About the Author

Ben Schoon


Ben is a tech geek with a soft spot for Android, Pixel/Nexus in particular. Constantly switching between devices that literally surround him, he can be found reviewing the latest smartphones on the 9to5Google YouTube channel and writing up the latest news. Ben also started a small publication called YourTechExplained, which still runs today. You can get in touch with him over on Twitter or by Email.


Ben Schoon's Favorite Gear


With the holidays approaching and all of the associated sales, you might be on the market for a new Android phone as a gift for someone, if not yourself. There are a ton of great options out there, so it might be hard to narrow it down. In this Best Android Phones Gift Guide, let’s take a look at our picks for the best Android phones you can buy today, and some of the best holiday deals on those devices too.

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We’ve been hearing rumors of a “budget” Pixel device from Google for ages, including our own report from early 2017, but nothing has ever come out regarding it. Today, though, we’re getting our first alleged images of the alleged Pixel 3 Lite.

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

For years now, the Android community has cried out for dark themes in applications and the system throughout, all while Google continued to slap more and more white themes basically everywhere. Slowly but surely, though, we’ve been seeing more Google dark mode apps on various platforms. Here’s every Google dark mode app available today.

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While the Pixel 3 doesn’t add a lot of jaw-dropping new features, one that turned heads was the call screening feature. Now, it’s looking like Pixel 2 call screening is starting to roll out.

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November 15

Samsung promised that the month of November would deliver the company’s new One UI interface with an Android Pie beta. Now, just hours after that beta program kicked off in South Korea, Samsung is opening the floodgates for the same update in the United States. Here’s how to download Galaxy S9 Android Pie beta with One UI.

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Samsung will restrict free device themes to 14-day trials starting with Android Pie

Samsung’s Android devices let you adjust settings pretty much everywhere, and that includes full device themes. Starting with Android Pie, though, Samsung Themes which are free will only work for 14 days.

Samsung One UI beta w/ Android Pie starts rolling out to first testers in South Korea

While we’re still a couple of months away from the public rollout of Samsung One UI with Android Pie. However, true to its word, Samsung is kicking off the rollout of the One UI beta to its first testers, and that starts in Korea.

The camera on Google’s Pixel phones is nothing short of incredible, and it just keeps getting better with each new release. This week, Google has released actual magic onto its phones with Pixel Night Sight, and the results are simply amazing. Let’s take a deeper look into some details about Night Sight you might not have known.

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This year has seen some big improvements to Google’s Wear OS ecosystem. There’s been a ton of new hardware, major updates to the software, and even a new chipset with big promises. Today, Google is announcing Wear OS version H, and it delivers some big improvements for the OS.

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With major system upgrades landing each year, it feels as though most devices are farther behind than they’ve ever been. Despite the fact that Android Pie still has no presence on Google’s monthly distribution numbers, the company still expects Pie to hit more devices by the end of this year than Oreo saw last year. expand full story

Following its quiet launch in China earlier this month, OnePlus has officially added a new color to the OnePlus 6T lineup. Thunder Purple is available starting today from the company’s official website.

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November 14

After the death of Google Reader (RIP), many users flocked to Feedly as an alternative RSS client. Over the years, the service has gotten better and better and today, Feedly for Android is getting an overhaul (at least in beta).

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If you read a hundred reviews of any Google Pixel smartphone, you’ll come away with the consensus that these phones are worth it for the camera alone, and that’s very true. Lately, Google has been working some magic behind the scenes to make these cameras even better. Starting today, Google Pixel Night Sight is rolling out to all users.

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Some Google Pixel devices allow notification vibrations during video recording, here’s how to fix it

If you own a Google Pixel device, odds are you’ll be shooting a lot of pictures and videos. However, a stray vibration can at times ruin a video you’re recording. Some Pixel 3 owners note that their devices don’t block these from happening, but luckily there’s a relatively simple fix to stop those pesky Pixel 3 video vibrations.

November 13

There’s been a lot of talk in the Android community as of late when it comes to dark mode. Slowly but surely, Google has been making adjustments to its suite of apps and the OS itself to add the much-requested feature. Now, Google is making Android Night Mode turn on by force when users enable Battery Saver.

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While Essential might not be in the greatest spot right now with trouble from its founder and massive layoffs, the company has just launched a new product. Ages after its announcement, the Essential Audio Adapter HD is now available.

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November security patch in ‘final testing’ for 2016 Google Pixel devices halfway through the month

One of the biggest reasons to buy a Google Pixel device of any generation is for software updates. Oddly, though, the original Pixel and Pixel XL are a bit behind in that department as the Pixel November update and its associated security enhancements have yet to arrive. According to Google, though, they’re on the way.

Smartphone cameras are getting insanely good, especially in the case of Google’s Pixel lineup and Apple’s latest iPhones. Moment has made some excellent lenses to produce even better shots out of your phone, and today the company is launching the new Moment Tele 58mm lens.

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Samsung launches beautiful ‘Ice Blue’ Galaxy S9 gradient color option

Over the past year, we’ve been seeing several manufacturers adopting gradient colors for their various smartphones, all tracing back to Huawei. Now, Samsung is debuting its first flagship gradient color with the new Galaxy S9 Ice Blue.

Razer Phone 2 available from AT&T starting November 16th, exclusive carrier

After going official earlier this month, the Razer Phone 2 is making its way to a US carrier. Starting this Friday, November 16th, you’ll be able to pick it up from AT&T.

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