Pixel Slate is here: Google debuts a detachable Chrome OS tablet

Joanna Estrada
October 10, 2018

Their appearance is not exactly as indicated by the myriad leaks and rumors surrounding the two phones. Nevertheless, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are now official.

Taking design inspiration from numerous other handset manufacturers, the new Pixels move away from previous models and have a glass construction. The devices also have upgraded camera technology, which includes a feature called NightSight specially designed for flash-free shots in low-light conditions. The most expensive Pixel Slate will cost $1,599 and contain 16GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a more powerful 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor.

Camera-wise, the stats don't seem too impressive.

There is still a single rear camera on both phones. This may not sound like anything too special, but Google tries to compensate with software gimmickry. TopShot is a mode that automatically snaps photos right before and right after the moment you hit the shutter, then recommends the best shot - meaning you don't miss a crucial moment.

The AI in Pixel 3 enables new features that make your day-to-day actions simpler and easier. Google's Playground will bring new interactive augmented reality characters and objects to throw into your photos, including some favourites from Marvel and a dancing Childish Gambino.

In just two short years Google has produced what's arguably the best smartphone camera on the market - and it's done it by using one camera, not two as is the case with its competitors.

The detachable keyboard on the pixel Slate means you will be able to heavily customize the device with your own likings, including buying things like third-party keyboards or even sleeves for your device. Come back to Google Photos later and search for the beach photos you took on your Pixel 3, and they'll pop right up. But once you throw in the accessories, the Slate becomes a bit more pricey.

The Pixel 3 and its big brother also have a dedicated security chip - the Titan M, which keeps the OS and your passwords secure. Both are available first in English.

The Home Hub works like its siblings, providing the full Google Assistant voice experience, alongside music playback and smart home device control, while also introducing improved functionality and new features - thanks largely to that touchscreen. This year we have two new Assistant features coming to Pixel. And there's also Flip to Shhh, which will mute notifications if you set the phone screen down.

Google doesn't disclose its phone shipments, unlike Apple, which has sold about 388 million iPhones since the first Pixel came out in October 2016. Just tap on "Screen call" to find out who's calling and why, as well as other information (as prompted by you). For now, enjoy a phone with a very nice camera that will hopefully call the electrician for you.

Call screening lets you have Google's cloud system pick up the phone for you and display what a caller is saying in text, so you can check to see if it's a robocaller or telemarketer before you pick it up. The front camera is a wide-angle lens and both cameras utilize the same machine learning algorithms found on Google's Pixel phones to produce portrait mode photos.

Both handsets support fast charging (a claimed seven hours use from 15 minutes of charging). Here we were, expecting to learn about the latest updates to the Pixelbook, and Google throws a curveball and debuts the Pixel Slate, a 12-inch tablet. Colors are Clearly White, Just Black, and Not Pink.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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