Google unveiled three major devices on Tuesday, with some features dividing opinion, others receiving collective praise, and a few suffering roundly from criticism. But first, here’s what Google unveiled in New York City: The Google Pixel 3 smartphone (two models), the Google Home Hub, and the Pixel Slate tablet with attachable keyboard.
Longtime Google users shared these common reactions to the new features on social media, including Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube and Inverse is reporting on them.
People Do Not Like the Google Pixel 3 XL Notch:
The Google Pixel 3 XL has a notch at the top that includes two front-facing cameras and one of two front-facing speakers. A “notch of shame,” opined Marques Brownlee in his video about the phone. “Did you guys catch how they tried to hide the notch on the 3XL during the whole presentation?” wondered one user on r/google on Reddit. The user wasn’t wrong — there were plenty of images from the back of the the Pixel 3 but not many of the front.
The USB-C Pixel Earbuds Were a Bright Spot
Perhaps it was the river of leaks about the Pixel 3 phone, but many on social media were quick to comment first that the event let them down for not having enough good surprises. One bright spot, though, were the long-awaited Pixel USB-C earbuds with remote and Google Assistant audio A.I. They seem to be a worthy substitute for the $159 wireless Pixel Buds, and at $30, the USB-C Pixel Earbuds are more economical. The coolest feature of the wireless Pixel Buds remains with the USB-C version: real-time translation! The “Hey Google, help me speak Japanese,” command works here, too. The headphones also offer 24-bit audio. Interestingly, these wired earbuds were snubbed from the splashy event Tuesday, but something tells me they will be low-key hit.
The Google Home Hub is Not Expensive!
Going up against the Amazon Echo Show ($230), Facebook’s Portal ($199, $349), or the Lenovo Smart Display ($199, $249), the Google Home Hub ($149) always would have competition. While its features list is robust — bringing in all the helpful services of Google Assistant, plus YouTub, Google Maps, Google Calendar, and Google Photos — the price point may be the differentiator. If you trust and like Google’s services, the relatively low cost of this smart display for your apartment or home makes it a really attractive — if not totally essential — device. Will it make your life easier, though? Most likely.
Where the Pixel Watch, Though?
The Apple Watch Series 4 reviews were all over the map, so I gave it a score based on high-profile reviews. There is the also-new Samsung Galaxy Watch, which has a lot of really cool features that scientists say can take a licking. But where was the Google Watch? It would have been a major surprise had Google debuted its own watch, but it would have made sense for three reasons 1. Google Assistant is a great service that has bounded forward in intelligence and features offered, 2. Google Calendar and Google Maps are pretty much industry standards at this point for now where you have to be and when you have to get there, and, 3. Imagine Google searching from your watch. This is to say nothing of any health-monitoring benefits that Google may provide. People were highly confident about a watch in May. On Tuesday a few were let down. “Ummm…where’s the Pixel Watch?” wondered a Twitter user.
Still the Best Camera on a Phone
While true testing hasn’t been performed yet, it looks like Google Pixel 3 will still have the best smartphone camera out there, topping Apple again. This is because of a slew of software add-ons that will ensure that photography on the Pixel 3 will remain best-in-class. Among the reassuring features announced on Tuesday:
- A super selfie lens called Group Selfie which serves as the Ridiculous Tech Stat of the Day: It creates 184 percent more room in the frame for your selfies.
- The Photobooth mode recognizes smiles and open eyes and then automatically takes the photo.
- There’s Playground, which enables Iron Man to join your photos.
- There’s also Motion Auto Focus, good for photos you take in bumpy conditions.
Google’s Pixel Slate and Round Key Reactions
The Pixel Slate, tablet/keyboard has _round) keys on its keyboard, which seemed odd to most who came across them.
“Not sure the Pixel Slate’s round keys are a good idea. Look pretty, not made for typing,” opined tech journalist Mat Smith. Michal Sapka put it another way: “More The Pixel Slate keyboard has round keys. Round Keys Google made a steampunk device.”
Related video: Inverse reacts to the Google Pixel 3 and the Google Announcement