Google fires at Apple with Pixel 3 phone, other devices

Pixel Slate

At 11 am Eastern time this morning, Google is holding its new hardware event in New York City. Several Google execs referenced competitor products, sometimes obviously, sometimes obliquely. "Pixel 3 XL's specs are almost identical, though, the display is 6.3" QHD AMOLED (2960×1440) with a top notch and the battery size is 3450mAh.

The Pixel 3 packs in a host of new ideas about how AI can change the phone experience - from the practical to the pretty out-there. The most exciting productivity-focused app Google announced at its event was Adobe Acrobat, allowing users to create PDF files. The Pixel 3 starts shooting a second before you press the button and a second after - looking for the moments where everyone has their eyes open and facing the camera.

Google is set to reveal its latest smartphone, the Google Pixel 3, a premium Android-powered device that it hopes will convince Apple fans to ditch the iPhone XS.

It doesn't feel like Google has made much progress with its smartphone design language.

At its Made by Google event in NY a few hours ago, the Palo Alto giant unveiled its latest flagship smartphones, featuring the best of the company's AI and imaging technologies. The move does however point to the tech industry's growing certainty that home hubs represent a huge market opportunity. There's a notch on the top of the 3 XL, but the Pixel 3 simply adopts a similar curved cornered screen as found on the Pixel 2.

The display looks fairly large, and the entire rear of the device is a large speaker. Like the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL before it, they're a refinement of the previous model with a little more horsepower and a few hardware upgrades here and there.

Google's updated tablet, the Pixel Slate, was introduced as a "great device for cord-cutters" and comes with three months of YouTube TV for free.

The devices also have a special wide angle lens, or "Group Selfie Cam". Instead of relegating your frequently used app icons to the lower-left corner of the screen like Windows does, Chrome now displays them prominently in the bottom center of the screen.

A Google Home Hub, Slate and Pixel 3 phone are pictured in an undated handout photo. On Monday, the company admitted it had exposed data on half a million accounts - and didn't disclose it for months.

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"I was positively impressed by the Slate", Goertz said.

It can push out 10W of power, so its not the fastest.

As to the details of Google's Home Hub.

Here's the thing: Google, oddly enough, isn't including a camera on this thing.

A man uses a Google Home Hub in an undated promotional image from Google.

In some respects, it was inevitable that smart homes would end up going down the path to a central control point and ecosystem: the smart home market is so disparate and flooded with competing standards that those companies that have tried to become single-point hubs - for example, Wink - have had limited success.

Paired with Google's Nest, the device provides a remote way to see someone ringing a doorbell.

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

Google's Home Hub will be available for $149. The Portal does have a camera. Everything that would be useful was coming down the line, its CEO promised us: conferencing, videos, connections, voice activation.

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