Made by Google, the new Pixel 3 and other new products announced

Made by Google

There were absolutely zero surprises today from Google. Today on October 9, 2018, at 8:00 am PST was the heavily anticipated Made By Google event which was rumored for a long time to be the announcement of the new Google Pixel 3 phone line for the next generation. This event is typically held in San Francisco but is being held in New York City for a change up this year. In the most bizarre of circumstances (publicity stunt?), every single product today has already been leaked to the press in one way or another.

Pixel 3 XL Leaks

Google’s largest announcement would have been that the Google Pixel 3 XL would be joining the Apple iPhone X(s) in including the controversial notch at the top of the screen. Samsung, the largest maker of Google Android phones, has previously poked fun at iPhone’s new notched design, but now it seems that Google is now succumbing to the iPhone X’s notch popularity. An abandoned Pixel 3 XL pre-production model mistakenly left in a San Francisco Lyft already set the internet ablaze about a month ago. A thankful Google Engineer was eventually reunited with his tester phone, but not before the Lyft driver shared the news with AndroidPolice.com. To add fuel to the fire, Pixel 3 XL was already being sold in Russia one week before the product was even announced.

Google’s Made by Google event officially kicked off with snippets of YouTube videos revealing the leaked Google products, then followed by an embarrassed emoji. There really was no ignoring the obvious that everything you are about to see has already been seen, but the show went on for the small New York City crowd of media and affiliates.

The NOTCH, barely announced and no surprises.

Home Hub

The first product announced at this event was the Google Home Hub, directly rivaling the Amazon Echo Show. It’s basically an AI speaker and screen unit for the home. Notable features mentioned is the lack of a camera for “privacy reasons,” and Ambient EQ. Ambient EQ is essentially a more refined technology that adjusts the screen brightness and colors with the sensed environment so that you are not blinded by a bright white screen in the darkness. It’s not really cutting edge technology, but a feature nonetheless. This product is available for pre-order on the Google Store for $149.

Google Home Hub

Pixel Slate

Every major hardware company makes a tablet. The Pixel Slate is a follow up to Google’s highly rated (not quite as highly sold) PixelBook. The Pixel Slate boasts a 293 ppi screen, the highest of any tablet currently on the market. Other major features include a detachable keyboard and fully fledged desktop version of Chrome Internet Browser. There was not much information shared about the Chrome Internet Browser, but that part excites me the most since I find that I’m able to click through and search through websites way faster when not on the mobile version. Also, waiting for tickets in the Comic-Con Pass lottery day may be a bit easier since tablet and mobile browsers tend to timeout and error. This is the news we wanted to hear! The price for the Pixel Slate starts at $599.

Google Pixel Slate

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

The grand finale of announcements (already spoiled announcements) is the new line of Pixel phones. Both phones are announced to have very similar hardware, other than the screen size and battery. There are a ton of new features to mention for this already familiar form factor, but as always, Google’s selling point is the camera and photo quality. There was a lack of mention of new hardware technology for this new phone other than wider angle cameras. For the most part, the new technology hovered around the Pixel Visual Core which is just a fancy word for AI post-processing.

Pixel 3 improves photos with Top Shot

Motion pictures were first seen on the Apple phones, but Google has taken it a bit further and is taking a sampling of all screen capture moments before and after pushing the shutter button. Google’s AI will find the best picture where no one blinked and is in focus. There was even a demonstration of a finger mistakenly blocking the camera lens, but Google’s AI discarded that shot and replaced it with a better one. From the demonstration, it looked like a total sampling of 13 photos per each shutter snap, but Top Shot technology may have even captured way more. We’ll know more once we get our hands on the Pixel 3 phone ourselves.

Pixel Camera Feature, Top Shot.

Pixel 3 Group Selfie Cam fits all your friends in the picture

The Pixel 3 has 2 front-facing cameras and a single rear-facing camera. We do not quite understand this configuration as it seems like a contradiction on if one camera is enough for all your wide angle needs, or is it two? The selling point with Group Selfie Cam is still a wider angle lens than before for the front cameras. There will be no avoiding of selfies for the next decades to come so you might as well embrace it and fit all your friends in your shots while you’re at it.

Pixel 3 Hardware

While Pixel 3 boasts the same high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor as other flagship phones of this generation, one of the disappointments on paper is the standard 4 GB of RAM. This is even the same amount as the original Google Pixel 1 phone that released in 2016. While we do not have a definite feel of the performance of this phone, other flagship phones have been including upwards 6 and 8 GB of RAM. Maybe there is an optimization that we do not see here, but this is a definite setback and comparison point.

Available in: Not Pink, Clearly White, and Just Black

With a release date of October 18, the only carrier that will be selling the new Pixel line is Verizon as it always was. Also available are network unlocked versions through the Google Store for use on GoogleFi and other mobile networks like T-Mobile and AT&T. It will be available in 3 colors: Just Black, Clearly White, and Not Pink. Pixel 3 starts at $799, while the Pixel 3 XL starts at $899. Base models come with 64 GB storage, with 128 GB versions adding $100 more.

Google Store

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JR Cajigas
JR Cajigas 83 posts

JR Cajigas is a foodie by day and...foodie by night. In between meals he is a tech writer and photographer. Yummers!