Sci-tech

Google’s new Pixel Stand charger is quietly brilliant

Google’s new Pixel Stand charger is quietly brilliant”

The handset still boasts a powerful processor, stock Android (with first-in-line software updates) and, in all likelihood, one of the best smartphone cameras on the planet.

The key aim of this, as you might expect from the "Hub" part of it's name, is to serve as a focal point for other devices in your house. 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.

The main screen now contains a list of your smart home devices, and you can make adjustments without diving into the product's specific application. We liked it but were struck by its limited functions. "In the future, we'll do more things with less". When it's not showing you a weather forecast or playing YouTube music videos, it'll serve as a digital photo frame showing a carefully curated selection of your snaps saved in Google Photos.

The Google Home Hub is created to sit unobtrusively in your living room, bedroom or kitchen and serve up visual aids to answer your questions. By comparison, the second-generation Amazon Echo Show retails for $229.99. Understandably, this was done for the sake of privacy, however, Lenovo cleverly used a "privacy shutter" in their Smart Display to hide the camera when not in use, which Google certainly could have done.

It works with Google's Assistant and hardware. It will automatically turn off the screen at night, too. And it has speakers and microphones so it can answer queries and play sound. It also only comes in one color-Midnight Blue.

AI can also require a lot of personal data.

The intelligence of Google's A.I. paired with the versatility of its new Home offerings make it a covetable offering in the smart home space. But if you are willing to accept that proposition, it is less obnoxious than the alternatives.

Google sold about 4 million phones in 2017, twice as many as a year earlier, according to research firm IDC.

As to how good the Hub is, we'd have to wait when there are actual units to review.

Despite Amazon's dominance in the category, analysts are bullish on Google's long-term prospects for smart speakers. Increasingly, it seems likely that whatever company gets an initial foothold in your home, that will drive future purchasing decisions.

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will be released November 1 but are now available for pre-order on the Google Store. For one, it has access to an incredible library of Android apps that, as unoptimised as many of them may be for tablets, are miles ahead of where the Microsoft Store stands.

And new designs are present on the flagship duo although the back of both devices is a similar affair to last year's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones. It's not like she doesn't already have the very finest photographic equipment that is available to buy.



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