Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Lite tipped to land on Verizon this Spring

Rozetked

Are Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL too expensive for you? If so, you might want to hold out on buying a new phone until Spring 2019 — that’s when Google is rumored to launch the affordable Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 XL Lite. This rumor comes from our friends at Android Police, citing sources familiar with the company’s plans.

No exact release date was mentioned, but rumor has it both phones will land on Verizon. They’ll also likely be available unlocked via the Google Store, just like all of Google’s previous Pixel and Nexus phones.

The Google Pixel 3 Lite first leaked in mid-November on Russian website Rozetked, the same folks who got their hands on the Pixel 3 XL months ahead of its release. A few days later, the same website posted some alleged Pixel 3 Lite camera samples, followed by a ton of more hands-on photos from a different Russian website, Wylsa. Finally, we saw our first glimpse of the Pixel 3 XL Lite in CAD renders in early December.

Related

According to the recent leaks, the Pixel 3 Lite will come with a 5.5-inch LCD screen at Full HD+ resolution, a Snapdragon 670 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 2,915mAh battery, as well as a 12MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. The only rumor we’ve heard about the 3 XL Lite is its screen size, which will reportedly come in at 6 inches and have a Full HD+ resolution. Both phones are rumored to have a headphone jack as well.

They’ll likely be made entirely of plastic, as opposed to the Pixel 3’s all-glass build. Oh, and one other notable design choice: Both of these Lite phones will probably look a lot like the smaller Pixel 3. That means they won’t feature the Pixel 3 XL’s gigantic notch.

Google hasn’t launched a mid-range phone since 2015’s Nexus 5X. Why launch one now? We know that the U.S. is significantly lacking in decent mid-range smartphones, so Google might see a market here. Also, the fact that these phones are launching on Verizon means customers will be able to pay for them in monthly installments as opposed to spending hundreds of dollars outright.

That’s it for now, folks. We’ll be sure to update you if we hear anything else regarding the Pixel 3 Lite or Pixel 3 XL Lite.

Google Pixel 3 international giveaway!

It’s time for the Sunday giveaway! Like every week, we’re giving away another a brand new Android phone to one lucky Android Authority reader.

A big congratulations to the winners of last week’s Insta360 ONE X giveaway, Zelijko A. from Serbia, Alam K. from Australia, and Ilya E. from Russia.

This week we’re giving away a brand new Google Pixel 3, courtesy of the Android Authority app!

If you’re looking for the best way to stay up to date with AndroidAuthority.com, look no further than the AA app for Android. Available for free in the Google Play Store, the official AA app is the fastest way to get all the latest news, rumors, tips and tricks, and device reviews on your mobile device.

It’s fast, looks good, and gives you breaking Android news at your fingertips — what more could you want?

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are here. While they may not rival the Galaxy Note 9 in terms of specs, these phones improve on the very aspect that made the Pixel 2 so great — the camera. They still sport the same single rear cameras as the Pixel 2, but there are a ton of camera software improvements here. Top Shot mode will take multiple pictures of your subject and recommend the best one. Night Sight also brings next-level low-light photography thanks to computational photography.

They both have 18:9 screens (18.5:9 for the XL), yet they still look very different from one another. The Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch Full HD+ screen that makes it look like a smaller Pixel 2 XL, while the Pixel 3 XL has a big ol’ notch at the top of its screen. Both phones also come with Qi wireless charging support, no headphone jack (womp womp), and still manage to squeeze in front-facing speakers.

To learn more about the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL, head to our related coverage below:

Enter the giveaway here

Google Pixel 3 international giveaway!

Don’t miss: JBL Charge 4 giveaway

Winners gallery

Terms & conditions

  • This is an international giveaway (except when we can not ship to your country).
  • If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
  • We are not responsible for lost shipments.
  • We are not responsible if your giveaway prize malfunctions.
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  • We are not responsible for any duties or import fees that you may incur.
  • Only one entry per person; please do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
  • We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
  • This giveaway is operated by Android Authority.
  • The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.

More: Android Authority international giveaway FAQs

Dodge spam calls on original Google Pixel with Call Screen: now rolling out

  • Google has started rolling out Assistant’s Call Screen feature to the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL.
  • Call Screen allows Assistant to answer calls on the user’s behalf.
  • It’s only available in the U.S. at the moment.

Google has started rolling out the Pixel 3’s Call Screen feature to the original Pixel and Pixel XL, according to reports on Reddit. A number of Pixel owners have chimed in to a thread started over the weekend to confirm the deployment.

Call Screen allows Google Assistant to answer calls on the user’s behalf. It announces itself and asks what the purpose of the call is, while users can listen in to the conversation to take over if they want to. It’s something that can deter nuisance callers.

Editor’s Pick

Google rolled out Call Screen to the Pixel 2 and 2XL only last month and it had been expected to make its way to the original Pixels shortly after. Some device owners have also reported receiving saved call transcripts too, a feature which isn’t even on all Pixel 3 smartphones yet (though Google says it will be by the year’s end).

However, some Pixel owners still report having neither feature, so it looks like a staged rollout.

Call Screen is still U.S.-only for the time being but Google plans to roll it out in more regions in the future. If you’re in the States and are yet to receive it, look out for it arriving on your Pixel 1, 2, or 3 in the next couple of weeks.

The Google Store is offering holiday deals on Home Hub, Nest products, and more

Google Home Hub

Black Friday was only a couple of weeks ago, but the Google Store is already back with its holiday sale. If you didn’t happen to purchase presents yet, these discounts should save you some money.

First up, Google is yet again discounting its latest smartphones. While the sales aren’t as great as what we saw back during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they might be enough to make you consider picking up a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL for yourself or a loved one.

The Google Store’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL discounts are live right now and will end on December 22. 

Editor’s Pick

Next up, Google is taking a decent amount off of its smart home tech. This includes deals on the original Google Home, Home Max, Home Hub, and the 4K-capable Chromecast Ultra.

You can take advantage of these deals between now and December 24.

Since late November, Google has been offering customers $80 off when they bundle the Home Hub with select Nest products. The Google Store is upping this deal and is taking an additional $20 off the bundled cost, bringing the saving to $100.

The below bundles are also available starting today with discounts ending on December 24.

December 2018 security patch arrives for Pixel, Nexus, Essential Phone, and 2016 Pixels

Update #2, December 5 at 8:39 a.m. ET: Google has posted December 2018 factory images and OTA files for the original Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. You can download them below:


Update #1, December 3 at 4:12 p.m. ET: Essential is usually quick to roll out Android security patches soon after Google releases them, and this month’s patch is no different. Essential Phone owners, the December Android security patch should be rolling out to your devices now!


Original article, December 3 at 1:05 p.m. ET: Right on schedule, Google has released Android’s December security patch. The new factory images for the various Google devices are here, while the OTA files are here.

The good news is that the Pixel C, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X are still getting updates, despite the fact that the company is no longer obligated to issue security patches for the three-year-old devices.

However, the bad news is that — just like last month — the security patches for the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL are not here yet. Last month, the updates for the OG Pixel devices came about two weeks after the initial batch. Is this going to be the trend from now on?

Editor’s Pick

The December patch itself includes fixes for multiple security vulnerabilities. The most severe of these issues is a critical security vulnerability in media framework that could enable a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a device. However, Google has no record of any attacker actually exploiting this vulnerability.

The patch also includes a long-awaited fix for the memory management problems present on the Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL. There’s also some camera improvements, a fix for flickering always-on-display, and some Bluetooth audio enhancements. Check out the table below to see what’s getting a fix for your device(s):

If you don’t want to wait for the December security patch to make its way to your phone, you can download the latest factory image or OTA file from the links below. From there, you can either flash a fresh build to your phone or sideload the OTA update.

NEXT: I got a Google Home Mini for $1, and you can too — Here’s how!

New Google ‘Sounds’ app brings audio and visual delights to your Pixel

  • Google has released a new ‘Sounds’ app for Google Pixels.
  • The app is a Google Play version of the Sounds menu found in the Pixel settings, arriving with a redesign.
  • The app landed on Pixels with the December security patches, though the redesign doesn’t appear to be live yet.

Google has released a new and exclusive app for Pixel smartphones called ‘Sounds.’ The app, which is an updated version of the Sounds menu in the Pixel settings, allows users to select preferred sounds for alarms, ringtones, and notifications.

9to5Google says the new app rolled out to the Pixels along with the December security patches and it also recently popped up in the Play Store. However, its Play Store page is now inactive, so Google has seemingly pulled it.

Three Google Sounds app screenshots. 9to5Google

The reason for this likely relates to its design. Some folks on Reddit reported having the app installed on their device but without the design refresh seen in the Play Store (pictured above). Presumably, the app will go live in the Play Store again once the new interface also rolls out to Pixels — probably in the coming days through a server-side activation.

When it does eventually go live, you can also look forward to new color patterns to accompany each sound, giving you a visualization of the mood the audio is trying to evoke. However, it’s unclear if these visualizations are used outside of the app or only when previewing sounds.

Let us know in the comments if the new app is live for you and what you think of it.

Here’s how Google made portrait mode on the Pixel 3 even better

  • Google has blogged about its recent improvements in AI and photography — specifically regarding portrait mode on the Pixel 3.
  • The post discusses how Google has improved the way its neural networks measure depth.
  • The result is an improved bokeh effect in its portrait mode shots.

Google has detailed one of the major photography accomplishments it achieved on the Pixel 3 on its AI blog. In the post published yesterday, Google discussed how it improved portrait mode between the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 3.

Portrait mode is a popular smartphone photography mode that blurs the background of a scene while maintaining focus on the foreground subject (what’s sometimes called the bokeh effect). The Pixel 3 and the Google Camera app take advantage of advances in neural networks, machine learning, and GPU hardware to help make this effect even better.

In Portrait Mode on the Pixel 2, the camera would capture two versions of a scene at slightly different angles. In these images, the foreground figure, a person in most portrait images, would appear to shift to a smaller degree than the background images (an effect known as parallax). This discrepancy was used as the basis for interpreting the depth of an image, and thus which areas to blur out.

A Google Portrait Mode parallax scrolling example. Google Blog

This provided strong results on the Pixel 2, but it wasn’t perfect. The two versions of the scene provided only a very small amount of information about the depth, so problems could occur. Most commonly, the Pixel 2 (and many others like it) would fail to accurately separate foreground from background.

With the Google Pixel 3’s camera, Google included more depth cues to inform this blur effect for greater accuracy. As well as parallax, Google used sharpness as a depth indicator — more distant objects are less sharp than closer objects — and real-world object identification. For example, the camera could recognize a person’s face in a scene, and work out how near or far it was based on its number of pixels relative to objects around it. Clever.

Google then trained its neural network with the help of the new variables to give it a better understanding — or rather, estimation — of depth in an image.

Google Pixel 3 portrait mode bokeh skull

The Pixel’s portrait mode doesn’t just require a human subject.

What does it all mean?

The result is better-looking portrait mode shots when using the Pixel 3 compared to previous Pixel (and ostensibly many other Android phones) cameras thanks to more accurate background blurring. And, yes, this should mean less hair being lost to background blur.

Editor’s Pick

There’s an interesting implication of all this which relates to chips too. A lot of power is required to process the necessary data to create these photographs once they’re snapped (they’re based on full resolution, multi-megapixel PDAF images); the Pixel 3 handles this pretty well thanks to its TensorFlow Lite and GPU combination.

In the future, though, better processing efficiency and dedicated neural chips will widen the possibilities not only for how quickly these shots will be delivered, but for what enhancements developers even choose to integrate.

To find out more about the Pixel 3 camera, hit the link, and give us your thoughts on it in the comments.

Deal: Get Google Pixel 3 Verizon for epic $400-off at Best Buy

 Best Buy Pixel 3 deals page. Best Buy

Best Buy has rolled out a surprise deal on the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, saving users $400 on each phone (via Droid Life). The offer wasn’t part of planned Best Buy offers we’d previously spotted, but it’s live now until tomorrow night.

The deal applies to the Verizon-branded devices only, bringing the Pixel 3 (64GB) down to $399 and the Pixel 3 XL (64GB) down to $499 (the phones start at $799 and $899 respectively). The phone’s total price is paid off in installments across a 24-month contract, meaning $16.66 per month for the Pixel 3 and $20.83 per month for the Pixel 3 XL.

Note that Google’s own Black Friday deals on the devices offer mere $150 and $200 respective savings on the phones, bringing them down to $650 and $699. However, you can get up to $400 knocked off Google’s price when you trade in a device. 

Editor’s Pick

This is a standout offer but it means picking up a Verizon-branded phone and you will have to pay $30 for activation and $30 to unlock it. There isn’t much else in the way of caveats, though, and The Verge reckons you can pay off the device in full at any time. 

The phones were available in all colors and variants but the 64GB Clearly White Pixel 3 appears to have already sold out.

You might not see an offer as good as this on the third-generation Pixels for a good while so don’t miss out if you’re interested. Find both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL deals at the link below and check out our dedicated Black Friday deals page for the other great offers we’ve found. 

 

Having problems with your Google Pixel 3 overheating? You’re not alone

Google Pixel 3 Display

  • Some Google Pixel 3 smartphones are experiencing overheating issues while charging and/or video calling.
  • The problem is affecting both Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and can cause them to shut down.
  • Google has yet to provide a solution; if the problem affects you, you may need to request a warranty replacement.

Some Google Pixel 3 smartphones are suffering from an overheating problem while charging, according to various reports. Pixel 3 owners have taken to Reddit and the Google product forums to highlight the issue, which seems to affect both the standard Pixel 3 and the larger Pixel 3 XL variant.

The problem appears to occur most frequently when video calling or charging. It’s said to happen whether using the official Google charger or a third-party product.

At some point, the smartphone can heat up to the point where an overheating notification appears, or the handset itself shuts off.

Editor’s Pick

What’s causing the issue is unclear, yet it’s completely natural for devices to get warm while charging. Similarly, phones can get warm while video calling or video recording at high resolutions. This is not inherently a problem, but if a phone becomes too hot to use or shuts down (like in these cases), then it needs to be addressed.

Smartphone overheating can sometimes be resolved with an over-the-air update, though it may mean reducing the charging speeds or limiting video framerates or resolutions. Google may also replace units under warranty if it deems it a hardware issue.

The Google Pixel 2 has also had similar issues: an ongoing thread (started in February) contains reports from just a week ago that the device is shutting down while charging.

If you’re having similar troubles — with any Google product — you can head to the forums, contact a Google support specialist, or go straight to the hardware warranty center here.

We asked, you told us: You want the OnePlus 6T over the Google Pixel 3

This week’s poll wanted to find out if the new OnePlus 6T could compete against the big boys, as we pit it against the also-new Google Pixel 3 (and the XL).
It was a simple question: which is better?

It’s an interesting comparison because the two approach the task of being the perfect Android smartphone quite differently.

There are similarities between the two. Neither have a headphone jack, both are all-glass, both come with Android 9.0 Pie, and both utilize the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC.

From there though, they’re very different phones. The battle becomes the Pixel’s camera and tight Google integration, versus the value and increasing refinement of the OnePlus 6T.

Google Pixel 3 XL vs Pixel 3 screen

 

The 6T now has the in-display fingerprint sensor, and it is has a much smaller notch. It also uses Oxygen OS which is a well-liked skin over stock Android. The 6T also boasts more RAM – double what you can get in the Pixel. No wireless charging either, which the Pixel does have.

But the OnePlus 6T camera isn’t a game changer. It’s good, sure, but it’s not as stunning as the Pixel 3. And at this point, I’m going to trust that Google’s camera software will advance further than OnePlus over the coming months and years.

So how does this matter to you, and how did you vote? Well, you guys climbed out from everywhere to vote on this one – more than 60,000 votes giving us great insight this week.

OnePlus 6T or Google Pixel 3?

It’s a huge win for the 6T – breakout the champagne OnePlus!

It’s a huge win across the board for the OnePlus 6T. The votes ranged from as strong as 64% in favor of the 6T in the straight shootout, but that was a little softer when we gave more options. The ‘neither’ option picked up a few votes, often from folks wanting to point out they need a headphone jack. Which is fair enough, and that saw the Mate 20 and Samsung Galaxy devices mentioned heavily in the comments.

oneplus 6t tmo

But why did the 6T beat out the might of Google? Most of the comments agreed it’s simply a value case – OnePlus keep offering some of the best value even seen in what is now a flagship device. OnePlus phones keep getting better, even if they don’t get every decision right.

Meanwhile, the Pixel 3 isn’t cheap and has a deeply polarizing notch at the XL size, but did win votes for the camera and well regarded daily driver aspects, particularly the smaller size non-XL.

Here’s what you guys said:

  • The price for value makes sense. OnePlus 6T has a water drop notch, Pixel 3Xl has airport notch. Both lack 3.5mm jack. But OnePlus 6T has in-display fingerprint scanner and bigger battery and faster charger.
  • Pixel 3 for its camera, but otherwise, the OnePlus 6T blows it away. That said, I’m happy with my Note 9 with microSD card slot, headphone jack, & stylus, so neither of those would be a perfect fit for me.
  • OnePlus isn’t a flagship killer anymore. It is the Flagship.
  • OnePlus 6 (NOT the 6T, because of the boneheaded move to drop the headphone jack) with the Google Cam APK installed.
  • Rephrase the question to put the price difference in play. I want the Pixel 3 XL but I can’t afford it, not taking away anything from Oneplus 6T.

That’s it for this week gang! And thanks for all your votes. Here’s a hint for next week… keep thinking about your favorite Android smartphone of the year. We’ll be wanting to know. That’s all I can say, for now!