Google announced several new products at its October 4th event, including the Pixel 2 and Home Mini. Here’s everything you missed!
For Android fanboys, Google’s special events are usually the kind of hype one needs after Apple sweeps through a new product lineup – and the Cupertino company didn’t disappoint this year with the reveal of the spicy and expensive iPhone X.
Google may have well taken one of those points to heart yesterday, where it not only unveiled the pricey Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but further revealed the Google Home Mini, Home Max, and even the Pixelbook and newly-minted Clips.
If you happened to miss yesterday’s event, here’s everything you need to know!
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
Android fans may have been expecting a slinkier champion this time around, and unfortunately it would seem that apart from an 18:9 display, the Pixel 2 brings more of the same.
This year, the Pixel 2 arrives with a 5″ edge-to-edge display while the Pixel 2 XL benefits from a larger 6″ screen. Both phones accommodate an aluminium body, rear-facing fingerprint scanner, and a total lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack – something Google ribbed Apple over at the reveal of the original Pixel duo last year.
While the Pixel 2 has a 1080p screen, the Pixel 2 XL benefits from a QHD+ resolution. In terms of special features, both handsets accommodate Edge Sense – through which consumers can summon Assistant through a squeeze – as well as Google Lens, which can be used to recognise information such as phone numbers and addresses automatically.
More generally, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL carry Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64 or 128GB of internal storage, and debut with Android 8.0 O on board. Both handsets carry the same 12.2-megapixel primary camera with an 8-megapixel selfie unit.
The Pixel 2 inherits a 2,700mAh battery, while the Pixel 2 XL has a larger 3,520mAh unit.
The Pixel 2 will be priced from $649 USD upwards, while the Pixel 2 XL will fetch the hefty price tag of $849 USD.
Google Home Mini and Home Max
Last year Google unveiled the lounge-bound Home to much fanfare, as the company moved to directly compete with Amazon’s emerging Echo units.
Now, as Google faces increasing competition from the likes of Samsung, Apple, and even Sonos, the company has revised its Home lineup to accommodate two new offerings.
The Home Mini is Google’s warning shot to the likes of Amazon’s Echo dot. Shaped like a hamburger bun, the unit is focussed on proving affordable access to Home’s voice smarts. The unit is set to cost just $49 USD, and will be available in coral, chalk, and charcoal.
Of course, it would be remiss of Google not to tackle Apple’s HomePod, and to that end the company revealed the Home Max; a larger, rectangular speaker that can fire sound with 20x more power than the original Google Home.
Focussing as both a home for Assistant and a cunning speaker in its own right, Home Max leverages Smart Sound to tailor itself to acoustic environments. The unit is set to retail for $399 USD, and is available in chalk or charcoal.
Ready to drop a hot dollar on a Chromebook? Google officially launched its flagship Pixelbook, which takes the fight directly to Microsoft’s Surface lineup – particularly the Surface Laptop.
The Pixelbook arrives with a 12.3″ screen that can rotate 360 degrees, and both fully supports Google Play and Google Assistant. For the latter, users can either summon Assistant through a wake word or a hardware key.
The Pixelbook is remarkable in the sense that it is no performance slouch – the unit accommodates either an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of memory, and charges through USB Type-C.
The Pixelbook comes bundled with the newly minted Pixel Pen – the former will cost $999 USD, while the latter is an optional extra at $99 USD.
You guessed it – not only has Google debuted a set of earbuds directly marketed in conjunction with Assistant, it’s also issued a parting shot to Apple’s AirPods.
The Pixel Buds arrive with one unique capability, however – the headsets feature Google Translate smarts when coupled with a Pixel 2 or Pixel XL, letting users translate languages in real time like something out of Star Trek.
The Pixel Buds support gestures, meaning that users can tap the side to pause or play music, or swipe forward or backwards to change the volume of a track. The units are set to retail from $159 USD.
Perhaps the most bizarre product Google decided to launch at its October 4th event was Clips; an AI-powered smart camera that is capable of being worn and automatically detecting moments out of your day that you may well wish to preserve.
Clips can capture moments as stills, videos, or GIFs, and can then ferry these images to a mobile device over Wi-Fi. Clips is set to retail from $249 USD.
Google issued another update to the VR headset that nobody really seems to care about – this time offering a wider field of view for a better viewing experience, while subtle design changes ensure that the headset will remain on one’s face and not on the floor.
The unit is set to debut for $99 USD, and will be joined by a new YouTube VR series that will bolster the existing 250 content pieces the company already offers.
Have your say!
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