Google Home Hub hands-on: Big AI in a small smart display

Joanna Estrada
October 10, 2018

Note that this feature won't be available right away - it'll come along in a future update. It's also hiring photographer Annie Leibovitz to take pictures with the new Pixel in an effort to persuade consumers its camera is superior to the iPhone XS that Apple released last month. The rear panel and sides are swathed in a lovely midnight-blue aluminum. Similar to the Microsoft Surface, the back portion can fold to prop the tablet up when sitting on a desk or lap. Both lenses are 8MP, but there's an f/2.2 wide-angle one and an f/1.8 telephoto, making it more versatile and helping you fit more in shots. It also has all the usual bells and whistles for a phone, including Bluetooth, USB Type-C and Wi-Fi etc.

That's a lot of pixels!

The regular Pixel 3 keeps the design pretty much the same as last year's Pixel 2 with an un-notched 5.5-inch display. In person, the panel looked sharp and vibrant. Like the Home Hub and Echo Show, you can also watch cooking videos through various services, play music from streaming services, and even blind the device using the included camera cover or the mute button on top of the Portal.

The YouTube experience has been optimised on Home Hub, and it will also come with six months of free YouTube Premium. There's plenty of powerful hardware on offer here, finished off with Google's signature style. However, the Slate can be configured with up to an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB and 256GB of storage, specs more fitting of Google's aspirations of a laptop replacement. The Pixel 3's solution to this is Night Sight (yes, Google has a fancy name for all these features).

There's 128GB of storage and a fingerprint scanner on the back of both devices.

Once again Verizon is the "exclusive" carrier for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in the U.S. That's, of course, a bit of a misnomer because that exclusivity only reaches as far as buying from a carrier goes. But Google seems ready to put its money where its mouth is. It still combines the standard Chrome OS flavor of Linux with emulated Android applications, but the keyboard is separate and the interface is specifically created to be a tablet, not a laptop or phone pretending to be a tablet, as Google puts it.

You can purchase the 3rd Gen Chromecast from the Google Store here. And since it's a tablet, Chrome OS has been optimized for touch.

Google said in a blog post on Tuesday that it recently delivered some Google Home speakers within 10 minutes of ordering using drones from Alphabet's Wing.

That means that your most used apps will be a tap away.

One of the major disappoints of the new Google Home Hub, however, is the omission of a camera for Google Duo video calls. That gives you bright, evenly toned shots that better capture that evening mood.

Pixel Slate comes with a detachable keyboard, as well as a stylus. However, I was impressed with how springy the circular keys actually were. The keyboard also has a full-size trackpad that offers traditional functionality. Even the base model's price can add up very quickly.

The AI in Pixel 3 enables new features that make your day-to-day actions simpler and easier. To that end, Google has built a few security measures into the Pixel Slate. The new Google Home Hub sits alongside the existing Google Home, Google Home Mini and Google Home Max speakers.

Unlike its competitors, Google said its Home Hub, priced at $149, does not have a video conferencing camera.

The Pixel 3 has an FHD+ flexible OLED display at 443ppi, whereas the larger one sports a QHD+ OLED display (with a notch) at 523ppi.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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