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Google debuts new phone, tablet, home hub

Google unveils the Pixel 3, Pixel Slate and Pixel Hub at an event in New York
Google unveils the Pixel 3, Pixel Slate and Google Home Hub at an event in New York. Photo: Google

Aiming to show its cloud smarts can make for powerful hardware, Google unveiled its latest Pixel phone, along with a Chrome OS-based tablet and its own rival to Amazon's Echo Show.

Why it matters: Google has been trying for several years now to make a dent in the consumer hardware market. While that's been an uphill battle so far, the AI trend is pointing in Google's direction.

Here's what Google has announced:

  • Pixel 3 — Google's newest smartphone had been extensively leaked, so there weren't a lot of surprises. As with past versions, Google has been focused on the software power, rather than a radical design. And, as in the past, it comes in standard and XL sizes, with prices starting at $799.
  • Pixel Slate — The $599 detachable slate (with $199 optional keyboard) will be a test for how big a market there is for tablets running Chrome OS.
  • Google Home Hub — The $149 home device is Google's entry into the "smart-speaker-with-a-screen" category. Perhaps the most interesting choice here is Google's decision not to include a camera. That lessens security concerns, but makes it less useful for things like video chat.

Our thought bubble: Google Home Hub, sans camera, is a sharp contrast to the Portal that Facebook unveiled yesterday, which focuses largely on its camera and video chat abilities.

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to the Google Home Hub as Pixel Hub.

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