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Google switches to a Samsung display for the Pixel 3 XL

18 October 2018

"First, to protect Android from outside tampering, we've integrated Titan M into Verified Boot, our secure boot process".

Although Google has unveiled its mostly unsurprising Pixel 3 range, the pair has yet to fall into the hands of customers who've pre-ordered. It secures the bootloader and stores the last safe known version of Android. Google went into some details about the security chip today, explaining that it borrowed some of the best features from its Titan chip, which is used for Google Cloud data centers.

Google uses the Titan M chip in their "Verified Boot", a secure boot process that Google first started playing with in Android 4.4, but implemented as Android Verified Boot past year in Android Oreo.

The Pixel 3 is listed as "blueline", while the Pixel 3 XL is "crosshatch". Additionally, Titan M will decrypt the phone only after it has successfully verified your password. This is in addition to Google's own Pay service. For apps that rely on user interaction to confirm a transaction, meanwhile, Titan M enables Android 9 Protected Confirmation - the first device, according to Google, to ship with this protection. Importantly, Titan M works with third-party apps to generate and store keys. These security advantages will help in secure transactions on smartphones, including funds transfers and e-voting, to name a few.

Overall layout and internals of the Pixel 3 XL look mostly the same as the Pixel 2 XL last year. iFixit found the same Google SR3HX "Pixel Visual Core" chip as last year.

Finally, Google also built Titan M with "insider attack resistance", meaning the firmware can't be updated unless you've entered your passcode, leaving bad actors trying to bypass the lock screen out of luck.

Google switches to a Samsung display for the Pixel 3 XL