Deal: Verizon’s new deal could net you two Pixel 2 or 2 XLs for 50% off

With the holidays right around the corner, you may be holding off any major purchases until you see all the Black Friday deals. Verizon is hoping to tempt you to buy now with a brand new offer that we have to say looks pretty good. Right now, Verizon is offering up a buy one, get one half off deal on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy S8 Plus. In addition to those fantastic Samsung devices, the offer extends to the brand new Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

You might remember that last week we told you about a 50% off deal for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. That deal is still going on too, and yes, the offers can be combined. As a refresher, Verizon has a list of 15 different devices you can trade in that will net you 50% off a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. Trade in a phone, get 50% off your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL and then buy another for 50% off. That’s two Pixels for the price of one.

The qualify for the offer, you do not have to trade in a second phone. All you have to do is buy a second Pixel device and sign up for a Verizon unlimited plan if you don’t already have one. The device payments will be discounted by 50% each month over the 24 months it takes to pay off the phones. In the fine print, Verizon states that it may take two or three months for the credits to kick in.

The buy one, get one half off deal is going on until November 22. Verizon’s Black Friday deals have yet to be released so we don’t know quite how this deal will stack against them. But, it’s going to be hard to beat getting the newest flagship on the market for half off.

If you want to stay up to date on all of the Black Friday deals we’re tracking, head over to our Black Friday hub for more.

Pixel 2 XL’s lovely video-scaling gesture for YouTube lands on LG V30 and Galaxy S8 Plus

Google has made a habit out of using its Pixel devices as a testbed of sorts for new Android features that eventually make their way to phones from other manufacturers.

One such feature was YouTube’s pinch-to-zoom gesture that debuted in version 12.40. This neat addition to the app’s playback controls gave Pixel 2 XL users the option to stretch out videos to fill the handset’s elongated screen – and now it’s on its way to other phones too.

Most YouTube videos are optimized to fit a standard 16:9 aspect ratio display. This causes a bit of an issue for the current wave of near bezel-less phones that sport 18:9 screens.

The cumbersome solution had been a pair of two black bars that play either side of 16:9 video content, but with the Pixel 2 XL, Google chose to add the pinch-to-zoom option as a way of eliminating the dead space (as seen in the screenshot above that I took on a Pixel 2 XL while watching a YouTube video).

Up until now, anyone buying an 18:9 phone (or other stretched aspect ratio devices) that wasn’t a Pixel 2 XL had to put up with less intuitive app scaling settings.

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Thankfully, as of YouTube version 12.44, other phones will also be supported. The folks over at Android Police have only confirmed that the gesture works on the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus or LG V30 after the update, but many more are likely to follow.

For what it’s worth, I tried a few non-bezel-less phones as a quick experiment and had no luck, but make sure to let us know how you get on in the comments. You can download the latest update from the Play Store or, if it isn’t live for you just yet, via an APK Mirror link here.

Microsoft begins selling the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus online

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus were unveiled earlier this year with much fanfare, as is often the case with new Samsung flagships. Considering the woes that Microsoft has endured over the years with Windows Phone, it made sense for the company to jump on board with one of the most popular Android devices.

Since March of 2017, Microsoft has offered the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in its retail storefronts, but now, the company is taking its sales online. Starting yesterday, you can snag either device with prices starting at $724.99 for the smaller Galaxy device.

What makes these devices special for Microsoft fans is that once you are connected to Wi-Fi, the device will be loaded with a suite of Microsoft applications. These apps include OneDrive, Cortana, Outlook, and the new Microsoft Launcher, which will give you all the tools to work seamlessly with your Windows PC.

In addition to offering unlocked models of the S8 and S8 Plus, Microsoft is also offering carrier versions of the device from the likes of Verizon and AT&T. Pricing for these devices starts at $720 for the Verizon Galaxy S8 and $749.99 for the AT&T Galaxy S8. Those looking to get the Plus-size models will see a start price of $824.99.

However, the fun doesn’t stop there, as Microsoft has already revealed that the devices will be discounted by as much as $150 on Black Friday, meaning you can get the unlocked Galaxy S8 for as low as $575. This isn’t the greatest deal that we’ve seen but is still one to be considered if you like shopping with Microsoft.

If you want to pick up one of these special devices, hit the button below to learn more and to grab one for yourself.

Buy the Galaxy S8 from Microsoft

Microsoft starts selling Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, will reduce them by $150 on Black Friday

Back in April, Microsoft started selling the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus “Microsoft Edition” at its retail stores across the US. What makes the devices different is that when you connect them to a Wi-Fi network, a Microsoft customization is applied that brings the company’s apps such as OneDrive, Cortana, and Outlook to the flagships.

Now, Microsoft has started selling the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus on its website as well. The unlocked version of the S8 retails for $725, while its bigger brother will set you back $825 — the same as on Samsung’s website. Additionally, AT&T and Verizon variants are also available.

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However, you’ll be able to get a big discount on both devices as part of Microsoft’s Black Friday deals. Starting on November 23, the unlocked versions of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will be available for $575 and $675 — $150 off their normal retail price.

As a refresher, both the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are powered by the Snapdragon 835 chipset, have 4 GB of RAM, and feature a 12 MP camera. The only differences between them are that the S8 has a 5.8-inch display and a 3,000 mAh battery, while the Plus model comes with a larger 6.2-inch screen and 3,500 mAh battery.

Both devices are already listed on Microsoft’s website, which you can visit via the button below.

The second Android Oreo beta update comes to the Galaxy S8

It’s been a little over a week since Samsung rolled out the Android Oreo beta for owners of the Galaxy S8 lineup, and the company is now pushing another update to devices. The update comes with a build number of G950FXXU1ZQK4 and is currently rolling out to those in the UK, before rolling out to more regions.

Courtesy of SamMobile

There are quite a few changes with this latest update, including the following:

  • October Android Security Patch
  • “The stability of DeX mode has been improved”
  • “The stability of Launcher has been improved”

Thre are also various bug fixes and new features that have been added, including new clock styles for the lock screen and the Always On Display. According to SamMobile, the update also brings the ability for users to adjust the transparency of notifications, and Smart View has been updated to darken the screen when it is mirroring content between your device and a TV.

We have yet to see the update make its way to our Galaxy S8 Plus running the Android Oreo beta, but we’ll be sure to let everyone know if there are more changes with the latest beta. Have you already received the update? Let us know in the comments below.