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

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JerryRigEverything rips into the Pixel 2 and exposes easily scratched plastic coating

Zack from JerryRigEverything has got his hands on the new Pixel 2, the small one, and you know what that means, right? The man is out to torture those poor little phones - What did they ever do to him? - and the Pixel 2 is no exception. So how does it fare? Not so well actually.

Starting with the display scratch test, the Gorilla Glass 5 shows shallow marks at level 6 and properly scratches at level 7 - similar to most other smartphones but not as good as those with a sapphire screen. The front camera and rear camera also have the same protection, so they won't scratch very easily.

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End the week with 34 temporarily free and 16 on-sale apps

The weekend is nigh upon us, which means that it's time for one more round of app sales. After Asmodee's sale on Wednesday, today's list feels a bit anticlimactic, but we trudge on nonetheless.

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Google says fix for Pixel SMS issue will roll out with November security patches

Reports of missing text messages on the original Pixel and Pixel XL began popping up as soon as the Oreo update rolled out several weeks back. Owners of affected devices collected their experiences in the Google Product Forums, and Google pledged to look into the matter. That was just a few days ago, and now Google says it's tracked own the cause. You can expect a fix soon.

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Google app v7.14.15 includes references to Quartz, possibly a new Google Home device with built-in display [APK Teardown]

The latest (minor) update to the Google app brought with it a surprise twist as it enabled customization in the search bar widget. As it turns out, that's not the only new thing in this update. A teardown also turned up quite a few clues relating to a new on-screen interface for Google Home or a new Home device with built-in display.

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Special Edition "Webcrawler" Android Mini figurine is the stuff of all nightmares

I don't like spiders. I know that's a statement that almost anyone can make, but I really don't like them, to a point where I can somehow sense them in a room. On many an occasion, my friends and parents and coworkers have seen me get off my chair and go look in an invisible corner or push some piece of furniture away to reveal a spider behind it. Then calmly ask someone to come get rid of it. Call it my spidey sense, call it my curse to find the horrors of life, it's that bad.

So no, I don't find this new Android Mini figurine adorable. My definition of adorable is a refreshing cutesy watermelon, not the horror that this Webcrawler is. I don't like its six hands, its crawl-friendly shape, its black color, the dangling spider on its back, or the whole deadly vibe it gives.

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Samsung announces the ruggedized Galaxy Tab Active2

Most of Samsung's mobile products are designed to be sleek and modern, but the Active series puts function ahead of form. You might call them clunky, but they can take more of a beating than standard Samsung Galaxy devices. There's a new active device today, and it's not a phone. This is the Galaxy Tab Active2, a rugged tablet aimed mostly at businesses.

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"Try Now" button starts showing up in the Play Store for Instant Apps

The road to Instant Apps has been a long and tedious one. After being announced at I/O 2016 (yes, more than a year ago), they only began testing at the start of 2017, were opened to devs at I/O this year, and started properly rolling then to reach more than 500 Million devices in August. One component was still missing though from the Instant Apps experience: a way to try an Instant App on the Play Store without downloading it first. That's what we're here to talk about.

The "Try Now" button was announced as part of a large post about new Play Console features on the Google Developers Blog, but it's not yet showing up for everyone.

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[Update: Last day to enter] Giveaway: Win a BrexLink Google Pixel (2016) battery case, or get 25% off with our code [US only]

The Pixel 2 reviews might be up, but Google's original 2016 Pixel is still a capable device. It's not as if the old one has gone bad just because a new model has arrived. But, if you've been using your OG 5" Pixel to its utmost, your battery might not be what it once was. Thankfully, BrexLink's Pixel battery case can give you a big bump in capacity, and the 15 lucky winners of this giveaway will get one for free.

If giveaways aren't your thing, or your phone's battery just can't last until the drawing, you can also pick one up right now for 25% off with our coupon code.

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Huawei Watch 2 Pro with eSIM launched in China for ¥2588 ($390)

Huawei today announced the Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro in China, but along with them came one surprise that we didn't see at the international launch event in Munich: a new Huawei Watch 2 Pro. It looks pretty much like the Huawei Watch 2 Classic, but with one main difference: eSIM support.

The new Watch 2 Pro has 4G/3G/2G support for its eSIM, along with Bluetooth. Not a lot of specs are discernible in the Huawei page, even when translated, so I can't tell what processor is inside, what size is the display, the amount of RAM or storage, and so on.

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AMC's new VR apps will immerse you in The Walking Dead and Into the Badlands

Every fan of The Walking Dead has surely imagined what it would be like to encounter a walker in real life. Similarly, if you watch Into the Badlands, you'd probably love to get up close with the flight scenes. Thanks to two new VR apps from TV network AMC, you'll be able to watch both shows as part of a new immersive experience.

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