Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Google Pixel 3 & Much MORE!

Google are now 20 years old and thus held a press show, in New York, for their belated birthday. Opening with a video mocking themselves for their inability to contain leaks about their upcoming products, which led into the next video about how useful the Google search engine is in day to day life. This was emphasized with the use of HELP, by the Beatles. The royalties on that song alone can't have been cheap.

In their own words, “the Google Pixel 3 was designed to be the smartest and most useful device, in your life”. If you don't recognise a number, the phone can answer the call for you using Google’s Duplex AI, and ask who's calling. The conversation is then transcribed, in text, in real time; so you can decide whether to answer the call or mark it as a spam caller. Turning the Pixel 3 face down will mute the phone, into a silent mode called ‘Shhhh’, for no distractions. The helpful AI Google assistant helps you get lazier and reduces your need to remember how to word good. Like Google’s other new devices shown off today, the Pixel 3 is secured with a Titan security chip to keep all your user data safe and encrypted. The phone boasts a 5.5” quad HD+ display, with dual stereo speakers that are - apparently, 40% louder than the last phone. For those that have really big pockets or just giant hands, the Pixel 3 XL's screen extends into the corners, for a much larger screen size of 6.3”, with the same quad HD+ Flexible Oled display. Both devices run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, so there's no power advantage between the two.

They also share the same spec 12.2mp camera, on the back and two 8mp cameras on the front face. Utilising Google’s own built-in photo technologies and Apps, the Pixel 3 is arguably the best smartphone for taking photos and videos. The App ‘Topshot’ takes several photos at once, so you don't miss your shot and end up with people blinking. You could go through the dozen or so and find the best one of the bunch. Nightsight eliminates the need to use a flash, in low light situations (apparently). Using an AI algorithm it will take pictures with far more clarity in low light, than the iPhone Xs. They proudly used a comparison picture as evidence. As another jab at Apple, the front-facing camera fits 184% more of your surroundings into the shot than an iPhone Xs. Using an adjustable slider you can choose how much or how little of your surroundings you'd like in your selfies. The AI also has some advanced object recognition to pick out objects in pictures, in a creepy Sci-fi sorta way. The App ‘Playground’ allows you to add AR (Augmented Reality) to your photos and videos. With a Marvel Avengers marketing tie-in, so you could hang out with Iron Man down the park. Compared to its competitors, the only downside is the storage capacity, which is likely why they made no mention of this during the show. The Google Pixel 3 comes in three colours - Just Black, Clearly White and Not Pink. It will be available with 64gb & 128gb storage options, which will be the same for the Pixel 3 XL. Both phones are due for release on November 1st, in the UK and eleven other countries. America gets it a little earlier, on October 18th.

The Pixel stand is essentially a Wireless charger docking station, for the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, and works in unison with Google assistant and your Google home and other smart devices. Pixel Slate is the given name for Google’s new Chrome OS tablet. Which can easily double as a laptop, when paired with the backlit Pixel Slate keyboard, that also serves as a protective case. When you need to purchase the keyboard separately, you can't really claim it's a hybrid, at least not out of the box. Lots of buzzwords are used about how good the display is. But basically, it’s a 12.3” LCD display and has 6 million pixels, at 293 PPI. The Slate runs on an 8th gen, Y series Intel Celeron Processor. With the choice of i3, i5 or an impressive i7. A Solid State Hard Drive, ranging from 32GB to 256GB, and the choice of Ram from 4GB to 16GB. Unlike Apple's show, Google didn't take time to go over any internal specs of any of their products or the pricing, but you can bet the higher-end version will soon escalate dramatically in price. The Pixel Slate houses two 8mp cameras. One on the front and rear. Dual stereo speakers but annoyingly, no headphone jack. The power button acts as the first level of security, doubling as a fingerprint scanner. The Pixel Slate can run multiple apps at the same time, with two running side by side, which would have been very handy for writing this... I wonder how many tabs you can open in Chrome before it eats all the Ram and locks the system. If the Pixel Slate can run Photoshop I can see it being really useful for someone like myself.

Pixel Home Hub is the most boring of the things shown today. Google’s answer to the Echo and controlling all the smart devices you may own. A voice controlled Hal 9000 for your home. Google purposely didn't add any cameras to the device, so it doesn't feel like it's permanently watching you. But it is listening, it is always listening... Google are five times better at invading your home space, than any competitor. The Home Hub will control all your smart objects in your home, like lights and the thermostat, view home security cameras or who's at the door. You can also control the Home Hub with an App so you can make sure your home is heated before you get back from work.

Bry Wyatt

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