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Monday deals: Save 50% on Pixel 4/4 XL fabric cases, plus discounts on Bluetooth speakers and smart home products

Monday deals: Save 50% on Pixel 4/4 XL fabric cases, plus discounts on Bluetooth speakers and smart home products

Hello, and welcome to the first week of March. To kick things off, we've pulled together a fresh roundup of deals from all across the internet. Today, you can save 50% on Google's official Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL fabric cases, plus you'll find discounts on smart speakers from JBL and Altec, as well as money off smart home products from TP-Link. Let's get started.

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The Pixel Buds A-Series are now available for sale

The Pixel Buds A-Series are now available for sale

We've been expecting the Pixel Buds-A Series for a while. We've been hearing about them since they surfaced in FCC listings in March. Google has also been teasing us about them, first in April, by featuring them in a promotional email and then bluntly tweeting about them. Thankfully, the wait is finally over, as you can now buy the buds from various online retailers for $99.

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19

Google tweets confirmation of the Pixel Buds A-Series

Google tweets confirmation of the Pixel Buds A-Series

Well that didn't take long. After posting semi-official confirmation of the upcoming budget-priced Pixel Buds earlier today in Germany, Google just tweeted it out on the official @Android Twitter account with the image above. A few minutes later, the tweet was deleted.

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28

Should you buy the 2020 Pixel Buds or the new A-Series?

Should you buy the 2020 Pixel Buds or the new A-Series?

Google's newest earbuds, the Pixel Buds A-Series, are now available. They're explicitly mid-range and don't have all the bells and whistles of last year's Pixel Buds, but their MSRP is also a lot lower: $99, compared to $179 for the 2020 model.

If you're interested in a pair of Pixel Buds but don't know which, you've come to the right place. Here's what you need to know.

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17

Google wants you to know when your Pixel Buds will die

Google wants you to know when your Pixel Buds will die

Google finally jumped on the wireless earbuds bandwagon last year with the Pixel Buds. While they got things like comfort and sound quality right, they didn't do well in terms of connectivity and battery. While Google isn't completely changing either of those things, it's making it easier in Android 12 to know when your buds will run out of charge.

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29

The rise and fall of NewBlue, Google's attempt to 'fix' Bluetooth on Chrome OS

The rise and fall of NewBlue, Google's attempt to 'fix' Bluetooth on Chrome OS


It is a well-known fact that Google has a rough history with Bluetooth. While the Bluetooth situation on Chromebooks is improving thanks to recent development, many of us who pair Bluetooth peripherals to our Chromebooks like wireless earbuds or mice will know that the wireless experience isn’t perfect. In 2018, with Bluetooth devices on the rise and the launch of the Pixel Slate looming, Google likely felt pressured to tackle this problem. This led to an experiment with a brand new Bluetooth daemon, in an ambitious project known as NewBlue.

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21

Chromebooks are getting one of Android's best Bluetooth features

Chromebooks are getting one of Android's best Bluetooth features

It's no secret that Chromebooks have had a rough history with Bluetooth. From middling stability to audio cut-outs, using wireless devices on Chrome OS has long been subpar. Fast forward to today, and the Bluetooth situation has improved — albeit still with some minor hiccups. One of the most annoying issues with Bluetooth is its tedious pairing process, which Google took it upon itself to fix with Fast Pair in 2017. While that brought seamless pairing to Android devices, support for Chromebooks is nonexistent. After a long hiatus, it seems Google will finally add the long-overdue Fast Pair to Chrome OS.

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28

Pixel Buds A-Series review: The Pixel 4a of earbuds (that's a good thing)

Pixel Buds A-Series review: The Pixel 4a of earbuds (that's a good thing)

This month, Google is releasing its third pair of wireless Pixel Buds. They've been a pretty poorly kept secret. After all the leaks (some from the company itself), you might already know what to expect here: 2020's Pixel Buds with some features removed and a new, lower price tag.

And these new earbuds are exactly that. Like the Pixel a phones that inspired their name, the Pixel Buds A-Series take what works about Google's flagship earbuds, strip out some higher-end features, and cost way less. If I were buying a pair of Google's earbuds today, it'd be these — and it's not just because they're $80 cheaper than last year's.

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159

Hear me out: Google should bring back the headphone jack

Hear me out: Google should bring back the headphone jack

Google's Pixel 4a appears to have become a sensation — even though no one has one yet. It's only open for pre-order, and already it's become the best-selling unlocked smartphone at Amazon and Best Buy. And that makes sense; it's a pretty great phone. But you know what else is great? It has a goddamn headphone jack.

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267

Pixel Buds 2 review, one month later: Too many compromises

Pixel Buds 2 review, one month later: Too many compromises

It's been a month and change since Google launched its first true wireless earbuds. When I first got my hands on the Pixel Buds, I was struck by their fit and finish, comfort, and sound quality, but nagging problems like audible interference at low volumes and short battery life left me feeling lukewarm on the whole. I've been using them regularly ever since, but unfortunately, my opinion hasn't changed: there are too many compromises in the 2020 Pixel Buds to justify their price for most buyers.

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