Deal: Get 50% off Pixel Buds when you buy a Pixel 2 or 2 XL

When Google Pixel Buds were first released, they were met with relatively lukewarm reviews. Google’s answer to Apple’s wildly popular AirPods, most “experts” found the Pixel Buds’ odd design, comfort, and storage lacking, making the (almost) wireless earbuds feel more overpriced than premium. The common theme from early reviews was there simply wasn’t enough being offered to really justify the price.

While Pixel Buds aren’t seeing a permanent price drop just yet, you can snag a pretty damn good deal — a good 50% off — if you pair them with a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. All you have to do is add both products to your cart, and you’ll see the discount applied with a new total. While $160 for the mostly wireless earbuds is a tough pill to swallow, this new $80 is much more palatable.

Anyone thinking about picking up a Pixel 2 now have a great incentive to pair them up with some Pixel Buds. For all those interested, you’ll find them via the link down below.

Buy Google Pixel Buds

Kinda Blue Pixel 2 no longer Verizon exclusive, now available from Google Store and Project Fi

When the Pixel 2 first launched, there was one color we really wanted to get our hands on: that ashy, sorta blue-ish gray color. Google calls it “Kinda Blue” but the only thing keeping us from picking it up and popping our T-Mobile SIM inside was the fact that it was a Verizon exclusive. You know, because Verizon needs that special treatment.

It’s been a long time coming, but the Kinda Blue Pixel 2 is finally dropping its carrier exclusivity, where it now can be purchased unlocked from the Google Store or through Project Fi. Unfortunately, it seems the only storage configuration is the 64GB model, but it’s better than nothing. With Google Photo

Buy the Kind Blue Google Pixel 2

Some Pixel 2 units bought from the Google Store have locked down bootloaders

Being able to unlock the bootloader on your Nexus or Pixel device used to be as American as apple pie. Today things are much different. Pixel 2 models sold on Verizon have the unique distinction of having their bootloaders locked down tight, while the models purchased through the Google Store were supposedly immune from these restrictions.

After Pixel 2 mixups like some devices being shipped without the OS installed, problems with the Pixel 2 trade-in program, and even unresponsive touch screens, it now seems that (surprise, surprise) some units — those purchased directly from the Google Store — have bootloaders that can’t be unlocked.

The issues originated on XDA and after gaining some attention, has made its way to Google’s Issue Tracker where more users are already chiming in with their own experiences. While most folks will never feel the need to unlock their bootloaders, for developers or those who enjoy tinkering around with the software on their Android device, this could come as a shock. So far 39 people have starred the issue and sounds like it’s unique to the smaller HTC-made Pixel 2 — not the 2 XL.

One user talked about his experience dealing with the Google Store’s customer service, mentioning they refused to RMA device. Although they said they’d refund the unit, stock is currently sold out and he’d have to wait weeks before another is shipped. And while Pixel 2 XLs don’t appear to be affected, one person reported receiving an RMA’d 2 XL from Verizon and being able to unlock the bootloader on that model. Weird.

It’s clear there’s some kind of a mix up going on, but we’ll have to wait and see exactly how Google plans on addressing. By bringing attention to it, hopefully Google can update their CSRs and avoid the headache that comes from dealing with yet another snafu. In the meantime, if you plan on ever rooting your Google Store-bought Pixel 2, first thing you should do is make sure unlocking the bootloader is even possible. You know, just in case.

via Google Issue Tracker

[Deal] Grab the Google Home/Home Mini for just £79/£34

Black Friday is still a few days away, but some companies just can’t wait. Take Google, for instance, discounting its Google Home and Google Home Mini devices in the UK, bringing them firmly within the Impulse Buy zone with savings of £50 and £15 respectively. The regular Google Home is reduced from its normal price […]

Come comment on this article: [Deal] Grab the Google Home/Home Mini for just £79/£34

Bad advice: Google pop-up shop employee tells customers to cut the cord connecting Pixel Buds together

About a month ago, Google began opening specialty pop-up shops showcasing this year’s Made By Google products. It’s here anyone can walk in, check out Google’s latest wares and if they like what they see, walk out with some pretty cool new tech.

One of the more recent items to become available in their stores were their new Pixel Buds. The wireless earbuds are supposed to offer an experience similar to Apple’s AirPods thanks to a painfully simply pairing method, charging case, and a mostly wireless experience save for a cord connecting the two buds together.

In case you thought the cord was only meant to tether the buds together and keep you from losing them — it absolutely is not. I know, it sounds obvious but apparently even employees working the Google Store pop-up shop were having trouble wrapping their head around the purpose of the cable.

As told by a user on Reddit, a pop-up shop employee (which is likely a Verizon authorized retailer employee) allegedly told them — and other customers — if they didn’t like the the look of the cord connecting the earbuds, they could simply cut and remove it entirely for a more AirPod-esque true wireless design.

“I decided to finally walk over and check out the Google store here in Manhattan and checked out the pixel buds.
A Google employee came over to me and asked if I wanted to pre order a pair? I told him I already did and they should be here Tuesday.
I told him hopefully in the future there won’t be a cord.
He said with a dead serious face ‘just cut the cord’. I was like?! Google said not to cut the cord.
He was confused and asked me why? I proceeded to tell him the reasons and he’s like ‘well I better stop telling people that’.”

But this advice couldn’t possibly be further from the truth. As laid out on the PIxel Buds support page, Google clearly states:

“The cord between the two earbuds conducts power and audio signals so do not cut it. The warranty will be voided if the cord is cut.”

And there you have it. The cord connecting Google’s Pixel Buds is mandatory for the headphones to function and 100% there by design. Google’s pop-up shops are currently open to the public (10AM – 8PM) and run until Dec 31st. For more on Pixel Buds, you can check them out on their Google Store page linked down below.

Buy Pixel Buds at Google Store