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pixel 2 xl

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Google's new Pixel 2 ad highlights Assistant, the camera, and fast charging

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL may have not garnered universal praise, but there's no denying that Google's new phones can do a lot of cool things. Sure, plenty of other Android smartphones with Assistant have access to near-identical features, but it's Google's DNA in there that makes all of them possible. So I guess we can forgive Google for the extra gloating and enjoy this neat ad for the Pixel 2.

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[Update: Fixed with November patch] Some Pixel 2 units making clicking and high-pitched sounds

The Pixel 2 XL has been under scrutiny lately for its display, but it's not alone in hardware complaints. No product is perfect, and it looks like the HTC-made Pixel 2 has at least one notable issue of its own.

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[Update: Pixel 2 too, mostly] Pixel 2 XL November security update adds promised saturated color mode

People made a pretty big fuss about the Pixel 2 XL's display for several reasons, one of which was that its colors were too muted. To alleviate this issue, Google said that it would add a mode that would enable more saturated colors via an update in the coming weeks. Well, it's been a few weeks since that statement, and lo and behold, the November security patch adds that saturated color mode.

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Google's November update lowers Pixel 2 XL maximum brightness, adds fading navigation buttons from 8.1 DP1 to both Pixel 2s

The numerous worries about the Pixel 2 XL's display were addressed by Google in late October, and the company is taking action now. The November update not only adds the promised saturated color mode to the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, but also a number of other minor tweaks, including a slightly lower maximum brightness for the Pixel 2 XL and fading soft keys for both the Pixel 2 and 2 XL.

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Google's November system images and OTA files for Nexus and Pixel devices are (mostly) live [Update: Pixel 2 XL OTA rolling out]

The month is getting underway, and that means it's time for Google to issue its monthly raft of Pixel and Nexus updates. The updates will filter down to phones in the next day or so, but the system images and OTA files for most devices are available now if you want to sideload. There's not a ton new here, but as this is a November patch level, you should have protection from the KRACK vulnerability.

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HTC U11+ is based on 'Muskie,' the cancelled HTC Pixel 2 XL

Earlier this year, a device called 'Muskie' appeared in AOSP (alongside 'Walleye'), which was believed to be the larger 2017 Pixel device. Then the phone was seemingly cancelled, with the LG-made 'Taimen' taking its place. Taimen turned out to be the actual Pixel 2 XL, and Walleye became the HTC-made Pixel 2. Recently, more evidence was discovered that Muskie was being made by HTC, and it would have had a massive 3,830mAh battery.

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[Update: Now fixed] Some Pixel 2 XL units are shipping without an operating system

Tech products almost always have problems when they are first released, but the Pixel 2 XL seems to be having a fair amount of them. Display woes aside, buyers are reporting issues with Android Auto, Portrait Mode, and audio quality with recorded video. Now, multiple reports have surfaced about a manufacturing defect that keeps the phone from booting up at all.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: You can now restore backed up data after initial setup process

Backing up and restoring data is something that Android hasn't always handled so well, but it's got a lot better in recent versions. Since Marshmallow, automatic app data backups have made switching between phones a whole lot easier, bringing all your apps and settings with you. This means that you can set up a new device and have it look identical to your old one, without having to go through the agony setting everything up again.

What hasn't been possible, though, is restoring data to a device after the initial setup is complete. That appears to have changed with the Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview, and also in 8.0 on the new Pixels, which share a bunch of features with the 8.1 build you'll get on OG Pixels and Nexuses.

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Google Photos v3.8 has a fancy new Lens animation [APK Download]

Google Lens is taking its sweet time getting ready for its full-fledged debut. The juiced-up version of Google Goggles is already available to those who use the first- and second-generation Pixel smartphones, but it's cooped up in the Photos app and has yet to appear in Assistant, as promised back in May at I/O. One of the reasons for this delay appears to be aesthetic, as Google Photos v3.8 shows off a new animation while Lens is analyzing a photo.

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Pixel 2 XL, but not Pixel 2, now sold on Google Store in Italy and Spain

Google's hardware has always been difficult to purchase, if you happen to live outside of a handful of countries. The original Pixels were only sold by Google in six regions - Australia, Canada, Germany, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, and the United States. The Pixel 2 and 2 XL were originally limited to those regions as well, but now the XL is expanding to Italy and Spain.

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