Google confirms Top Shot isn't coming to the Pixel 2, despite some seeing "dots" in Motion Photos

When Google introduced Top Shot to the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, it was viewed as a lifesaver for blurry shots, jittery shots, friends who’ve had too many shots (you know who they are), or just bad happenstance. Owners of other Pixel phones were a little jealous and wondered if the feature would ever make it back to their model. Well, the official answer is “no,” but if Pixel 2 and 2 XL owners happen to receive a Motion Photo taken on a Pixel 3, they should be able to see and save those Top Shots. Read MoreGoogle confirms Top Shot isn’t coming to the Pixel 2, despite some seeing “dots” in Motion Photos was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Help us choose the best smartphones of 2018

With the end of 2018 in sight, we thought this would be the perfect time to choose the best smartphones of the year. If you haven’t been paying close attention, 2018 has delivered quite a few outstanding devices. Sure, the notch has been present on most of them, but that really didn’t detract too much from the amazing cameras, performance and battery life that nearly all flagship devices packed in this year. 

Our team is working on our official list of best smartphones for 2018, but we also want your input for our official “Reader’s Choice Awards: Best Smartphones of 2018” article which will be going up early next week. 

What we need from you is your vote and a comment. The results of the poll will determine the winners and select comments about individual devices will be included for each device in the final article. If the device you want to vote for is not listed in the poll, feel free to add it in the poll’s comment section. 

We’re slowly working through our selection process for the best devices of 2018, but we’d really curious to see which smartphones you guys think is worthy to be crowned best smartphone of 2018. 

Take Our Poll

Pixel Sounds updated to v2.0, and it actually works now [APK Download]

Google laid the groundwork for a new app earlier this month, and now you can (maybe) use it. While the prospect of “Pixel Sounds” isn’t the most exciting, it improves a part of the Android experience that has long needed an overhaul. Pixel devices will soon have a more expansive set of ringtones with a much prettier interface. The app didn’t work when it first popped up, but v2.0 does, and it’s rolling out now. Read MorePixel Sounds updated to v2.0, and it actually works now [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Verizon brings next-gen RCS messaging to Pixel 3 and 3 XL, starting today

Update 1: 2018/12/06 2:19pm PST

Volunteers at the Universal Profile subreddit have confirmed in their own testing that RCS is working between Verizon, US Cellular, and Sprint subscribers, as well as some MVNOs based on

RCS has been a long time coming, but the last few carrier holdouts in the US are finally starting to push out support for the “enhanced messaging” standard. Earlier this year, T-Mobile rolled the feature out to the Galaxy S7, then the S8, and now Verizon is joining in on the fun a bit earlier than originally expected, pushing out RCS support to Google’s latest Pixel 3 and 3 XL starting this morning. Read MoreVerizon brings next-gen RCS messaging to Pixel 3 and 3 XL, starting today was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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 adds eSIM support for Google Fi, Sprint and other EU carriers

The Google Pixel 2 was the first major smartphone that featured eSIM capability. The eSIM functionality allows you to enable network connection via software directly on your device rather than needing a physical SIM card from a specific service provider. The company has announced that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, which also have eSIM capability, will now support a lot more service providers. The devices eSIM functionality has been expanded to support Google Fi and Sprint in the US, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone in Germany, EE in the UK, Airtel and Reliance Jio in India, as well as Truphone and Gigsky in various countries.
Google also announced a new program that will enable manufacturers to more easily integrate eSIM functionality into their devices. Details are light but this should help further the technology and allow users to quickly and easily switch between service providers.
The new eSIM support for additional carriers will be rolling out over the next few months, but unfortunately, no concrete dates have been given.
Source: Google

Google’s December security patch includes much-needed memory fix

Every first Monday of the month, we’re used to seeing Google launch security patches for its supported devices. This month is no different, as Google has released the December 2018 security patch.
The patch not only fixes a bunch of security bugs, but also features the long awaited memory performance fixes. Android Pie has long been killing apps in the background (even if you were using them a second ago) and it’s even affected devices other than Pixel/Nexus devices and we hope this fix will help. There are also some camera fixes for Pixel users included as well.
Surprisingly, we’re seeing the updates hit the Nexus 5X and 6P, both of which have reached their end of life. It’s good to see Google support these old devices even when their three years are up and the company has no obligation to update them.

December’s software release is here. Check your Essential Phone for the update.
— Essential (@essential) December 3, 2018

Essential is once again releasing its security update on the same day as Google, having not missed a single security update in recent memory. Hopefully this also includes the memory fixes, as the device was affected by poor RAM management issues once it was updated to Android Pie.
If you want to download the Pixel factory images or OTA files, hit the links. Otherwise, you may need to wait for the update to hit your phone!
Via: Android Authority

Pixel 3 versus OnePlus 6T camera comparison

As we’ve already seen in our Pixel 3 versus LG G7 and Pixel 3 versus Pixel 2 camera comparisons, Google’s 2018 flagship smartphone can capture incredible pictures. While the Pixel 3 may be the go-to device for Android purists, the new OnePlus 6T is also a viable option if you’re on the market for a device which offers a near-stock Android experience. OnePlus has never been known to deliver great camera hardware, but the company has stepped up its game in 2018. The question is: can the camera on the OnePlus 6T go head-to-head with the Pixel 3?
Let’s find out.
One the hardware front, the Pixel 3 is equipped with a single 12.2MP sensor for its main camera which is paired with an f/1.8, 28mm lens with PDAF, OIS and EIS. That setup isn’t much different from last year’s Pixel 2, but Google has upgraded the front-facing camera with two 8MP sensors which are respectively paired with f/1.8, 28mm and f/2.2, 19mm lenses. 
Pixel 3 versus Pixel 2 camera comparison
On the other side, we have the OnePlus 6T which sports two camera sensors on the back. Both sensors capture images at 16MP and feature f/1.7, 25mm lenses with PDAF and OIS. The front-facing camera on the OnePlus 6T has a 16MP sensor as well which is paired with an f/2.0, 25mm lens.
Both devices can capture 4K video, but the OnePlus 6T does have an advantage since it can capture 4K footage at 60fps and 1080p at 120pfs which is double the frame rate that the Pixel 3 can manage.

To get a feel for how the Pixel 3 and OnePlus 6T compare, take a look at the gallery below. Images from the Pixel 3 are on the left and those from the OnePlus 6T are on the right. For the Pixel peepers out there, you can see full-resolution images here.

[Update: Starting to arrive] Google Pixels will be able to save Call Screen transcripts later this year

Update 1: 2018/11/30 3:21pm PST

Google has begun rolling out the Call Screen transcript feature, though so far it appears to be far from widespread. To see if it’s gone live for your phone,

Call Screen was arguably the most impressive feature Google debuted at the Pixel 3 launch event. Google’s AI can answer the phone and ask what the purpose of the call is, providing an on-screen transcript of the conversation so you can decide if you want to talk to them or not. Read More[Update: Starting to arrive] Google Pixels will be able to save Call Screen transcripts later this year was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Get a combined $400 off a Pixel 3 or 3 XL via Project Fi, plus discounts on other phones

Google has dropped the price on its latest pair of flagships via the Google Store between $150-200, but Project Fi is set to one-up that offer. From now until next Tuesday (11/27) you can get a cumulative $400 off either the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL — $200 in an up-front discount, and $200 in the form of bill credits.
Don’t like bill credits? You can also get an up-front $400 off the LG V35 ThinQ or G7 ThinQ with activation. Read MoreGet a combined $400 off a Pixel 3 or 3 XL via Project Fi, plus discounts on other phones was written by the awesome team at Android Police.