Made By Google 2018: Google Flexes Its Strength In Hardware And AI

With three key pieces of hardware announced at Google’s Made By Google event, it will still be a wait for folks in Singapore and Asia to get their hands on all the announced devices. Considering Google has made the effort to bring their best to rest of the world, it all seems to be a matter of time. Hopefully, in terms of weeks as opposed to months from the initial stateside release.

Even if the products do not make it to our side of the world, pretty sure that would not stop enthusiasts to get their hands on the latest and greatest Google devices. Thank god for global shipping services.

Google Home Hub

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Having lusted for the Lenovo Smart Display, Google’s own piece of living display hardware has one feature (or lack of) that has us totally on board – the omission of a camera.

The Google Home Hub is a device that one that will now be welcome in the bedroom because, well, privacy. After all, there are certain activities that take place in the bedroom that should be kept in the bedroom and not broadcast to the world (or have the potential to).

Otherwise, the Google Home Hub will also work great in where it was originally designed for which is the living room.

At US$149, Google has laid down the gauntlet to all its competitors out there. The Home Hub will be available in four colors: green, pink, dark grey, and white plus it includes six months of YouTube’s Premium service.

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The catch? The Google Home Hub will be available only on 22 Oct in US, UK, and Australia for now.

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Google Pixel Slate

Tablets, in general, have found themselves in a tricky spot these days. It’s a great device to have around but not quite the essential piece of hardware given the generous screen sizes of most phones.

This reality has not deterred Google. The Pixel Slate will be Google’s next attempt at a Pixel branded tablet and truth be told it’s not exactly groundbreaking. The new Pixel Slate will look to combine the best of ChromeOS together with AndroidOS to ensure that users will be able to get hold of the latest optimized apps.

Priced in at US$599 the Pixel Slate will be paired with a keyboard (US$199) and pen (US$99).

Google Pixel 3

While the folks on stage focused quickly on the key software features of the Pixel 3, the glaring notch found on the 6.3-inch Pixel 3 XL which by now has been covered to death found no airtime. Thankfully, the smaller 5.5-inch Pixel 3 does not befall the same fate.

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As the live stream progressed, the folks on stage were quick to list out a laundry list of software AI-powered features the new Pixel 3 will possess. It sounds really good on stage, and we’d love to give it a spin to see how these features perform in real life. It did feel like the new Pixel 3 comes across more like a software upgrade more than a hardware overhaul. Guess we are still looking out for the next best thing when it comes to hardware leaps.

The real upside to it all would be the speed in which the new Pixel 3 will be released in other markets apart from the US. This time round, we’ll be seeing the Pixel 3 make an appearance in Singapore from 1 November onwards. It’s a vast improvement compared to last year though we shall hold comment on how much the phone will be priced at.

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The next piece of positive news would be the accessories that go along with the Pixel 3, especially the brand new Pixel Stand. Thoughtfully designed to cradle the Pixel at an angle, the Pixel Stand has the user at the forefront and puts all those flat lay wireless chargers to shame. Placing the Pixel 3 on the stand unlocks another realm of features which range from having quick access to the Google Assistant to helping users get up in the morning with its gentle wake-up system.

Starting at US$799 for the regular Pixel 3 enters an extremely challenging smartphone battlefield. As noted by Rick Osterloh, Google’s SVP for Hardware, many times during the presentation there are many solid alternatives in the market right now. It certainly remains to be seen how Google’s superior software across all its devices is able to create a unified ecosystem to bring it all together.

Odd considering the entire presentation was about hardware but software will look to save the day once again for Google.

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