This week was Google’s largest hardware event of the year, #MadebyGoogle, announcing a line of pixel devices. There’s a lot that went down at the event and we are here to catch you up on it. There is, of course, the expected new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL, but also a few other devices. Here’s everything you need to know!
Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL
Google only started the Pixel Phone lineup in 2016, but it grew to be one of the most anticipated products in the market, because of course, it is the Android standard and is meant to show what Android can do when it’s done properly. In its event yesterday, Google revealed its new flagship devices: the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL.
All the leaks that we have seen so far have turned out to be true. The devices come with bigger screens, better cameras, processors and a generally upgraded package. The Pixel sports a 5.3 inch display, which does not have a notch, while the XL version sports a 6.3 inch display that has a very visible notch, containing the earpiece, motion and proximity sensors and the front facing camera.
The biggest change in design came on the back of the phone, where it changed from the plastic back to a glass one that now allows for wireless charging. The device comes in three different colors that are literally called: Just Black, Clearly White and Not Pink.
But the main features in this phone are on the inside, where Google’s AI software shines, especially when it comes to the camera. The new software has features such as Top Shot, which picks out the best frame in a motion photo, Night Sight for night photography and the Photobooth feature on the front facing camera, which consists of two 12-megapixel camera lenses allowing for wider angle photos.
The Pixel 3 starts at $799, while the XL starts at $899, which includes a USB-C headphones and, since there is no headphone jack, an adapter for traditional 3.5mm jack. You can also purchase the new Pixel Stand, a charging dock for an additional $79. You can pre-order them now on Google’s website, and they will start shipping on October 18th.
The Pixel Slate is Google’s latest attempt to rival the iPad Pro and the Microsoft’s Surface lineup. The main change from its predecessor the Pixel C is that it ditches Android in favor of Chrome OS, which arguably makes it better for laptop use situations.
It also ups the specs significantly, as the Pixel Slate comes with very high end specs, sporting an 8th generation Intel processor up to Core i7, with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It also has front facing stereo speakers, front and rear 8-megapixel cameras, all on a 12.3 inch LCD display that Google claims is faster and more power efficient than a traditional LCD. Additionally and for the first time, this Chromebook comes with a fingerprint sensor built in the power button.
The Pixel Slate is meant to be paired with the keyboard cover, but it doesn’t come with it. It will instead be sold separately at $199. It is also compatible with the Pixelbook Pen, which will also have to be purchased separately for $99. The baseline model will sell at $599, and comes with a Celeron processor, with the high-end model selling at $1599 and higher for better specs and higher speed.
Google Home Hub
Google also introduced the Home Hub, which is aimed to counter Amazon’s Echo Show. It is a 7-inch smart home display that comes with a stand and is meant to sit on your kitchen counter and control your smart home devices from. It comes with Google Assistant built in of course.
You can use it for anything from controlling your nest devices to watching YouTube videos. (Anyone who buys Home Hub will also get six months free of YouTube Premium) Thansk to the great integration of Google Assistant with third party apps, the Home Hub can be used for a wide variety of things.
Unlike the Echo Show, it has no camera, and it sells at $149, which is way cheaper than the competition.
We saw Google’s very human sounding assistant make calls and reservations before at Google’s I/O event. But today, Google introduced yet another functionality of Duplex, which is to screen phone calls while showing you live transcripts of the ongoing call, allowing you to avoid robocalls and telemarketers.
This really comes to show how Google envisions its AI technology, and its future functionality. This feature will be restricted to Pixel phones, so another incentive to buy one.