Pixel smartphones lead Google hardware charge - Mobile World Live

Pixel smartphones lead Google hardware charge

08 MAY 2019

Google unveiled additions to its Pixel smartphone range, as it looks to recover from a weak opening quarter in which premium sector sales were impacted by stiff competition.

At its I/O conference, the company launched the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, which it is pitching as offering high-tier features at a budget price. The 3a features a 5.6-inch display and is priced at $399; the XL a 6-inch screen for $479.

Both come with 12.2MP rear and 8MP front cameras; a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor; run Android Pie; have 64GB of storage; and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

In its domestic market, Google broadened availability to all major operators bar AT&T (though it noted the smartphones work on the company’s network). The devices are also on sale in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and the UK.

Smart home reborn
The company also unified its line of smart home products under the Nest moniker, rebranding its Google Home Hub as the Nest Hub, and unveiling a new addition, the Nest Hub Max.

Priced at $229, the unit features a 10-inch screen; a camera for video calling and security monitoring; and gesture controls enabling users to pause media or change the volume.

Google was quick to note the camera won’t compromise user privacy, a key element in other launches on the opening day of I/O.

Rick Osterloh, Google’s head of hardware said: “Nothing is streamed or recorded unless you intentionally enable it.” He added a green indicator light will let users know when the camera is in use, and a physical toggle button on the back of the device can be used to disconnect the camera and microphone.

Hub Max will be available in the US, UK and Australia in the coming months.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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