Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Google poised to unveil new Pixel phones, other services

Google Home Hub Google poised to unveil new Pixel phones, other services
Cecil Davis | 11 October, 2018, 12:47

But we kind of did. There are new Pixel phones, a smart display, and a new Chrome OS tablet. In the United States, for example, the Pixel 3 starts at $799, $150 up from the Pixel 2's $649 launch price. The company just had its annual hardware unveiling, and all three of its new devices leaked repeatedly in the lead-up to the event. This is where the new innovations have concentrated, as Google and its ilk focus on features and possibilities that can be generated from its artificial intelligence, machine learning, and sheer processing power.

Google's October gig saw the tech major unveil the much-anticipated Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, along with a few other products, at its "Made by Google" hardware event in NY on Tuesday.

Limited adoption has reflected Google's hesitancy to go as wide and big in distributing and marketing the Pixel as Apple, which launched its last two iPhone line-ups in about 50 countries.

With the Pixel 3, Google has finally added Qi wireless charging. The Pixel 3 XL on the other hand has a display 6.3-inches tall and has a resolution of 2960x1440. Both the devices come with the same spec sheet which includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB storage.

ChromeOS also comes with improvements such as Family Link which allows you to control your children's devices easily and quickly, and DND mode so notifications will not bother you outside of work or when you're asleep. Photo by Alex Coop. And it is pushing its cable-cutting YouTubeTV service, which costs $40 a month but which you now get for free for six months when you buy a Hub (a value that is more than the actual cost of the device). With Chromecast 2 available for Rs 1,999, there is a fair possibility that the new Chromecast will become available sooner than later.

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At the event Google also unveiled a ChromeOS tablet called Pixel Slate, although it has announced no plans to bring it to Australia. An 8th Gen Core m3 and 8/64 GB is $799, a Core i5 and 8/128 GB is $999, and a Core i7 and 16/256 GB is a whopping $1,599.

Now to the optics capabilities; the rear camera is 12.2MP in size and in the front, Google has gone for a dual sensor 8MP setup. There is an optional keyboard case for the Slate, but it costs extra.

In the U.S., Google also rolled out Home Hub, which couples a small display screen with an internet-connected speaker. Information retrieved from Maps, Calendar, Search and other services are now accompanied by visuals as well.

What's most interesting perhaps is the absence of a camera. We've reached out to Google for clarity and will update if we hear back.

The shindig didn't include CEO Sundar Pichai, who is grappling with this week's news that Google executives including Pichai this spring covered up a data breach at its Google+ social network. However, Google will ship each phone with a pair of Pixel Buds USB-C earphones which supports real-time translation, Google Assistant integration, and can even read out messages and compose replies. The Pixel Slate comes with support for active stylus enabling users to use inking features.