Google launches 'Home Hub' smart display for controlling your house

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Google has unveiled the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL smartphones.

64GB Google Pixel 3 XL $85 My Plan Flex 24-month leasing plan - with $5 monthly handset repayments, minimum total cost is $2,160 over 24 months.

But what about this years?

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.

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However, it wasn't clear if these refer to different sizes, designs, or if there will be a version with 4G and one with just Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Nearly all the technical details of the phones had been leaked before the event, but Google did unveil some clever new software features. There is no headphone jack again on either of these two devices.

Interestingly, the Pixel 3's Google Assistant will also help screen calls to avoid unwanted solicitors and lets customers choose whether to answer a call or mark it as spam. They run Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chips, have 4GB RAM, and come with 64 of 128GB of storage, as well as a USB-C port. There's a notch on the top of the 3 XL, but the Pixel 3 simply adopts a similar curved cornered screen as found on the Pixel 2. The power button also doubles as a fingerprint sensor. Utilising Google's imaging AI, Night Sight automatically colours and balances a photo to what it should look like.

That defines the balancing act for Google, eager to finally make a dent in the premium phone market. The company is making the Android Google Camera app work on the Pixel Slate, so you'll get bokeh effects and, hopefully, excellent-looking pictures. This means you can now use your Pixel and Google Assistant to make calls for you to local establishments, at least in the United States that is. We're glad to have it back though.

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The Pixel 3 does have a few things going for it, however.

"We have taken the world's best smartphone camera and made it even better", said Google's hardware chief Rick Osterloh during the launch event at Spring Studios, echoing a shot across the bow at Cupertino, Calif. -based Apple, which recently launched its new iPhones, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max and the upcoming iPhone Xr.

A Google Home Hub, Slate and Pixel 3 phone are pictured in an undated handout photo.

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL launch in the United Kingdom on 1 November and preorders are open now on the Google Store. Alongside it, they're now also selling a $79 wireless charging accessory dubbed "Pixel Stand" that essentially also turns your phone into a mini Smart Display. However, from our initial time with the devices, it's clear that Google is really only just hitting its vision of melding of hardware and AI-driven software - something it set out to do back with the original Pixel in 2016.

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One of the biggest differences present this year is the fact the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL support wireless charging.