Google Pixel 3 to launch on November 2nd in France, retailer claims

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For everyone else, the Pixel 3 XL and smaller Pixel 3 are both fantastic phones that pack a ton of new software features into Google's most impressive smartphone hardware to date.

Each phone will come with a set of front-facing and rear-facing cameras powered by what Google is calling its new Pixel Visual Core Chip, unlocking a suite of AI capabilities such as two new shooting modes, computer vision that helps select the best shot taken from an entire batch, and automatic low-light adjustments. And Apple continues to refine and push its HomeKit smart home system and tie people into its system. With the Home Hub, you can choose a Live Album that will automatically display on the Hub's screen, ensuring the latest new photos are available.

READ NEXT: What is Google's answer to the Amazon Echo Show?

It's a handy interface, though Amazon's far more widespread smart assistant Alexa - compared to Google Assistant - tends to be the de facto AI connecting between smart home devices, so the former may be a better bet for house-wide smart integration.

From its magnetically attached keyboard to its stylus and, of course, its premium pricing, the Pixel Slate is a thinly veiled attack at Microsoft's Surface line, often hailed as the cream of the crop when it comes to productivity in a flexible form factor. This feature will be limited to the USA initially. We liked it but were struck by its limited functions. With the $199 Pixel Keyboard, the price jumps to $798 - throw in the Chromebook Pen ($99) and the grand total hits $897.

Well, we just dug out the dusty box, plugged it in, updated it, and waited to see how much had changed. The feature launches in the USA today, and it will come to other Pixel devices next month. The move does however point to the tech industry's growing certainty that home hubs represent a huge market opportunity.

At first glance, the $149 Home Hub looks oddly traditional.

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Google is also hiring photographer Annie Leibovitz to take pictures with the new Pixel in an effort to persuade consumers that its camera is superior. They'll come in three colors: black, white and pink. It has been created to blend in with your home - the screen automatically adjusts to the level and type of light in the room. It's not totally new to phones, but Google is very good with its bokeh effects and the chance to tweak the results will be appreciated. For one, it comes with a "voice match" function that can recognize who is giving it orders and tailor the response to your individual user profile. If not, you can pick up the call or send a message like "I'll call you later". Processing the call details on-device means these experiences are fast, private to you, and use up less battery.

In any case, the only thing I care about is that Google doesn't make a repeat of a year ago where it burdened what was otherwise a cracking phone with a bad display. But if you are willing to accept that proposition, it is less obnoxious than the alternatives. This was done not only through optics and improved hardware alone, but thanks to Google's AI-enabled software as well. Buyers will get six months of free YouTube Music service.

Google's screen is also supported by a much smaller speaker underneath - around the same size as the Google Home Mini - giving the impression of an nearly floating display.

"The magic of this phone is on the inside", said Google senior vice president for hardware Rick Osterloh, in an interview.

Google's October gig saw the tech major unveil the much-anticipated Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, along with a few other products, at its "Made by Google" hardware event in NY on Tuesday.

That first impression will likely fade into the background once you get your hands on this phone, because the texture from that "soft touch" rear imparts a feeling of quality.

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