Pixel 3 launch: Google to unveil iPhone challenger and smart home hub

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel Slate to new Chromecast: Here’s what to expect from the Google event tonight

After months of leaks and rumors, Google has finally unveiled the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones. The earbuds apparently "work best" with Pixel 3 phones but should work with most, if not all, USB-C device for audio.

The iPhone also features Google's search engine, but Google may be paying Apple as much as $9 billion annually for that privilege, based on the estimates of Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall.

The latest Pixel phones are likely to attract the most attention, even though the first two generations have so far barely made a dent in the market. It's also got some special features when your Pixel 3 XL is charging on the stand, like an ambient light mode that mimics the sunrise before your alarm goes off in the morning and the ability to show your schedule, traffic info, and news.

But what about this years?

Google initially sold the Pixel 2 and its larger sibling, Pixel 2 XL, in six countries, including the United States, Australia, Germany and India, after an unveiling in San Francisco.

Google will launch its new hardware range at a "Made By Google" event being held in NY.

The Pixel 3 XL is the latest phone to adopt the super-trendy screen notch popularized by the iPhone X a year ago. While the design looks similar to last-gen Pixel 2 devices with the two-tone back body, the Pixel 3 comes with complete glass back body. You can still join waitlists for 128 gig variants, though, so Google might not be planning to discontinue this device anytime soon.

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The Pixel 3 will be available October 18 and sell at prices starting at $799.

Both also have 4GB of RAM and come in 64GB and 128GB storage options. You know the drill. And, yep, that Pixel 3 XL is featuring a notched display to maximize the screen real estate and create an edge to edge experience.

The front cameras are dual 8MP sensors. Add $100 more if you want the 128GB versions. As before, Google's rear snapper is just phenomenal. It will automatically capture alternate shots when you take a picture so you can "fix" a picture if someone blinked or sneezed.

With each new smartphone cycle, the camera is one area that's improved almost across the board. It also makes clever use of magnets, which is something we've seen over Google's hardware history. There's integrated virus detection to keep the malware at bay as well as Google's Titan Security, a chip which controls disk encryption and the lock screen. Not bad, if not a tad worrying. And, in the process, it gives you the opportunity to show anyone who would dare to disturb you with an actual phone call what you really think of them: Namely, that they're an annoyance. The top part of the accessory covers the back of the Pixel Slate and it can be folded so that the device can be used as a laptop. It displays information on the phone screen and can be operated completely by voice. A Smart TV Kit that will pack Chromecast and Google Home Mini into a single bundle is also expected.

The Pixel 3 phones have larger displays than the Pixel 2 counterparts, which were launched past year.

Still, the Pixel 3 could see limited uptake in the United States as Google again signed an exclusive distribution deal with wireless carrier Verizon Communications Inc that means the device will get little marketing from other carriers. Unfortunately, only time can tell on that. With the top mounted fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication, the Pixel Slate is expected to come in four models.

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