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Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL review: The best gets (mostly) better

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[Deal Alert] JBL's Everest Elite 300 noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones are Amazon's deal of the day at $109.99 ($70 off)

Since Google's new Pixel 2s have Bluetooth battery indicators, it's probably time for you to invest in a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Just to see what that indicator looks like, of course. Not because $119.99 is a great deal for some active noise-canceling, on-ear Bluetooth headphones with up to 10 hours of battery life. Honest. 

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Bluetooth battery level indicators are working on the Pixel 2, and here's what they look like

We knew it was eventually coming, but it would appear that the Pixel 2 phones have yet another surprise hidden in them. Right now, supported Bluetooth devices on the Pixel 2 and 2XL are able to report and display their battery level. Unfortunately, checking that Bluetooth battery level on both the new phones isn't quite as easy as glancing at an ongoing notification, but there are a few different ways you can see it.

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YouTube has a zoom-to-fill mode for the Pixel 2 XL

More and more phones are being released with 18:9 screens (can we just call them 2:1?), and OEMs usually make small tweaks to Android to improve the experience. Google is no exception, as the company has made at least one change for the Pixel 2 XL - a new mode for YouTube videos.

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Google Allo v21 adds a cropping tool for profile pictures [APK Download]

These days, almost every service with any kind of social element includes a place for a profile picture. Most apps will also give users an opportunity to crop the image down before locking it in, that way you don't have to break out a photo editor just to center yourself and cut out other people from the shot. Most people probably never noticed it, but this little convenience feature wasn't available in Allo, at least not until now.

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Icon Pack Mixer lets you build your own custom set of icons from your favorite packs

One of the best things about Android is the ability to customize it. You aren't locked into a particular look, from replacement launchers to icon packs, you can change things to fit your tastes quite extensively. With the new Icon Pack Mixer, a recently-launched app from the developer of Adapticons, you can even take that a step further. It lets you mix and match individual icons from various packs into one. Now you can pick and choose different ones from different sets without compromising, even if your launcher doesn't natively support it. 

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[Deal Alert] Get the Essential Phone for $100 off ($599) from Best Buy

The Essential Phone marked Andy Rubin's return to the Android world, but it was wasn't received well by everyone. The mediocre camera, lack of a headphone jack, and the high price tag made it a hard sell for many. But that last issue is less of a concern, now that the phone is $100 off at Best Buy.

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The Moon is an all-seeing, levitating robotic eyeball that can control your home

We've seen levitating Bluetooth speakers and connected smart cameras before, but the Moon, a fully funded Indiegogo project, melds those technologies in a $209 ($330 at retail) floating robotic eyeball and base that can also act as a smart hub for your home. That is, if it ever ships. The typical crowdfunding caveats apply. Some Indiegogo projects don't have much of a future, and this is 1-Ring's first.

The Moon, which comes from 1-Ring Inc., comprises a wide-angle lens embedded in a sphere made of plastic, aluminum, and rubber. When the smart camera is levitating above its base unit, it can give its owner a 360-degree scan of whatever room it's placed in.

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Verizon updates Moto Z2 Force with support for its upcoming Gigabit LTE

5G is still a year or two away, and even then, hardly any phones will support the technology. Many networks have yet to saturate the existing LTE wireless standard, but Verizon (among other carriers) has been working toward that goal in some areas. Verizon has started pushing an update to the Moto Z2 Force, giving it support for the carrier's upcoming 'Gigabit Class LTE' service.

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Google gives Pixel 2 owners early access to its latest Spotlight Story, 'Son of Jaguar'

Pixel 2 and 2 XL owners are getting a small bonus for purchasing Google's latest smartphones. Google Spotlight Stories, a vestige of Google's Motorola days showcasing the power of virtual reality storytelling, is giving owners of the latest Pixel devices early access to "Son of Jaguar," an animated short film about a luchador from director Jorge Gutierrez.

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HTC U11 Plus leaked, along with more U11 Life details

The HTC U11 was the company's second flagship of the year, and by most accounts, a pretty great phone. We've already heard rumors of an upcoming budget phone with Android One, the U11 Life, but now details about a U11 Plus have also leaked.

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