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Most Wanted: The best smartphones you can buy

It's that time of year again. Knowing our audience, chances are that you're looking for some sort of gadget to purchase for yourself or someone else. Whether the smartphone being replaced is too old, too bootloopy, or just doesn't have all the features you want, we've got you covered with our choices for the best smartphones you can buy.

The sheer number of smartphones on the market today makes narrowing the choices down difficult. So many factors - battery life, cameras, displays, software, water resistance, and more - come into play, but our goal is to find the best all-rounders out there.

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Google Home back down to $79 for this month on Google Store

If you're kicking yourself for not scooping up a discounted Google Home during the post-Thanksgiving weekend, toss that regret aside and grab your wallet. Google is bringing the price for its medium-sized smart speaker back down to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday price of $79 in the Google Store through the rest of December.

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Android Wear's VP of engineering, David Singleton, leaves Google for Stripe

According to a tweet from Stripe CEO Patrick Collison (his new boss), David Singleton has left his position as Android Wear's VP of engineering at Google. Given the decline of the platform in the last few years, it's understandable why Singleton made the decision to jump ship.

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[Deal Alert] Google Home 2-pack is $129.98 ($128.02 off) at Best Buy for today only

It wasn't long ago that it was difficult to find a Google Home anywhere below $100. But with the introduction of the uber-cheap Home Mini, the demand for the regular Home has slowed down. For today only, Best Buy is offering a two-pack of Google Homes for just $129.98, which pretty makes this a buy-one, get-one type of deal.

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Project Fi support offering owners of defective Nexus 5X phones as little as $53 after it runs out of replacement devices

The Nexus 5X was a fine phone at launch, but it hasn't aged well. It's affected by LG's famous bootloop issue, but Project Fi customers who had Device Protection (formerly Nexus Protect) thought they were safe. Over the last several days, we've gotten multiple tips from readers who have been struggling to get a replacement. Apparently, Google is out of refurb phones, and its proposed remedy is laughable. Customers are being offered as little as $52 in compensation.

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[Update: Latest Google app beta update has a fix] Google Assistant on Pixel 2 is not detecting voice input through Bluetooth headphones

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.

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InBrief
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Hangouts Meet meetings now support up to 50 participants, up from 30

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Android 8.1 DP2 fixes poor audio Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL experienced when recording video

One of the many issues the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have been revealed to have is poor audio while recording video. While we're not sure if this affects all units, it definitely affected Artem's, and I've noticed the problem in some videos I've shot as well on my Pixel 2 XL. Google has confirmed that the problem has been resolved in the second 8.1 Oreo developer preview, and we've got video samples from before and after to prove it.

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Google Assistant will soon help you find local professionals depending on exactly what you need

When you're having some sort of issue with your house, chances are that you immediately go to Google to find someone who can take care of the issue if you don't already have a go-to guy saved in your contacts list. However, it's not uncommon to see people with the same general profession specialize in different areas. Thankfully, Google will soon make it easier to figure out who you should call.

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Google Home Mini is crashing and rebooting for some when playing certain songs at high volume

The Google Home Mini may not be a very powerful speaker, but it's still a speaker that people use to listen to music with. However, some people are having their Home Minis crash and reboot when certain songs are played at too high a volume. We've got a couple of songs that you can try playing to see if your Home Mini is affected.

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