[RECAP] Google's 2018 Hardware Event

Category: Hardware

Google’s annual hardware launch event happened on October 9. In typically quirky fashion, the event kicked off with a video summarizing all the leaks of product info that led up to the event. Senior VP of hardware Rick Osterloh was the master of ceremony, introducing each product and tying them together with the theme of “help.” Let's see what was revealed and how helpful it will be to you...

We're From Google, and We're Here to Help

The big announcement was the Pixel 3, Google’s latest smartphone; in fact, many reporters referred to the whole shindig as “the Pixel 3 event.” It comes in regular and XL sizes, with 5.5 and 6.3 inch screens respectively. Both screens have a “notch” around the 12.2-megapixel rear-facing camera, an Apple design innovation that forced many app developers to redesign their displays.

Both Pixels are water-resistant, come with 4 GB of memory, and their speakers are 40% louder so you and the whole bus can hear the two free months of YouTube Music that comes with every Pixel. That's helpful, right?

Other helpful touches include “Top Shot” software that helps shutterbugs take better pictures. It can take shots before and after you press the shutter, so you can choose the one with the best timing. “Super Res Zoom” enhances optical zoom to bring images closer with less blurring. “NightSight” lightens dark photos without a flash. All Pixel phones will soon get these software upgrades. The Pixel 3 also has a second front-facing camera just for group selfies (or "groupies", as Google calls them). Google says it captures “184% more of the shot” than Apple’s iPhone Xs.

Google Pixel 3

“Call Screen” is an AI-based feature handles suspected spam calls for you. “Flip to shush” turns off notifications when the phone is turned face-down. Both are helpful.

A new charging dock acts as an alarm, music player, voice assistant, and photo frame. It is a scaled-down version of Home Hub, the next new helpful thing. No doubt this Pixel charger is meant to whet your appetite for a Home Hub.

The Pixel 3 phone starts at $379; the charger is $79. Verizon and Google will sell Pixel phones in red, white, and pink starting October 18, 2018.

Google Home Hub is a smart speaker with a screen, like Amazon Show. The voice-controlled device has a 7-inch touchscreen. It can control smart-home devices, answer questions, display photos, and show videos streamed from the web. That’s all helpful but every smart speaker does the same things. What is most helpful about Home Hub is what it lacks that every competitor has: a camera! That helps make Home Hub $80 cheaper than its Amazon equivalent ($149), and helps allay privacy concerns.

Here's the Pixel Slate, With an Extra Helping of Chrome

The Pixel Slate tablet is a totally new genre for Google. It runs the first version of Google’s Chrome operating system designed for tablets. You can binge-watch Netflix in bed with Slate’s duo of speakers and high-resolution display. Unlike the Hub, it features a front-facing wide-angle camera, I wonder what the wide angle helps. More selfies, I'll guess.

Slate is not another Android device. It runs a full-blown version of Google’s Chrome Internet-centric operating system, of which the Chrome browser is but one component. Slate can run Chrome apps that Android can’t, and do things that the browser can’t. Still, Google expects most users to rely heavily on the browser, so it supports “as many tabs as you want,’ according to the company.

Slate’s physical design is more helpful than most. Its keyboard cover can be locked at any angle, where others tend to lock at just one. The case attaches to Slate’s back with magnets, providing full-spectrum angling there too.

The tablet costs $599, the cover $199, and a compatible stylus is $99; so about $900 if you go all-in. Taking a page from Henry Ford's playbook, you can have any color you want, as long as it's midnight blue.

The humble Chromecast streaming video dongle got a slight redesign that was not worthy of a spot at this new-product event. It still costs $35 and still streams 1080p.

I hope this update was helpful. Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "[RECAP] Google's 2018 Hardware Event"

Posted by:

AE
10 Oct 2018

Where can I buy a Pixel 3 for $379?


Posted by:

GuitarRebel
10 Oct 2018

What AE said.


Posted by:

Ken H
10 Oct 2018

For those Bob fans who don't seem to know about Google (Im' looking atr you AE and GuitarRebel):
https://www.theverge.com/good-deals/2018/7/5/17536786/google-pixel-128gb-deal-unlocked-phone


Posted by:

Kenneth Heikkila
10 Oct 2018

Not Pixel 3, 1st edition that will only be supported (security updates) through October 2019.


Posted by:

Roger Browett
10 Oct 2018

You recommend PcMATIC very highly. I used it some time ago and liked it. I have tried to download PcMatic and GridinSoft Malware blocks it everytime. I like this program as it seems to eliminate any malware that occurs. (What do you think of GridinSoft Antimalware). Is it true that I can use PcMatic alone without any antimalware programs such as Kaspersky, Heimdal or GridinSoft. I have all these programs and I have had no malware or virus problems either. Can I trust to use PcMatic alone and be safe including ransomware? I will appreciate your answer. Thank you


Posted by:

Roger Browett
10 Oct 2018

You recommend PcMATIC very highly. I used it some time ago and liked it. I have tried to download PcMatic and GridinSoft Malware blocks it everytime. I like this program as it seems to eliminate any malware that occurs. (What do you think of GridinSoft Antimalware). Is it true that I can use PcMatic alone without any antimalware programs such as Kaspersky, Heimdal or GridinSoft. I have all these programs and I have had no malware or virus problems either. Can I trust to use PcMatic alone and be safe including ransomware? I will appreciate your answer. Thank you


Posted by:

Laurie
10 Oct 2018

The 5.5” screen does not have a notch. Instead, it has a bezel at the top.


Posted by:

Laurie
10 Oct 2018

Pricing for Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL:

Pixel 3:
$799 for 64 GB variant
$899 for 128 GB variant

Pixel 3 XL:
$899 for 64 GB variant
$999 for 128 GB variant

The discounted price of $379 is not for either Pixel 3 variant. It is for the original Pixel as offered by some retailers (such as B&H Photo.)


Posted by:

Momma D
10 Oct 2018

Hope these work better than the Nest Hello doorbell I foolishly purchased. I can get to the door faster than any notification comes to me on my phone. Plus it spends as much time offline as on line.


Posted by:

cal67
11 Oct 2018

@ Ken H. Your link was from an article in July. That offer is no longer available.


Posted by:

DAVID
11 Oct 2018

Google hub is $149 on your link not the $80 you have listed. Please correct the article.


Posted by:

DAVID
11 Oct 2018

Bob I misread your article. Apologies it say 149 and is 80 cheaper! Have a great day and keep up the good work!


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