After poor sales of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Google needs to reinvigorate its Pixel lineup, devices it's been pushing heavily over the last couple years. On May 7, Google had the eyes and ears of the technology industry at its Google I/O keynote, making it the perfect time to announce new devices that would attract a different crowd of users. Meet the Pixel 3a and 3a XL.
It's always a big deal when the company that makes Android releases a new phone. Google's Pixel series has made a name for itself in three short years behind its camera prowess, but now it's time to start competing with the major players. That said, Google should like how their Pixel 4 and 4 XL stack up against the iPhones and Galaxies of the world.
After months of leaks and rumors, Google has finally unveiled the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. If there were such a thing, the Pixel would be the one "true" Android flagship — so even if you don't plan on buying a Pixel 2, you'll want you learn more about this milestone device.
Update: Google's new Pixel models have been released! Check out our full guides on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL to see all the details, but we'll leave the rumor roundup intact below for posterity.
The "controversial" Pixel. No phone in the history of Google's Pixel lineup deserves this title more than the Pixel 3 XL. For some (including myself), the design is a welcome change that embodies the modern design of 2018 flagship phones. For others, it has an ugly huge display notch that destroys symmetry.
Google dropped new features for its Pixel lineup of phones, and there's something here for everyone.
With all the controversy around the Pixel 3 XL, the regular-sized Pixel 3 might be the phone of choice for most users. Thanks to the huge boost in screen size, the little brother is now an easier pickup for those who like a bigger screen. And once more, the internals are the same, giving you the same experience as the 3 XL without the display notch.
The Pixel 2 is a solid upgrade when compared to the 2016 model, but we've reached a point where the latest generation of a smartphone is never leaps and bounds better than the last. It's hard to justify dropping nearly a grand on a phone when it doesn't improve your situation much — especially when a few software tweaks will give you most of the upgrade for free.
News: This Guy Tested the Google Pixel XL Against the Nexus 6P (Camera Comparison, Google Assistant, & More)
Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are available for pre-order right now, but the general public won't start to get their hands on these devices for another week or two. Tech reporters got some hands-on time at Google's launch event on October 4th, but camera testing wasn't allowed, and the Wi-Fi coverage at the event was too flooded for real-world performance reviews.
Sad news for fans of Google's fantastic Pixel line. Google confirmed today that the Pixel and Pixel XL won't be getting any software or security updates past October 2019. What does that mean for you? Well, your Pixel might start acting a little ... weird soon. Should we run to Georgia and join the ricktatorship before that happens? Get the Pixel 2 when it's ready for launch? Or maybe ... we wait things out and grab the next Pixel after that?
Google's Pixel phones claimed the top spot in our ranking of the best phones for rooting, but they do have one drawback from a modder's perspective: Because of their A/B partition layout for seamless updates, the devices don't have official support for Magisk. Thankfully, though, developer goodwin has stepped in with a fix, so we can now get Magisk working on the Pixel and Pixel XL.
Since we wouldn't have Android without Google, everyone has come to realize that the Pixel smartphones are a prime example of what an Android smartphone should be. With so many unique software related features, no wonder people want that Pixel experience.
Update 10/14: Developer paphonb has added rootless Google Now integration to the leaked Pixel 2 launcher, so now, anyone running Android Nougat or Oreo can get the full Pixel 2 home screen experience. For those running Lollipop or Marshmallow, we've left the unaltered leaked version linked out below, but we've added a new link for the tweaked version with Google Now integration.
Now that Google has announced its new Pixel smartphones, folks who rushed to buy an iPhone 7 might be experiencing a bit of buyer's remorse. The new Pixel and Pixel XL are packed to the brim with cutting-edge features and top-notch hardware, and Google seems to be taking direct aim at the iPhone 7 with its Pixel marketing (and their groan-worthy jokes during the keynote).
Unless you own an Exynos model, there won't be much development on the custom ROM front for the Galaxy S9. But that doesn't mean you have to put up with all of the UI quirks from Samsung Experience (née TouchWiz). With a little work, you can give your S9 a stock Android makeover, even without root.
Unlike past Pixel releases, it appears Google isn't done with their current lineup. Rumors have it that Google plans to put out two new phones that act as budget variants for their existing devices. And based on the leaks, it looks like one of these variants might be better than its non-budget counterpart.
Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL flagships are some very powerful smartphones, but as with any high-tech gadget, they're only as capable as the user allows them to be. So if you're a proud new Pixel owner, it's time to bone up on a few new features to help get the most out of your device.
How To: Install Dirty Unicorns on Your Pixel & Get Custom ROM Features Without Losing Motion Sense & Active Edge
If you've ever been into custom ROMs, you likely know the Dirty Unicorns name pretty well. It's been synonymous with unique features and awesome tweaks when compared to stock. Recently, Dirty Unicorns has returned again in a big way with some neat features for Android 10.
When compared to last year's model, the Pixel 4a has upgrades that go beyond the spec sheet. But since it's one generation old, 2019's Pixel 3a can be had for one hell of a discount right now, and it's still got two full years of software updates coming its way. So which one really is the better buy?
The Pixel 2 XL had what Google called a circular polarizer to ensure the screen would be visible from any orientation while wearing polarized sunglasses. They made a pretty big deal out of it at their 2017 event, but in 2018, there was no mention of whether or not this feature would return in the Pixel 3. It did.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were built by different manufacturers. This is pretty common knowledge among Android fans at this point — Google's smaller Pixel 2 was built by HTC, while the larger Pixel 2 XL was built by LG. What would the Pixel 2 XL look like if HTC had followed through and delivered on the larger phone for Google? Today we have some answers.
There's no debating that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are top contenders for the most beautifully designed handsets of 2017, but the same can't be said for their TouchWiz interface, which has been met with lukewarm reception at best.
Google's Pixel smartphone is striking up some heated competition between phone makers HTC, LG, TCL, and Coolpad, as the Pixel 3 gets ready to release in 2018. Yep, you heard that right—not the Pixel, not the Pixel 2, but the Pixel 3—which shows that Google is really committed to the future of its new flagship line.
As if you needed another example of Android's open-source awesomeness, before the Pixel phones were even released, a flashable ZIP that will give you almost all of Google's Pixel-exclusive features on other devices appeared.
It looks like the dust is finally starting to settle on Google's POLED PR nightmare. The Pixel 2 XL — one of the most hotly-anticipated phones of the year — has been plagued by screen issues and worries. While it is certainly not without its faults, Google has created several software fixes and is offering a 2-year warranty for screen burn-in, so we can rest a bit easier about purchasing Google's latest Pixel.
When it comes to modifying Android, the single, most powerful tool available is TWRP custom recovery. It's even more capable than simple root access when it comes to changing the look and feel of your software, and you can even use TWRP to root your device in a few simple steps.
The battle between the Pixels and the iPhones has been heating up over the last few years, and this year's bout is the best one yet, with Google's Pixel 3 taking on Apple's iPhone XS.
Google made an entirely new launcher for its Pixel devices, and it's got a lot of cool features such as a swipe gesture to open your app drawer and an entire home screen page dedicated to Google search. We've already shown you how to get this so-called Pixel Launcher on other devices, but there was always one feature that was missing.
Android Police reported that the upcoming Nexus phones would be getting an exclusive launcher this year, dubbed the "Nexus Launcher." This rumored home screen app was said to feature Google Now integration, a swipe-up app drawer gesture, and a few other finishing touches.
Not to be outdone by Apple and it's new line of flagship phones, Google has followed suit and finally announced the followup to their highly regarded Pixel line of handsets — the aptly named Pixel 2. Thankfully, the tech giant has also joined in on the trend towards more durable devices, and has engineered both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL to have a rating of IP67 under the IEC standard 60529.
You watched the live stream, pored over the specs, and are now super excited for the Google Pixel 4. But specs don't tell you everything. After using the Pixel 4 XL for over a week now, we've found several things you wouldn't know without getting your hands on the phone.
Savor this moment: we've got a confirmed number of sales for the Google smartphone. We say this because unlike most hardware manufacturers, Google refuses to share official sales numbers for their phone. Instead, during earning reports they simply bundle the product under Alphabet's "Other Revenues", leaving us in the dark about how successful the product is.
With Google's new Pixel 4, we now have another device in the pool of phones designed for normal-sized hands. The other major player in this segment is as big as it gets — metaphorically. Apple's iPhone 11 Pro is the small phone to beat, but can Google be the one to dethrone it?
When it comes to modding an Android device, a custom kernel can take you farther than almost anything else. Most offer the ability to overclock your processor for performance gains, change your CPU governor, or even under-volt to increase battery life, among other features.
In the past, some of Google's Nexus devices have had root methods even before the phones hit shelves. The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are basically Nexus devices from a software standpoint, so why have we gone more than a week since release without a working root method or custom recovery?
The Pixel 3 XL versus Galaxy Note 9. Stock Android versus Samsung Experience. When I began this comparison, I thought the Pixel 3 XL would be unfairly outmatched. But after looking at the specs side-by-side, you'll see a different picture. This year, Google delivered a worthy alternative to Samsung's best offering.
Besides the Apple vs. Samsung competition, few battles are as vocal as the battle between the best Pixel and best iPhone. This year, it's the Pixel 3 XL and iPhone XS Max, two phones that are equipped with minor hardware updates from their predecessors, though both showcase significant OS-level improvements.
Reading through various internet forums, it certainly sounds like the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are attracting more iPhone users than any of Google's previous Nexus devices. The sales figures seem to back that up, too, as the Pixel is outpacing last year's Nexus 6P, and pre-order demand has exceeded Google's expectations, causing delays in shipments. (We reached out to Google but they wouldn't give us any specifics on sales numbers or numbers of switchers.)
Android 11 won't be available as a beta update for Pixel devices until May 2020. Until then, the only way to try the latest Android version is by manually installing it. Usually, this means carrier models are left out since their bootloaders are locked, but there's still a way to get it done.
Recently, buzz for the Google Pixel 4 has been rising thanks to a patent discovered by 91mobiles. This patent appears to show an almost bezel-less phone with a screen-to-body ratio we have only dreamt of, and no notch in sight. The problem is this isn't the Google Pixel 4. It's actually the Pixel 2 XL.