Monday, 21 January, 2019

Pixel Stand hands-on: doing what Home Hub does with your Pixel 3

Pixel Stand hands-on: doing what Home Hub does with your Pixel 3 Pixel Stand hands-on: doing what Home Hub does with your Pixel 3
Sherri Watson | 10 October, 2018, 11:06

Something different from previous year is the ability to wirelessly charge Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

The new Google Home Hub uses the company's artificial intelligence-powered Google Assistant, built into a desk or countertop display with a control panel.

On one level they're both nothing more than the latest iteration of Google's popular Pixel smartphone. Alphabet generated $4.4 billion in the second quarter from this category, up 37 percent from a year earlier.

The Google Home Hub is seen in an image released by Google.

Google's fall event is upon us and the company's love affair with home tech is well represented by the all-new Home Hub.

In that respect, the Google Home Hub is nearly an exact replica of Amazon's Echo Show, which is also a screen with a built-in digital assistant that connects to various music and video services, most owned by Amazon, and anything that includes the Alexa system. It looks a bit like a tablet laying on top of a stand with a built-in speaker, which is a contrast from Amazon's Echo Show which is more monolithic. Loup Ventures estimates that while Amazon will have 52 percent of the market this year and Google will reach 28 percent, Google will surpass Amazon by 2021 with 48 percent versus 37 percent.

Plenty of details about the new smartphones have appeared online, although Google has sought to poke fun at the rumours. The phones are launching in the weeks following the debuts of Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 and Apple's iPhone XS and XS Max, and ahead of the iPhone XR. Subscribe for my Pixel 3 XL review. The interface offers up an app drawer, app dock, and a Google search bar like a phone or tablet, but apps like Google Chrome will you give the full desktop version when you need a better workstation. They'll come in three colors: black, white and pink. The new Pixel phones are also expected to follow the trend of expanding the phone screen almost to the edges of the device.

The new design appears to be in the early stages of a rollout. Google's "Active Edge" feature that lets you squeeze your phone to invoke the Google Assistant also remains. And, of course, Google is using AI to do other fancy things like screen incoming calls and provide a transcript on the screen in real time. Not all of its AI capabilities require sending data back to Google over the Internet, said Osterloh - in some cases, it's faster to do the analysis on the phone itself.

The Pixel Slate tablet has a 6-million pixel display and was described as "a ideal device for play and work", by Trond Wuellner, Google's director of product management. The tablet is also compatible with a smart pen which will also cost you an additional $99.

Google's Pixel Slate, meanwhile, comes in at a relatively modest $599, but has only an Intel Celeron under the hood paired with a measly 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage for that price.