Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Google unveils new Pixel smartphone at 10 media events around the world

Google sprints in the 'smart home' race with Home Hub, unveils Pixel 3 phone Google Pixel 3 initial review: Pocket powerhouse
Katie Ramirez | 10 October, 2018, 19:10

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.

Competitive advantage: Google hopes that machine intelligence can help make Pixel stand out.

One thing we didn't see was the rumoured Google Pixel Watch, which would have gone head-to-head with the recently released Samsung Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch Series 4. They are set to be launched on November 1.

The third generation of Pixel phones, which was also unveiled Tuesday at an event in NY, features screens that span from one edge to another. They include Ireland, Japan and France for the first time. That's in stark contrast to the Echo Show, which allows you to take pictures or host video calls with other Echo devices, or even the newly announced Facebook Portal that seems nearly entirely focused on video calling. You will be able to switch cameras to take wide-angle selfies. We've had spy shots, videos and one retailer in Hong Kong even put the phone on sale before the handset officially existed.

Users can also add animated stickers to photos that imitate the expressions of the subject.

Call screening lets you have Google's cloud system pick up the phone for you and display what a caller is saying in text, so you can check to see if it's a robocaller or telemarketer before you pick it up.

It is likely no coincidence that Google is launching its Hub just two days before Amazon launches the second generation of its Show. This time, instead of targeting businesses and restaurants, Google is aiming its robots' lasers at robocalls and phone spam. Callers are warned that they are talking to a robot and that a transcript would be made.

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It introduces a new Google Photos feature called Live Albums, where you select the people you want to appear in slideshows, and then Google will handle the rest. "It's mostly about convenience here".

Interested in Google? Add Google as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Google news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

Amazon shipped 21.5 million smart speakers, including those with displays, in the year ended June 30, compared with 18.3 million for Google, according to research firm Canalys. Google's Playground will bring new interactive augmented reality characters and objects to throw into your photos, including some favourites from Marvel and a dancing Childish Gambino. Both Pixels need to be purchased on Verizon device payment plans, and the customer has to sign up for one new line of service.

A simple feature that selfie-lovers will flock to, Photo Booth automatically snaps a photo if you look into the camera and smile or make a "funny face".

Google is including front firing stereo speakers like what's in the Pixel Slate, and they're using the same tuned sound profile for crisp highs and clear lows making the Pixel 3 a music powerhouse. But once you throw in the accessories, the Slate becomes a bit more pricey. From new Pixel phones and the Home Hub smart screen to a ChromeOS tablet, there was a lot to cover.

Unlike its competitors, Google said its Home Hub, priced at $149, does not have a video conferencing camera.

But again Google is attacking its rivals on the pricing front. The new version of Echo Show starts at $229, while the least expensive Facebook Portal sells for $199. As with modern Chromebooks, it will also run Android and Linux applications in a full desktop configuration.

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