Google’s new Pixel Stand charger is quietly brilliant

Google Pixel Slate 1

Google Pixel Slate 1

If you don't want to buy from Verizon, you can buy the phones unlocked directly from Google or other select retailers for use on almost any American carrier.

And if you don't want to upgrade, features like Night Sight, Playground, and Screen Call are coming to the older Pixels with updates in the future.

The Pixel Stand, along with the Hub, is part of Google's continued push into making devices for a smart - or, to use its word, "thoughtful" - home. 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.

It allows the Pixel phones to cover much of the functionality of the Home Hub. Like the Pixelbook, the Pixel Slate is powered by Google's Chrome operating system as opposed to its mobile operating system Android, which companies like Samsung use as the underlying software for their own tablets.

The back of the device doesn't do a great job of looking like a "Pixel" device. A pen for use on the touchscreen costs US$99. The $599 iteration of the Pixel Slate will have an Intel Celeron processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage.

The Pixel Slate Keyboard was also announced and connects to the tablet.

Although Google did not make any announcements about it on-stage, there's a new Chromecast. The current Chromecast hasn't been refreshed in three years, so the company has quietly added a new model to their store; however, nothing much has changed. There's no Bluetooth but just Wi-Fi 802.11ac.

Of course, we should mention that Facebook has also gone on a misguided journey to try to install its all-seeing hardware into your home, launching its Portal earlier this month: a video conferencing device that works with Amazon's Alexa digital assistant. The pen is the same Pixelbook Pen from previous year, and it'll still hit your wallet for a cool $99, while the keyboard is new and runs $199. The smart display comes in four different colors, including Google's iconic gray Chalk, as well as Charcoal, Aqua, and Sand. Whether or not you're a user of Google+, the fact that the company made a decision to withhold the information should give you pause, and force you to consider if you can depend on Google to notify you if or when even more serious data breaches occur.

Google shipped 2.53 million Pixel 2 and 2 XL devices through the nine months ended June 30, garnering less than 1 percent of the global market for smartphones, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. AR Stickers have become Playground and both Avengers and Childish Gambino will be available and will even interact with you. The Pixel 3 XL has a 6.3-inch QHD +(2960 x 1440) flexible OLED with 18.5:9 aspect ratio, HDR support and 100,000:1 contrast ratio.

The Pixel Slate will feature an 8-megapixel camera on the front and rear of the device.

The Pixel 3 comes with an 18W fast charger in the box, which can give you seven hours of use in 15 minutes of charge. That's more accessible than the $149 / £139 Google is charging for the Home Hub, assuming you buy a Pixel 3 first.

The Pixel 3 faces continued limited sales in the United States since Google again signed an exclusive distribution deal with wireless carrier Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) that means the device will get little marketing from other carriers.

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