Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Get the Google Pixel 3 launcher on your Android Pie phone now

Get the Google Pixel 3 launcher on your Android Pie phone now

The big news is that there was no news.

The US$1.1 billion HTC deal, which was announced in September past year and officially closed in January 2018, saw more than 2,000 HTC engineers moving to Google.

So, the Pixel 3 is exactly as we expected, but is it any good? Pixel 2 had the most awesome portrait feature and with coveted bokeh background colour.

Hardcore Google fans are in luck.

The analysis of the photos is done on the Pixel 3, not in Google's cloud. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are. You can order one here. The design change has brought Google's latest Pixel phones up to par with other premium devices.

There has been a (minor) adjustment to the colour scheme, though.

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For photography enthusiasts, the Pixel 3 is undeniably the way to go. What we do know though, is that several exciting new features or camera enhancements will arrive via software updates in the coming weeks.

Google Pixel Slate is equipped with two USB-C ports that can be harnessed to charge the device. This might seem like a cop-out, but the camera is now paired with Qualcomm's upgraded Snapdragon 845 processor. Yes, they have prioritized the quality of camera. This new feature makes low-light photographs brighter and clearer using machine learning. If you don't use the flash, your night photos appear grainy and lack detail. It's now more similar to optical zooming you'd find on cameras with two lenses. What difference does this make?

According to Google, the Pixel 3 will last 11 hours, which is a rather surprising step down. The feature will first roll out in New York, Atlanta, Phoenix and the San Francisco Bay with the rest of the USA following later.

The camera may be a key feature for Pixel 3 to stand out from Apple iPhone XS series. This hasn't been seen on any of the American tech company's products since the Nexus 6 way back in 2014.

Google's three generations of larger Pixel XL phones are built by LG.

It also doubles up as a smart screen, a la the Google Home Hub.

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You can take multiple shot at the same time when you zoom in.

Beyond the camera, Google is using artificial intelligence to help screen calls. The iPhone also features Google's search engine, but Google may be paying Apple as much as $9 billion annually for that privilege, based on the estimates of Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall. Or you can simply ask the Google Assistant to "take a group selfie". When the Pixel 3 detects a suspicious call, it will answer and ask the caller for their name and why they're calling. You can choose to pick up or ignore the call. To add fuel to the fire, Pixel 3 XL was already being sold in Russian Federation one week before the product was even announced.

Nothing about Pixel or Pixel 2 really offered anything to aggressively compete with last year's iPhone, let alone the newest iPhones Apple released at the same time. The 64GB model starts at a jaw-dropping £1,099, with a 256GB version costing £1,249. Will the new software be worth the extra money? We will have to wait and see if other camera features also come to the older Pixel handsets.

Google's flagship smartphones are still among the most affordable in their class, however.

In a sample image, Google compared two identical shots, one taken on an iPhone XS and the other on a Pixel 3. And Pixel will remain outside the mainstream, remaining under the shadow of other phone makers.

Google's new smart speaker, which has a display to show visual responses to voice commands, mostly matches offerings from Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc.

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