It is finally the day we’ve been waiting for! October 9th has arrived and Made by Google 2018 has finally happened! We had the chance to attend the latest launch event by Google this week in NYC and boy was amazing! We got to sit at the keynote next to so many talented creators, and also got our hands in the new products being released, including the new Pixel 3 lineup! Below are a few details from the new products as well as our first take on each device:
Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL - Starting at $799 & $899
This was the most exciting device (for us) at the launch event! The new Pixel lineup promises to be even better than the previous generation and we cannot wait to get this phone as a personal device. Since the launch of the first Pixel, Google has proven they can do much better than other phone companies and we think this time they’ve outdone themselves. The new Pixel 3 promises an update to the already impressive Pixel 2 lineup, including a better camera system, internal hardware, edge-to-edge display, and much more! Below are a few specs and our firth thoughts:
Edge to edge viewing experience. While there is a notch, we don’t think this would affect the experience much (as seen on iPhone X). We are curious to test the display performance also. You may remember the whole blueish tint on the Pixel 2 XLs.
New YouTube music. Free for 6 months to Google Pixel 3 buyers.
Google lens - This feature can now work instantly on the camera app, no need to use a separate app.
Call Screening - When you get those suspicious calls you can ask your Pixel to pick up for you to screen the calls using a transcript to let you know what the caller is saying. This is HUGE!!! We all hate talking to telemarketers.
Flip to Shh - Flip your phone on its screen to turn do not disturb on.
Pixel Stand $79 - Not only does it charge the Pixel 3 when docked, your phone will also act similar to a Google Home while docked. You can control connected devices and third party apps like Nest’s front door camera, as well as other features.
While the phone specs above are vey impressive, Google has proven to be a pioneer when it comes to their mobile cameras, the app and software. We are super excited about the new features and specs that come with the new Pixel 3 lineup and cannot wait to fully test them out. For now, below are a few takeaways and our thoughts on the camera system:
HDR+ - This method captures several short exposures that are combined using the app algorithm to create the best exposure possible. We can’t wait to test this in depth! While the Pixel 2’s HDR+ was great, it did have issues when shooting backlit subjects.
Top Shot - This feature takes burst of HDR+ images, before and after taking an image, and selects the best in series for you automatically. We can see this being very helpful with moving subjects like babies or pets.
Super Zoom - Pixel 3 takes a burst of photos to create a beautiful images even after cropping! We will be testing this out further, specially with landscape images.
Night Sight - Low light can be a huge problem when we don’t have external flashes or lights. This new feature promises expanding the low light capabilities in the new Pixel 3! We can’t wait to see this in action.
Photo Booth - Takes pictures of you and friends, automatically capturing shots when people are smiling or laughing. No shutter button needed! Can’t wait to test this feature more and test its capabilities. We’re curious to see what it chooses not to take.
Playground - AR creatures and modes now expanded to selfie camera. Including the new Avengers and Childish Gambino characters! The new characters can now interact with your actions and expressions.
Wide Angle Selfies - We have two cameras now, TWO! There is a real time zoom and width adjustments. We can now get everyone in the photo with this new feature! We definitely appreciate this and can see how the wide angle will improve everyone’s experience with mobile photography.
Focal strength adjustments and color changes!
UI - We think the new interface looks closer to the iOS camera app now. It is more straight forward and can slide to different modes instead of hitting menu button on side. We welcome the update, and at first hand we can’t complain about it. More testing and getting used to the interface will be done on our end.
Out of Camera Samples
We had some time with the new Pixel 3 at the launch event and wow! The images look great. Below are a few sample unedited images straight from the Pixel 3 camera. Feel free to click on each to expand. Be your own judge. For now, we think the Pixel 3 camera does an amazing job!
When can you buy!? Launch dates
You can pre-order the phone from Thursday October 11 in the US, UK and Australia. You'll then receive it by November 1 - at which time you can buy it from stores.
Check out store.google.com for more details!
Google Home Hub - $149!
Today, many of us use our mobile devices to do things at home. We may even have a Google Mini to get help and answers. The new Google Home Hub combines both of these devices into one to provide a great home experience that no other device provides! The capabilities of this device are incredible and even more to know it is just $149! Below are a few of our favorite specs:
Multi-lingual UX. While this is not a brand new feature, it is worth mentioning. Many of us have family members who many not speak English as well and need assistance in their native language.
Light adaptation - Automatically adapts to ambient light for best viewing experience.
Home View - Status updates on other smart devices throughout your home. We think this Dashboard is a great update on the way we can manage several devices all in one.
Device connections - Over 200 million devices from over 1000 brands!
Live Albums - Uses your Google Photos even further! These live albums use images of your friends and family and plays them back on the screen. This takes machine learning capabilities to filter out the not so good pictures we all take (blurry / blurry).
Improved interactions with “Hey Google” - for instance “Good Morning”.
Cooking instructions step-by-step. We can all get help in the kitchen, and even better when you don’t need to touch your phone with dirty hands.
Other app interactions - We can’t wait to test this further and see what developers have in mind moving forward!
Google Pixel Slate - Starting at $599
We are big fans of devices that will expand our productivity on the go. The new Google Pixel Slate allows us to work faster and better on the road with the integration of apps and the new ChromeOS. Below are a few of our favorite specs:
Bright and sharp display.
Front facing speakers and new audio algorithms - We’re curios to test the audio output here.
8MP front/rear cameras. Incorporating machine learning algorithms.
Wide angle lens in front facing camera. Designed for selfies / video calls.
Launcher - The new launcher machine learning adapts to what you use the most.
UI / UX- The experience handling apps / launcher / assistant seems very promising. We can’t wait to test this further!
Built-in virus protection and automatic updates.
Power button has a finger print reader built in (same as Pixel devices)
Backlit keyboard and trackpad connect magnetically (it seems). No need for an external battery. This will cost you an extra $199.
Pen - You may also purchase a Google Pen for an additional $99.
Exterior case / folio - this helps angle the screen to what you find comfortable. Also duals as a case when folder back up.
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