Google unveils Pixel 3 smartphone

Google unveiled a new Pixel smartphone that sports an upgraded camera with beefed-up artificial intelligence features.

At a Tuesday event in New York, the Alphabet-owned search giant said the new Pixel 3 will boast a feature called “Top Shot” that will avoid blinks and poor timing by selecting the best moment to take a picture when the subjects are in frame.

Google’s AI will also greatly improve nighttime photography, the company said, and will eliminate muddy, dark pictures. The new Pixel will also feature dual front-facing cameras that will allow for wide-angle selfies.

The shindig didn’t include CEO Sundar Pichai, who is grappling with this week’s news that Google executives including Pichai this spring covered up a data breach at its Google+ social network.

The entry-level Pixel 3 is $150 more expensive than last year’s model, starting at $799, while the Pixel 3 XS starts at $899. Both are cheaper than the new iPhone XS and XS Max, which start at $999 and $1,099, respectively.

Google also unveiled the $150 Home Hub, a home-speaker competitor to Amazon’s Echo Show that will feature a smart display with access to YouTube. It will act as a digital picture frame when not in use, Google said, provided you connect it to Google Photos.

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