In this week’s top stories: Google’s Pixel 3 XL was put on display several times, Chrome’s Material makeover gets a launch date, we share out initial thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, and much more.

The best gifts for Android users

Google Pixel 3 XL Leaks Galore

The biggest story of this week was Google’s Pixel 3 XL and the flood of new leaks that hit the web. Camera samples, videos showing off wireless charging, and even a full review hit the web, and we’ve got it all covered at the links below.

Along with the flood of leaks, we were able to share information from sources that reveal how Google is using the dual front-facing cameras on this device, as well as that Google plans to update Visual Core on this device.

According to one source familiar with the phone, a primary goal of the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL’s two front-facing cameras is shooting better selfies.  We’re told that the resulting images are similar to other faux bokeh implementations, but with some improvements to make the Pixel stand out versus the competition. Google is eager to “see how people like the improved Portrait Mode,” one source said.

Further, we exclusively revealed that the flood of leaked Pixel 3 XL information is largely thanks to a black market dealer who is peddling early units.

9to5Google has learned that many of the leaks in recent weeks have come thanks to one Ukrainian seller, offering a large number of possibly stolen Pixel 3 XL units for $2,000 each.

Our weekly podcast, Alphabet Scoop, also covered these leaks with a few extra tidbits of information we’ve learned about the phone.

Outside of Pixel news, this week we also revealed that Google is bringing Chrome’s Material Design makeover to all users on multiple platforms next month.

Even before the Google Material Theme was showcased at I/O 2018, the Chrome team has been working on a big redesign for the browser that shares many similarities like rounded corners and stark white backgrounds. Available on both desktop and mobile, this “Material Design refresh” is now scheduled to begin rolling out in September with Chrome 69.

Finally, we also shared our initial thoughts on Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 9 in our initial review.

This phone is basically as close to perfect as you can get from a hardware perspective. It has great battery life, a premium chassis with a great design, an amazing display, and every hardware and software feature to help justify your purchase.

The Note 9 is a spectacular phone, and if you’ve been on the fence about buying one, I can say it’s definitely worth a shot… if you can afford it.

The rest of this week’s top stories follow:

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