Google Pixel 2 phones and take arty selfies

Google’s second-generation Pixel mobile phones are able to take the “portrait mode” photos via the front and rear of single-lens cameras.

Other models have been able to auto-blur the images of background for some time, but they typically rely on the use of two cameras with lens on the phones’ backs to create realistic effects.

Google has said its innovation to say that could make more space for the battery and introducing front-facing speakers.

But fell with the headphone jack.

Instead of using a dedicated 3.5 mm port, users will need to use wireless headphones – Google is selling a couple called Pixels Buds – or USB-C charging socket.

On the occasion of the launch of the original Pixel cell, the search firm had derided Apple’s abandonment of the traditional grip, and made a virtue of its opposite strategy.

A spokesman has defended the U-turn saying Pixels the engineers believed USB-C, “he had matured as a standard” in the course of the past year.

About 2.8 million units of Pixels of the original phones shipped since their launch a year ago, according to research firm IDC, which represent only 0.5% of the broader market of smartphones.

Sales have been limited in part by the company’s inability to make enough devices to meet demand.

Google said that it was producing the 2 Pixels and Pixels that are larger than 2 XL models “in greater number”.

But one expert questioned if he has not done enough to represent a serious challenge to the other Android phone and accessories.

“The launch of a device in a region such as Western Europe, requires the support of more than 50 people and 70-plus dealers,” said IDC’s Francisco Jeronimo.

“Google has put in place a massive sales and marketing organization to be able to compete with Samsung and Huawei.”


The Pixel line-up is part of an effort to make sure that consumers are always the most recent version of Android. The phones are guaranteed to be the latest version as soon as Google makes it available, for at least three years – unlike other brands.

However, the tech giant was also keen to promote a number of unique features in the San Francisco launch.

The single-lens mode portrait photos were made possible by the adoption of a dual-pixel sensor – that means that each pixel can be used to record the image and determine the focus, rather than only one or the other.

Samsung phones already feature the technology, but Google has built with proprietary software to make possible the creation of a depth map for the pictures, which can be used to add special effects.


A further advantage of this approach is that the new phones ‘ front “selfie” cameras can also use the portrait mode. And in the months to come, Google intends to make use of the depth information to allow users to add advanced augmented reality characters to their images.

Another new feature is the ability to summon the Google Assistant of the artificial intelligence helper squeezing the phones’ sides.

The firm has suggested this has made it easier to turn on, adding that they had formed the software just have to pay attention to the deliberate tightening.

In addition, the OLED (organic light-emitting diode screens now automatically show the name of a song, if you heard of play in the surrounding area.


The Shazam-like feature based on a database of tens of thousands of songs downloaded on the device in advance. This avoids the search for a correspondence via the internet, which would have undermined the battery more quickly.

One of the new phones has also been a demo car-translate a conversation between an English and Swedish speaker wearing the Pixels of the same Gems to create a seamless experience that is normal when using the firm to Translate the app.

The new phones are between 4% to 11% more costly compared to their predecessors in the UNITED kingdom, depending on the configuration.

The 5 (12.7 cm) version starts at € 629 and the 6in (15.2 cm) model is € 799.


Last month, Google has agreed to pay $1.1 billion (£828m) for HTC take 2,000 of its engineers, many of whom had been involved in the new phones of creation.

One expert has suggested the company now face a difficult balancing act.

“The challenge for Google is that if it starts the priority of new features and functionality on its devices, and runs the risk of antagonising the very important partners like Samsung,” said Ben Wood from CCS Insight.

“And what is more important for the good of the empire of Google? Is the flow rate that Android is or is Google’s desire to have its own hardware platform?”Analysis:


By Rory Cellan-Jones, Technology correspondent

One thing to say about Google’s hardware ambitions – not to give up when sales disappoint.

The daydream VR headset promised to be a great step forward in the mobile virtual reality, but you’ll struggle to find anyone who has used one.

Google Home windows of the company TO the skills, but arrived a long time after Amazon’s Echo, and is still struggling to catch up.

The first Pixel had a great car, has won very positive reviews – and ended with about 0.5% of the global smartphone market share.

But now all three products are to get an update with Google that makes a bold statement on his ability to combine hardware and software to produce a great user experience – like that of other small tech company, with its range of highly profitable iDevices.

Is Pixels 2, which is now Google’s flagship device, thanks to its characteristics, the company says it does not yet see on other Android smartphones.

Sundar Pichai has repeated his message on a THE-first world, and a new era where we interact more naturally with our devices. A as combine – squeeze feature on the Google Assistant on your Pixels.

He believes that its engineers lead the world in machine learning and that should translate into leadership in the machines too.

Perhaps – but first of all his company needs for his play in two other key areas: the marketing and the production. It’s all very well building a smartphone that gets five stars, but if they can’t make enough to meet demand, you’re not going to go very far. Mini speaker

Google has also introduced other products to its launch, including a smaller version of its Home smart speaker, and a larger edition is designed for high-quality playback of music.


The House Mini will cost $49 and accepts touch-based commands, as well as the response to the items.

$399 at the Home of Max, which contains two subwoofers for superior bass – uses artificial intelligence software to take account of where it was placed in a room and adjusts the sound balance to suit.

The Max is likely to compete with speakers from Sonos – which had announced a few hours before that it would add Google Assistant for its last speaker in 2018.

An expert said that the Mini could appeal to all those who are looking for more smart speakers in their home, as well as price-conscious under-25.


“Google has been on the back foot to compete with Amazon,” said Adam Simon consulting Context.

“The House came after Amazon’s Echo, does not have the same range of smart home partner, or the types of devices available, and now Google is trying to achieve.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the event was Google Clip, a small standalone camera that uses machine learning to recognize interesting scenes and familiar faces to register.

The device is designed to be attached to clothes or other objects, and only sends the video and the photos of a smartphone when commanded.


GoPro’s stock dropped when it was revealed, but consumers may have difficulty understanding the need for the $249 gadget.

A new high-end Chrome OS-based laptop called the Pixelbook was also presented, which has the Google Assistant integrated, an optional stylus, and can run Android applications.