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Pixel 3

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The best Android smartphones you can buy right now (Spring 2019)

The wide range of Android phones on the market is one of the platform's greatest strengths - there's something for everyone. However, with all the choices available, trying to find the best smartphone an be like looking for a needle in a haystack. To help you out, we've compiled a short list of the best Android phones you can buy, from low-end budget devices to premium flagships.

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[Update x2: Also on Fi] Google drops Pixel 3 prices even further, both models now $200 off

The first two generations of Pixel phones rarely saw price drops, outside of carrier-exclusive deals from Verizon and Google Fi. However, the 2018 Pixels have now been on sale several times, most recently earlier this month when both models were $150 off. Now the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are $200 off, bringing the Pixel 3 down to $599 and the Pixel 3 XL down to $699. That's the steepest discount we've seen on any Pixel phone in a long time, especially for the unlocked variants.

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Google mimics iOS navigation gestures with hidden features in Android Q Pixel launcher

Android Ice Cream Sandwich was the first version of the operating system to introduce virtual navigation keys to phones, allowing manufacturers to dismiss physical ones. Although some decided to wait much longer to implement these, — I'm looking at you, Samsung — almost all Android devices nowadays have finally abandoned traditional buttons in favor of on-screen input. With the introduction of the iPhone X, Apple wanted to maximize screen space and therefore designed an ingenious swiping-based navigation system, that didn't require the need for buttons. With Pie, Google took its stab at it, but didn't quite make up its mind between using keys or gestures and instead went for a combination of both.

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Android Q brings half-baked dual-SIM support to the Pixel 3

Google has embedded eSIM capability into its Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 handsets, so users could choose between using a physical chip or a virtual one. Unfortunately, the option was limited to registering one or the other on the network, but not both at the same time. With Android Q, the company is bringing (limited) dual-SIM support to its latest flagship, so you can simultaneously connect both the physical and eSIM to the cell towers.

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Pixel Call Screen comes to Canada as a beta

Announced along with the Pixel 3, Call Screen lets you screen phone calls before you answer them, using Google's Assistant AI to ask who the caller is and what they want. It's excellent for avoiding those pesky spam callers and interruptions from unknown numbers. Call Screen has been available on all generations of Pixels in the US for a couple of months, recently added volume controls to hear the caller and saved transcripts, and now the feature is launching in beta in Canada.

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Android Q Beta registration is going live

Beta registration for Android Q is going live as we speak. Some have already been able to register their devices and receive OTAs, while others are still seeing the old landing page. Either way, if mucking about in ADB or unlocking your bootloader doesn't appeal to you, this method is a bit easier.

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Download the Android Q beta for your Pixel phone now (all models)

After a bit of hand-wringing (sorry about that) Android Q is finally, actually here. This latest version may still lack a formal, dessert-themed name, but it's now available for all Pixel phones — including the nearly three-year-old 2016 Pixel and Pixel XL. Both factory images and sideloadable OTAs are live.

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Google's USB-C 18W charger drops below $15 ($20 off)

Google's fast charger, originally designed to power up Pixel smartphones, has been available on the company's store since 2016. It's been selling for $35 ever since but Walmart is currently offering it for less than $15, which is a fair bargain if you're looking to reduce your device's charging time.

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Google's mail-in repair center finally accepts the Pixel 3 and 3 XL

Google released the Pixel 3 and 3 XL almost five months ago, and it's been a bit of a pain to get it repaired should your phone end up damaged. Google's online mail-in service didn't accept the new phones, so you'd have to find a walk-in uBreakifix location for official repairs. Now, Google's repair center will finally take your busted Pixel 3.

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Pixel 3 March OTA update may speed up the terribly slow camera

Right on schedule, Google has just pushed out OTA and factory image downloads for the latest March updates to its Pixel line. Unlike last month, we've also got a pile of functional patches for the Pixel 3 and 3 XL which include improved storage performance and better "startup and responsiveness of [the] Camera app." Reports also indicate the update is rolling out already via the traditional means.

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