Google attempts to undercut Apple’s iPhone XS with cheaper Pixel 3

Alfred Osborne
October 10, 2018

There have been so many leaks surrounding Google's latest Pixel phones that today's announcements felt like little more than a formality.

The notch on the Pixel 3 XL isn't a deal-breaker, of course. The two phones will once again be separated by screen size, with the smaller one likely getting a 5.5-inch display and the larger one possibly getting a 6.7-inch one, when accounting for the space around the notch.

Both Pixels have a fingerprint sensor mounted on their rears, and there are front-facing speakers that are 40 percent louder than in previous generations. It's also got some special features when your Pixel 3 XL is charging on the stand, like an ambient light mode that mimics the sunrise before your alarm goes off in the morning and the ability to show your schedule, traffic info, and news.

Google shipped 2.53 million Pixel 2 and 2 XL devices through the nine months ended June 30, Strategy Analytics said. On the front and rear are 8MP cameras. This may not sound like anything too special, but Google tries to compensate with software gimmickry.

Google is betting that there's still a room in people's hearts for tablets, even when there's now a plethora of over-sized, powerful smartphones on the market that seem capable of performing similar feats as tablets, like displaying stunning visuals. Google said it was rolling this feature out on a city-by-city basis, but for those who want to use Duplex right away, it's now capable of screening calls for you and dictating them to your phone screen so you don't have to pick up if you don't want to. (This is good, because the Pixel 2's bezels were huge.) They also look noticeably brighter than the Pixel 2 screens, are gorgeously well saturated, and more importantly equal, where the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL had wildly different displays. When you point your camera at information you want to remember or don't feel like typing in - like a URL or QR code on a flyer or an email address on a business card - Google Lens suggests what to do next, like creating a new contact. Whether or not you're a user of Google+, the fact that the company chose to withhold the information should give you pause, and force you to consider if you can depend on Google to notify you if or when even more serious data breaches occur. You can get them unlocked or through Verizon. Both are available first in English.

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Although Google's Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones are set to dominate proceedings, it has also been heavily speculated the tech firm could debut a new tablet. This year we have two new Assistant features coming to Pixel.

To that end, the Pixel Slate can be easily attached to the Pixel Slate Keyboard (sold separately) and used with a digital stylus.

Last year's Pixel 2 arrived with bugs that prompted user complaints about unwanted noises during calls, a crashing camera app and an unexpected screen tint. Believe it or not, it can make calls for you, too.

The phones, that come in two sizes, will be available in three colours - Just Black, Clearly White and Not Pink colour options. Google claims that both can work for up to 7 hours with 15 minutes of single charge. It's supposed to launch with the Pixel 3 and be added to the Pixel 1 and 2 sometime "soon". The Pixel 3 starts at $799 and the Pixel 3 XL starts at $899.

The new phones will be available to pre-order from Thursday 11th October and will go on sale in the United Kingdom on Thursday 1st November.

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