large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Made by Google 2018 Highlights: Everything announced that matters

The Made by Google 2018 event is now in the books, with the company outing the Pixel 3 phones, Google Home Hub smart display, Pixel Slate tablet and more. Here’s everything Google announced at its annual hardware showcase that actually matters.

Headlining the October 9 event were the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones. While there were no real surprises in terms of hardware, Google still announced a ton of new features during the event.

In his first look at the Pixel, Trusted Reviews Mobile Editor Max Parker tipped the camera to be the star of the show once again. The dual-selfie camera will enable a new Group Selfie Cam mode makes use of a 97-degree field of view.

Meanwhile, Top Shot compares burst images and uses machine learning to pick out the best shot. Google says this will result in more images with “smiles instead of sneezes.”

Here’s a quick look at some of our Pixel 3 launch coverage.

Pixel 3 XL

Meet the Google Pixel 3

1) Google Pixel Stand

The Pixel 3 phones are also compatible with wireless chargers for the first time in the history of the range, and Google is introducing its own hardware accessory to celebrate.

The Google Pixel Stand is a £69/$79 wireless charging surface, which the handset will lean against rather than lay upon. This is important because the Pixel 3 displays special content when docked on the Pixel Stand. Effectively it becomes a mini smart display (see below), while it’ll also act as a digital photo frame when not in use.

Related: What is wireless charging?

google pixel stand

2) Google Home Hub

Next up is the Google Home Hub, the first own-branded smart display from the search giant, building on earlier entries from the likes Lenovo and JBL. Effectively it is a tablet running a tailored version of Android, attached to a speaker base.

The Home Hub brings the power of Google Search and the Google Assistant and will enable users to control their smart home devices, receive a snapshot of their day and play media. We were quick to check out the device following Google’s keynote, and our first impressions were good.

Related: Google Home Hub first look

Google Home Hub

3) Google Pixel Slate

The final piece of hardware unveiled today is the Google Pixel Slate, which is a hybrid tablet/laptop, which will seek to challenge the iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro. The £549/$599 device will also be accompanied by a clip-on keyboard accessory (£189/$199) making it easy to use in desktop or tablet mode.

Powered by a new version of Chrome OS reimagined for the touchscreen (including a split screen mode), Google is promising the Pixel Slate will to deliver the best experience for work and play.

4) Google Chromecast 2018

The Made By Google event was so action packed, the company didn’t have time to reveal the 2018 update to its Chromecast dongle. Or, failing that narrative, Google might not have felt this iterative update was deserving of the stage time.

As documented by a recent leak, the streaming dongle has a new design with a new matte finish, while the Chrome logo has been replaced by the ‘G’ icon. The third-generation device is 15% faster than its predecessor and is now capable of streaming 60fps at 1080p (previously, it was 720p). The new Chromecast also acts like a Chromecast Audio to create multi-room audio set-ups. That feature will roll out later this year.

It’s available now for the same £30/$35 price. The Chromecast Ultra offering 4K compatibility is still on sale separately for £69/$69.

Picture of white Panasonic S500W earbuds kept in it's case on a white background

Google made no mention of Android 9.1 at the event, while a rumoured Wear OS device did not materialise during the event. Beyond our hands-on previews of the devices announced today, we’ll have reviews in due course.

Were you impressed with Google’s new hardware line-up? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.