Its Big Thing To See
Months of leaks were finally confirmed at the Pixel 3 event today in New York City where Google just unveiled its newest flagship Android phone and a few new devices, including the Pixel Slate and Google Home Hub. Unlike a typical Google event, the company announced its new lineup at the top of the hour and made the products immediately available for preorder before the event even concluded. Here’s all the biggest news that was announced today.
The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are pretty much what we expected: the 3 is a 5.5-inch device, and the 3 XL is a 6.3-inch device. Unlike other smartphones on the market, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL retain only a single camera in the rear; instead, they have dual front-facing cameras for wide angle selfies.
Google is boasting a bunch of camera features, including high-resolution zoom, Night Sight low light mode, and a Photobooth mode that automatically snaps photos of people or pets (a feature we first saw on last year’s Google Clips camera). It’s branding all these new camera features under an Apple-esque “Pixel Visual Core” chip.
Google didn’t get into a lot about Android Pie features on the Pixel, but in a “time well spent” manner, there is a new mode that allows you to place the phone front side down on a surface to automatically silence notifications.
Also, just as leaked, there’s now a wireless charging Pixel Stand that props the phone up as a standing Google Assistant, which retails for $79.
The Pixel 3 and 3 XL start at $799 and $899, respectively, at a 64GB configuration, and they come in a new “not pink” color. They’ll also be offered with six months of YouTube Music. Preorders start today, and they will ship on October 18th.
Google’s controversial Duplex AI voice calling system that was unveiled at the company’s I/O developer conference and began testing over the summer now has an arrival date: November, on a city-by-city basis. The rollout comes exclusively to Pixel owners, allowing them to request Assistant to call and make reservations or appointments at hair salons. Google did not offer further details regarding which cities it will arrive to first, but start watching out for those AI calls beginning next month.
The new Pixel 3 will also have a spam call-screening feature that can screen suspicious calls and transcribe the message to help you determine whether to block or respond to the call. This feature arrives to other Pixel users later this year.
The Pixel Slate brings Chrome OS to a tablet on a device with a 12.3-inch display and 8MP front and rear cameras. It has dual speakers on the front of the device, no headphone jack, a built-in Titan Security chip, and a fingerprint reader at the top for fast unlock. It also comes with a Bluetooth Pixel Slate Keyboard with rounded keys and backlighting. Unfortunately, the keyboard does not come included with the tablet; it’s sold separately for $199. A separate stylus will also be available for $99.
At launch, it’ll be offered in just the navy blue color starting at $599, with three months of YouTube TV. Google did not specify a ship date for the Pixel Slate, only adding that it would arrive “later this year.” In a video of the new Pixel lineup, the listing notes that the Pixel Slate appears to be awaiting approval by the FCC.
The Home Hub is a smart display that serves as a picture frame that integrates with Google Photos, a visual version of your Google Assistant, and a video feed for viewing YouTube. It integrates with smart home gadgets to control and schedule those devices based on your routines, and it will contain Voice Match to cater to different members of your family. YouTube integration is the main differentiator from the Echo Show here, as Amazon and Google appear to still be in a battle over the retail giant delisting Google’s products from its site.
When not in use, the standard display shows relevant information to your day such as time, weather, calendar appointments, and commute times. You can also set a quiet hour so the device cannot send you notifications or be triggered during certain hours, like dinner time or at night.
The Hub is up for preorder today for $149 with a ship date of October 22nd. It’ll arrive first to the US, UK, and Australia, and it’ll come with six free months of YouTube Premium.
Although Google did not get into a few other devices in detail onstage, according to the updated Google Play Store, a new Chromecast is available for purchase as well as new $30 USB-C earbuds. The earbuds will actually come included with the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, but they should also be useful for owners of older Pixel models who aren’t loving the Bluetooth Pixel Buds.
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