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What is the best Google phone: Nexus or Pixel?

What is the best Google phone: Nexus or Pixel?

Google smartphones are among the most popular on the market. There was a time when the Nexus devices were affordable, but the new Pixel devices all carry a large price tag. The Pixel is now even more in demand because quantities are limited in some markets. If you had to choose between the Nexus and Pixel lines, which would you prefer?

The goal of the Nexus was to bring a purer Android experience to the market, where the hardware was important but not always the focus. In terms of design, the Nexus 6P and Nexus 4 are the ones that shine. The ugly duckling may be the Nexus 5, but it has the best balance between cost and performance and is well-loved by developers.

androidpit Nexus 6P 4
The best representation of the Nexus line: the Nexus 6P. / © NextPit

Google's new offering is the Pixel line. There is barely any trace of the name of the manufacturer on the device - it is just branded with a big G. Pixel phones have the latest hardware, an elegant design and exclusive features that no other Android phones have.

With the Pixel, Google is trying to entice those who would otherwise go for the iPhone. If Apple loses some prestige with a blunder like Samsung's Note 7 disaster, this could be possible.

AndroidPIt google pixel XL 9780
The bigger Pixel: Pixel XL. / © NextPit

The Nexus smartphones were a beloved by many. The Pixel devices maybe haven't had enough time to make the world fall in love with them yet, but some users are excited by them. What is especially remarkable with the Pixel is the improvement of the cameras, though Google was already heading in this direction with the Nexus 6P.

Google's two smartphone lines have their own unique characters, and we want to know your opinion on them.

Which line do you prefer?
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Let us know why you picked your favorite in the comments! Then check out all the rumors about the next Pixel phone.

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  • Jay Mumper Mar 9, 2017

    I stuck with the Nexus because I think the Pixel devices were far overpriced for their otherwise only incrementally better value.

  • Red Mar 10, 2017

    I own both Nexus 6P 64gb white and Pixel XL 128gb silver.

    Nexus 6P shines better in low light photography consistently without overblowing light sources (Pixel is terrible at it. Also Pixel suffers from halo effect. Never heard of this before Pixel).

    Nexus 6P with dual front facing speakers are louder compared to weak bottom facing single speaker on Pixel. Speaker on Pixel is freaking joke. Consistently missing phone calls and messages at work. Never had this issue with Moto X 2014, iPhone 6, Galaxy S6, and Nexus 6P. Not to mention how easily that bottom facing speaker can be covered up with fingers due to terrible placement. And to excuse it with VR thing is even more pathetic since Daydream at the moment is hot steaming garbage. My Daydream headset sitting at home collecting dust.

    Not to mention my Pixel has slight gap between glass and frame top right. And phone center area feels hollow as if there is air gap. And there is replacement for cracking audio issue (for one guy he was told to buy something else by Google). The point is both phones suffer hardware defects.

    The main difference is the price. For Nexus, it is easier to overlook since price is competitive. For Pixel phones, there are no excuses.
    If Pixel wants to justify its current price, then it should be better than Nexus 6P in EVERY WAY, not some ways.

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  • michael doidge Mar 18, 2017 Link to comment

    In my book the Nexus (still use my 6P) line takes an easy win , before you even take into account the poor build quality of the pixels , there is the the matter of price , the pixels are clearly way over priced .
    The pixels have some good points , but so does every other phone , I have money but I wouldn't buy a pixel purely on principle.


  • Saeed Youxafzai Mar 18, 2017 Link to comment

    I bought my Nexus 6p 5 months ago . Nexus 6p is a great phone I love this phone but one thing I really missing is OIS . I prefer nexus for those who like premium look phones and bigger displays


  • Paranoid Android Mar 11, 2017 Link to comment

    I love both Nexus and my Pixel XL. The Pixel XL wins hands down for me though, but for a few simple reasons. The camera is fantastic, and no bumper like on my Nexus 6p. My family are project fi phone subscribers, and not only love the service, but the phones that work with!


  • Eric Chen Mar 11, 2017 Link to comment

    I like the design of the iPhone 7, but not the pixel. Maybe its that half and half on the rear side.

    My 6p is still serving me well so I voted Nexus. Love the custom rom options. Pure Nexus.


  • Andrew Mikolajczyk Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I won't touch the Pixel, Pixel 2, or Pixel 3, because of HTC's involvement and their reputation for poor build quality and quality control...
    If I'm going to pay that much for a premium flagship phone it damn well better be premium...And nothing that HTC touches is deserving of that label.
    Not to mention the uninspiring design...The pixel was just a rehash of HTC's iClone the One A9s with some updated guts...

    I'm waiting til June for the Nokia 8, which from rumored specs looks to be everything the Pixel SHOULD have been


  • M.G. Bleddynn Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I have to opt for the Nexus over the Pixel. I love the simplicity of my Nexus 5 and 5X. I do not have an interest in larger phablet phones which is why I chose the smaller 5 and 5X versions. The price point for Pixel hitting the market is just too high to make it competitive right now, and if I get one, it will only be after deep price cuts.


    • David Martrano Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

      First off the XL is always back ordered! The the lense flair, bluetooth connections problems, now microphone problems hardware not software. I know a guy who is on his fifth XL, what's wrong with that picture!


  • Krystal Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I am hoping that since they scraped a previous design to go with the current Pixel and they had to rush things to get it to market, the next generation pixel will blow my mind. THEN I might purchase a pixel 2, but only if it comes to most of the carriers *I'm talking to you T-Mobile* AND is water resistant to at least ip67.
    I agree though, this phone was and remains overpriced. You can get truly great phones nowadays for $500-600. For now, I will stick to my S7E & V20


    • David Martrano Mar 12, 2017 Link to comment

      I'm hoping too, that Google buys out HTC. They are on the verge of bankruptcy. There latest offerings the Bolt & U are grossly overpriced products. If Google were to purchase maybe they could bring back the Nexus line. I know wishful thinking!


      • Andrew Mikolajczyk Mar 12, 2017 Link to comment

        I'm of the opposite mindset...HTC needs to be gone.
        Google buying them out would just perpetuate the quality control and hardware issues they have had for the past couple years as well as some downright stupid design choices...

        I'd rather see HTC close (it's actually just their smartphone division)...And let other OEMs take Google to school and show them how it's done...
        I have high hopes that HMD global will do just that this summer with their Nokia line, running pure stock Android. It seems that they actually listened to what people wanted most and incorporated it...And if they can pull that off with the legendary Nokia build quality and finally deliver a truly premium pure Android phone.


  • Thomas Page-Phillips Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    Nexus of course cos of price. Even though, android is behind compared to iOS down to accessibility due to my deafness. Where is option of vibration for alert notification? "On or off" is not good enough. Do you want to switch sound on or off?!?! Of course not, you want to adjust the sound to be louder or quieter. Yeah I found apps that can do the vibrating job out there but wonky. Pixel is about premium so come on! Broad your ignorance mind! Virtual assistant is great idea to you all, but it is fuckin useless to me, I can't speak clearly.


  • Elizabeth Hardersen Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I had a 6p, loved everything about it EXCEPT the massive size, and I won't touch an LG phone. (boot loop nightmare) . I down-sized to a Samsung GS7, which is the size I prefer. Then bought the smaller Pixel. Ordered on opening day and waited 2 months for a blue one. Love it. This is what I needed the 6p to be. It looks nothing like an iPhone, it looks like an HTC (duh) . The 2 biggest fails? Price and lack of front facing speakers. (okay, it's a bit of an ugly duckling) I would hope Google would pay attention to its customers demands and put those big empty bezels to good use. The GS7 updated to nougat 2 weeks back, so I gave the beauty a shot to steal me back - lasted less than a day and I'm back on the Pixel.


    • RMDC Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

      My V20 has never had a bootloop issue nor any other nightmare.


  • Elgonidas Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I was super happy with my Nexus 6 until at about 18 months old (late purchase), it started suffering extreme performance issues. I eventually replaced it with a 6p at the start of January. I'm quite happy with it, but I'd rather have a new 6 with updated hardware, maybe USB-C, which is one thing I really like on my 6p. The pixel line didn't impress me at all, though I haven't tried one. At the very least they're overpriced.


  •   31
    Deactivated Account Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    Brian Rakowski, Google's VP product management..
    Nexus..
    "since 2010, we've partnered closely with mobile handset partners around the world to bring you the best of Android.
    Through Nexus, the goal was to work with these various partners to push the boundaries of what's possible with a smartphone."
    Pixel..
    "we've now decided to take the next step and provide our take on the best Google experience, by bringing hardware and software design together under one roof."

    I've no doubt that the current pixel is the best of Google and android..
    it just feels for the price a bit underwhelming..
    smartphones are a whole world of compromises, and personally I prefer Nexus.

    technically.. the best Nexus so far... that'll be Huawei N6p.

    my Moto Nexus 6, now over 2yrs old.. regularly updated OS and security, still running current version of android very very smoothly,
    almost perfect user experience..
    I'm really happy with my Nexus 6 but really sorry to see the end of Nexus.

    maybe Nokia with its promise of stock android will become the new nexus..


  • Dean Joel Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I have the 6p and in my opinion it's the best.
    Is it just me or is the Pixel looks the same as iPhone??
    I checked one out in local phone shop and seems to be OKish but the price is still over the top.


    •   24
      Deactivated Account Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

      "Is it just me or is the Pixel looks the same as iPhone?? "

      thats a trend that weve seen more and more in the past few years - just a little surprising to see google go down that route. Oh well -> Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal


    • cybertec69 Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

      Who cares if it looks like an iPhone, it never fails that I always have to see this kind of comment on every Android forum. No one cares anymore.


      • James Wanless Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

        Seriously? How can you say with any confidence that "no one" cares? This might be the stupidest thing I've read in a while. Clearly, just from this article and many others, many people care.


      • cybertec69 Mar 11, 2017 Link to comment

        No one cares


  • Jay E Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I feel what's hurting the pixel is that they didn't use multiple carriers for the launch.. Yes I know u can buy it unlocked and get it through Google"credit" but some people like myself didn't have good credit nor had the money to buy it outright...I love my Nexus 6 and the pure Google/Android... Im going to try to wait for the pixel 2 or jump to the S8plus next month.


  • Raul Salas Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I have both and have been using both over the last week. I love the Nexus 6P front speakers and the slightly longer screen, but that's it. The screen seems brighter and images look slightly better on the Pixel XL. It's SO much smoother and no lagging what so ever and the camera is the best I've ever seen.


    • James Wanless Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

      You can fix lagging much easier with the 6p since it is so easy to flash software on them. Had a 6p since it came out. No lag issues at all.


  • Anupam Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    Nexus device is smaller, smooth, elegant, updated to the latest android, so I prefer nexus.


    • Anonymous Googler Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

      Dude, what are you taking about?
      Pixel has the latest Android software, first. And it's pure Android.


      • cybertec69 Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

        It's overpriced for what it is, and Nexus devices are pure Android and get the latest updates, where have you been.


  • David F Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I prefer the Nexus 6 and 6p because of the front facing stereo speakers. The pixels are probably great phones, but I don't like the design. Look too much like an iPhone.


  • Chintan Vyas Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    Well if u count as mid range mobile from Google than Nexus really takes ground but as for high range mobile pixel totally beats all as for me least and ppls saying about bugs from pixel meh every Nexus had some bugs in it too and they were later or sooner was solved some where not tho :/


  • Paul Cirrus Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    Well, Pixel is really overpriced AF. Even if we say that it is a first gen release of pixel, a lot have encountered problems with it, with the audio and even on the microphone.


  • Michael Mickelsen Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I currently use the Nexus 5x as my regular phone, but have my Nexus 4 as my backup. My favorite phone was the Galaxy Nexus. The Pixel phone is out of my price range.


  • Lee Jones Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    Everyone should just say the pixel cost to much and I can't afford it....


    • cybertec69 Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

      No, the Pixel is OVERPRICED for what it offers, nothing more nothing less.


      • Lee Jones Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

        That's an opinion, one that you are entitled to, but the only people complaining about price is those who can't afford it, I also have a 6p, and with the pixel XL there are plenty of improvements, screen quality, headphone audio, performance (gaming), and overall build quality(bend gate), to top it all off the UI runs at a solid 60fps. I like them both but I prefer the pixel XL


      • cybertec69 Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

        Sorry, but you can get a Samsung Galaxy S7 which is a fantastic device for $350-$400 in pristine condition on swappa, why should someone pay double the price for the Pixel, and samsung gives you Samsung pay which works everywhere. Heck my Nexus 5X 32 GB cost me $225, is the Pixel $650 better than the Nexus 5X, I don't think so. As I said, the Pixel is OVERPRICED for what it offers, heck you can get a pristine iPhone 7s plus 128GB on swappa for $700 and it's water resistant and has better speakers. Google screwed up with the Pixel line, big time.


      • James Sarino Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

        For me, the audio I found disappointing with the Pixel XL, compared to my dual-speakered 6P. The price bothers me some in a sense that competing phones at this price point I felt had some advantages (water resistance for instance), and a nicer design, IMO. That being said, as much as I like the 6P's camera, the XP raises it up a notch. The overall UI is even more polished to boot.


      • Lee Jones Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

        Samsung S7 edge is a lag fest, performance not so good, sold it months ago, iphone7s is ok, but I like Android better, but if price matters then the pixel or the iPhone may not be a option for some, but for me it's not an issue and I love the performance and camera on the XL so my choice was easy.


      • Red Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

        I own both Nexus 6P 64gb white and Pixel XL 128gb silver.

        Nexus 6P shines better in low light photography consistently without overblowing light sources (Pixel is terrible at it. Also Pixel suffers from halo effect. Never heard of this before Pixel).

        Nexus 6P with dual front facing speakers are louder compared to weak bottom facing single speaker on Pixel. Speaker on Pixel is freaking joke. Consistently missing phone calls and messages at work. Never had this issue with Moto X 2014, iPhone 6, Galaxy S6, and Nexus 6P. Not to mention how easily that bottom facing speaker can be covered up with fingers due to terrible placement. And to excuse it with VR thing is even more pathetic since Daydream at the moment is hot steaming garbage. My Daydream headset sitting at home collecting dust.

        Not to mention my Pixel has slight gap between glass and frame top right. And phone center area feels hollow as if there is air gap. And there is replacement for cracking audio issue (for one guy he was told to buy something else by Google). The point is both phones suffer hardware defects.

        The main difference is the price. For Nexus, it is easier to overlook since price is competitive. For Pixel phones, there are no excuses.
        If Pixel wants to justify its current price, then it should be better than Nexus 6P in EVERY WAY, not some ways.


      • Lee Jones Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

        Wow that sucks, I never had those phone call issues I downloaded higher quality ringtones, The speaker is definitely a minus, I haven't had the crackling issue though. But for what it's worth, other than the speaker the pixel is a legitimate upgrade over the Nexus line, in performance alone


      • GSP Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

        You don't need to spend $800 to enjoy a great experience and have a great camera..The OP3 proved that...I bought every Nexus up to the N6...After that I switched to OP and I feel I'm getting the same experience but at a more affordable price...I absolutely love my OP3 and it gives me the same CPU as the Pixel XL, 5.5 inch OLED screen with RGB, more memory and F2FS 64gb storage...The camera is actually better than the Pixel in daylight or well lit pics and slightly worse in low light pics...It has a faster fingerprint scanner too...For $399 in a metal unibody, it was a no brainier...I'm currently running Lineage OS on it which gives you a better overall experience than what the Pixel offers.


      • Raul Salas Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

        I have both too and I agree 100%.


      • David Martrano Mar 12, 2017 Link to comment

        I ordered the XL a few months back and they told me the waiting list was at least 60 days. Why would they do this to a new release! There always back ordered! So I picked up the blue corral edge. Couldn't be happier! I guess losing money is their cup of tea! No regrets!


  • cybertec69 Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I currently use the Nexus 5X 32 GB, great phone for the price with a great camera, also have a Nexus 6 64 GB as my backup device.


    • David Martrano Mar 12, 2017 Link to comment

      The thing I would like to see is have Google buy out HTC! Then bring back the Nexus line. I doubt that will happen but it's a nice thought!


      • Francesco V. Mar 12, 2017 Link to comment

        Why HTC? They always offer lackster battery performance, average camera and nothing new under the hood.


  • James Sarino Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I've own(ed) the Nexus One, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 5, 5X, 6, 6P, both versions of Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. I've been underwhelmed with the Pixel line so far. Google needs to step up on better hardware features (speakers for one) before I decide to splurge for one. Or I move to a Motorola.


    • GSP Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

      One Plus is better option than Moto if your on ATT or T-MOBILE...To me, I tend to stick to phones I can completely unlock and take advantage of the dev community offerings...For that alone, I will continue supporting OP... Hopefully they can add Verizon support in the next phone and attract a bigger base... Another great phone in 2016 was the ZTE Axon 7 and that has full Verizon compatibility.


  • Daniel C Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    Started with a nexus S, dropped out of my pocket into a water tank at worked, blew it out with compressed air and it was good to go, next was a 5, passed it to my son, who jumped into the pool with it in his pocket,,replaced with a 6, cracked the screen, but thing started getting wonky after a few months, as the cracks expanded..Bought a used 6 on eBay for $150 last month,,works perfect,,wish that project fi worked as well,,but it's getting better.


    • GSP Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

      I loved the Nexus lineup...Had every phone up to and including the 6...That phone was a tank... Awesome 6 inch 2k screen too...Just didn't like the camera much but it was sufficient...My current OP3 reminds me of the N6.


  • DaBow Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I've owned the Nexus One, 4, 5, 5X and 6P. All were fantastic phones. The 5X died due to the bootloop thingy 9 days after warranty was up. Not happy about that. 6P is still going strong. Bought a Pixel XL and a OnePlus 3T for my girlfriend to try out and decide which one to replace the 5X with. Sent the overpriced Pixel XL back. Beautiful phone. But with the flaws and pricing, it was a no brainer. I'm done with Google products. Nexus Player crapped out too. Hopefully OnePlus doesn't keep jacking up their prices. I fear they will, though.


    • GSP Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

      I'm really hoping the OP4/5 doesn't cost $499...But I'm thinking they will move the price to $499...The OP3T did not need to cost $449 as their cost didn't rise but a few dollars...But we still have ZTE and hopefully the Axon 8 stays at $399...Every OEM could create a flagship level phone at $400 and I really hope that segment doesn't die out.


  • Danny Pratt Mar 9, 2017 Link to comment

    I had a Moto Nexus 6 and freaking loved it. Dropped it a few weeks ago, so I picked up a Nexus 6p on Swappa for a good price. I love it so far. Love the freedom of an unlocked bootloader a and running custom Roms.

    I just brought the wife on the plan last night and she got the small pixel. I have to admit, the build quality is amazing. It's is butter smooth and surprisingly, unlocked! From Verizon!!! I know right. But I popped my work sim into it and it worked fine. I am probably gonna root her's and make a few mods.

    Personally, I'm a Nexus guy. I like the idea of pure Google.


    • Joe Gille Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

      Root it quick. I bought mine off Swappa and already had the update to 7.1.1 so I couldn't root it. But after about a month with it. I can say I don't "need" it just kinda want it because I can't have it lol. Nexus 6P was awesome. That's what I had before this.


      • GSP Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

        You can root 7.1.1 with Super SU...You just need to install TWRP recovery, format data to remove encryption and flash Super SU for root.


      • cybertec69 Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

        I use Wug's root toolkit to root my Nexus devices, extremely easy and fast, wugfresh is the website, you can also find him on XDA forums.


  • Leigh Cameron Mar 9, 2017 Link to comment

    Anyone else notice that the picture with this caption is wrong?
    The best representation of the Nexus line: the Nexus 5. / © AndroidPIT
    Pretty sure that is a Nexus 6


  • David Sciortino Mar 9, 2017 Link to comment

    I've owned both. Currently have the pixel because of a warranty replacement. The Nexus camera is better. It's odd to.hear.. I know. Amidst all the reviews. I can testify that the HDR processing on the Nexus render a picture with higher contrast and more color accuracy. The image stabilization on video is also better on the nexus. + The nexus had a bit of personality. The bottom speaker on the pixel sucks and it has no explanation for those large top and bottom bezels. NEXUS WINS HANDS DOWN


  • Keith Mar 9, 2017 Link to comment

    I have a 6P, it is a good phone, among the best I have had. Pixle is way overpriced. The biggest problem is Google is not a phone hardware company, there support is not the greatest. Sadly, the 6P has a major battery design flaw, look it up. The OnePlus 3T or OnePlus 5 may be the answer for me. Similar specs to pixle at about half the price.


  • Matt Rutter Mar 9, 2017 Link to comment

    Nexus 6p is without a doubt the best mobile I have ever owned. The price, the spec and the pure Google feel tick all the boxes for me. And the fact it's still comparable to newer phones on the market massively does it the justice it deserves. If the updates continued I'd gladly keep this phone another 2 years, but unfortunately even Google are rolling all new updates with less and less thought to the Nexus. This is understandable as Pixel is Google's new baby, just seems such a shame Google absolutely nailed it in every area with the 6p and then decided to go another way. The Pixel looks good, and I've had a play with a friend's, but not enough to make me want to pay the inflated price compared to the Nexus. Will be keeping a close eye to see what happens this year and next with the Pixel before I decide to trade in my Nexus


  • Akash Patel Mar 9, 2017 Link to comment

    The Nexus 5(2013) and Nexus 6P where both phones that influenced the entire smartphone Industry. The pixel is just a iPhone copy. Nexus was always about the software not so much about hardware, although the 5 and 6P had great specs for the price.


  • Peter Benedetto Mar 9, 2017 Link to comment

    Got a Nexus 5x unlocked for $200 on Project Fi. Monthly bills are less than $30. How can you beat that?


  • Step Steppires Mar 9, 2017 Link to comment

    Nexus all the way. Google lost me with that Pixel. Overpriced iPhone wanna be. Nothing innovative about it..


  • storm Mar 9, 2017 Link to comment

    Pixel is profit oriented phone, not a tech oriented phone as the Nexi were. For what I value in a phone as a consumer, a tech orientation is best.


  • Francesco V. Mar 9, 2017 Link to comment

    The 5.7" screen and front-facing stereo speakers of the 6P, together with its very good camera, performances and look were the right way to go. It is a shame that Google went the iPhone way.


  • Jay Mumper Mar 9, 2017 Link to comment

    I stuck with the Nexus because I think the Pixel devices were far overpriced for their otherwise only incrementally better value.


    • Alex Harmon Mar 9, 2017 Link to comment

      I whole heartedly agree with this opinion. Before it was even released I had set aside money to buy saw the price and was completely turned off by it as well as the Verizon exclusivity. The same company that hobbled the Nexus 5. Way to go Google.


    • Jonathan Mailloux Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

      I agree 100%. I had the N1, NS, GN, and N5 (and N10 if you include tablets). The current Pixel doesn't provide the premium features for the premium price. Now for the first time since the N1, I'm aiming at getting a G6 (N5 is on life support).

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