Many modern Android devices use a display technology called AMOLED. These screens differ from traditional LCD displays in that each pixel emits its own light, so a backlight is not required. Even better, when rendering a black element on the screen, AMOLED displays simply don't light up the associated pixels, meaning virtually no power is used. Since black pixels use little to no power on an AMOLED screen, more black pixels means lower battery consumption.
Root, TWRP, Xposed, Magisk, custom ROMs — before you can have any of these, the first thing you should do is unlock your bootloader. Thankfully, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are some of the most modder-friendly phones out there, so you only need to send a single fastboot command to unlock the bootloader.
When it comes to technology, there are no bigger names than Google and Apple. They're the two most valuable companies in the world, and they've swapped places a few times over the last year, so they're truly neck-and-neck. But let's put business aside for a moment — which of these companies makes the better flagship phone?
The reviews for the Google Pixel phone have hit the web. There's a lot of praise, but not all are so positive. We've collected some of the best takes on the new devices from the top tech sites around.
While unveiling various other gadgets, Google announced the Pixel Buds at their October 4th event in San Francisco. These wireless earbud-style headphones are particularly interesting thanks to their ability to offer real-time language translation via Google Translate when paired with a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL.
Three variants of the Pixel 2 have appeared in Google's Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code, confirming various suspicions about which processor will power the Pixel 2.
In recent weeks, thousands of Nexus 6P users have reported that their devices are shutting down with 30% or more battery life remaining. The phones won't start back up until they're plugged into a charger, so it's as if the battery completely dies even though there is plenty of juice left.
Every smartphone manufacturer is susceptible to defects, but after dropping a good chunk of change on a shiny new device, we as consumers have little tolerance for such issues. We want our gadgets to be perfect in every regard, so even the tiniest flaw is irksome.
The latest trend in smartphone design is all about the display. Manufacturers want larger screens with smaller bezels. The rumors are heating up about Google's next big release, the Pixel 2, and with that, we may have a clue that shows us Google is hopping on the display train.
There were some new hurdles to clear, and then there were a few more, but legendary root developer Chainfire has created a fully-functional root method for Google's Pixel and Pixel XL flagships. Like past devices, this method relies on the SuperSU ZIP, but now, there's an additional file that needs to be flashed in order to bypass issues with Android Verified Boot (AVB).
The brand new Pixel and Pixel XL, Google's first direct attempts at taking on the iPhone, haven't rolled out exactly how Google would have liked. The devices have already had more than their fair share of issues, starting with the camera, and now extending to the built-in speaker. The camera issues were marked as "solved" by Google, but the lens flare is still very much there, just not as prominent.
Google makes Android, but now, Google makes its own phones, too. Until this point, they've always stayed on the software side of things and let Samsung and friends handle the hardware, but their new Pixel phones are changing all of that.
Google's new Pixel phones are shaking things up in the world of Android, as the Nexus line is no more, and the Mountain View tech giant has now become a smartphone OEM. The long-term impact of these moves remains to be seen, but we already know that Google, the manufacturer, will be adding extra software and UI features to the version of Android that ships with its Pixels.
Google worked with design agency B-Reel to create some unique wallpapers for its Pixel and Pixel XL flagships, and the end result is quite stunning. These "Live Earth" wallpapers, as they're called, combine Google Earth's high-def satellite imagery with a 3D parallax effect that changes perspective as you move between screens.
Walking while taking a video is always a pain. But it doesn't have to be, especially with Google's new Pixel smartphone and its new and improved Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) feature. A new video, released on Reddit, pitted the Pixel's EIS against the Nexus 6P with some incredible results.
The Pixel 2 has finally arrived. Google unveiled their newest flagship phones on October 4th, and there's quite a few changes in store. For one thing, most of Google's official renders have already showed us something new: The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will have a Google Search bar at the bottom of their home screens.
Google's own devices have always been the first to get new Android features — but unlike the Nexus series, last year's Pixel phones have a handful of exclusive tweaks that were never intended to trickle down to other devices once the newer Android version rolled out to them. These Pixel exclusives included the Pixel launcher and a unique set of on-screen navigation buttons.
For every cool new thing Android Oreo brought to the table, Android 8.1 adds a bit of polish. After a brief but successful beta period, Google started rolling out the official 8.1 update to its Pixel and Nexus devices today, and it's everything Android 8.0 should have been.
The Pixel 2 has a number of new unique features. One of the most interesting is the Now Playing option to identify songs you hear on a daily basis. Now Playing displays the artist and title of songs playing in the background of your day and shows this information on the lock screen. While this functionality is incredibly useful, the song history is not saved anywhere on your phone.
Update 10/22: We were curious to see if the transparency was available when you activate the Pixel 2's automatic dark theme by setting a dark wallpaper, and we're happy to report that it is!
The Pixel and Pixel XL come with an awesome data-saving feature called Wi-Fi Assistant that automatically connects to open internet hotspots, then creates a secure VPN on your device to keep your data safe.
Thanks to LlabTooFeR's Pixel system image leak, we're starting to see a lot of the features from Google's upcoming smartphones ported to other Android devices. Case in point: Charles Chow at Chromloop was able to pull the brand new camera app out of the Pixel's firmware and turn it into an installable APK.
Everyone's been raving about the Pixel's top-notch camera, and the acclaim is well-deserved. The main difference between Google's new camera software on their Pixel phones and the older software on their Nexus devices is that the Pixel has almost no perceptible lag between tapping the shutter button and the image being captured—even with HDR+ mode enabled.
Now that Android Nougat lets you add your own custom Quick Settings tiles, your pull-down menu is probably getting a lot more crowded than it used to be, with all sorts of new and useful toggles. But the trouble is, you can only add up to nine entries before your Quick Settings tiles spill over into a second pane that you have to access by swiping, and that's not exactly "quick."
Google caught a lot of flak for the Pixel 2 XL's POLED display issues, regardless of whether the problems were real or perceived. It's too late to contract another screen manufacturer at this point, but Google is doing the next-best thing: Fixing as many user complaints as possible with software updates.
Are we about to witness the future of Android OS? Of Google? Of the entire smartphone ecosystem?! Google has just turned 18 today (right?), Android just had its 8th birthday, and the rumor mill is firing on all cylinders in the lead-up to the October 4 launch event where they'll announce their latest hardware and software products.
Despite concerns with SafetyNet, Google actually cares about root. Every phone they sell has an unlockable bootloader, so you can toggle a setting and send a Fastboot command, then start flashing custom firmware right away. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL continue this tradition, and now they have an official root method.
Have you ever been listening to the radio and a song comes on that you can't identify? But you're driving, so you can't open your phone and use your favorite app to find the song's name. Well, with a feature called "Now Playing" in the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google has solved this problem.
Google's new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have a new camera mode called "Motion Photos." As the name implies, it's quite similar to Apple's Live Photos feature or HTC's Zoe before it. For every picture you take, a few seconds of video footage from before and after the shot was taken will be embedded in the file, which gives you two ways to relive that moment.
The Pixel and Pixel XL both use AMOLED screens, which are noted for their deeper blacks and sharper contrast ratios when compared to traditional LCD panels. However, AMOLED displays still have one fairly major downside, and that's the fact that they're vulnerable to screen burn-in.
There's one thing that I've always liked about iPhones, and that's their centered digital clock in the status bar at the top of the screen. On Android, it's always on the right side by default, and there's no easy setting that lets you just change it to the center position. But if you have a Google Pixel XL, there's a simple modification you can perform to get exactly that—a centered status bar clock.
It's an ongoing saga, and it's on the verge of ruining one of the most anticipated smartphone releases this year: LG's new POLED displays certainly seem to have a few issues. But the biggest issue of them all — an apparent susceptibility to screen burn-in — may not be the problem we thought it was.
Unlike traditional backlit LCD technology, OLED screens don't use any power to display black pixels. Many manufacturers have taken advantage of this by implementing an always-on display, which only lights up a few pixels here and there to show relevant info when your phone is locked. But this leads to extra battery drain, albeit small, and it increases the risk of screen burn-in.
The Pixel 2 has a really cool feature that identifies any songs playing nearby and automatically displays the track's name on your lock screen. It's honestly one of the most inventive smartphone features we've seen in a while, especially considering how Google did it — but strangely, it's not enabled by default.
Google's got quite a few tricks up its sleeve with their Pixel and Pixel XL flagships, including functionality we've never seen before on Android. One awesome feature is called "App Shortcuts," and the basic premise is strikingly similar to Apple's 3D Touch—just long-press an app icon, then you'll get a pop-up that lets you perform quick actions.
Starting in October, many Nexus 6P users have been experiencing a bug that causes their phone to completely shut down, even though there was 20% or more battery life remaining. At first, it was thought to be a direct result of the recent Android Nougat update, but a combination of factors indicate that this isn't necessarily the case—or, at least, it's not the only problem.
With the release of the Pixel and Pixel XL, Google is officially a smartphone manufacturer. But their mobile endeavors aren't just limited to software and hardware, as Project Fi has already made them into a legitimate cell service provider.
Update 10/12: Since the event has now ended, we figured we'd update this page with a link to a replay version of the Google event. So if you missed any of the goodies or just want to give yourself a refresher, jump down to the "Where to Watch" section below.
Most newer phones come with a grayscale mode that you can activate when you want to save some battery life. The way it works is simple: If your graphics chip only has to render elements in black and white instead of full 32-bit color, it won't consume as much power.
The May 2017 security update has begun rolling out to Nexus and Pixel devices, which is usually great news. It means that your device is now being updated to protect you from the latest exploits and vulnerabilities found in Android. At other times, though, security updates patch root methods like Dirty COW, which is extremely frustrating for users and developers alike. Especially since most OEMs don't condone rooting or even unlocking the bootloader on their devices.