flagship series across more of its devices, such as the Galaxy S23 series. 

The features will also be available to the other 2023 flagship Galaxy phones and tablets, and the rollout will occur through the new One UI 6.1 update available starting in late March.

According to the press release, more Galaxy users will be able to users will now be able to access Galaxy AI features, such as Circle to Search, which allows users to search for anything within various apps, Chat Assist for live translation of text messages, Live Translate for calls, and more.

Additionally, Samsung users will be able to get creative with their photos and videos through Generative Edit, an AI photo editing tool, and Instant Slow-Mo, which can generate additional frames for slow-motion videos to capture moments within videos.

"This is only the beginning of Galaxy AI, as we plan to bring the experience to over 10 million Galaxy users within 2024 and continue to innovate ways to harness the unlimited possibilities of mobile AI," said TM Roh, president and head of the Mobile Experience business at Samsung. 

Oops, Gmail got caught in a hoax

An illustration of a person sitting at a computer, with Gmail screens behind them

(Image credit: Google)

A manipulated image was making the rounds on X (formerly Twitter) stating that Gmail will be sunsetting starting in August this year. As weird as it sounds, this tweet went viral, so much so that Gmail was trending on X.

"After years of connecting millions worldwide, enabling seamless communication, and fostering countless connections, the journey of Gmail is coming to a close," the image reads. "As of August 1, 2024, Gmail will officially be sunsetted, marking the end of its service. This means Gmail will no longer support sending, receiving, or storing emails."

Soon enough, Gmail jumped in and put all these speculations to rest with just one simple tweet stating, "Gmail is here to stay."

However, it is important to note that Google is letting go of the Basic HTML view on Gmail this year, as per an email from 2023. A support page gives users a guide to transition to the newer version.

Huawei launched a flip phone with five cameras

The new Huawei Pocket 2 foldable.

(Image credit: Huawei)

Huawei dropped its Pocket 2 foldable phone this week, and it's the brand's new clamshell phone launch after almost three years. 

The device has a 7-inch screen with a total of five cameras: a 50MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, an 8MP 3x telephoto lens, a 2MP spectral camera, and a 10.7 MP ultrawide selfie camera.

The main screen has an LTPO OLED panel measuring 6.94 inches, comes with 12GB RAM, and the storage options range from 256GB to 1TB. The Pocket 2 comes in 4 colors, and it costs approximately about $1000.

The dampener is that people in the U.S. can't get their hands on this one since Huawei is still caught in the middle of a trade war between China and the U.S. As of now, the smartphone is only available in China, and it remains unclear when it will be launched worldwide.

Say bye to G-Pay

Google Pay app

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Yup, this one's for real.

Google is all set to shut down its Google Pay app beginning June 4. The company states that the app will no longer be available to all U.S.-based users in an attempt to push users to start using the Wallet app. 

That said, users will still be able to use other G-Pay features like tapping to pay and other management tools directly through Google Wallet

From now until June 4, users can continue to use Google Pay to "view and transfer" their balance from the app to their bank account. After that, the balance can only be transferred through the website.

Google Pay's end will bring its P2P (peer-to-peer) payment option to a close, as well. The post states users will no longer be able to send, request, or receive money from others in the U.S. Google Pay app version.

Those are some of the biggest stories from this week. Meanwhile, here are some other stories from this week that are worth catching up on:

Nandika Ravi
News Editor

Nandika Ravi is an Editor for Android Central. Based in Toronto, after rocking the news scene as a Multimedia Reporter and Editor at Rogers Sports and Media, she now brings her expertise into the Tech ecosystem. When not breaking tech news, you can catch her sipping coffee at cozy cafes, exploring new trails with her boxer dog, or leveling up in the gaming universe.