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Google Opinion Rewards gets a new icon and a blue color scheme to match

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Pixel available from Project Fi, plus a range of other international partners

As expected, both the 5-inch Pixel and the 5.5-inch Pixel XL are compatible out of the box with Project Fi, Google's MVNO (it would be news if they weren't). Google also announced just over a dozen of other international partners around the world.

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[Update: Live] Best Buy will give you a $100 gift card and a Chromecast when you pre-order and activate a Pixel on Verizon

The Pixels were announced today, and there's no other way to put it - they're pretty expensive. The line starts at $649.99 for the smaller, 32GB Pixel and maxes out at $869.99 for the 128GB XL. That's iPhone-esque pricing (the devices literally cost exactly the same as comparable iPhone 7s do). However, if you're a Verizon customer, you have an option to ease the pain; Best Buy is offering customers who pre-order and activate the Pixel and Pixel XL a $100 gift card and a free Chromecast.

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ICYMI: The Google event's hilarious intro featured Dinesh and Gilfoyle from Silicon Valley

If you're a tech enthusiast (hint: you probably are if you're reading this site), I can personally guarantee that you either love HBO's Silicon Valley already or will love it when you watch it. Evidently, the peeps at Google had the same thought as me, given that they worked together with two of the show's actors to produce this little short that they played at the start of the event.

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Google's 24/7 live support for the Pixel phones comes complete with screen sharing

The Pixel and Pixel XL are seriously expensive phones, aiming directly at the iPhone and Galaxy devices at the top of the market. To help set them apart, Google announced that it would offer live support for owners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It comes in call or chat form, and users can even share their screen with support agents in real time. Amazon has tried something similar, and just like the Fire tablets, this is pretty clearly intended to help out non-technical users. The feature was leaked back in the summer.

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Google Pixel and Pixel XL hands-on: Google takes on the iPhone... by becoming the iPhone

Google's new smartphones were, well, exactly what we expected. They're expensive, they have high-end components, and they feature industrial design by Google. There's a big one and a small one, and the only real differences between the two are those of proportion (battery size and pixel density).

Pricing for the 5" Pixel starts at $649 with 32GB of storage, and the 128GB Pixel XL runs all the way up to $869. They can be substantially more expensive depending on where you live, too. As such, there is no doubt that Google is uninterested in being a champion of the "phone of the people" pricing model in 2016.

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Android 7.1 Nougat's changelog is here, includes both Pixel-exclusive and non-exclusive changes

Android 7.1 Nougat was unveiled earlier today alongside the Pixel and Pixel XL, but there's still a fair bit we don't know about it. Now, thanks to a source from Google, we've got a list of both Pixel-exclusive and non-exclusive changes. (It's unclear which category the Pixel C falls under.)

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The Google Cast app is becoming Google Home

Back in March, Google renamed the official Chromecast application as 'Google Cast', and it is now renaming it again. Several users have sent us the below screenshot, showing the Google Cast app informing them that it will become 'Google Home.'

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The 'Really Blue' Pixel is only a temporary US exclusive, will come to other regions later

Phone makers have long given device colors unnecessarily esoteric names, but Google is going for raw descriptiveness with the Pixel phones. You have Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue. The blue offering is certainly bold, and probably the most divisive choice. However, you don't even have the option of getting a Really Blue Pixel unless you're in the US. That will change, though.

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Android 7.1 is coming to current Nexus devices and the Pixel C, will land before the end of 2016 as a dev preview

For those of you who were worried about Google's current Android devices not receiving Android 7.1 Nougat, don't be; Google has confirmed that the Pixel phones' current software version will be arriving on Nexus devices and the Pixel C before the end of the year. However, these devices won't be receiving some Pixel-exclusive (Pixelsclusive?) features.

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