Google reveals new Pixel phone, speaker to chase Apple, Amazon

Alfred Osborne
October 10, 2018

The third generation of Pixel phones comes in two sizes, and both feature high-definition screens that span from one edge to another.

Google has released a pair of new Pixel phones, the larger Pixel 3 XL and this, the regular Pixel 3. "They come at the intersection of AI, hardware and software working together". Yes, after countless leaks, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are official. They are set to be launched on November 1. In a simultaneous launch across Paris, London, Tokyo and Singapore, it showcased an upgraded Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL with revamped cameras, design, processor.

Google initially sold the Pixel 2 and its larger sibling, Pixel 2 XL, in six countries, including the United States, Australia, Germany and India, after an unveiling in San Francisco.

That's an inevitable side effect of Google's launch cycle and while Californian rival Apple put out its iPhone XS with new hardware, Google's new phones are a generation behind, relatively speaking.

Google spent the bulk of the phone portion of the event talking about the devices' new camera. For one, it has access to an incredible library of Android apps that, as unoptimised as many of them may be for tablets, are miles ahead of where the Microsoft Store stands.

The Pixel joins LG's V40 in sporting a second front lens to fit more people into selfies. To begin with, it leaves behind the textured hard plastics used in Acer's Chromebook Tab 10, with Google opting for a smooth metal instead.

Users can also add animated stickers to photos that mimic the expressions of the subject such as smiling or frowning.

A man uses a Google Home Hub in an undated promotional image from Google. Just tap on a button for Google's voice assistant to ask the caller about the objective of the call. The most impressive, Call Screen, uses the conversational Duplex assistant shown off earlier this year to answer suspected spam calls on your behalf, and show you a live text transcription of what is being said. The phone has a custom chip created to make photos look better, Google said.

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Google's new tabletGoogle's latest tablet device, the Pixel Slate.

The Pixel 3 faces continued limited sales in the United States since Google again signed an exclusive distribution deal with wireless carrier Verizon Communications Inc that means the device will get little marketing from other carriers. "It's mostly about convenience here". "It's very hard for Google to make a huge volume impact but the phones feel unique to me, which is kind of the point".

Google has sold an estimated 7 million Pixels over the past two years, nearly imperceptible next to the 3.6 billion phones shipped during that time, according to IDC. By comparison, Apple sold about 217 million iPhones a year ago. It also only comes in one color-Midnight Blue.

Nearly all the technical details of the phones had been leaked before the event, but Google did unveil some clever new software features. It's an OLED display, as it was previous year, and it fills much of the front of the phone.

Google will, of course, also use its Home Hub to try to make money from you: by storing all your requests for information, news, music, video, travel, etc, to your profile and then neatly package it all up for advertisers.

Google's positioned a pair of 2W front-firing speakers on the front of the Slate - when it's held in landscape they're positioned at either end.

The Hub includes six months of free YouTube Premium, and will be available October 22 for $149 United States dollars in the USA, U.K and Australia. The new version Echo Show starts at $229, while the least expensive Facebook Portal sells for $199. Our initial impression is that Google has made a sleek and stylish phone whose USP is the camera.

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