Google unveils Pixel 3, Home Hub and a new Pixel tablet: Australian release details

Google unveils Pixel 3, Home Hub and a new Pixel tablet: Australian release details

Matt Blowes October 10, 2018 Hardware, Technology, IT Trends

Google have shown off a large range of new devices, notably their flagship phone for 2018, the Pixel 3. Despite the flurry of new devices, not all of them, or all their features will be available in Australia. 

Here are the key new devices:

  • Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL
  • Google Home Hub
  • Pixel Stand
  • Pixel Slate tablet
  • Chromecast (3rd generation)

The announcements come at a highly competitive time of year for new hardware. In the last month, we've seen new iPhone devices from Apple and new Surface devices from Microsoft

Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL

We now have confirmation of the new Pixel 3 and its larger sibling, the Pixel 3 XL. Both come with few surprises, being dubbed "the leakiest phones that ever leaked" by Wired

Perhaps the stand-out moment of the reveal was the Google Assistant screening calls to filter out unwanted spam. The Assistant will answer a call and ask questions to determine whether the call is worth answering. A live transcription of the call will display on the phone display. It's a practical implementation of the Assistant's call features that were shown off earlier this year. See it action here: 

 

 

Despite the significance of the call screening feature, it won't be available in Australia at launch. And there is no ETA for when Call Screen will be available. 

Both Pixel 3 models have a larger display than their predecessors but within a similar physical size (like the iPhone XS or Galaxy S9). The Pixel 3 appears similar on the front to the Galaxy S9 with a rectangular display and rounded corners. Meanwhile the Pixel 3 XL has followed the latest "notch" trend with a protruding cut-out at the top of the display for the front-facing cameras. 

Besides these features, the Pixel 3 has received modest upgrades from the Pixel 2 specifications. Here are the shared specs between the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL: 

  • Dual front cameras for narrow and wide-angle selfie photos: 8 MP wide-angle and normal FoV cameras
  • Single rear camera: 12 MP
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 2.5Ghz + 1.6Ghz, 64Bit Octa-Core processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • Active Edge
  • All glass back
  • USB C earbuds included in the box 
  • Android 9 Pie
  • 18 W fast charging & Qi wireless charging + 18 W/2 A USB type-C charger
Model Pixel 3 Pixel 3 XL
Price $1199, $1349 $1349, $1499
Storage 64 GB, 128 GB
Colour Just Black, Clearly White, Not Pink
Display Fullscreen 5.5” display,
FHD+ flexible OLED at 443 ppi
18:9
Fullscreen 6.3” display,
QHD+ OLED at 523ppi
18.5:9
Dimensions 145.6 mm x 68.2 mm x 7.9 mm 158.0 mm x 76.7 mm x 7.9 mm
Weight 148 g 184 g
Battery 2915 mAh 3430 mAh

 

Both models of the Pixel 3 are now available for pre-order in Australia, to be delivered in early November. 

Google Home Hub

The Google Assistant now has a dedicated device with a visual display for the first time. 

Google Home Hub

The Home Hub allows you to access all your typical Google services, including the new commute function. Furthermore, you're able to control your smart home devices. 

It has a 7-inch display, speakers and includes a mute switch if you don't want it constantly listening for commands. It does not include a webcam, leaving video conferencing not possible. 

The Google Home Hub is $219 in Australia. It is available for pre-order now, with deliveries arriving in late October. 

Pixel StandPixel  Stand

Google announced a new wireless charging stand for both new Pixel phones. While a phone is charging on the Pixel Stand, it will display useful information. The info it will display includes, calendar events, weather conditions, traffic info & the time. It will essentially convert a Pixel 3 into a Google Home Hub will charging. 

The Pixel Stand is not compatible with previous Pixel phones (requires wireless charging). 

The Pixel Stand is $119 in Australia. It is available for pre-order now, with deliveries arriving in mid-November. 

Pixel Slate tablet 

Google have unveiled a new high-end tablet named the Pixel Slate. It is targeting a similar market to the iPad Pro and Surface Pro. 

But there is a significant problem with the Pixel Slate for Australians. There is no indication it is coming to Australia. 

It is missing from the Australian Google Store, and no release details have been offered. Considering Australia still hasn't received 2017's Pixelbook laptop, it's possible the Pixel Slate will never get released here. 

If you'd like to see what we're missing out on, here is an initial hands-on impression from The Verge

Chromecast (3rd generation) & others

The third generation of the Chromecast was also announced. It is only a minor improvement over the previous model. 

Chromecast (3rd generation)

The device itself now has a matte finish (instead of glossy) and the device can now stream 1080p video at 60 fps (instead of only 30 fps). Later this year, the Chromecast 3 will be able to act like a Chromecast Audio with multi-room audio support. 

Otherwise the Chromecast is the same as the previous device and remains at $59 (deliveries begin in late October). 4k video streaming will still require a Chromecast Ultra, which was not updated.

If you're interested in which Google devices are available in Australia, there is a helpful page available here. It displays current worldwide availability of Google hardware. 

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