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Pixel 4 XL

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Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL discounted by $150 at Best Buy, include a $200 gift card

Google's Pixel phones have never suffered from a shortage of discounts, considering that they consistently go on sale in the weeks and months following release. Today, Best Buy is offering a $150 discount on either the standard or XL version of our 2019 Reader's Choice Smartphone of the Year in Just Black with the additional bonus of a complimentary $200 digital gift card delivered after the purchase.

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Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL hit their lowest price on Amazon: $571 and $613, respectively (up to $285 off)

Google Pixel phones have never had the best price retention, and the same is true for the Pixel 4: The flagship was heavily discounted during the holidays. If you missed out on these deals or if the prices were still too steep for you back then, this new Amazon discount might come in handy: You can get the 64GB versions of the Pixel 4 for $571 and the white Pixel 4 XL for $613. That's an all-time low saving you $228 and $285, respectively.

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Pixel 4 face unlock is broken for some, may be caused by recent patches

For some, the snazzy new face unlock system on Google's latest Pixel 4 is a whole lot less convenient than it should be. Reports over the last couple of months indicate that the face unlock process is simply failing for a handful of Pixel 4 and 4 XLs, even after re-enrolling their faces or resetting the phone. Thankfully, the issue doesn't sound too widespread.

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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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Google's December 'feature drop' feels more like a 'feature drip,' patch still missing on many Pixel phones (Update: Cumulative update planned)

Google announced the Android December security patch with much fanfare, calling it the first quarterly "Pixel feature drop" that adds new system capabilities and app functions to all Android 10-equipped generations of Pixel phones. However, just like the company had issues with the November patch for the Pixel 4, it looks as though many Google phone owners still haven't received the December system update thus far. Even hitting the "check for update" button doesn't seem to help. This makes the feature drop feel more like a disjointed feature drip, with some parts of it dribbling out faster than others.

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11

Grab a Pixel 4 fabric case from Verizon for just $20 (half off)

The Pixel 4: our readers' choice for smartphone of the year and, for its many faults, a phone that comes with all the support you can get from Google. The only immediate support you can't get from the company, though, is drop protection. It's not as if a force field will suddenly appear to prevent the thing from hitting the ground, right? But if you'd rather not pay $40 for a snazzy fabric case, Verizon has a great deal for you.

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The new Google Assistant can directly control Chrome on the Pixel 4 (Update: More actions)

One of the promises of the new Assistant, as it was demo'ed by Google at I/O, is its direct integration with several apps on your phone. Instead of being an Assistant for Google's services first and foremost, the digital helper would put its smarts at every developer's disposal, letting them hook it up to several actions inside their apps. We've already gotten a small preview of this integration when we saw a few actions Assistant could perform inside Photos, Messages, WhatsApp, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, and Chrome. But we know there's more potential there, and Chrome is one of the first to implement broader support for Assistant, with direct browser actions accessible through voice commands.

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Pixel 4 and 4 XL are up to $150 off across retailers, Amazon throws in $100 Google Wifi for free (Update: Free Nest Hub)

In case you missed the recently concluded Black Friday and Cyber Monday extravaganza, this is your chance to grab a pretty sweet deal on Google’s latest flagship pair. Both the Pixel 4 and the 4 XL are down by $100 and $150, respectively, across major online stores. And if that wasn’t enough, Amazon is throwing in a free Google Wifi on top of these discounts.

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Pixel 4 Snapchat, Instagram videos plagued by maddening 'clicking' sounds (Update: Fixed with December update)

At launch, no Pixel is without its issues, and the most recent problem might sound a bit familiar for those of you that remember the Pixel 2. A minority of Pixel 4 owners are experiencing what is alternately described as a popping, clicking, or tapping sound in videos recorded through third-party apps like Snapchat and Instagram. Not all units appear to be affected (we have inconsistent experiences with it in-house), but based on the example below, it seems like it could be pretty annoying.

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Automatic Call Screen starts rolling out on Pixel 4 with an option to save audio from calls

Automatic call screening is one of the headliners of the December Pixel feature drop, and it has started to roll out to the first Pixel 4 units on the latest security patch level. Once it has arrived, it will automatically be deployed to deal with spam calls, and it can be activated for unknown, private, or possibly spoofed numbers, as well. The feature now also widely offers to save audio from any screened call in addition to the familiar transcript, just as we suspected from teardowns.

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