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.
These days, almost all manufacturer apps can be updated via the Play Store. This makes updating them with new designs and features a lot easier, as you might have glimpsed from our teardowns. Most recently for the Google Phone app, v15 added a white navigation bar, assisted dialing for international travelers, and some more. We didn't spot any major changes in Phone v16, but it appears that it fixes an issue people were having with receiving calls while they had a Bluetooth device connected.
Most owners of OG Pixels can attest that Bluetooth on those devices is not the best. We've written a fair few articles about the various issues over the past year, but with the launch of the new Pixels we were hopeful that Google might have improved things somewhat. While Bluetooth performance so far does seem to be more consistent, we've just learned about one particularly annoying bug that Pixel 2 owners have uncovered.
According to the many posters on this Pixel User Community thread, when you connect Bluetooth headphones to a Pixel 2 or 2 XL and activate the Google Assistant, it makes a sound to indicate that it's listening but doesn't detect your voice.
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.
Despite numerous software updates attempting to fix the problem, one bug has persisted on Google's Pixel and Pixel XL - Bluetooth. Ever since release, both phones have had problems connecting to (and staying connected to) Bluetooth devices, and the recent Android 8.0 Oreo update seemed to make things worse. Google is once again trying to fix the Pixels' Bluetooth woes.
Now that Google's phones are ditching the headphone jack, it only makes sense that the company wants to sell you some expensive Bluetooth earbuds. At the press event today, Google announced the 'Pixel Buds', a pair of earbuds with Assistant built-in.
If you own a Pixel or Pixel XL, you might have encountered an annoying bug where the phone's Bluetooth connection would randomly shut off. You could still turn it back on, but it could shut off again without warning. Not the kind of software quality you would expect from a $650+ device.
Over the past week or so, hundreds of users have reported about a particularly annoying bug with Bluetooth on the Pixel and Pixel XL. For seemingly no reason at all, Bluetooth will suddenly turn off. It can be turned back on just fine, but it will later shut itself off again.
Here's a blast from the past: Google's new phone is having trouble pairing or staying connected to Bluetooth in many cars. In 2015 we went through this with the Nexus phones on Marshmallow, and this year it's the Pixel with 7.1. Google is aware of the issue, and is actively investigating.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Google's Pixel 5 is here, but it didn't exactly blow our minds. Released alongside it is another phone that's more worthy of your consideration: The Pixel 4a 5G. Ignore the name, it's basically a Pixel 5 but $200 cheaper. You give up on a few benefits like an IP rating, 90Hz display, and metal build, but you get a bigger screen and a headphone jack, all with the same camera and internals.
Frankly, we don't see a reason for most folks to buy the Pixel 5 over this.