Google introduces Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Image credit: Google

Google has officially debuted its latest smartphone offerings, with the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL introduced this week at a launch event in the US.

The company said the devices will provide users with "the best of Google", and this year's models have a strong focus on artificial intelligence, as well as the usual round of upgrades to hardware and cameras.

Mario Queiroz, general manager and vice-president of Pixel at the company, said: "That means a phone that answers for you when a telemarketer calls, a camera that uses AI to make sure you never miss the shot, and a more helpful visual and audio experience while charging, powered by the Google Assistant."

At the heart of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL is a range of AI-powered features that Google says are designed to make everyday live simpler. For instance, Google Lens allows users to point their camera at an object and get more information about it thanks to Google's image recognition capabilities. 

This can help translate text in real time, find similar styles of clothing or identify plants and animals, among other uses. If users point their camera at information such as a URL or QR code on a flyer or an email address on a business card, Google Lens can also suggests what to do next, like creating a new contact.

On the hardware front, the Pixel 3 looks a lot like last year's Pixel 2, and while the diagonal has shrunk, narrow bezels mean its screen size is still half an inch bigger than the Pixel 2 at 5.5 inches.

The Pixel 3 XL, meanwhile, boasts a 6.3-inch screen and, unlike its smaller brother, adopts an iPhone X-style 'notch' in the screen to hold the two front-facing cameras. 

According to Android Central's Daniel Bader, Google originally planned to include a notch on both devices, but was unable to on the Pixel 3 because there was no room for both cameras and speakers in the narrower device.