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Pixel 3a XL

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January 2020 patches land for Google Pixels, including low-brightness fix for Pixel 4 XL

Google Pixel security patch updates have been nothing short of a wreck since late 2019. There was the delayed November patch for the Pixel 4/4XL, Pixel launcher crashes on some devices following the December patch that was ultimately put on hold, and a very slow rollout for the first Pixel feature drip drop. To help clean up the mess, Google is rolling out its promised cumulative update that combines December and January patches into one.

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346

The best Android smartphones you can buy right now (Early 2020)

There are a lot of Android phones on the market, and while it's great there are so many choices, it can sometimes feel overwhelming (especially if you don't follow tech closely). That's why we've compiled this list of the best Android smartphones to buy, updated for early 2020. We have something for every budget and taste, with all of the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

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26

Pixel 3a and 3a XL down to $280 and $360 ($120 off), lowest price ever (Update: 3a XL deal returns)

A few days ago, Android Police named the Pixel 3a as Phone of the Year for 2019. Praise was given for minimal compromises combined with a very competitive price (at least in the US and a few other countries). Almost as if somebody was waiting for this opportunity, two of the biggest electronics retailers have quietly discounted both sizes by $120, bringing them down to new lows of $279.99 for the regular and $359.99 for the XL.

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152

December Pixel updates land: 2016 Pixels get last patches, Pixel 4 conspicuously absent (Update: Image and OTA downloads)

December's monthly security patches are here for Google's Pixel phones — or, at least, most of them. While the 2016 Pixels are getting what Google previously claimed would be their very last update after the two phones missed November's patches, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL are curiously late to the party, with no images posted just yet. Most confusingly, though, Google is apparently breaking out its Pixel-specific functional patch notes this month, which often describe useful or noteworthy feature changes and tweaks.

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48

Automatic Call Screening is coming to all Pixel phones on Android 10 'over the coming weeks'

Google announced a slew of updates as part of the first Pixel feature drop yesterday, among them the ability to automatically screen calls from unknown numbers on the Pixel 4. It looks like this option won't stay limited to the latest phone in the lineup for a long time, as Business Insider cites Google saying that it'll "roll out to all Pixel devices with Android 10 over the coming weeks."

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186

The Pixel 3a is our 2019 Smartphone of the Year

2019 hasn't been what you'd call a huge year for smartphones. In many ways, our phones are more alike than they ever have been, and the things that set them apart are, similarly, less consequential than ever. But that doesn't mean there wasn't a phone that stood out in a really noticeable, important way to the Android Police editorial staff.

That also doesn't mean we all agree on which phone that is. In a vote among Android Police's seven editors (plus Artem), it was a very close race. The winning phone took away four votes to the runner-up's three, and strong arguments were made for both.

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17

Pixel Launcher now shows long-press options even for app shortcuts

The December security patch rolled out earlier this week to first-gen Pixels, as well as the Pixel 2, 3, and 3a. With it, came a lot of features for Google's older flagships like Live Caption, Styles, gesture navigation in third-party launchers, and a swipe gesture for notifications on the homescreen. There's also one minor but nice improvement that came with the launcher: app shortcuts get a similar action panel to regular apps.

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62

Google Recorder v1.1 availability expands to Pixel 2, 3, and 3a (APK Download)

Google's Recorder app has been one of those especially popular revelations from the launch of the Pixel 4, and rightfully so —the voice transcription and search features are incredible. However, plenty of people weren't happy with the Pixel 4 exclusivity. That changes now...kinda. The Recorder app is now also officially available to the Pixel 2, 3, and 3a, but that's about it.

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109

Pixel Launcher on Pixel 3 and 3a crashing after December security patch for some users

Google released the December security patch for its Pixel range yesterday while notoriously skipping its newest Pixel 4 duo. Some of the older Pixel 3 and 3a units running the Pixel Launcher have been rendered unresponsive after installing this latest patch. The launcher is repeatedly crashing for the affected users, leaving many with no choice but to hard reset their devices.

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24

Live Caption is a Pixel 4 exclusive at launch, will come to Pixel 3 and 3a in December (Update: And here it is)

At Google I/O, Google teased a new impressive feature coming to Android, Live Caption. Whether you're deaf, hard of hearing, in a loud environment, or without headphones in a setting that requires silence, Live Caption can automatically transcribe what's being said in a video or audio on your screen. It seems impressive and it'll be coming to the Pixel 4 at launch. Pixel 3 and 3a users will get it in December. (Update: And they just did.)

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