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Unread 2018-10-09, 01:29 PM   #11451
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Google Doubles Down on the Pixel’s Excellent Camera With Tons of New Features


Google’s Pixel 2 was a good smartphone with a great camera. For the Pixel 3, the company’s bringing us a bunch of new software solutions to make the photos look even better.

Google’s been incessantly talking about AI for the last year and its use of the term is a little overblown. But that doesn’t mean the software it’s integrating with its smartphone camera isn’t really interesting. At the Made By Google on Tuesday, the company showed off several handy features that’ll come with the pricier Pixel 3.

Top Shot

Screenshot: Gizmodo (Google)

Top Shot is a burst photo mode that uses machine learning to suggest the ideal photo from a series of frames that are rapidly captured in HDR. If you want the happy accident, that’s fine. You can still scroll through your options and choose your favorite image but Google’s betting on making these decisions for you.

Super Res Zoom

Screenshot: Gizmodo (Google)
The ability to optically zoom on smartphones is highly limited and you lose quality with digital zooms. Google’s Super Res Zoom claims to use a technique taken from astronomy in which a burst of photos with slight variations based on the movement of your hand are analyzed by an algorithm. The software makes comparisons and guesses how to fill in missing information as you digitally enlarge your image. Yes, this is moving closer to a form of CGI than capturing reality, but no one will know the difference.

Night Sight

Screenshot: Gizmodo (Google)
Google’s using Night Sight to claim the Pixel 3 is the best low-light smartphone camera on the market. The feature uses software to analyze the image, select the correct colors, and brighten an image. The idea is to save you the embarrassment of being that annoying person blinding people with a flash and to give you a different option than that blown-out look that should be a style choice rather than a requirement. Night Sight will be out next month as a software update for all Pixel models.

Dual Front-Facing Cameras and Group Selfies

Screenshot: Gizmodo (Google)
Google specifically took shots at Apple with the Group Selfies feature. The Pixel 3 has a second camera on the front that the company claims will capture “184% more of the scene” than the iPhone Xs. The Pixel 3 also features a faster f/1.8 aperture on its “normal” front-facing camera (and a f/2.2 aperture for the wide-angle camera), compared to the Pixel 2's front-facing f/2.4 aperture.

Playground

Screenshot: Gizmodo (Google)
It wouldn’t be a 2018 tech presentation without some novelty AR stickers. Google’s Playground will bring new interactive augmented reality characters and objects to throw into your photos including some favorites from Marvel and a dancing Childish Gambino. It’s supposed to launch with the Pixel 3 and be added to the Pixel 1 and 2 sometime “soon.”
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Unread 2018-10-09, 01:34 PM   #11452
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Pixel 3: Everything About Google's Great Android Phone Hope



Google’s third-gen Pixels might be the most leaked phones ever. From numerous Russian tech sites getting their hands on production-ready devices to stores in Hong Kong selling handsets a week ahead of the official announcement, there’s a lot info about the new Pixels floating around. But one thing all of the leaks couldn’t reveal were all the fancy software tricks that make the Pixels the finest Android phones around. Now we finally know the whole story.


Two New Pixels 3s: A regular and an XL
Photo: Raul Marrero (Gizmodo)
On the outside, the Pixel 3 doesn’t look all that different from its predecessors. However, Google says it’s using an entirely new matte glass on the back of the phones. It will come in three colors: black, white, and something Google is calling “Not Pink.”


Photo: Raul Marrero (Gizmodo)
That standard Pixel 3 will feature a 5.5-inch screen, while the larger Pixel 3 XL will sport a 6.3-inch display. As suggested by the leaks, the Pixel 3 XL looks to maximize screen real estate with an edge-to-edge screen and a rather large notch on top, while the standard Pixel 3 offers a more traditional aesthetic with slim bezels on top and bottom. Thankfully, both phones feature the same flexible OLED touchscreen, so there shouldn’t be any major differences in colors between the devices like we saw last year on the Pixel 2.

Elsewhere, Google says the Pixel 3's speakers should be about 40 percent louder than before and have been tuned with a special sound profile created by a Grammy-winning music producer. And to best show that off, Google will be giving new Pixel 3 owners six months of YouTube Music for free.


So many new camera features

Photo: Raul Marrero (Gizmodo)
Ok, so the new screen and speakers are nice, but since the beginning, Pixel phones’ most important feature has been its camera. But that doesn’t mean Google is hopping on the trend of adding tons of extra sensors to the back of its phones. Instead, Google is enhancing the camera software inside the phone to help you do things like take brighter, sharper, and more detailed photos even in challenging situations.


Choosing your Top Shot in action.
Screenshot: Google


On the Pixel 3, Google has created a custom imaging chip called the Pixel Visual Core and built it right into the phone, so you never have to worry about needing access to the cloud to make pics look their best. On top of that, there’s also a bunch of new photo modes like Top Shot, which can automatically capture the best frame from both before and after you actually press the shutter button. And if you don’t like the photo the phone suggests, you can scroll through other images and select your favorite.


Here’s a Google-provided comparison of Night Sight and a low-light image from an iPhone XS.
Image: Google

Meanwhile, in lieu of adding a telephoto camera to the back of the Pixel 3, Google has created a new feature called Super Res Zoom that takes minutely different photos and then combines them in software to create a single, high-resolution pic. But the new photo features don’t stop there, because Google says the Pixel 3's Night Sight tool will let users create stunning low-light images without even using the phone’s flash. And for all the older Pixel phone owners out there, Night Sight is going to be available as an update later this year.


Screenshot: Google
In front, Google has upped the number of cams from one to two thanks to the addition of a new wide-angle camera so you can take group selfies with ease. Google claims the Pixel 3's front-facing camera offers a 184 percent larger field of view than an iPhone XS.
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Unread 2018-10-09, 02:00 PM   #11453
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First look at Google’s Pixel 3 and 3 XL



The call-screening feature steals the show


Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsNq4nl7-dg

Google just got done announcing its Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones, and although we’ve seen them leaked repeatedly over the last couple months, we’re finally getting an up-close look and the chance to try them firsthand. Just how much does that notch on the XL stand out? Have the screens improved? How does the matte glass on the back feel compared to the aluminum on the older Pixels?

These phones feel significantly more premium than last year’s Pixel 2. Moving to a glass front and back gives them a much higher-quality look and feel overall. The glass on the rear is a single pane, with the matte finish sort of sanded in the bottom half. It does mean, however, that these phones are slightly heavier than the previous generation

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Unread 2018-10-09, 03:00 PM   #11454
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Google Confirms Pixel 3 Supports Daydream


In short: Google has confirmed that the Pixel 3 does indeed support Daydream, even though the listing on the Google Store for the Daydream View only lists up to the Pixel 2 as being supported. This means that if you already own a Daydream View, you can still use it with the Google Pixel 3. This isn’t a huge surprise, given that the hardware requirements that are public, are all included in the Google Pixel 3 – which include at least a 1080p display and an AMOLED panel. The Daydream View still costs around $69, even though it has been available for two years already. Surprisingly, Google has not discounted the Daydream View yet.

Background: Daydream View was the first – and so far, only – Daydream-compatible headset that it has made. Essentially, you can put your phone into the headset and experience virtual reality from your smartphone. This is why the display requirement is so important. OLED panels are better for Virtual Reality, seeing as you are getting better colors, and black blacks instead of them being gray. Of course, resolution is also a big deal, since you have the phone so close to your face.
Impact: The Google Pixel 3 support Daydream is definitely not a surprise, but it also shows that Google isn’t giving up on virtual reality or Daydream. And that could be something people were worried about, with Google closing down many products the past few months. And with Daydream not having many announcements itself in the past couple of years, it does seem to be on the brink of being sunsetted as well. But the Pixel 3 does support Daydream which is definitely nice. So you can pick up the new Pixel 3, which starts at $799, and also get a Daydream view, and go off into virtual reality and have some fun with the different games and apps available.
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Unread 2018-10-09, 03:01 PM   #11455
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Hands On With Google Pixel 3 & 3 XL: Kind Of New


Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are quite possibly the most leaked smartphones ever, so when the company finally got around to officially announcing them earlier today, it had few surprises up its sleeve. Top Shot and some camera features such as Playground (the new AR Stickers) look really neat but generally speaking, the launch was a bit underwhelming for tech enthusiasts, despite the fact that the Pixel 3 line utilizes the best consumer-grade artificial intelligence Google ever created.

And while the only major visual difference compared to last year’s Pixel 2 series is highly polarizing, coming in the form of a sizable display notch on the Pixel 3 XL, the new handsets handle much differently by virtue of the fact that they ditch the metal rear plate for an all-glass design with aluminum edges. As a result, Qi-based fast (10W) wireless charging is part of the package but the smartphones are slightly more slippery than their predecessors and it stands to reason they will break much more easily. In other words, only the bravest users will avoid slapping a case on their Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL units and probably regret doing so. On the bright side, the back panels of the newly unveiled handsets do look rather nice, even if Not Pink is the only interesting color this time around, and it’s actually impressive how the all-glass build is actually less slippery than something like the Galaxy S9 and can even feel like the powdered metal finish of last year’s phones.


The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner remains super-easy to reach, as was the case with the Pixel 2, and Android 9 Pie gestures work as well as they do on all previous additions to the Pixel family. Multitasking didn’t appear to be an issue during our limited time with the two handsets but it remains to be seen how the phablets will handle switching between a variety of demanding tools in the near future when apps become even more power-hungry because as things stand right now, asking $1,000 for a phone with 4GB of RAM is a tough ask from tech enthusiasts, though those don’t appear to be Google’s target demographic anyway. Still, the Pixel 3 RAM management is extremely aggressive as our limited testing suggested opening the Camera app kills pretty much everything else running in the background, most likely due to the fact that Google’s high-tech AI needs all the computational power it can get.
Speaking of imaging, the rear camera still produces excellent results with natural colors that are akin to those generated by the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL but our first impression is that Huawei’s P20 Pro still has it beat and even the Galaxy Note 9 may be doing a better job in low-light conditions (which we weren’t able to test). All things considered, it’s hard to shake away the feeling that despite Google’s AI magic, the company’s philosophy of blending hardware and software appears to have left the former rather crippled. While the lack of the 3.5mm headphone jack is last year’s news, the display notch on the Pixel 3 XL is truly hard to ignore, especially given how it results in a laughably oversized status bar that’ll hardly ever be used to its full potential. So, while the Pixel 3 XL certainly delivers more screen in a similar form factor, it pretty much wastes most of that extra space created around its front-facing sensors.
Back to the good stuff: the dual front-facing stereo speakers are now much louder, the display is possibly the best we’ve ever seen (and scientists agree), and the vibration motors are now close to LG levels of stellar, with all of those positives being massive improvements compared to last year. In overall, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are the only smartphones offering a truly premium experience of the latest Android build and the only HMD may eventually deliver a Nokia-branded alternative to them. That should be enough to make them a popular choice among all Google fans, though the average consumer and tech enthusiasts who don’t feel a particular affection for Alphabet’s subsidiary may not be as convinced.
While there’s no doubt Google delivered its best mobile devices yet, it’s hard to think of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL as serious contenders for the title of the best smartphone of the year, which is something their predecessors certainly were, especially if you ask us. Even in this largely iterative year for handsets, other OEMs such as Samsung and Huawei have been doing more innovative stuff and while their software may not be as good as Google’s, it’s not far behind, and the same can’t be said for Google’s hardware relative to what the market already has to offer.














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Unread 2018-10-09, 03:01 PM   #11456
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DisplayMate Says Google Pixel 3 XL Has Achieved Its “Highest A+ Rating”


In short: DisplayMate has not yet released its full, in-depth review article for the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. But DisplayMate has said in a tweet today that the OLED Panel on the Google Pixel 3 XL has achieved the “highest A+ Rating” it has ever given for a smartphone. Which is pretty impressive, and that means that it has beaten the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. That is no small feat, though we also are not sure if this is an LG or Samsung OLED panel right now, and if it is an LG panel than that makes this even more impressive.

Background: Typically when DisplayMate comes out with reports on new displays for new smartphones, the latest Samsung flagship becomes the best mobile display ever, beating out the previous Samsung flagship. So to see the Google Pixel 3 XL beating out Samsung is a pretty big deal. Seeing as the no other manufacturer has scored the highest A+ rating ever by DisplayMate. That also means that Google has fixed those display issues that it had last year on the Pixel 2 XL. Some of you may remember that the Pixel 2 XL had issues with the blue shift, and screen burn in. Not to mention the colors were somewhat dull. Google did adjust this stuff in a software update though. But it looks like those issues are completely gone this year.
Impact: DisplayMate says that it will be publishing its full shoot-out in-depth review article on the Pixel 3 XL on October 15, so you’ll have to wait until next Monday to get the full details on how the Google Pixel 3 XL has done. But all things are looking pretty good right now. The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are both up for pre-order right now and will be shipping beginning October 18, starting at $799 for the Pixel 3 and $899 for the Pixel 3 XL.

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Unread 2018-10-09, 03:02 PM   #11457
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Opinion: Google Pixel 3 XL’s Display Notch Is A Real Eyesore


The Google Pixel 3 XL is, next to the Pixel 3, Google’s newest flagship handset, and the phone did not really surprise anyone with its huge notch, as leaks have been popping up for months prior to its release, but that notch is a real eyesore. Before we get into it, it’s worth saying that the Pixel 3 XL is larger than the Pixel 3, and that the smaller Pixel 3 does not have that very same notch, quite the contrary, the Pixel 3 does not have a notch at all, but it does have thicker top and bottom bezels than the Pixel 3 XL, considerably thicker. If you’re not in the loop, feel free to check out our official announcement of the two Pixel 3 devices in order to know more, before you continue reading this article.

Display notches are a thing now, a ton of smartphones out there have them, and the vast majority of us had to get used to them, or simply switch to a brand that does not use them at all, like Samsung for example. Samsung is actually the only notable smartphone brand that comes to mind, and that does not include display notches on its smartphones, at least or now, so it’s rather hard to avoid display notches these days. That being said, some OEMs did do a better job when it comes to notches than others, as notches range from tiny, to huge, like the one on the Google Pixel 3 XL, for example. The Google Pixel 3 XL’s notch is not the widest out there, that’s still a title that Apple’s iPhones and Xiaomi’s Mi 8 smartphones hold, but the Pixel 3 XL’s notch is quite possibly the tallest one we’ve seen on a mainstream smartphone.


Now, to be fair, the Pixel 3 XL’s notch does incorporate two cameras, an earpiece, and one of the phone’s front-facing speakers, so it’s not there without a reason, but it’s hard not to doubt Google on this one, as it simply feels like the company could have done a better job when it comes to implementing all that technology. It feels more like Google opted for this notch in order to follow today’s notch trend, rather than anything else, and the phone would look far more pleasing with either a wider, but shorter notch, or a thin bezel on the top, which could potentially be half the height of that notch. Some of you may actually think that the Pixel 3 XL’s notch looks far better in real life, as design complaints about the Pixel 3 XL also turned out to be exaggerated… well, in this case, those complaints are more than justified, at least in my humble opinion, as the phone doesn’t only look that bad in renders, but in real-life images, and in person as well.
The Essential PH-1 was amongst the first smartphones to bring the notch to an Android smartphone, and Essential actually did a solid job of doing it, as the phone has a really tiny notch which houses only its camera, while bezels are almost non-existent as well, with the exception of the ‘chin’ below the display. On the other hand, we’re seeing phones with so-called ‘teardrop’ notches hit the market as well, phones like the OPPO R17 (Pro), and the upcoming OnePlus 6T, and that teardrop notch is only marginally larger than the Essential PH-1’s and it actually looks well-implemented, it’s not nearly as annoying as the one on the Pixel 3 XL, that’s for sure. Once again, the Pixel 3 XL’s notch does incorporate a lot more than the one on the Essential PH-1 and OPPO R17 (Pro), but it just doesn’t feel right, it feels more like laziness and trend-following on Google’s part than anything else, as already mentioned.

Most of you are probably already used to notches, most of you who intended to purchase the Pixel 3 XL will probably get it regardless of the notch, but for some of you this will surely present a problem. Truth be said, I was not planning on getting either of the Pixel 3 devices, but if I were, I’d most certainly go with the Pixel 3, not only because it looks far more appealing to me, but also for the principle of it, in order not to support Google’s lack of hardware design ideas. The Pixel 3 may sport a smaller display, and a lower-res display (amongst other things), but to me personally that’s not an issue at all, so if you don’t mind the Pixel 3’s shortcomings compared to the Pixel 3 XL, and you do think you’ll be annoyed by that notch, opting for the smaller Pixel 3 offering may be the way to go.
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Unread 2018-10-09, 03:03 PM   #11458
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Google Intros $30 Pixel USB-C Earbuds, Now Available To Buy


In short: Google has a new pair of earphones coming to market, the Pixel USB-C earbuds. As the name suggests, these are earphones designed to work with the Pixel line of phones including the all-new Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Although they are expected to be compatible with any smartphone which adopts a USB Type-C port. The USB-C earbuds are now available to buy from the Google Store and cost just $30 in the US.

Background: Google launched the Pixel Buds in 2017 as a new product line and one designed to take on other tech companies who also now offer personal audio solutions. The original Pixel Buds were unique in their design and adopted a semi-wireless approach to connectivity by relying on Bluetooth. It had been expected Google would announce a new pair of Pixel Buds at its hardware event today, but that now seems to not be the case with the company instead opting to release a standard pair of earphones – that were also not technically announced at the event. Compared to the Pixel Buds, the new USB-C earbuds are of a much lesser quality, and do actually have to be physically connected to your smartphone. However, their design is in line with Google’s hardware in general, and do draw on some Pixel Buds traits such as the use of loops for a better on-ear fit. Compared to some of the other Google hardware options though, color choice is limited as the USB-C earbuds are only available in one color – white. These earbuds also feature a single button which among other things lets the wearer access Google Assistant, as well as get real-time translations – again, like the Pixel Buds.
Impact: These new USB-C earbuds are far from being a follow up to the Pixel Buds, although they will offer consumers the option to gain some Pixel Buds features, such as real-time translations, at a fraction of the cost of the original wireless earbuds. Making them an ideal option for anyone looking for a cheap and fairly decent pair of earphones in general. Unlike most of the products announced today, the new USB-C Earbuds are available to buy right now from the Google Store.
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Unread 2018-10-09, 03:09 PM   #11459
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Moshi Type-C audio and charging adapter now available for $40





The loss of the headphone jack on the Pixel lineup meant there was no way to use wired headphones and charge your phone at the same time. While there are plenty of goofy-looking adapters for the iPhone that give you a headphone jack with power pass-through, no such adapter has been available for Type-C Android phones - at least not any that worked well.
Moshi, an accessory company, tried to make one such adapter last year for the Pixel 2. It received poor reviews on Amazon, with many buyers citing issues with audio static and charging speeds, and the Google Store listing was pulled earlier this year. Moshi is now back with a second-generation adapter, which is already available from the Google Store and Moshi's website.
The second-generation Type-C/headphone jack adapter
The dongle costs $40, and it claims to output high-resolution 24-bit/96 kHz audio from its headphone jack. Moshi says the adapter supports USB-PD 3.0, but a charging speed is not listed. Going by how well the last model worked, I'd wait for reviews before buying one.

Quote:
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the second year in a row, Moshi is announcing new accessories developed under Google’s Made for Google (MfG) program. The highlight for this year’s launch is Moshi’s 2nd-generation USB-C Digital Audio Adapter with Charging. Like all MfG products, the adapter has been tested and certified by Google to ensure compatibility and performance.
“A lot of people look at a small adapter like this and think it’s pretty straightforward to make,” said Spencer Pangborn, Director of Product Marketing at Moshi. “But unfortunately that’s not the case. In addition to compatibility across a wide range of USB-C devices, there are many different charging scenarios that must be considered. We worked closely with Google’s engineering team to ensure our adapter meets their compatibility requirements, and as far as I know we’re the first company to launch and certify this type of adapter.”
The updated adapter has a new PCB layout to reduce power consumption and new firmware for greater compatibility across devices. It features a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC) which outputs high-resolution audio at 24-bit/96 kHz. A Class G amplifier enhances the sound quality of older headphones to improve the listening experience.
Made from anodized aluminum for added durability, the USB-C Digital Audio Adapter with Charging retails for $40 and is available today for purchase at www.moshi.com.
Check out all of Moshi’s Made for Google-certified products here.
About Moshi
Moshi designs simple, sophisticated accessories and electronics for those who refuse to sacrifice style for functionality. Founded in 2005, Moshi combines in-house design, minimalist aesthetics and our Silicon Valley roots in material sciences to create products that fit seamlessly into your life. With offices located in San Francisco, Taipei and Shanghai, Moshi products are sold in retailers globally. Find out more at www.moshi.com or follow Moshi on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
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Unread 2018-10-09, 03:10 PM   #11460
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Pixel 3 owners get free full-size photo uploads until January 31, 2022


Free full-resolution photo storage has always been a selling point for Pixel phones. With this year's devices being pricier than ever, that perk is all the more important, and thankfully, it's still here: photos taken on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL until January 31, 2022 will be stored at full resolution indefinitely.

This isn't a surprise, but it's good to have official confirmation. The free storage period actually extends longer into the Pixel 3's lifespan than the Pixel 2's does — the 2 launched in late 2017 and it gets free storage until the end of 2020, whereas this year's model launches this month and gets free uploads a month into its fifth year of life (if we're counting 201.
Here are the full terms:
Free unlimited online original-quality storage for all photos and videos uploaded to Google Photos from Pixel 3 through 1/31/2022. Photos and videos uploaded before 1/31/2022 will remain free at original-quality. Requires Google Account. Data rates may apply. Visit g.co/help/photostorage.

Photos uploaded before the end of January 2022 will stay at their original size; if you're still using the Pixel 3 in 2022, full-size photos after January will eat into your Google Drive storage.
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Unread 2018-10-09, 03:13 PM   #11461
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Google's Pixel 3 cases are up for pre-order with new designs, third-party options also available





Not only did Google announce the new Pixel Stand to accompany the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, but the company also updated its line of cases with new designs and customization options. From fresh fabric colors to more My Case choices, these cases are bound to bring some style to your new phone. Oh, and they are Qi compatible and support Active Edge.
Both the fabric and My Case custom cases are available now for pre-order on the Google Store. Fabric ones will cost you $40, while My Cases go for $50. No one ever said style would be cheap.
If you're interested in other stuff, you can also choose from several different accessory manufacturers, like Otterbox, Zagg, and Moment.
Here's a full list of Pixel 3 accessories so far:
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Unread 2018-10-09, 03:14 PM   #11462
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Moment Photo cases are now available for the Pixel 3, Moment Pro app offers 20% discount (3 days only)




Google just finished announcing the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, the latest generation in a line of phones known for exceptional camera performance. If you've ordered one and you're looking for a way to dress it up a bit, and maybe up your photography game in the process, Moment has also released three new photo cases to protect your latest gadget investment. They're available in Black, Walnut, and an all new Tan Leather option made from speckled white Horween Leather.
Naturally, these cases include a mounting point for Moment's assortment of add-on camera lenses (plus the new anamorphic lens), but this year's model has been enhanced with a fiberglass mount so it's more durable than ever. The structure has also been redesigned for the Pixel 3 to be more resistant to drop sand impacts, plus this version offers a bit more coverage than last year's Pixel 2 cases.
Moment is the first member of the Made for Google program to produce photography accessories. If you're interested in picking up a Moment Photo Case for your brand new Pixel 3, you can order it directly from the Google store or ShopMoment.com.
If you'd like to save money on a case, some lenses, or any other Moment gear, you can get a 20% discount code for their store by buying the Moment Pro Camera app. The code is good on all of Moment's products, but move quickly, it will only work for three days (through October 12th). It's a pretty good deal since you'll get the app for just $1.99 (USD) and you will save $7.99 on the cost of a case, plus quite a bit more if you add any lenses, straps, or other accessories to the cart.
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Unread 2018-10-09, 03:29 PM   #11463
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Pre-ordered a white Pixel 3.

Kinda goofy the fabric case ship-date shows after I should have the phone, I really like how it has the teal power button like the phone, but don't wanna go naked for a week or 2, especially with SEMA coming up.
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Unread 2018-10-10, 11:10 AM   #11464
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Samsung May Eliminate The 3.5mm Headphone Jack By Fall 2019


In short: The Galaxy Note 10 or Galaxy S11 may be the first lineups of Samsung-made Android flagships to lack a 3.5mm headphone jack, South Korean outlet ETNews reports, citing sources close to the Seoul-based company. The tech giant is currently said to be considering such a move, though the reasoning behind the potential move remains unclear. The Galaxy S10 family set to be released in early 2019 will still feature a traditional headphone port, insiders claim, adding that should Samsung choose to remove the connector from its future smartphones, it would bundle all of them with USB Type-C adapters that would allow for conventional earphones to still be connected to such devices, which is what most manufacturers who previously made the same design decision also did.

Background: The trend of headphone jack removal was started by Apple in late summer of 2016 when the Cupertino-base juggernaut unveiled the iPhone 7 line. Many Android OEMs followed suit almost immediately, though Samsung was so far adamant to do its own thing, going as far as to invest in advertising specifically mocking the lack of the popular 3.5mm connector on Apple’s contemporary handsets. Even Samsung’s first foldable smartphone that’s expected to launch next month under an entirely new product lineup is widely rumored to be featuring a headphone jack.
Impact: LG is the only major smartphone maker that still doesn’t appear to be considering removing the headphone jack from its high-end devices but even if either it or Samsung were to do so, it certainly wouldn’t be due to industry pressure given how long they’ve defied the trend. Should Samsung, the world’s largest phone manufacturer, truly do away with the connector, such a move would be the final push toward bringing wireless audio solutions to mainstream popularity, though some industry watchers argue Apple was already quite successful at doing so.
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Unread 2018-10-10, 11:15 AM   #11465
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Google Promises Three Major Android Updates For The Pixel 3


The newly launched pair of Pixel 3 devices is confirmed to receive Android and security updates through October 2021. This piece of information was shared on a Google support page that was recently updated to include the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL. Both the Google flagships come pre-installed with the latest Android 9 Pie and will be eligible for Android S version that should release by mid-2021 if the Mountain View-based company continues with its current naming scheme and release schedule. Furthermore, Google also intends to provide telephone or online support for the third-generation Pixel devices for up to three years from now. Notably, these timelines are mentioned to be minimum periods for each service and Google may choose to extend them if need be, though that isn’t guaranteed.

Last year’s Pixel 2 series was the first from the company to come backed by a three-year guarantee of Android updates, up from two years offered with the original Pixel and Pixel XL. For the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL, the support period is ending a year before the Pixel 3, i.e. in October of 2020. In addition, Pixel 3 owners will be eligible for several other perks such as unlimited storage for full-resolution photos through Google Photos until January 31, 2022, and a six-month complimentary subscription to YouTube Music Premium. A redesigned and improved camera app along with native support for Google Lens is also included, and so is a new set of AR Stickers and related functionalities that will now be rebranded as Playground.
When it comes to its internals, the Pixel 3 series comes equipped with Qualcomm’s current top-end chipset, the Snapdragon 845, along with 4GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of flash memory. The larger Pixel 3 XL differentiates itself with a notched display that measures 6.3 inches from corner to corner, while the Pixel 3 features a smaller 5.5-inch display without a cutout at the top. Google has now placed a glass panel on the back that still retains the dual-tone finish from the previous-gen Pixels, having consequently presented wireless charging capabilities, a first for the Pixel lineup. The Google Pixel 3 series starts at $799 in the U.S. for the unlocked variants and will begin shipping next Wednesday.
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Unread 2018-10-10, 11:16 AM   #11466
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If Not For the Cameras, Smaller Pixel 3 Would Also Have A Notch


In short: During Google’s hardware event, representatives confirmed the company was not against including a notch in the standard Pixel 3 but were unable to due to the hardware restrictions that were in place with the smaller of the two Pixel 3 phones. This was in part an effect of the decision to include a wide-angle lens on both models. Therefore, when it comes to the non-XL version, it seemed Google opted for a wide-angle selfie camera over the notch.

Background: Google’s two Pixel phones have never really been on the same page. Last year for example saw the standard Pixel 2 adopt a traditional aspect ratio while the XL model came with a nouveau aspect ratio which lends itself well to an increase in the amount of available screen. While the two Pixel 3 phones have only just been announced, it had been clear for some time that the XL model this time around would come boasting a notch (and not a small one), while the standard Pixel 3 would not. Something which was believed to be again a decision designed to favor screen real estate on the XL model. However, the comments made today to more than one news outlet at the event have seemingly confirmed it was not a conscious decision to include a notch on only the XL model, but one resulting from the lack of available space on the smaller phone, and especially when the additional front-facing camera was added to the equation.
Impact: The notch is a fairly controversial aspect of 2018 smartphones, and so while Google would have presumably preferred to include one on both versions of the Pixel 3, this is likely to be something that actually helps the company drive sales of the standard version. As in spite of the clear and consistent trend in Android of including a notch, this is not something that has translated well to all Android users. What also might be worth considering here, is Google seems to clearly favor the notch as a means of increasing the usable display and so while one of the two variants has escaped the notch treatment this time around, that might not be the case when the next batch of Pixel phones come through.
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Unread 2018-10-10, 11:17 AM   #11467
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Incipio Announces Its Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL Cases


In Short: Case maker Incipio has officially released its initial Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL case lineup, including NGP and DualPro cases for both phones. The NGP case is the thinner option that preserves more of the device’s original style, and it’s said to help your shiny new Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL survive everyday use without a scratch. The clear case will run you $19.99, no matter which phone you choose. The DualPro dual-layer case is a much thicker option that bears soft and hard layers, and will cost you $29.99. That price gets you drop protection rated for 10 feet, barring anomalies like smacking the phone’s screen into a jutting corner. Both cases have a raised lip to ensure that your screen doesn’t hit the ground in face-down drops on flat surfaces.

Background: Incipio has been in the phone case game since 1999, and has made a habit of trotting out cases for new phones on release day, right alongside the new phones themselves. As far as Google products, Incipio has been there from the Nexus One, making sure that adopters’ new investments in Google’s ecosystem were protected from release day onward. Unlike the actual phone, Incipio’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL cases have been kept under wraps until now, rather than giving people the option to purchase a case early at the expense of fully exposing the upcoming phones’ design.
Impact: The implication here is pretty clear; Incipio has had its moment in the sun on release day, and now the floodgates are open. Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL buyers wanting to secure their new devices will soon find no shortage of cases in all shapes and sizes, ready to take on the job with their own unique style and qualifications. It’s worth noting that this release day clout isn’t just a marketing tactic on Incipio’s part; the company is actually a Made For Google partner, a detail that made it easier to get together with Google and design these four new cases, two per phone, from the ground up with the goal of maximizing both protection and style. The end results are plain to see; Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL buyers don’t even have their devices in hand yet, and they can already choose between slim protection that preserves the look of their device, or encasing their new phones in a tanky shell to prevent just about any sort of physical damage from normal use.













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Unread 2018-10-10, 11:18 AM   #11468
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Google Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL Support Band 71 On T-Mobile


In Short: Google’s newly released Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL officially have support for Band 71, where T-Mobile keeps its speedy 600MHz spectrum that it won in an FCC incentive auction, and these two devices seem to be the first phones not released by T-Mobile that can make such a boast. This, of course, means that the phones can also support applications of LTE Band 71 in other scenarios, such as with international carriers, should they roll out any equipment that uses compatible spectrum. For now, however, it seems that only T-Mobile USA has any interest in Band 71 LTE on 600MHz spectrum, and is using it for a special extended-range variant of its usual LTE coverage. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL do not seem to support 4X4 MIMO on that band, however, which means that support is mainly on board as a fallback.

Background: T-Mobile snapped up a large amount of 600MHz spectrum at the most recent FCC incentive auction, and has been putting it to massive use throughout the country. Its main efforts in 600MHz usage have been in expanding and strengthening the rural parts of its network, ensuring that no customer is left behind. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL can draw on all of that work, as stated above.
Impact: Put simply, T-Mobile customers who pick up a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL won’t have much to worry about as far as accidentally leaving their coverage area. Even going into a thick building won’t be as bad as it may have been a few years ago, since 600MHz is able to pierce through walls and buildings better than higher spectrum bands. Customers wont’ lose their connections with the outside world when they drive through bear country or walk deep into their local Walmart, but they will lose a lot of speed; the lack of support for 4X4 MIMO essentially means that Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL customers will lose about half of the data pipelines used by other standards in the company’s arsenal. Since these two devices are seemingly the first to support Band 71 without being released by T-Mobile, a unique trait for now that will likely turn into a key selling point for unlocked devices in the US in the near future.
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Unread 2018-10-10, 11:19 AM   #11469
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Speck Announces New Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL Protective Cases


In short: Smartphone accessory manufacturer, Speck has now revealed two new protective cases for both the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, created in partnership with the search giant through its made by Google program. That means that each case should fit onto Google’s newest flagships snugly, and provide maximum protection against drops and damage without getting in the way of device ports. Setting aside differences in size, the cases are based on Speck’s Presidio Stay Clear and Presidio Grip series and are functionally identical. As the name implies, the former series is a slim-fitting colorless design with anti-yellowing and oil-repellent features. That’s also rated for up to 8-foot drops, allowing for good damage prevention without losing the unique Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL look. The latter of the new case series, Presidio Grip, adds anti-slip grooves and is slightly more rugged as it’s protected against drops of up to 10-feet. This case is available in three colors for the smaller Pixel 3 and two for the new Pixel 3 XL, with each two-tone option acting to accent those chosen by Google for its flagships. For the Google Pixel 3, the hues available include a black-on-black, graphite grey over charcoal grey, or desert rose pink and heartwood brown. In contrast to the Pixel 3 XL options which don’t include the grey scheme.

Background: Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones were the subject of significant leaking in recent months and to the point where by the time they were announced, almost every detail was already known. Now that they have been announced, it’s clear neither are specifically budget-friendly with the smaller Pixel 3’s pricing starting at $799, ranging up to $999 for the 128GB capacity Pixel 3 XL. While the company does have its own cases, both smartphones feature a build that’s entirely comprised of aluminum and glass. So it’s no surprise that Google has partnered with third-party case-makers like Speck to offer a range of ways to protect customer purchases.
Impact: While Speck has announced two cases here, the pricing remains the same for both cases of each handset, regardless of the style chosen. The cost to protect the Google Pixel 3 will run $39.95 with $5 extra for two-day shipping while the larger Pixel 3 XL cases cost $44.95 along with the same shipping costs. All of the new cases are available to order right now through Speck’s websites in the US, as well as in Europe. So nobody needs to wait until after the official October 17 shipment date starts to ensure their new flagships are well-protected from the moment they arrive.
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Unread 2018-10-10, 11:19 AM   #11470
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Pixel 3’s Gesture Navigation Is The Future Of Android: Google


In Short: While responding to a question on Twitter, Google has confirmed that the new gesture navigation in Android 9 Pie is the only navigation option for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. That’s not all, though, the company also said that this new pattern “will represent navigation on all Android phones going forward”, which basically means that Google plans to do away with on-screen buttons altogether. Well, the company basically did that with the Pixel 3, but it seems like it will push that others do the same. The beauty of Android is having options, though, so don’t expect other Android-based phones to be limited to Google’s new navigation bar, as Samsung has its own navigation-based philosophy, same goes for Xiaomi, and OnePlus, for example, though OnePlus gives you an option to use Google’s navigation as well, if you want (in Android 9 Pie).

Background: This was Google’s answer to a question from a user called Chris Bohannon, who asked if the new navigation bar can be disabled, and replaced with regular buttons, as users can do on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Google has received mixed reactions to its new navigation bar, it seems like users either love it or hate it, but it’s surely not a reaction that the company expected.
Impact: Google’s new navigation bar is more complicated than both regular buttons and most other gesture-based navigation solutions out there, not to mention that it combines gestures and regular taps, which seems a bit odd to most people, even comments on Google’s response are mostly negative. Many users mentioned that Google’s new navigation bar seems like a work in progress, rather than anything else, but it seems like Google will stick to it. More or less everyone expected Google to opt for a purely gesture-based navigation before the company introduced Android 9 Pie’s navigation bar earlier this year, and it remains to be seen what will happen from this point on, and if Google plans to adapt this new navigation bar in the near future, though that’s highly unlikely.
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Unread 2018-10-10, 01:45 PM   #11471
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Heads up if anyone orders one as well, Verizon currently has the Google Fabric case 25% off on their website.

https://www.verizonwireless.com/acce.../cases/google/
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Unread 2018-10-10, 04:04 PM   #11472
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Google failed to justify the Pixel 3 XL’s massive notch

A large notch requires a strong argument, and Google didn’t make one

Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL arrived yesterday without too much fanfare. After all, the devices leaked pretty much in entirety over the course of the last two months, leaving little to the imagination when Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh came on stage. But one aspect of the Pixel 3 XL, in particular, that became more pronounced and perplexing now that we’ve seen it in full — and heard Google’s reasoning about its existence — is the rather obtrusive display notch.

With the Pixel 3 XL, Google’s justification for the notch is that it’s been able to reduce the bezels of the device and provide a larger display, while the notch is there to accommodate better speakers and an improved dual selfie camera system. Google even claims it has a better notch-to-display ratio than some of its rivals, and the whole argument is that you’re getting more screen, not less. But I find it unconvincing, and here’s why.

Quote:
Replying to @mo7ammad_uj

The notch enables us to provide the best cameras (two, one of which is wide angle) and audio experience. Pixel 3 also has a smaller border & front-firing speakers to provide optimum sound quality. Our notch-to-display ratio is actually less than many top competitors.
12:53 PM - Oct 9, 2018
You may hate notches, and I may be preaching to the choir here by complaining about Google’s. But I don’t hate them. In fact, I’m a fan if the trade-off is for some features I enjoy, and I’m completely ambivalent to the existence of screen cutouts from an aesthetic standpoint, up until a certain point. I’ve used an iPhone X since it first came out; I never noticed or really cared about the notch when I first switched, and I still don’t today. I’m using an iPhone XS as I write this. But a notch should, at the very least, serve some purpose. It should have a good reason to be there, and Google didn’t really have a strong one to offer yesterday.

For iPhone owners, it was a no-brainer. The notch on the original iPhone X, though maybe not ideal from a design standpoint, was not too wide, not too long, and it packed in a huge amount of impressive technology in a nice-looking display. There’s Face ID, which is enabled by the TrueDepth camera module and Apple’s proprietary security and facial recognition software. There’s the ability to do some neat camera depth tricks with the front-facing lens, thanks to that hardware and software blend. And there’s goofy, ridiculous software features like Animoji and Memoji that are a fun little distraction now and again, but only enabled by the hardware in the iPhone’s notch.

THE PIXEL 3 XL OFFERS NO FEATURES OR CAMERA HARDWARE THAT THE STANDARD PIXEL 3 DOESN’T

On the Pixel 3 XL, the screen underwent a similar improvement, and it’s clear Google has built the best display its Pixel line has ever seen. But the substantial benefits you get from buying a phone with a notch in this case are the improved speakers and the wide-angle selfie cam. There’s no facial recognition, no Animoji-like selfie tricks, and no camera features exclusive to the larger version of the phone.

In fact, there are no software benefits restricted to the larger of the two Pixels whatsoever. Everything you can do with both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras on the Pixel 3 XL can be achieved on the standard Pixel 3. And the wide-angle lens for better selfies and the improved speakers? You get all that with the Pixel 3, too, and in a conventional, notch-less package that costs less.

So the big question is whether the edge-to-edge screen is worth it, and if the notch is a reasonable trade-off for that. I’d argue that the first is debatable for most consumers, and the second a resounding no.

Google could make the notch smaller, but it doesn’t want to remove the speakers or dual-camera system. And it could keep those components and shrink the display, but it wants the edge-to-edge look. In other words, this is a choice. But it’s one that’s undermined by just looking at the phone in photos. For starters, the Pixel 3 XL’s notch seems rather tall and noticeable, despite Google’s claims otherwise.

Quote:



nilay patel
@reckless





The Pixel 3 does not really try to hide the notch, it’s just huge and there and in the way.
12:15 PM - Oct 9, 2018

Another issue, albeit a minor one, is that the Pixel 3 XL’s notch doesn’t give Google the benefit of making all borders of the phone bezel-less. Practically speaking, the notch exists to allow the company a front-facing camera while still also stretching the display to the corners. (Some companies, like Vivo, have come up with novel pop-up selfie cams to avoid the notch altogether.)

But if you look down at the bottom of Google’s new device, you’ll see a bezel. Most edge-to-edge phones today, with the notable exception of the iPhone X / XS line, have a similar “chin” at the bottom, but the Pixel 3 XL’s is particularly prominent.

Google says the Pixel 3 XL will come with the ability to “turn off” the notch if you don’t like it, transforming the top portion of the phone next to the cutout into a black status bar and nothing else. But then why bother shipping a phone with an edge-to-edge display if customers end up disliking it so much that they disable it? Sure, some consumers might not mind it at all and leave it as is, while those who prefer the extra room for the status bar will just turn it off. But needing to give people the option would suggest that even Google understands that it’s offering a compromise that’s more complicated than it seems at first glance.

My colleague Dieter Bohn, who’s held the device and is understandably more opinionated about smartphone design than your average consumer, says the notch is “not as egregious in person as it is in photos.” But he says the size of the notch can have a noticeable effect on how “chopped off” images and app screens look. He also says that “the slightly larger screen on the smaller Pixel 3 has me seriously considering going to the smaller phone.”

WHY BOTHER BUILDING A PHONE WITH A NOTCH WHEN CONSUMERS WILL JUST ‘TURN IT OFF’?

The broader picture here is that the notch trend risks sinking otherwise well-made and well-designed handsets by failing to justify what is ultimately a compromise. Like we saw earlier this year, tons of Android phones copied the iPhone X notch design just to have a device that looked similar to a flagship Apple product, but they failed to include any of the technology under the hood that would make a notch easier to accept.

The new OnePlus 6T, an image of which leaked just last week, has a tiny notch because the company, it seems, doesn’t need to stuff it full of sensors and additional hardware to achieve that edge-to-edge look. That’s a smart implementation of a notch, and it acknowledges that, without a convincing selling point, the cutout needs to be small and subtle.

In Google’s case, there’s just not a strong enough argument to be made for a notch of that size that does so little to elevate the overall quality and experience of using the device. Will buyers care all that much? Maybe not. But it does the Pixel 3 XL no favors when the slightly smaller, notch-less version of the phone becomes the much more attractive option in the eyes of buyers.
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Unread 2018-10-10, 07:45 PM   #11473
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The Pixel 3 uses Samsung's super-fast F2FS file system


All the way back in 2012, Samsung created a new file system purpose-built for flash-based storage, called 'F2FS'. It's typically faster on smartphones than the ext4 file system that most Android devices use, but it has suffered from reliability issues over the years. Google apparently thinks it's ready for prime-time though, as the Pixel 3 and 3 XL both use F2FS for local storage.
The technical details of F2FS are a bit complicated - some of the features include multi-head logging, TRIM/FITRIM support, and an adaptive logging scheme. The main advantage compared to ext4 is improved performance, specifically with random write speeds. It's also less prone to slowing down when limited free storage space is available.
Left: Pixel 2 XL; Right: Pixel 3
Left: Pixel 2 XL; Right: Pixel 3
Only a few Android devices over the years have used F2FS, primarily because of stability issues (corrupted writes after an unexpected shutdown were common). Some examples include the original Moto X, the OnePlus 3T, the Nexus 9. It's probably safe to assume the technology has improved since then, if Google feels confident enough to use it on the company's modern flagships.
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Unread 2018-10-11, 09:12 AM   #11474
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Video: Google Pixel 3 Hands-On Preview – Unsurprising Yet Intriguing



After an unprecedented months-long period of leaks and mishaps, Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are finally official. Both feature a similar design, visually, to last year’s Pixel 2 line, but there are a ton of changes to be made aware of this time around. First off is the change of material for the back. Both phones feature an all-Gorilla Glass 5 backpiece, and like previous generation Pixel phones, the topmost portion of the phone sports a very different look and feel from the back. Shiny glass with proper, fingerprint resistance coating up top, and a soft-touch fogged glass on the bottom. This has allowed Google to put wireless charging back into their phones, after having removed it for a few generations.

This new glass back has the added advantage of increasing the water and dust resistance rating to IP68, which is always a welcome thing. This soft-touch material isn’t like what was on the Nexus 7 tablet, rather, it feels more like a matte ceramic or powdered metal. Not related to the glass back are the amazing new vibration motors, which now feature an additional X-axis vibration for more advanced tactile feedback. These feel even better than LG’s amazing vibration motors, and are best felt when typing or interacting with UI elements, where the click of the virtual keys actually feels like the click of a physical key on a keyboard, and moving the cursor through text has a very distinct click as it moves past each letter.

Google has outfitted the Not Pink color with a bright orange power button, and the Clearly White version with a mint green one, while Just Black is exactly that. Just Black. These phones feel lighter and sleeker than last year, despite looking similar, and both feature flat glass on the front, not curved glass like last year’s Pixel 2 XL did. The smaller Pixel 3 finally has a taller display without massive bezels, which the Pixel 3 XL has an 18.5:9 ratio because of the notch up top. See what else Google has packed into each of these phones in our video on YouTube below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel!


Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7zsJFL_fdA
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Unread 2018-10-11, 09:33 AM   #11475
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LifeProof NËXT Case For Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL Now Available


In short: LifeProof has now announced the launch of new cases in its NËXT series, designed to help owners of Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL flagships keep their device safe without adding too much bulk or weight. As with other protective cases in the series, the new cases are touted as drop proof from up to 6.6-feet, as well as offering water, snow, dust, and debris protection provided by IP-5X-certified port blocking. Weight for the smaller Google Pixel 3 version is set at 46.76 grams, compared to the Google Pixel 3 XL variant at 53.82 grams. In terms of design, the main body of each case is a transparent shell that shows off the phone underneath, coupled with a ‘color pop’ outer ring. There are two options on the color front – ‘black crystal’ or ‘cactus rose’ – and each case is set at $79.99 regardless of whether that’s for the Google Pixel 3 or Google Pixel 3 XL.

Background: LifeProof has been one of the top brands in the market of offering protective measures for smartphones for quite some time now and its NËXT series is no exception to that. Although the cost is not inconsiderable and there are more affordable options on the market, the company not only consistently develops cases that offer genuine protection as outlined above. Its cases also cater to the style of the devices they’re meant to protect. The colors chosen for Google’s handsets, for example, should match up well with the three options buyers have when purchasing their devices. What’s more, each of these cases is listed as being compatible with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL’s Qi wireless charging features. So consumers don’t need to give up either aesthetic appeal or features just to keep their new handset safe.
Impact: In any case, the new mobile devices are set to ship starting on October 17 to those who have placed pre-orders and both versions of the new LifeProof NËXT case are on sale now. That means that owners of a new Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL flagship can start keeping their investment safe from day one rather than waiting to buy a case after the phone arrives.

























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