The company debuted its phones for 2018, a camera-free home control center and a new detachable Chrome OS tablet.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Google’s annual fall hardware event proved to be not quite as jam-packed as Amazon’s recent surprise clown-car-full of announcements, but the company did announce the long-expected new phones, plus a tablet, laptop, smart home hub and AR partnerships with Marvel and Childish Gambino.

Some might also say Google hopes the Pixel 3 and Home Hub dazzle you enough to brush off privacy concerns.

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL


The Pixels were widely and completely leaked before the event, so there were few surprises when it came to Google’s update to last year’s Pixel 2 and its big brother, the Pixel 2 XL.

Google formally showed off the new flagship phones on Tuesday after weeks of leaks, including a full unboxing video from Engadget. Google even teased the leaks in a tweet, writing, “so you think you know…”

The Pixel 3 will challenge the best phones on the market with Google’s greatest weapon: artificial intelligence. The AI features unveiled at the event give Google something new to crow about. After all, many of the phone’s hardware specs — like the 5.5-inch and 6.3-inch displays on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, respectively, and 64GB and 128GB storage options — had already been leaked.

Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of hardware, started the event by showing off all the AI tools the Pixel 3 will be able to use with the help of Google Assistant.

“They come at the intersection of AI, software, and hardware working together,” he said. “This approach is what makes Google’s hardware experience so unique and it unlocks all kinds of helpful benefits.”

He talked up the Pixel 3’s ability to improve the phone’s camera by using AI relying on data gathered from millions of Google Image searches.

“Pixel’s camera completely rethinks how images are captured,” Osterloh said. “We can trace that intelligence back to Google Images.”

In a blog post, Google called the Pixel 3 the “most helpful device in your life,” pointing out that Assistant can answer while the phone is charging and the camera is designed so that it “won’t miss a shot.”

The camera comes with a feature called Top Shot, which uses AI to pick the best moments to take a picture. Other features include Night Sight, used in low-light settings without a flash, and Super Res Zoom, which improves zooming without losing image quality.

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL come in three colors, each with cheeky names: Just Black, Clearly White and Not Pink. The phones have glass backs with matte and glossy textures in two-tone backing.

Both phones are larger than last year’s models, with the Pixel 3 at 5.5 inches and the Pixel 3 XL at 6.3 inches.

The Pixel 3 has two front-facing cameras to fit more details in the frame, which will be particularly useful for group selfies. Google said the second camera captures “184 percent more of the scene” as the iPhone XS, so if you need a wide angle the Pixel 3 might be your best bet.

Google Home Hub and Google Assistant


Google Home, the company’s smart speaker with Google Assistant built-in, gets a little brother with a screen — but without a camera.

Answer: The Google Home Hub. We’ve heard rumors of Google’s own smart display for months and saw leaked photos a couple of weeks ago — now, Google’s gone and made it official by announcing the thing Tuesday at its Made by Google devices event in New York.


Thanks to the Lenovo Smart Display and the JBL Link View, we’re already pretty familiar with what a Google Assistant-equipped smart display can do. Like those devices and just like the rest of the Google Home lineup does, the Home Hub will respond to Google Assistant voice commands. You can control your smart home, check your calendar, search the web and more with a voice command.

Pixel Slate and Chrome OS


One of the worst-kept tech secrets in recent history is officially out of the bag. Google has announced a new tablet, the Pixel Slate, alongside a handful of other new products including the Pixel 3 phone and Home Hub.

The Pixel Slate is a brand-new, detachable-style follow-up to the Pixelbook, the company’s great but pricey Chrome OS laptop. Since we’re seeing growth in $600-class Chrome OS detachables and convertibles, it’s unsurprising that Google took this approach.

The Pixel Slate starts at $599 (or £549) and comes in a variety of configurations; the most expensive model, which features Intel’s eighth-gen Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, costs $1,599 (or £1,549). Google said the Pixel Slate would ship later this year; you can sign up now to be notified of availability on the Google Store.

In keeping with much of the information that leaked prior to today’s event, the midnight blue tablet has a 12.3-inch display and runs Google’s Chrome operating system. It measures just over a quarter-inch thick and weighs 1.6 pounds. Google also announced two optional accessories — the $199 Pixel Keyboard and $99 Pixelbook Pen.

Here’s what we know so far about the Pixel Slate:

  • Starts at $599
  • Intel Celeron, Core m3, Core i5 or Core i7 CPU
  • Up to 16GB of RAM
  • 12.3-inch Molecular display with 293 ppi
  • 8MP rear- and front-facing cameras with Portrait mode
  • Two USB-C ports
  • Support for 4K external display
  • Pixel Imprint fingerprint scanner
  • Stereo speakers
  • New version of Chrome OS
  • Integrated Google Assistant
  • Titan M Security Chip, which encrypts data and passwords
  • Family Link controls
  • Includes free 3-month trial of YouTube TV
  • 48Wh battery provides up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Measures 11.45×7.95×0.27 inches (LWH)


The $199 Pixel Slate Keyboard features rounded, backlit keys and connects magnetically; it does not require power or charging. In opting to not include the keyboard with the tablet, Google is following Microsoft’s controversial model with the Surface Pro keyboard, which costs an extra $160.

Credits: Cnet

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