Pixel 3 and 3 XL launch: any surprises are on the inside

Google's Rick Osterloh touted his company's combination of hardware software and artificial intelligence technology at the the Google Pixel 3 launch event

Pixel 3 and 3 XL launch: any surprises are on the inside

However, these phones also represent what the pinnacle of Android phones should be. With the Pixel line, Google takes "pure" Android and makes subtle tweaks, mostly to the launcher, to provide a more Pixel-like experience. Not even Apple's new iPhone Xs and Xs Max can take quite as good still photos as last year's Pixel device.

But what about this years? The Pixel 3 XL starts at $1,129 CAD for the 64GB and $1,259 for the 128GB.

The Pixel Slate will be available in four configurations, starting at the price of $599. The top part of the accessory covers the back of the Pixel Slate and it can be folded so that the device can be used as a laptop.

But the front of the devices could be very different this year.

This is where things get interesting - and, before we get into it, we're only comparing the basic Google Pixel Slate configuration against the base level iPad Pro.

Google showed off a pair of new Pixel phones, a tablet computer and a speaker with a screen in a deluge of new products aimed at competing with the latest gadgets from big technology rivals. On the storage front, the smartphone comes in either 64GB or 128GB capacities without a support for microSD card. Two USB-C ports live on the left and right side, but there's no 3.5mm headphone jack. You know the drill. And while most Google fans are fixated on the also-about-to-be-announced Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Android phones, the Pixel Slate is a much bigger deal. There's a notch on the top of the 3 XL, but the Pixel 3 simply adopts a similar curved cornered screen as found on the Pixel 2.

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Google reveals the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
The bezels are fairly thin (for a tablet anyway), but still big enough for dual front-facing speakers and for resting your thumbs. If you don't want to be disturbed, you can put the Pixel 3 face down on a surface to disable all its notifications.

When you want to capture something that won't stop moving-think of an adorable toddler or a hyperactive puppy-Motion Auto Focus will make sure your Pixel 3 camera stays in sharp focus automatically, as you record.

Both devices appear to have leaked significantly and have been claimed to come with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM and an improved camera system. As before, Google's rear snapper is just phenomenal.

When shooting in low-light environments, an upcoming feature called Night Sight will help you shoot natural-looking photos without the aid of a flash. As we've seen with the new iPhones, it's possible to adjust background blur after taking a shot, and there are plenty of other features too. The phone has a custom chip created to make photos look better, Google said. New additions include France, Ireland, Japan and Taiwan.

Google said it would augment distribution by opening two temporary stores in popular neighbourhoods of Chicago and NY on October 18 and putting up displays at US tech retailer B8ta and Goop. Google is calling it a "Molecular Display". Not bad, if not a tad worrying. The software, launching on U.S. Pixels only, answers calls, requests information about the nature of the calls and shares it as text with the recipient. The tablet is also compatible with a smart pen which will also cost you an additional $99. The first such device is the Pixel Slate. However, from our initial time with the devices, it's clear that Google is really only just hitting its vision of melding of hardware and AI-driven software - something it set out to do back with the original Pixel in 2016.

As we saw throughout the last several months, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL specs aren't all that impressive.

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