The much-awaited event to announce a slew of products by Google was held in NY on Tuesday and leading the pack were undoubtedly the Google Pixel smartphones, Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. We liked it but were struck by its limited functions.
If we've learned anything from 2018, it's that Google is really bad at keeping secrets. Sadly, but inevitably, very little has.
Although Google achieved a fair bit of success with some Google Nexus phones in India back in the past (such as the Nexus 5), the company has not been able to make a mark with the Google Pixel phones. It also comes with 6 months subscription of YouTube Premium. The handset still boasts a powerful processor, stock Android (with first-in-line software updates) and, in all likelihood, one of the best smartphone cameras on the planet.
Like previous versions, the new Chromecast is $35. These components had to go somewhere and Google must have felt they were worth the trade-off in design. This device will launch in a few weeks, but you can join a waitlist on the Google Store. It has been created to blend in with your home - the screen automatically adjusts to the level and type of light in the room. And it has speakers and microphones so it can answer queries and play sound. Google isn't positioning this as a PC replacement but it can be used for both fun and work. Although that's just something one has to accept with most smartphones that come with a glass body. Honestly, that is the name and you shouldn't be surprised since the other two colors are Just Black and Clearly White. But if you are willing to accept that proposition, it is less obnoxious than the alternatives. This echoes some of what Apple announced with the new iPhones and ushers in the possibility that phones are in a post-megapixel landscape. Buyers will get six months of free YouTube Music service.
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And for those of you who would only accept such a product if it was designed not to gather information, then we point you to the Loop - which no one has bought. Of course, security has been a component of such devices before, but Google doesn't often call it out so bluntly. Some commands (like changing the brightness of smart lights) produces an on-screen control to make further adjustments.
Elsewhere, the Google Home Hub will respond automatically to your environment thanks to "Ambient EQ", which combines a dedicated sensor and Google's own imaging algorithms to automatically fine-tune the brightness and colour of the display.
Google's yearly hardware event launch is now over and the "Made by Google" brand of devices has now expanded. There is a Top Shot mode which uses Machine Learning to choose from best frames while clicking a picture. Both phones will be available for sale at Best Buy, Bell, Costco, Fido, Freedom, Koodo, Rogers, Telus, T-Booth, Videotron, Virgin Mobile, WirelessWave, Walmart, WoW Mobile in the coming weeks. It starts at $599, with a complementary keyboard for $199 and a pen for $99.