Google Goes Global With 10 Events for New Pixel Phones

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Google Goes Global With 10 Events for New Pixel Phones

Google Pixel 2 XL

Highlights

  • Google will unveil new Pixel phones at 10 media events across the world
  • Android software operates most of the world's smartphones
  • Company branched into hardware three years ago

Alphabet's Google will unveil the third edition of its Pixel smartphone at 10 media events across the world on Tuesday, a hint that it is prepared to expand geographic distribution of a device it hopes someday is as popular as Apple's iPhone.

Google's free Android software operates most of the world's smartphones. But the company three years ago branched into hardware to have products where, like Apple, it could have full control of the performance of its applications and the revenue they generate.

Though Google has succeeded in selling lower-priced devices such as smart speakers and home routers, the phones have been a tougher sell.

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.

The first Pixel devices reached 2.4 million shipments in the nine months ended June 30, 2017, the firm said.

Limited adoption has reflected Google's hesitancy to go as wide and big in distributing and marketing the Pixel as Apple, which launched its last two iPhone line-ups in about 50 countries.

Going from a small experiment to a polished product backed by large sales, support and technical teams has been part of Google's challenge.

Last year's Pixel 2 arrived with bugs that prompted user complaints about unwanted noises during calls, a crashing camera app and an unexpected screen tint.

Google initially sold the Pixel 2 and its larger-sibling, Pixel 2 XL, in six countries, including the United States, Australia, Germany and India, after an unveiling in San Francisco.

This year, Google is hosting events for the Pixel 3 in cities such as New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Singapore, spokesman Kay Oberbeck said.

Google Assistant, the signature virtual helper feature on the Pixel that was available in six languages a year ago, now supports 16.

Privacy and security features also could be top talking points about the Pixel 3 as Google and other big US tech companies try to bounce back from recent data breach scandals.

A US regulatory filing points to Google's matching on Tuesday rivals Amazon.com and Facebook with a smart speaker that has a display to show visual responses to voice commands.

Amazon shipped 21.5 million smart speakers, including those with displays, in the year ended June 30, compared with 18.3 million for Google, according to research firm Canalys.

© Thomson Reuters 2018


Can Google Pixel 3 succeed in India without massive discounts? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Excellent build, comfortable to handle
  • Intuitive software features
  • Very good cameras
  • HDR capable display
  • Excellent stereo speakers
  • Bad
  • Expensive
Display5.50-inch
Processor2.5GHz octa-core
Front Camera8-megapixel + 8-megapixel
Resolution1080x2160 pixels
RAM4GB
OSAndroid 9.0
Storage64GB
Rear Camera12.2-megapixel
Battery Capacity2915mAh
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Excellent build
  • Intuitive software features
  • Very good cameras
  • HDR capable display
  • Excellent stereo speakers
  • Bad
  • Poor notch design
  • Expensive
Display6.30-inch
Processor2.5GHz octa-core
Front Camera8-megapixel + 8-megapixel
Resolution1440x2960 pixels
RAM4GB
OSAndroid 9.0
Storage64GB
Rear Camera12.2-megapixel
Battery Capacity3430mAh
Further reading: Google
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