Sunday, 26 May, 2019

Pixel 3 and 3 XL launch: any surprises are on the inside

Home View in the Google Home Hub. Control smart devices via tap or voice Home View in the Google Home Hub. Control smart devices via tap or voice
Cecil Davis | 10 October, 2018, 16:56

Google has released a pair of new Pixel phones, the larger Pixel 3 XL and this, the regular Pixel 3. We need to offer simple, powerful ways to safeguard your devices. The Pixel 3 XL has a 6.3 inch display, but it also has a notch while Samsung does not. What the matte finish does is it gives the Pixel 3 a more distinctive look. During a call, the stationary camera will track you, slowly panning and zooming to keep you in frame as you walk around your living room or kitchen, chopping vegetables or digging in the sofa for the lost remote. Many other phones already have similar hardware for security. This exclusivity arrangement made more sense when Google was trying to prove itself with hardware on the Pixel and then Pixel 2, but not now.

What you do get, however, is an OLED display with an 18:9 aspect, rolling out 2160 x 1080 pixels, for a pretty sharp 443ppi.

The Pixel 3 has a 2915mAh battery and the Pixel 3 XL has a 3450mAh battery.

Second, Pixel users in the U.S. will be the first to get access to an experimental new Google Assistant feature, powered by Duplex technology, which helps you complete real-world tasks over the phone, like calling a restaurant to book a table.

The Google Home Hub is up for pre-order now and will be on sale in Australia on October 23, at $219. But the company did reveal an interesting detail about the Pixel 3 phones that wasn't captured in the extensive leaks we saw this summer: The Titan M.

The company's Android software has gone from being an also-ran to the brains of most of the world's smartphones and Google topped Inc in smart speaker sales in recent quarters.

The following Pixel 3 plans are the most affordable with at least 10GB of data per month.

"The big breakthroughs you're going to see are not in hardware alone", said Rick Osterloh, Google's senior VP of hardware at Google.

What is new in the Pixel 3 is wireless charging. It turns the phone, when docked, into bedside experience with Google Assistant ready to assist, and clever things like the colour tone changing wake-up routine.

Foremost, there's the camera, which Google says uses AI to know a good photo when it sees it.

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Live albums is a feature that automatically adds photos of people and pets to an album as you take them.

Another addition is the ability to change the "aperture" in portrait shots.

There's no camera on the front of the screen - so you can't use it to video chat.

The front cameras are dual 8MP sensors.

For example, we reviewed Loop a year ago: a standalone portable screen that connected up various digital services and let you communicate with others. By contrast, Facebook introducing a smart home device that makes video calls right after multiple data breaches feels somewhat tone deaf.

From its magnetically attached keyboard to its stylus and, of course, its premium pricing, the Pixel Slate is a thinly veiled attack at Microsoft's Surface line, often hailed as the cream of the crop when it comes to productivity in a flexible form factor.

IDC analyst Ramon Llamas said the Pixel 3 doesn't break new ground on hardware, but "software is a different story".

David Ruddock, the managing editor of Android Police, recently tweeted and insisted Google has a Pixel Slate tablet in the works.

There's a lot that smartphone buyers should be excited about when it comes to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, but Google is also bringing back the worst flaw for these sequels.