Google One customers getting $125 or $200 discount codes for new Pixels

If you’re a Google One customer, there’s a good chance that you may have just received an email which offers a $125 or $200 discount on Google’s new Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL smartphones. For those who don’t know, Google One is a monthly subscription upgrade from the basic 15GB of storage that Google offers with every Google account. Google One subscribers have received minor discounts on Google Play apps and games in the past, but this is the first time that we’ve seen the service offer such an incredible offer.
With the $200 discount code form Google One, the Pixel 3’s price drops to $600 and the Pixel 3 XL can be had for as little as $800. On top of that, the Google Store is currently throwing in a few Pixel Stand wireless charger and an extra pair of USB-C earbuds with every purchase.
We’re not exactly sure why Google is handing out $125 discounts to some and $200 discounts to others. The discount rate may be based on the user’s Google One subscription level, be there’s no way we can verify that at this time.
If you’re not a Google One subscriber yet, it seems like discounts like these may be worth more than the $1.99 or $2.99 monthly charges for an additional 100GB or 200GB of storage for your Google account. Let us know if you received the discount code and are planning to use it.
Source: Android Police

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL deals abound for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL are among the hottest flagships of the moment with their arguably best in class camera experience, the price was one of the complaints levied at the smartphones and thankfully it hasn’t taken long for some excellent deals to come up.
Verizon
Verizon has a couple different options for prospective Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL buyers to consider this Black Friday depending on whether you have a device to trade in or not. The first deal, for those of you that do have a trade-in, is available right now. You can get an additional $100 off when you upgrade to the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3XL from your existing device or if you are switching to Verizon or adding a new line you’ll receive $300 off with your trade-in.
If you’d rather sell your old phone yourself or you simply don’t have an old phone to trade in you can instead opt to pick up the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3XL on a payment plan and Verizon will give you $400 over the course of 24 months in bill credits. This deal kicks off tomorrow online and Friday through Sunday it will be available in-store and online. If the Pixel 3 line isn’t your thing, any Android phone over $400 when purchased via a payment plan is eligible for a $200 bill credit paid out over 24 months.
Google Store
Naturally, Google themselves are here for you with some deals on their flagship smartphones in the Google Store. The first deal is available on Thanksgiving through Sunday and it is a straightforward price cut of $150 on the Pixel 3 or $200 on the Pixel 3XL, no strings attached and shipping is free.
Looking ahead to Cyber Monday, purchase either a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3XL in the Google Store and you will get a Google Home Hub thrown in along with a $50 credit to use in the Google Store. As you can also currently pick up the Google Home Hub in the Google Store for $99 during the Black Friday sale I would lean toward the first deal.
Best Buy
If you don’t mind activating your Pixel 3 or Pixel 3XL on Verizon, then you can save $200 on the spot at Best Buy, this deal starts at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving and ends on Saturday.
Target
Finally, at Target we have a similar offering to that found at Best Buy, just activate your new Pixel 3 or Pixel 3XL on Verizon and you will get $200 back in the form of a Target gift card. While a Target gift card leaves open lots of options, presumably you’d rather have the cash in your pocket, but if Best Buy is sold out then this is one to consider. Target’s offer will run from Friday through Sunday.
That’s all that we’ve spotted so far, let us know in the comments if you see any other deals on the new Pixels or if one of these deals is going to get you to finally pick up either the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3XL.

Pixel 3 review: perfect imperfection

Google’s new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are among the most anticipated smartphones of 2018, but if you simply look at their specs and design, I’d hard to know why. Compared to most other high-end Android smartphones, the two Pixel 3 devices are underpowered and seemingly unremarkable. But maybe that’s exactly the point.

Specs & Design
Below the notchless 5.5-inch display of the Pixel 3, you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip with a mere 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 2,915 mAh battery. This year, Google decided to add wireless charging which was made possible by the new glass panel on the back of the phone. But these specs aren’t anything special. In fact, the Pixel 3’s spec sheet could be deemed disappointing if you’d had your eye on other fall releases like the LG V40, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 or the OnePlus 6T. All those phones offer better internals than Google’s Pixel devices without too much of a price bump.

So, if the story of the new Pixel phones isn’t about specs, is it about design? Looking at the Pixel 3, there’s really not much of a difference when comparing it to last year’s Pixel 2. The basic size and shape of the phones are almost identical, allowing the newer device to fit into cases built for last year’s model. It actually used my Pixel 2 cases for the phone for about a week while I was waiting for my Pixel 3 fabric case to show up. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better than nothing. While I usually don’t use cases on phones during my review period, the glass back panel of the Pixel 3 made me paranoid. With hours of the first Pixel 3 unboxings hitting the web, multiple reports had surfaced that the frosted portion of the glass back panel was extremely susceptible to scratches. I’m typically very careful with how I handle smartphones and have never cracked a screen, but I have managed to crack the glass on multiple smartphones in the past 18 months – something I’m not very proud of.

On a positive note, the display of the Pixel 3 is far better this time around. The OLED panels used on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL do not have any of the same issues at last year’s models which were the source of many complaints. Google has even included a new “adaptive” color mode which delivers higher contrast and a bit more saturation, making colors on the display pop just a bit more. I found that switching to the “Natural” color profile produces a better image when watching video at night, but it’s definitely not a big issue since changing the setting only takes a few seconds. 
The new displays also improve outdoor visibility significantly. With last year’s Pixel 2, I struggled to see anything on the display when looking at the phone in direct sunlight. With the Pixel 3, I can easily view the display, even without bumping the brightness up to its max.
Software & Performance
While the specs and design of the Pixel 3 don’t really have much to offer, the phone’s software is really what sets the phone apart from the competition. Unlike 95% of the Android devices out there, the Pixel 3 runs stock Android. This means there’s no bloatware to speak of, the device receives Android updates directly from Google and you shouldn’t have to worry about performance. Now, I say “shouldn’t” because previous Pixel devices have performed quite well, but that’s not really the case with the Pixel 3.

Thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, the Pixel 3 is more than capable of keeping up with you throughout the day. The UI is smooth, apps load quickly and the phone can keep up with any game that you throw at it. But there is one issue – the Pixel 3 struggles to keep apps open. In fact, the phone will sometimes close apps ever while they’re being used. This happens on a daily basis. The Pixel 3 will kill the app that’s playing music in the background, close out of Android Auto while I’m using it for directions and it’s even closed Twitter a few times while scrolling through my feed.
Google has acknowledged that the pixel 3’s aggressive RAM management isn’t what users should be experiencing and that a fix is in the works, but it’s surprising that something like this made it past Google’s quality control before the phone was shipped out into the world.
As for Android Pie, I really don’t have any complaints. The new gesture navigation system works well and I have to admit that I love swiping the pill to the right to switch back to the most recent app. I enjoy the other small visual tweaks and improvements that Android Pie has sprinkled throughout the UI like the notification toggle that appears when you press the volume button, the screen rotation icon that shows up when you have Auto-rotate turned off and the integration of Gmail’s Smart Compose feature into Android itself which will predict what you want to type.

That being said, Android Pie has also introduced a lot of features that are hidden too deep to be useful or are completely useless even though they’re right in your face. The App Actions which are suggested right at the top of the App Drawer are ridiculously annoying. The Adaptive Battery feature doesn’t seem to do much to improve battery life, but it does a great job at delaying notifications that I actually need. While new versions of Android typically include a lot of new changes, it doesn’t feel like the changes that were introduced with Android Pie aren’t as substantial as those that we’ve seen in the past.
One feature which has gotten a lot of attention is the new call screening capability of the Pixel 3. If you’re not in the mood to answer the phone and talk to someone from a number you’re not familiar with, you can have the Google Assistant screen the call for you while showing a real-time transcript of the conversation on the screen. It’s an ingenious new used of the Google Assistant which can come in quite handy if you get a lot of spam calls.
Cameras
If you’re an Android purist, you’re probably already made up your mind about the pixel 3, but if you’re still wondering why you should choose this phone over any other smartphone, we have an answer for you — the cameras. The hardware on the Pixel 3’s main 12.2MP sensor isn’t anything special. It’s paired with a 28mm f/1.8 lens which features laser and dual-pixel autofocus, optical image stabilization and also uses electronic image stabilization while recording video. But while the hardware isn’t any different than what you’d find on competing devices, the special sauce lies hidden in the software. Like Google has done in the past, the Pixel 3 uses computational photography to deliver images which are absolutely phenomenal. Google’s stepped things up on the software side when compared to the Pixel 2, but the concept is the same. The phone continually captures multiple exposures and then uses multiple frames to create a single image.

To put it simply, the Pixel 3 captures better images than 99% of the smartphones which were released this year. The images offer better dynamic range, more accurate white balance, great color reproduction while also keeping the images crisp and sharp. Despite only having a single lens on the back, the Pixel 3 can also capture portrait-style photos which blur out the background. Take a look at a few shots that we’ve captured with the Pixel 3.

But what really sets the Pixel 3’s camera experience apart from last year’s Pixel 2 is the dual-sensor camera on the front of the phone. While Google’s late to the game on this one, it’s actually one of the first to include an ultra-wide angle lens on the front of the phone. With the 19mm lens you can now fit an extra friend or two in your selfies or simply get a wider view of the scenery around you. If Google were to include optical image stabilization as well, it would be the perfect device for vlogging. Well… maybe not, since the audio captured by the Pixel 3 while recording video is absolutely atrocious. The ambient noise cancellation that Google has implemented does a great job of eliminating background noise, but it also takes a serious degrades the tone of the audio that you want to record. It’s likely that Google can fix this with a future update, but this is an issue that the Pixel 2 struggled with as well.
Battery Life & Wireless Charging
When it comes to battery life, the story of the Pixel 3 is pretty much the same as it was last year — it’s OK, but it could be much better. In my two weeks with the phone, the 2,915 mAh battery inside the Pixel 3 is able to keep the phone running for about 14 hours on a single charge with a mix of web browsing, a few hours of Spotify, an hour or two of video through YouTube or Netflix, a few short gaming sessions, random Twitter scrolling and a few other things mixed in there. The number is more than enough for most people to get through a full day, but it’s quite disappointing when similar devices are packed with 3,500 mAh batteries which allow them to last much longer. The larger Pixel 3 XL does come with a 3430 mAh battery, but due to its larger display, its battery life is only marginally better. The included 18w fast charger which can charge the phone from 0 to 100% in less than 90 minutes, so it’s not like you’ll be glued to the wall socket if all day if you just need a quick 20% boost. 

As mentioned before, I’m not really a fan of smartphones with glass on the back, so it’s nice to see that Google didn’t just add a glass back to the phone and simply call it a day. The Pixel 3 is the first device in Google’s lineup to feature wireless charging. In fact, Google added a new interface to the Pixel 3 when the phone recognizes that it’s on the Pixel Stand wireless charger — giving you quick access to your music, notifications, Google Assistant and more. It actually gives you many of the same features that you get with the Google Home Hub, even switching over to a live video feed from your Nest Hello doorbell if someone’s at your door. The only downside is that the $79 Pixel Stand is ridiculously expensive when compared to other Qi wireless chargers and stands.
The Verdict
I have to admit that I was pretty excited for the Pixel 3. I’d been using the Pixel 2 as my main device since it came out last year and had high expectations for the Pixel 3. The phone does deliver a better camera experience and slightly better performance thanks to the newer Snapdragon 845, but it honestly doesn’t have the same appeal as last year’s device did. The Pixel 3 is still an incredible smartphone, but it seems to be lacking the “it” factor which makes it a “must buy” smartphone when matching it up to the competition.
My feelings about the Pixel 3 might be different if it was the same price as last year’s model, but apart from the camera experience and the fact that it runs stock Android (if that’s important to you), there’s no real reason to pick u the Pixel 3 over any of its competitors.
 

Google Pixel 3 Rating: star_emptystar_25star_50star_75star_full (X.X / 5)

The Good

Stock Android
Great selfies
Incredible main camera
Awesome front-facing speakers
Wireless Charging

The Bad

Mediocre battery life
No headphone jack
Poor RAM management
Scratches easily

The Bottom Line
The Pixel 3 is the perfect device if you’ve been waiting for a flagship smartphone with an incredible camera running stock Android.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Huawei Mate 20 Pro versus Pixel 3 XL, LG V40, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 spec comparison

With the introduction of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, we now have a clear idea of what the best fall Android smartphones look like. While the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Pixel 3 XL, LG V40 and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 are all large smartphones with incredible specs, each device has unique features which set it apart from its competitors. Naturally, we’re still missing the OnePlus 6T from the lineup, but we’ll update the list one OnePlus officially unveils its fall flagship smartphone in a few weeks.
Based on the table below, which device do you think will suit you best?

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Google Pixel 3 XL
LG V40 ThinQ
Samsung Galaxy Note9

Screen size
6.39 inches
6.3 inches
6.4 inches
6.4 inches

Resolution
1440 x 3120
1440 x 2960
1440 x 3120
1,440 x 2,960

Density
538ppi
491ppi
503ppi
516ppi

Processor
Kirin 980
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

RAM
6GB
4GB

6GB

6 / 8GB

Storage
128GB
64 / 128GB
64GB
128 / 512GB

Battery
4,200mAh
3,450 mAh
3,300mAh
4,000mAh

OS
Android 9.0
Android 9.0
Android 8.1
Andorid 8.1

Rear camera
Triple cameras: Standard 40MP, f/1.8, 27mm, Wide-angle 20MP, f/2.2, 16mm, Telephoto (3x) 8MP, f/2.4, 80mm
12.2 MP, f/1.8, 27mm, 1.4µm pixel size, OIS, laser autofocus
Tripple cameras: Standard 12MP, f/1.5, Wide-angle 16MP, f/1.9, Telephoto 12MP, f/2.2
Dual cameras: Standard 12MP, f/1.5-2.4, Telephoto 12MP, f/2.4

Front camera
24MP, f/2.0, 26mm
8MP, f/2.2, 27mm, 8MP depth sensor
Standard 8MP, f/1.9, Wide-angle 5MP, f/2.2
8MP, f/1.7,

Bluetooth
v5.0
v5.0

v5.0

v5.0

NFC
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

Dimensions
157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm
158 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm
178.8 x 75.7 x 7.6mm
161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm

Weight
189g
184 g
169g
201g

Water Resistance
IP68
IP68
IP68
IP68

Wireless Charging
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

Special features
3D Face Unlock, Reverse Wireless Charging, In-display Fingerpring Scanner
Fingerpring Scanner, Stock Android, Unlimited Full-resolution Google Photos storage
3.5mm headphone jack, 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, Fingerprint Scanner
3.5mm headphone jack, Iris Scanner, Fingerprint Scanner, S Pen

 
 

Google trolls ‘Pixel Ultra’ hopefuls with ‘mini Pixel’

With the launch of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL less than a week away, Google is officially ramping up the hype for its new devices. The company’s @madebygoogle Instagram account shared an image which portrays a “mini Pixel” with a caption that reads “We’ve heard rumors of a mini Pixel. Which begs the question how “mini” is too mini?” The image shows off a few phone mockups of various sizes while also including a sketch of a mini Pixel that’s small enough to be attached to your keyring.
Since there have not been any rumors regarding a small Pixel 3 device, the Instagram post is obviously directed squarely at the Pixel Ultra speculation that popped up a few weeks back. 
On a personal note, I’d actually be more intrigued by a Mini Pixel than I would a Pixel Ultra. Last years I purchased the regular Pixel 2 and plan on picking up the Pixel 3 instead of the Pixel 3 XL. While large devices are great for consuming media or playing games, I prefer smaller devices since they fit better in my pocket and are generally more conducive for one-handed use.
If you had to choose between a Mini Pixel or a Pixel Ultra, which one would you prefer?
 

View this post on Instagram

We’ve heard rumors of a mini Pixel. Which begs the question how “mini” is too mini? We have a feeling the next one will be a bit bigger than this. Tune in on 10/9 to see for yourself. #madebygoogle . . Doodle by Google hardware designer, @jac.bae.
A post shared by Made by Google (@madebygoogle) on Oct 2, 2018 at 7:02pm PDT

 

Pixel 3 XL hands-on video shows off Google’s upcoming flagship smartphone

It seems we can’t go a single day without a new Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL leak. This time around, the leak is actually a hands-on video from Rozetked, a Russian publication which shared a lot of pictures and details about the Pixel 3 XL a while back.
The Pixel 3 XL hands-on video gives us a detailed look at the phone’s hardware, showing it off from multiple angles while giving us only a few glimpses at the phone’s software. While there aren’t really any new details revealed in the new video, we’re sure that many of you will still be happy to see how the phone looks in the hand.

Our main takeaway is that the large notch at the top of the display isn’t really as bad is it looks in all the leaked pictures that we’ve seen so far. We’d prefer that the notch wasn’t as deep or that it wasn’t there at all, but it doesn’t change the way that the phone works and will likely go unnoticed after a few days of using the phone.

The launch of the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL is still more than 10 days off, but we suspect we’ll see a few more leaks before Google officially unveils the two devices. The most recent leaks have revealed the phone’s wireless charging dock, the new Pixel 3 animated wallpapers and the pricing for the two phones. We still don’t know when the Pixel 3’s retail launch date will be, which countries the phone will be available in or a definitive list of US carrier partners, so there’s still plenty more that can be revealed before now and October 9th.

Do the new iPhones pose a threat to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL?

With yesterday’s unveiling of Apple’s iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, you might be wondering how the upcoming Pixel 3 handsets from Google will stack up against the latest iPhones. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL won’t officially be unveiled until October 9th, but at this point, there’s very little we don’t know about the two phones.
To kick things off, we do need to point out that Apple introduced three new smartphones this year — the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and the iPhone. While we’d like to say that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL would be going head-to-head with the iPhone Xs (5.8-inch display) and iPhone Xs Max (6.5-inch display), the introduction of the iPhone Xr throws a wrench in those plans. The new iPhone Xr has a 6.1-inch display, a single camera on the back and its $749 base price point is significantly lower than the $999 Apple will be charging for the iPhone Xs. The other reason for the phone’s lower price is that the body of the iPhone Xr is built with an aluminum frame instead of the steel frame that the iPhone Xs is equipped with.
Pixel 3 XL versus iPhone Xs Max
Google’s upcoming Pixel 3 XL and its rumored 6.7-inch display seems to match up nicely with the iPhone Xs Max since they both will have extremely large displays. The 6.5-inch 2436×1125 pixel display on the Apple iPhone Xs Max will be slightly smaller than the Pixel 3 XL’s 6.7-inch, 2960×1440 pixel panel. Both devices come with hefty notches at the top, so you’ll definitely need to embrace the notch life if you’re planning on picking up either of these phones.
The iPhone Xs Max does have the advantage when it does to camera hardware. Not only does the iPhone has a dual-sensor setup on the back with a 2x optical zoom lens on the secondary sensor, the main sensor has increased in size, featuring the same 1.4μm pixel size as the Pixel 2’s camera sensor. Apple is also jumping on the computational photography bandwagon with a new Smart HDR feature which will mimic the Pixel’s HDR+ setting to produce better images with every shot. On top of that, the Apple’s iPhone will be able to adjust the bokeh blur when taking portrait shots. 
Pixel 3 versus iPhone Xs, iPhone Xr
The matchup between the Pixel XL is pretty straightforward, but comparing the Pixel 3 against the iPhone Xs or the iPhone Xr is a bit trickier. Google’s Pixel 3 will be smaller than both of Apple’s phones. The iPhone Xr’s $749 price tag will likely be close to the Pixel 3’s, but its 6.1-inch display will dwarf the 5.5-inch display Google’s phone is rumored to have. The only advantage the Pixel 3 appears to have is its 2160 x 1080 pixel display with a 440 ppi compared to the iPhone Xr’s 1,792×828 pixel display with a 326ppi.
When it comes to the iPhone Xs, the story is pretty much the same as last year. Apple’s phone is significantly more expensive than what the Pixel 3 will sell for, mainly due to the extra camera hardware on the back and the surgical steel used for the phone’s frame.
But in the end, the details listed here don’t really matter. The majority of Apple users will continue to buy Apple phones and Android users will likely be sticking with Android. The new Pixel 3 devices and new iPhones don’t really offer anything revolutionary that would lead to a shift in the market. Consumers tend to buy specific smartphones based on the overall experience that they offer and the final price. Besides the phenomenal camera experience that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are expected to offer, more people will be buying Google’s Pixel devices simply because they are running stock Android. ON the other side of the fence, Apple is hoping to capitalize on the notched-display form factor it introduced last year by delivering it at a price that’s much more affordable. That being said, Apple has finally caught the extra-large smartphone bug with the iPhone Xs Max which may help them retain customers who were thinking of abandoning Apple for a large-screen Android device.
How do you think things will play out between the new iPhone’s and Google’s upcoming Pixel 3 lineup?
 

Google’s notch-less Pixel 3 poses for the camera, Verizon exclusivity now in doubt

With all the Pixel 3 XL leaks that have been floating around recently, it was inevitable that the smaller Pixel 3 would break cover eventually. Images of the Pixel 3 made an appearance on Reddit, showing off the phone from a few different angles, along with screenshots showing some of the phone’s specifications.
The design of the Pixel 3 is pretty much identical to the larger Pixel 3 XL — save for its notch-less 5.5-inch display. While we’re not here to debate the merits of the notch, we have to say that the front of the Pixel 3 looks a lot less distracting than the Pixel 3 XL does.
When it comes to the phone’s specs, the leak confirms that the phone comes equipped with a 2,915mAh battery, 8MP dual front-facing cameras, and a 5.5-inch 2160 x 1080 display with HDR support. Based on previous rumors, the Pixel 3 is expected to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

The last piece of information to accompany the leak is likely the most interesting. Rumors have claimed that the Pixel 3 and 3 XL would be exclusive to Verizon, but the source of the images claims that the device in question is a carrier test unit for a different service provider. The name of the specific service provider was not disclosed, but at least now there’s a chance that Google’s upcoming flagship devices will have a chance to reach a wider audience — at least here in the US.
[Reddit via 9to5Google]