Tag: google-pixel

Testing Pixel 4’s incredible Night Sight photography

Devices

Posted on December 18, 2019

7 min read

When Google dropped the unreal Pixel 4, we were impressed by the updated Night Sight feature that allows for incredible astrophotography – the ability to take spectacular pictures of the night sky. We gave a Pixel 4 to Troy, one of our technicians based in regional Queensland, to see just what it could do.

We live in a vast, beautiful country outdone only by what’s above us.

I’m part of the team who builds and maintains Telstra’s mobile and radio infrastructure – more than 10,000 mobile base stations providing more than 2.5 million square kilometres of coverage to metro, regional and remote Australia. It means I’m out of town a lot, so to speak, for work.

When you get away from the city lights, the Milky Way is awesome. Truly awesome.

I’m also a keen snapper. Astrophotography typically requires some serious gear, lots of settings adjustments and patience to yield a result, so I was interested to see how the Google Pixel 4[1] would go on my recent travels.

The key to nailing that starry night shot is to get out of the cities and into the country, where there’s little to no light pollution to clutter an image. Light pollution is the bright hue that is cast across the sky by things like cars, street lights and buildings. It’s a disruptor and stops us from seeing features of the night sky.

Photo by Troy Tozer, Telstra

These photos were snapped near one of our mobile base stations at Mt Kent, west of Toowoomba. Both are straight out of the Pixel 4 with no edits. It really shows off the shots you can get of the night sky without light pollution.

Photo by Troy Tozer, Telstra

I used a high intensity LED torch to help compose my shots (as it was basically pitch black). I used objects in the foreground to provide some depth to the photo.

Once the photo was composed the Pixel 4 basically did the rest. 4 min long made up of multiple exposures that are stacked on top of each other, this gets rid of any movement in the sky (star trails) and as you can see the Pixel pulls light that the human eye struggles to see.

Photo by Troy Tozer, Telstra

On the flipside, you can also use a light to create a fun element to your pic. All I did with this shot is leave the interior light on in my work car to create a cool extra point of interest.

Photo by Troy Tozer, Telstra

And finally, this is a four-minute exposure shot pointing straight up at the stars for a shot that’s unheard of on a phone. You can see the constellation of Orion clearly in the night sky, shot with nothing but a phone camera and a native Android app.

Troy’s tips for better night photos

Google has a number of recommendations for getting the shot after the Sun goes down. Here are a few tips on how to get the shot from the Pixel 4:

● Stabilise your phone to make sure it will not move during long exposures: prop it up on a stable surface such as a rock or a fence post or use a tripod if you happen to have one. 

● Launch the Google Camera App, switch to Night Sight, and frame the shot. 

● Once the phone is steady, the viewfinder should display a message that says “Astrophotography on” to indicate that long exposures are enabled, and that, depending on the brightness of the scene, taking a shot may take up to four minutes. If there’s strong wind and the phone is on a tripod, then the camera may shake too much for a sharp long exposure and “Astrophotography on” may not appear. If that’s the case try shortening the tripod legs to keep the phone closer to the ground, use your body to shield the phone from the wind, or move to a spot that is less windy. 

● The phone will try to focus automatically, but autofocus can fail in extremely dark scenes. For landscape shots you may just want to set focus to “far” so that anything further away than about 4 meters (13 feet) will be in focus. 

● For best results set the self timer to 3 seconds. This shifts the beginning of the exposure to 3 seconds after you have tapped the shutter button, and avoids unwanted motion-blur by ensuring that the phone doesn’t move when it starts capturing light. 

● Once the exposure has begun, the viewfinder displays a timer that shows how many minutes and seconds are left until the exposure is complete. If you want to stop the exposure early for some reason, for example, because a car’s headlights have appeared in the frame, tap the shutter button again. You will get a photo even if you stop early, provided at least one frame has been captured, but letting the timer count down all the way to zero will produce a brighter and clearer image. 

● The viewfinder in the Google Camera App works at full moon light levels, but in environments darker than that the on-screen image may become too dim and grainy to be useful. When this happens we recommend the following: point the phone in what you think is the right direction, then tap the shutter button. As soon as the exposure for an individual frame is complete, the frame will be shown in the viewfinder, and you can check and correct which way the phone is pointing. Wait for the next frame to see the effect of your corrections. Once you are satisfied with the composition, tap the shutter button a second time to stop the exposure. Then tap the shutter button once more to start a new exposure and let it run to completion without touching the phone. 

● You may want to reduce the phone screen’s brightness and also enable Android’s Dark theme. This will help you preserve your own night vision while working on astrophotography.

Pricing

Customers who purchase a Google Pixel 4 or  Pixel 4 XL through Telstra will also receive an exclusive bonus Google Nest Hub. Using the bonus Google Nest Hub, customers will also be able to take advantage of another Telstra exclusive – Voice-activated Calling – allowing you to make voice calls via the Hub and/or other Google Nest devices.[2] Bonus offer ends 13 January 2020. 

Both devices are available on Telstra’s new post-paid mobile plans that offer consumer and small business customers greater flexibility with month-to-month plans, the freedom to change your plan once a month, no excess data charges in Australia, and the ability to personalise your plan through add-ons, including the option to pay off your device over 24 or 36 months.

The Google Pixel 4 (64GB) will be available from $1,049, which works out to $43.70 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 24 months or $29.13 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 36 months, plus your chosen plan costs.

The Google Pixel 4 XL (64GB) will be available from an RRP of $1,279, which will be $53.29 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 24 months or $35.52 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 36 months, plus your chosen plan costs.

For a full list of plans please visit our Google Pixel 4 store page.


[1] See g.co/pixel/astrophotography to learn more about astrophotography on Pixel 4.

[2] Requires a Telstra mobile service with credit on a smartphone, a powered Google Home/Nest speaker or display* connected to an active Wi-Fi network and activated through iOS/Android Google Home app. Data charges may apply. Call charges will be in accordance with your Telstra mobile plan. To call E000, say “Hey Google, call Triple Zero. *Currently not available on Google Nest Hub Max – coming soon.

What we love about the Google Pixel 4 range

Devices

Posted on October 22, 2019

5 min read


Google’s latest flagship smartphones, the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, are days away from hitting shelves. We took a trip into the Pixel Playground to get hands on with the new devices and show you our favourite new features.

The new Pixel 4 range is packed with incredible features that will change the way you use a phone – the Google way – all wrapped up in an awesome new design.

It’s the latest addition to Google’s growing range of innovations and offerings, which combine to create a smart, seamless and integrated experience whether you’re at home, or out and about. More on that a little later, let’s take a look at the Pixel 4’s features!

A new way to control your phone

The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL both include an awesome new feature that allows you to use your phone with just a wave of your hand[1].

With Motion Sense, you’ll be able to skip songs, snooze alarms and silence calls just by waving your hand over the device.

It’s powered by Google’s sensor technology called Soli that recognises your hands in front of it and turns it into action. It’s smarter than building gesture recognition into a camera system, as it’s powered by a specific radar chip designed by Google.

We love it for how easy it makes simple tasks on your phone even simpler to execute!

Doubling down on photography

Google’s Pixel range is renowned for incredible cameras. Google has upped that gambit for the Pixel 4, adding in a rear second lens, dual-exposure controls for crisp HDR photos and creating a better super res zoom offering.

Both devices boast a 12.2-megapixel 77-degree wide lens and a 16-megapixel 52-degree dual camera on the back. Furthermore, there’s also the new 8-megapixel wide selfie lens at the front. Both front and rear cameras allows you to take incredible portraits with beautiful bokeh (blurry background) effects with no fiddling or tinkering to get it right. Just open the camera, snap, and you’ll have the best photo possible thanks to Google’s smarts.

There’s also the Super Res Zoom which provides an 8x equivalent zoom while maintaining a crisp image. Capture surfers from the shore or that winning goal, all without any extra equipment.

Mapping the stars

A real star feature, so to speak, of the Pixel 4 is its improved Night Sight function that makes it capable of astrophotography[2].

Simply find a clear night sky, set to Night Sight mode and you have an astrophotography camera that fits in your pocket.

Before the Google Pixel 4, you’d normally need a large, professional-grade camera that costs thousands of dollars, and a lot of patience. Now all you need is a beautiful night sky and your smartphone to capture the Milky Way! For best results, head somewhere with little/no light pollution – a Google search can help you with that.

And that’s just our top three. There are loads of new features in the new Google Pixel 4 range, including a 90Hz screen refresh rate for smooth performance;[3] the Google Assistant;[4] the Titan M security chip[5] and more!

Pricing

The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will both be released in Australia on 24 October 2019.

Customers who purchase through Telstra will also receive an exclusive bonus Google Nest Hub. Using the bonus Google Nest Hub, customers will also be able to take advantage of another Telstra exclusive – Voice-activated Calling – allowing you to make voice calls via the Hub and/or other Google Nest devices.[6] Bonus offer ends 13 January 2020. 

Both devices are available on Telstra’s new post-paid mobile plans that offer consumer and small business customers greater flexibility with month-to-month plans, the freedom to change your plan once a month, no excess data charges in Australia, and the ability to personalise your plan through add-ons, including the option to pay off your device over 24 or 36 months.

The Google Pixel 4 (64GB) will be available from $1,049, which works out to $43.70 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 24 months or $29.13 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 36 months, plus your chosen plan costs.

The Google Pixel 4 XL (64GB) will be available from an RRP of $1,279, which will be $53.29 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 24 months or $35.52 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 36 months, plus your chosen plan costs.

For a full list of plans please visit our Google Pixel 4 store page.

Things you need to know

[1] Coming soon to Japan. Motion Sense functional in the US, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan and most European countries. Not all phone features are controlled by Motion Sense. For more information see g.co/pixel/motionsense

[2] See g.co/pixel/astrophotography to learn more about astrophotography on Pixel 4

[3] Not available for all apps or content. Display automatically adjusts to optimize for best viewing and battery performance.

[4] Requires an internet connection.

[5] See g.co/pixel/security for additional security information.

[6] Requires a Telstra mobile service with credit on a smartphone, a powered Google Home/Nest speaker or display* connected to an active Wi-Fi network and activated through iOS/Android Google Home app. Data charges may apply. Call charges will be in accordance with your Telstra mobile plan. To call E000, say “Hey Google, call Triple Zero. *Currently not available on Google Nest Hub Max – coming soon.

Wave hello to the Google Pixel 4

Devices

Posted on October 16, 2019

4 min read

Google took the covers off its long-hyped Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL overnight. The new Pixel 4 range is packed with incredible features that will change the way you use a phone – the Google way – all wrapped up in an awesome new design.

Google wants the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL to unify all the incredible technology and software it has to offer in a single device. From an incredible camera system, motion control capabilities and a host of new features, the Pixel 4 range is designed to make your life smarter and easier all at once.

Hands-free control

The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL both feature an awesome new feature that allows you to use your phone with just a wave of your hand[1].

With Motion Sense, you’ll be able to skip songs, snooze alarms and silence calls just by waving your hand over the device.

This innovative new way to use your phone without touching your device allows you to interact without your hands, which is great if your hands are messy!

Pixel-perfect photos, every time

The Google Pixel range is renowned for incredible cameras, and the Pixel 4 range continues to improve on its performance in any lighting condition.

Both devices boast a 12.2-megapixel 77-degree wide lens and a 16-megapixel 52-degree dual camera on the back, as well as an 8-megapixel wide selfie camera on the front.

The cameras on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL allow you to capture rich detail and colour and even the night sky in all its splendour with improved Night Sight[2].

That additional lens also makes Portrait Mode even better on the new Pixel 4 range, and Super Res Zoom allows you to snap all the details, even at a distance.

Google smarts also works to make the camera experience even richer, with Frequent Faces learning the people you photograph most and capturing photos of them when they look their best[3].

And the rest

Google has brought together all of its best features into the one device with the new Pixel 4 range, including the helpful Google Assistant[4]. It’s the easiest way to get things done on your device: simply squeeze the phone to get started or say “Hey Google”.

The Pixel 4 range also allows you to navigate smarter than ever with augmented reality Google Maps that places arrows and directions right on your world[5], so there’s never any second-guessing or missing a turn.

Pricing

The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will both be released in Australia on 24 October 2019.

Customers who purchase through Telstra will also receive a bonus Google Nest Hub. Using the bonus Google Nest Hub, customers will also be able to take advantage of another Telstra exclusive – Voice-activated Calling – allowing you to make voice calls via the Hub and/or other Google Nest devices.[6] Bonus offer ends 13 January 2020. 

Both devices are available on Telstra’s new post-paid mobile plans that offer consumer and small business customers greater flexibility with month-to-month plans, the freedom to change your plan once a month, no excess data charges in Australia, and the ability to personalise your plan through add-ons, including the option to pay off your device over 24 or 36 months.

The Google Pixel 4 (64GB) will be available from $1,049, which works out to $43.70 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 24 months or $29.13 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 36 months.

The Google Pixel 4 XL (64GB) will be available from an RRP of $1,279, which will be $53.29 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 24 months or $35.52 a month when you add to any month-to-month mobile plan and stay connected for 36 months.

For a full list of plans please visit our Google Pixel 4 store page.


[1] Not functional in Japan. Motion Sense functional in the US, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan and most European countries. Not all phone features are controlled by Motion Sense. For more information see g.co/pixel/motionsense

[2] See g.co/pixel/astrophotography to learn more about Astrophotography on Pixel 4

[3] Frequent Faces does not access your contacts and does not associate names — data is only saved on the device and can only be accessed in the camera app.

[4] Requires an Internet connection.

[5] Requires up-to-date Google Street View imagery, a working data connection and bright outdoor light. Maps and navigation may not be available in all areas.

[6] Requires a Telstra mobile service with credit on a smartphone, a powered Google Home/Nest speaker or display* connected to an active Wi-Fi network and activated through iOS/Android Google Home app. Data charges may apply. Call charges will be in accordance with your Telstra mobile plan. To call E000, say “Hey Google, call Triple Zero. *Currently not available on Google Nest Hub Max – coming soon.

Make your new Google Pixel 3 even more helpful with these five accessories

Devices

Posted on October 26, 2018

1 min read

The new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are the most helpful smartphones that Google has ever made, but you can make your new phone help you even more with some useful extras. We’ve gathered some accessories that keep your phone a little safer, and make it a little smarter in a few different ways throughout your day. These will launch alongside the Pixel 3 phones on 1 November and will be available from Telstra stores and online.

Google Pixel 3 review: the most helpful smartphone you can buy

Devices

Posted on October 19, 2018

3 min read


Google’s latest and greatest smartphone, the Pixel 3, is out in our stores on November 1. But what’s new, and what’s exciting about the newest Android smartphone from the company that makes Android itself? We reviewed the Pixel 3 XL, the larger model of the two new handsets, built around a very impressive 6.3-inch OLED screen.

Google wants to make the Pixel 3 the most helpful and most useful device in your life, and it has promised to fulfil that wish by adding in a host of new features powered by artificial intelligence. Using its huge trove of expertise in things like voice and image recognition, Google has imbued the Pixel 3 with what it says is the best camera on a smartphone, and with the power of the voice-activated Google Assistant to help you throughout your day.

A beautiful screen, and a matching design

The first thing you notice about the Google Pixel 3 is its big, bright screen. The Pixel 3 XL’s 6.3-inch flexible OLED panel has excellent contrast – this tech means black areas of the screen are properly black and bright whites are completely white, which makes everything on screen look fantastic. Its 2960×1440 pixel resolution is sharp and detailed, too, and the screen extends past the front-facing cameras with extra real estate for your notifications.

The design of the phone has been further refined since last year’s Pixel 2, with an all-glass back with a two-tone finish created by a specialised etching process on the lower portion – which looks great on all of the Just Black, Clearly White and Not Pink colour options, and makes the phone easier to grip. That glass back also means the Pixel 3 can be charged wirelessly with any Qi-certified wireless charger, like Google’s own new Pixel Stand. Both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have much-improved stereo speakers with deep, full sound – excellent for those impromptu YouTube sessions when you’re hanging out with friends.

The Pixel 3’s battery is even smarter – Adaptive Battery software gives time and energy to the apps you use, and restricts the ones you don’t, making your charge last longer as you use your Pixel 3 more. Another first for the Pixel series is that the new Google Pixel 3 is IP68 water resistant. This means that it’s certified to be fresh water resistant to a depth of 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes – although it’s still not advisable to take it swimming, because that certification is not for salt or chlorinated water.