Google and Australia’s telecommunications carriers have unveiled their Google Pixel 3 pricing alongside pre-orders ahead of launch on October 18.
Buying the Pixel 3 outright from Google Store in Australia costs AU$1,199 for the 64GB model and AU$1,349 for the 128GB model, while the Pixel 3 XL costs AU$1,349 and AU$1,499 for the 64GB and 128GB model, respectively.
By contrast, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL start at $799 and $899, respectively, from Verizon and Google Store in the United States.
The Pixel 3 handset features a 5.5-inch screen while the XL model comes with a 6.3-inch display. Both devices are kitted out with a 12.2-megapixel rear-facing camera; two 8-megapixel front-facing cameras; 4GB of memory; Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor; stereo speakers that are 40 percent louder than previous iterations; and wireless charging.
The smartphone comes in three colours: Black, white, and “not pink”.
Read also: Pixel 3 vs iPhone XS or Galaxy Note 9: 5 reasons to go with Google’s phone
Including handset repayments, the minimum spend per month for the new handsets on each telco are:
MAXIMUM DATA INCLUSIONS
If you make your choices based on the highest possible data inclusions:
Under its new simplified plans, unveiled in July as part of the Telstra2022 strategy, the Pixel 3 handsets are available on 24-month plans that include a Google Home Mini at the following price points from Telstra:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$94 for 3GB data; AU$104 for 10GB data; AU$109 for 30GB data; AU$124 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$104 for 3GB data; AU$114 for 10GB data; AU$121 for 30GB data; AU$129 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$104 for 3GB data; AU$114 for 10GB data; AU$121 for 30GB data; AU$129 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$109 for 3GB data; AU$119 for 10GB data; AU$129 for 30GB data; AU$139 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
On Telstra’s mobile-leasing plans, the phones cost:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$84 for 3GB data; AU$94 for 10GB data; AU$99 for 30GB data; AU$119 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$94 for 3GB data; AU$104 for 10GB data; AU$111 for 30GB data; AU$119 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$94 for 3GB data; AU$104 for 10GB data; AU$111 for 30GB data; AU$119 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$99 for 3GB data; AU$109 for 10GB data; AU$119 for 30GB data; AU$129 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
The top-end plans also include Peace of Mind data and one 12-month Foxtel Now starter pack, along with international roaming data and calls to various destinations.
The Pixel 3 handsets are available at the following price points from Optus on 24-month contracts:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$64 for 4GB data; AU$80 for 20GB data; AU$90 for 50GB data; AU$105 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$78 for 4GB data; AU$90 for 20GB data; AU$100 for 50GB data; AU$115 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$78 for 4GB data; AU$90 for 20GB data; AU$100 for 50GB data; AU$115 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$88 for 4GB data; AU$100 for 20GB data; AU$110 for 50GB data; AU$125 for 200GB data; and AU$130 for 200GB data
On Optus’ mobile-leasing plans, the phones cost:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$58 for 4GB data; AU$65 for 20GB data; AU$85 for 50GB data; AU$105 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$68 for 4GB data; AU$80 for 20GB data; AU$90 for 50GB data; AU$105 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$68 for 4GB data; AU$80 for 20GB data; AU$90 for 50GB data; AU$105 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$78 for 4GB data; AU$90 for 20GB data; AU$100 for 50GB data; AU$115 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
All Optus plans include unlimited calls and texts; the top four plans include unlimited international calls and texts to 35 countries; and the top three include international roaming ranging between 2GB and 6GB.
Optus also pointed to its content holdings of the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League, along with National Geographic; data-free streaming of Spotify, Google Play Music, and iHeartRadio; and AU$5 per month data streaming across Netflix, Stan, and ABC iView.
Vodafone is offering the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL at the following pricing on its 12-month plans:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$134.91 for 4GB data; AU$144.91 for 20GB data; AU$159.91 for 60GB data; and AU$179.91 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$147.41 for 4GB data; AU$157.41 for 20GB data; AU$172.41 for 60GB data; and AU$192.41 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$147.41 for 4GB data; AU$157.41 for 20GB data; AU$172.41 for 60GB data; and AU$192.41 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$159.91 for 4GB data; AU$169.91 for 20GB data; AU$184.91 for 60GB data; and AU$204.91 for 150GB data
On its 24-month plans, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL cost:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$80.45 for 4GB data; AU$81.45 for 20GB data; AU$98.95 for 60GB data; and AU$118.95 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$87.70 for 4GB data; AU$97.70 for 20GB data; AU$106.70 for 60GB data; and AU$119.20 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$87.70 for 4GB data; AU$97.70 for 20GB data; AU$105.20 for 60GB data; and AU$119.20 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$97.45 for 4GB data; AU$107.45 for 20GB data; AU$120.45 for 60GB data; and AU$140.45 for 150GB data
Lastly, Vodafone is charging the following on its 36-month plans:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$65.30 for 4GB data; AU$69.30 for 20GB data; AU$85.80 for 60GB data; and AU$105.80 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$69.97 for 4GB data; AU$79.97 for 20GB data; AU$90.97 for 60GB data; and AU$105.47 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$69.97 for 4GB data; AU$79.97 for 20GB data; AU$89.97 for 60GB data; Aand AU$105.47 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$76.63 for 4GB data; AU$86.63 for 20GB data; AU$100.13 for 60GB data; and AU$120.13 for 150GB data
Vodafone earlier this year also launched its mobile Pass add-ons that allow for unlimited non-metered use of a selection of sites at 1.5Mbps.
At an additional AU$15 per month cost, Vodafone users can endlessly stream from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Stan; for AU$10 each month, users can stream music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, and SoundCloud; endless data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterst can be purchased for AU$10 a month; and the text elements of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, along with text and call parts of Viber, can be used at 1.5Mbps for AU$5 a month.
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Rivian EV configurator opens to all – R1S and R1T Launch Edition sold out
Rivian has thrown open access to its online configurator, meaning you no longer need to have a reservation for the R1T or R1S in order to customize your perfect electric truck. Set to begin manufacturing and deliveries next year, the two EVs share the same platform – the R1T having a pickup body, while the R1S is a full-size SUV – though are likely to appeal to different markets.
We saw the first results of the configurator last week, when Rivian granted access to those who had paid the $1,000 deposit to stake a place in line. In the process it confirmed some of the options that buyers will be able to pick from, including multiple paint finishes, different interior trims, and some of the more unusual accessories.
The R1T, for example, can be equipped with a slide-out mini kitchen for camping. That has a sink – with a water tank and pump that’s powered by the trunk’s own battery – along with an induction stove for cooking. Rivian even has a custom set of prep and cookware from Snow Peak to go with it.
Arguably more useful every day, meanwhile, is the Max Pack battery. Offered only on the R1T pickup, it’s not inexpensive at $10,000, but it boosts the estimated range from the standard 300+ miles to 400+ miles. Final EPA-certified range is unlikely to be confirmed until next year, closer to the R1T’s summer release.
While it’s nice to be able to tinker with the configurator, there’s also some bad news if you were hoping for a R1S or R1T Launch Edition. Reservations for that special trim are now full, Rivian has confirmed, closing the order books on the very first examples of the two EVs. Priced at $75,000 for the pickup, and $77,500 for the SUV, the Launch Edition is prety much a maxed-out example of each, and offers exclusive options like Launch Green paintwork.
It means that, if you didn’t get your order in already, you’ve some wait ahead of you. The two mainstream trims for both EVs – the entry-level Explore and the better-equipped Adventure – are both available to order, but deliveries aren’t expected to begin until January 2022.
Before then, we may have heard more about some of Rivian’s upcoming competition. Ford’s all-electric F-150 is due in the next couple of years, the first time the bestselling pickup will be offered in a fully-electric form. Chevrolet, meanwhile, has an electric pickup in the works too, GM confirmed last week, tapping the automaker’s new Ultium platform.
NHTSA: GM must recall 6m pickups and SUVs over Takata airbag danger
GM will be forced to recall almost 6 million vehicles to repair potentially dangerous Takata airbags, after losing a years-long battle with the NHTSA to avoid the hugely expensive repairs. The automaker had argued that the recall – which covers some of its most popular SUVs and pickups – was unnecessary, given it had undertaken third-party tests to show that the airbag inflaters were not prone to dangerous or abnormal explosions.
The Takata airbag saga has become the most significant vehicle recall incident in the US, and forced the most manufacturer recalls. Commonly used across multiple brands, the inflators are designed to trigger in a crash and rapidly inflate the airbags themselves to support vehicle occupants.
However the chemicals inside the flawed inflators can degrade over time, particularly in conditions of high heat or high humidity. That in turn can cause an increase in force beyond the intended specifications, shattering the metal canister and releasing a spray of dangerous shrapnel as a result. There have been 27 deaths blamed on the inflators worldwide, 18 of which have been in the US, and hundreds of injuries.
GM’s argument was that the vehicles – based on the GMT900 platform from brands like Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC, and including the Avalanche, Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT, Sierra 1500, Sierra 2500/3500, Silverado 1500, Silverado 2500/3500, Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, and Yukon XL – actually used different inflator designs, integrated in different ways. It undertook third-party testing by Northrop Grumman’s OATK, among others, in the hope of demonstrating to the NHTSA that, unlike with other manufacturers, a full recall wasn’t necessary.
Now, after a four year back-and-forth between automaker and agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has denied GM’s request. “After reviewing GM’s consolidated petition, supporting materials, and public comments,” the agency said today, “NHTSA has concluded that GM has not met its burden of establishing that the defect is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and denies the petition.”
The decision will impact approximately 5.9 million vehicles, from model years 2007 through to 2014. Estimates peg the total cost to GM at $1.2 billion.
Despite GM’s validation of its changes to the Takata design and implementation, the NHTSA deemed the risk still too high. “Given the severity of the consequence of propellant degradation in these air bag inflators – the rupture of the inflator and metal shrapnel sprayed at vehicle occupants – a finding of inconsequentiality to safety demands extraordinarily robust and persuasive evidence,” Jeffrey M. Giuseppe, Associate Administrator for Enforcement at the agency, wrote. “What GM presents here, while valuable and informative in certain respects, suffers from far too many shortcomings, both when the evidence is assessed individually and in its totality, to demonstrate that the defect in GMT900 inflators is not important or can otherwise be ignored as a matter of safety.”
The automaker now has 30 days to submit a proposed schedule of how it plans to notify owners of the affected vehicles, and how it will launch and operate the recall process.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E official EPA range confirmed
Ford has final EPA range figures for its upcoming 2021 Mustang Mach-E, and there’s good news for those waiting for the imminent all-electric crossover. While the company had estimated range numbers for the new EV back when it unveiled it in late 2019, they’ve only been certified by the Environmental Protection Agency today. Turns out, Ford’s predictions were almost exactly on the dot.
The automaker had been targeting 230 miles for the Mustang Mach-E standard range RWD configuration, and 300 miles for the extended range RWD version. The EPA says that’s the case, as is it the 270 mile rating of the Mustang Mach-E extended range eAWD car.
The Mustang Mach-E standard range eAWD actually did ever so slightly better in its official rating. Ford had promised 210 miles; the EPA ranks it at 211 miles. Final testing for the Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 version of the electric crossover is still underway, with that configuration estimated at 300 miles.
It’s a note of good news in the final few weeks before Mustang Mach-E cars actually arrive with preorder customers. Ford says that customer deliveries should start in December 2020, though high-end versions of the EV – like the Mustang Mach-E GT – aren’t expected until 2021.
Though the range figures aren’t exactly the largest in the category, Ford’s argument has been that there’s more to driver satisfaction than just a big number. For a start, there’s ease of recharging. With up to 150 kW charging support (or 110 kW on the entry-level Select trim), assuming you can find a DC fast charger you should be able to add 52-61 miles of range in 10 minutes, depending on drivetrain configuration. Using the FordPass Charging Network, effectively an umbrella access several different third-party networks like Electrify America, actually finding those stations should be more straightforward too.
The Mustang Mach-E will be one of the few electric vehicles in the US to support Plug&Charge, too. That means, at a compatible charger such as those offered by Electrify America, drivers won’t even need to scan a card to begin the charging session. Instead, that digital handshaking – including authenticating the driver’s account – will all be done between the EV and the charger.
Ford’s other push has been around a more accurate range estimate for the dashboard. Range anxiety, after all, isn’t just about total miles of driving left, but uncertainty about whether the number displayed is actually accurate. Ford plans to not only use data from the individual EV itself, but crowdsource better estimates between cars.
The first iteration of Ford Intelligent Range will take into account things like past driver behavior and forecasted weather as it calculates how much driving you’ll be able to do before a recharge. Later, though, Ford plans to light up range data sharing, which will use the EV’s embedded modem to give anonymized feedback of how battery use was affected by things like speed, terrain, and climate conditions. That way, if your journey is going to take you on a new route where other Mustang Mach-E drivers have used more energy than might be expected for one reason or another, the car will proactively take that into account.
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