A long time ago (back in November) Google opened up a Pixel pop-up on Queen Street, just around the corner from my school. Haven’t really had time to put a post together since I started my internship, but here it is now.
They hand you a Pixel 3 when you enter.
There was also a chance you could win one, but I’m incredibly unlucky and I’ve never gotten anything from a Google pop-up. In fact, even after going on 4 consecutive days I was still empty handed (I really wanted to win).
The entire store is pretty much set up just to show off new Google Lens and camera features on the Pixel 3. Think of it like a collection of photo studios, where in order to get to the next one you had to use Google Lens to answer some sort of question. I can’t say for sure because I’ve never been to one, but it’s probably like a series of low effort escape rooms.
It was super confusing once when I ended up being given a Pixel 3 XL covered in the black fabric case. It looked almost just like my own Pixel 2 XL.
The first room you enter is to show off the Night Sight feature. Works kind of like long exposure on your phone, it’s a tad aggressive with its overexposure and colour correction, but very impressive.
I took the shot above with my own Pixel 2 XL, you can barely make out the text with your own eyes when you’re there because it’s so dark, but it comes out much clearer after Google works their algorithm magic.
Above you can see a side by side comparison of the way the different phones handle the dimly lit environment. Neither of them were as accurate with their white balance as my RX100 in the dark, but they both performed quite similarly once Night Sight was turned on. I must apologize, the final Pixel 3 image is from a slightly different angle because I forgot to get that shot until I came back another day.
The next space was a narrow hallway Google used show off the new Panorama stitching (not exactly the best place to show that honestly) and how Google Lens can pull relevant info like addresses and create calendar events right from your camera, which worked much better.
Right up the stairs was another “find this album” challenge. Getting it right meant they’d turn the lights on, revealing a much larger space to your right.
Here, they show off one my favourite new features on the Pixel 3 (I too was surprised with how much I liked it). The dual front facing camera include a wide angle one, which helps so much when you want to fit people into a selfie. None of which will be posted here.
After the last flight of stairs, you return your Pixel 3 and get to browse a few other Google products.
Alas, when you’re ready (to be swindled), they ask you to go up to the back wall and pick an album. On the back is a sticker that reveals if you end up saving $1300, or if you get a consolation sticker or pin instead. It was the latter for me every time.