Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Tech | By

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

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

Cute. Yes, we understand that cute is hardly a word to associate with smartphones but that's the first thing that strikes you about Google's new smartphone, the Pixel 3. However, both the phones are rated now at IP68 versus the IP67 of the Pixel 2. "You can decide whether to pick up, send a quick reply, or mark the call as spam". They'll come in three colors: black, white and pink. Verizon mistakenly listed the Pixel 3's price on its website a few hours ago, but it wasn't the only retailer eager to kick off Pixel 3 sales. The Pixel 3 has a smaller 5.5-inch screen, whereas the Pixel 3 XL has a 6.9-inch notched display. The overall real estate on the front display has been improved with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The rear is still divided into matte and glass portions, although the matte part of the phone is much smoother than before.

There is a Snapdragon 845 chipset under the hood of both phones but the cores are clocked at 2.5GHz and not 2.7GHz or even 2.96GHz as we have seen on other phones with the same chipset. Google says this is so as to save battery power.

The Pixel 3 and its big brother also have a dedicated security chip - the Titan M, which keeps the OS and your passwords secure.

The other major product announced was Google Home Hub, a device that's something of a hybrid between a smart speaker and a tablet, which is created to sit at the center of what Google repeatedly called "the thoughtful home" (it avoided use of the word "smart"). The Note 9 has 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 512GB internal storage with microSD card support for almost unlimited storage. On the right is a slightly raised volume rocker and USB Type-C port. This feature adds a "Call Screening" button to the phone interface so that when you're receiving a call you may choose this option and watch as a voicemail-like service answers the call and proceeds to ask the caller to state their business.

The Pixel 3 sticks to 2160 x 1080 pixels - or Full HD+ - which at this size is actually perfectly adequate.

"The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are still effectively Verizon exclusives in the US, even though Google and Best Buy also sell them unlocked with support for all the other networks", said Avi Greengart, research director for consumer devices at GlobalData.

What is new in the Pixel 3 is wireless charging.

There is still a single rear camera on both phones. Third-party manufacturers like Lenovo and JBL already make their own versions, complete with integrated camera for video calls. Having said that, the display on the Pixel 3 looks quite sharp and images looked radiant. You will be able to switch cameras to take wide-angle selfies.

The Pixel 3 XL offers new features such as Top Shot, which is an AI-enhanced burst-shot mode.

The folio back flap pulls double duty as a cover and a stand, allowing you to use the Slate at nearly any angle. It will be available later as an update.

After all the leaks, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are ... exactly like the leaks.

And then there's the notch... thankfully it's not present on the base 3 model, but it's seriously intrusive on the XL. Alphabet doesn't break out hardware sales numbers, but the revenue from the phones and products such as its Home smart speaker are tucked into the company's other revenues segment, which includes cloud sales and content purchases.

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