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  1. Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL with more powerful cameras, Screen Call AI feature launched; India pricing announced

Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL with more powerful cameras, Screen Call AI feature launched; India pricing announced

Google Pixel 3 comes with a 5.5-inch full-HD+ OLED edge-to-edge display with Always-On functionality while the Google Pixel 3 XL sports a 6.3-inch full-HD+ display with the same features

By: | Published: October 9, 2018 10:37 PM
Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are now official

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have finally been announced at the company’s #MadebyGoogle event held in New York. The new Pixel phones come with better cameras, better display, and the new Android ecosystem. Pretty much of all the specifications that were revealed by Google were already leaked in multiple reports and hands-on video, which also served as a laughing stock to a video that Google demoed at the event. The most enticing feature to have been launched at the event is the Screen Call feature that will debut with the Pixel 3 and will gradually roll out to the other Pixel devices.

Rick Osterloh, SVP of Hardware, Google, took the centre-stage to announce three products – Pixel 3, Pixel Slate, and Home Hub, which downright ruled out the speculations for the launch of refresh Pixel Buds, Pixelbook, and Google Home speakers. Among the most touted features, the new Night Shot, Top Shot features will make the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL gain an edge over the rivalling phones, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the recently-announced iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max. Google even took a pot-shot at Apple over the images by iPhone Xs and Pixel 3 in the nighttime where the latter looked significantly better.

The Google Pixel 3 price in India is Rs 71,000 for the 64GB storage variant, which goes up to Rs 80,000 for the 128GB variant. The Google Pixel 3 XL, on the other hand, costs Rs 83,000 for the 64GB variant while the top-end model with 128GB storage will be available at Rs 92,000. The pre-orders for the Pixel 3 smartphones will begin on October 11 in India and the shipping/ sale will kick off on November 1. Google also announced a wireless charging stand for the Pixel 3 devices that will be available at Rs 6,900 in India.

The Google Pixel 3 comes with a 5.5-inch full-HD+ OLED edge-to-edge display with Always-On functionality while the Google Pixel 3 XL sports a 6.3-inch full-HD+ display with the same features. Both the devices run Android 9 Pie that comes with the Digital Wellbeing feature to allow the users to cut down the time they are hooked on to the phone’s screen. Both the phones are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processors with Adreno 630 GPU, paired with 4GB of RAM and two storage configurations – 64GB and 128GB. The storage is not expandable on any of the two.

The cameras, which have won the Pixel 2 many accolades in the industry, are the highlight of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. There is a 12.2-megapixel main camera with dual-pixel technology. The camera is equipped with OIS and EIS and has a f/1.8 aperture. It has autofocus and dual pixel phase detection integrated right into its sensors. The main camera can record up to 4K videos at 30fps. On the front, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL bear an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera that can record up to 1080p videos.

Apart from the hardware, a lot is riding on the software optimisation for the cameras. Google has introduced Top Shot feature that essentially allows the user to select the best photo from a carousel of photos taken when the sensors zoomed into the subject. There is also a new Night Shot feature that optimises a photo taken in a dark environment to bin the pixels with better lighting. Google Camera app now comes integrated with Google Lens so that you can detect everything right front the camera app.

The most novel feature is the Screen Call feature that will let the user allow Google’s AI to chat with the caller without requiring you to pick the call up. Interestingly, all the conversations between Google and the caller will be transcripted right on the screen so that you can decide whether to receive the call or take further action by choosing one of the options available on the screen at the moment. This feature will roll out to all Pixel devices.

Google also launched the new Home Hub display speaker at the launch event. The Google Home Hub is essentially a display speaker powered by Google Assistant. It comes with Ambient EQ to optimise the brightness according to the room’s light without annoying you with a brighter display.The YouTube experience on the Home Hub has been optimised. The interface of YouTube videos has been changed to suit the display and ecosystem of Home Hub.YouTube Premium to be offered to the Home Hub customers free of cost for the first six months.

YouTube Premium allows watching uninterrupted videos, music, and other content. Google Home Hub will allow Do Not Disturb mode, which means you can snooze it for however long you want it to remain silent. Google Home Hub starts at $149 in the US, UK, and Australia. The pre-orders start today via Google Store. It will begin retail starting October 22 in the aforementioned countries.

The third device announced at the event is the Pixel Slate, Google’s new tablet to rival the Apple iPad and Microsoft Surface tablets. Powered by ChromeOS, the Pixel Slate will deliver a faster experience to the Chrome users, Google’s Tond Wuellner said at the event. The Google Pixel Slate comes with a 296ppi display. Google is bundling YouTube TV subscription with the Pixel Slate. There are two 8-megapixel cameras on the Pixel Slate one on each side. The cameras are loaded with AI and offer better photos to the users.

The Pixel Slate runs ChromeOS gives a desktop experience to the users. Google Pixel Slate costs $599 for the base variant and will be available in US, Canada, and the UK. The Pixel Slate Pen is priced at $99 while the Pixel Keyboard will retail at $199. All the three items will be available “later this year”.

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