The Voyage From The HTC Dream To The Pixel 3

Google Home Hub is all about simplifying the smart home experience

Google Home Hub is all about simplifying the smart home experience

Google looks less like the Google of old (who made Nexus phones, for example) and now looks much closer to its big rivals, Amazon and Apple.

They've built two of the world's most powerful and wealthy businesses on the back of their software expertise but this week Facebook and Google unveiled hardware products.

The Pixel 3 faces continued limited sales in the United States since Google again signed an exclusive distribution deal with wireless carrier Verizon Communications Inc that means the device will get little marketing from other carriers. Nobody likes a clunky tank of a case, but you can protect your phone without losing that thin feel. It only costs $149, which is about what you'd expect.

EE is offering the Pixel 3 for £58 per month but only needs a £10 downpayment, while the Pixel 3 XL will cost £63 per month and need a £20 upfront payment.

In all, the slightly larger display size on the Pixel 3 isn't really enough alone to warrant an upgrade. We'll still need to run our own benchmarks on the Pixel 3 to be sure of just how long it'll last in a working day.

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For instance, the camera's features for better shots will take advantage of software on the device itself, so that nothing gets sent to Google's servers - unless you enable a backup feature with Google Photos. The continued conversation feature permits you to ask the Assistant a query and then include a reminder, a follow-up, or a product to a shopping list without the need to say "OK Google" every time.

The nod to privacy concerns comes as Google and other big US tech companies try to bounce back from recent data breach scandals.

For almost every leak of the Pixel 3 XL we saw the notch, unhidden and glaringly obviously to all and sundry. For the most part, the new technology hovered around the Pixel Visual Core which is just a fancy word for AI post-processing. Even so, the Lenovo remains a better option as it offers a much smarter display. 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.

The Link View is also a Google Voice Assistant smart speaker, and from what we heard in demos in Berlin, its sound is particularly impressive. Most likely some of the more advanced features like deoth effects and Super-Res will work on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but not the original Pixel. These could be the three colour options of the Pixel 3 models. The plethora of AI-based features makes it great as a camera both for social occasions and serious photography. I was able to sideload the app onto other phones via APK Mirror, but so far it doesn't seem to actually do anything, though we'll keep an eye out for any new features or functionality delivered via the app.

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