We’re less than 24 hours away from Google’s big event (watch it live right here). One of the biggest announcements will be the new Pixel and Pixel XL phones. We also expect to see and hear about some other cool products. There are a lot of Android-related events throughout the year, but Google events usually provide the most important news for the ecosystem. Here’s everything you can expect to see from the event.
Pixel & Pixel XL
The stars of the show will be the new Pixel and Pixel XL phones. We’ve been talking about these devices for a long time. First, we thought maybe Huawei would be making the Nexus devices for this year. It was later discovered that they decided to pass on the devices. Even the “Nexus” name was up for grabs for a while. After all of this uncertainty, we finally have some solid information.
The “Nexus” name is no more. We don’t know exactly why Google is replacing the Nexus program with “Pixel,” but it does come with more than just a name change. Nexus phones usually featured branding from the manufacturer. These new Pixel devices are being made by HTC, but the HTC logo will not be present. For all intents and purposes, these are the “Google phones” that everyone asked for. 100% Google.
As mentioned above, there will be two different sizes available. The Pixel is said to have a 5-inch 1080p display, while the Pixel XL has a larger QHD 5.5-inch screen. All of the other specs appear to be identical, which is refreshing. Thanks to a leak from Carphone Warehouse, we have a pretty good idea of what specs we will see.
Pixel Pixel XL Software Android 7.1 Android 7.1 Display 5-inch 1080p 5.5-inch QHD Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 RAM 4GB 4GB Camera Rear: 12MP
Battery 2770mAh 3450mAh Storage 32GB and 128GB 32GB and 128GB More Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C
Pretty nice specs, eh? Well, you’re going to pay for them. Premium materials and internals warrant a premium price tag (but it’s getting harder to justify with devices like the OnePlus 3). Pricing is one of the few things we don’t know for sure, but many sources have indicated that the devices won’t be cheap. We could see a starting price around $650. Google may offer financing options to make the prices more palatable.
Another thing we don’t know for sure is where you will be able to buy the devices. There were some rumblings that Verizon would be the only carrier selling units in stores, but everyone else will be able to buy them unlocked online. We expect Google to announce a wide release to go along with their big marketing campaign.
Remember Google Home? It was announced way back at Google I/O in May and we haven’t heard much about it since. In case you forgot, Google Home is a competitor to the Amazon Echo. It’s speaker/hub that lives in your home and listens for voice commands. You can do simple things like asking about the weather or more complex things like controlling your smart home gadgets.
Word on the street is that we’ll finally hear more about Google Home tomorrow. The device is rumored to cost $129, which is a nice chunk cheaper than the full-size Amazon Echo. We haven’t heard anything about launch date, but it would make sense to see it on store shelves before the big Holiday shopping bonanza.
One of the more recent rumors involves something called “Google WiFi.” Apparently, Google is set to announce a new router at the event. Unlike the OnHub, this new router will create a multi-point mesh network in your home. Instead of one central router that has to reach every corner of your house, a multi-point system uses multiple devices to blanket the area. The Eero is a good example of a multi-point system.
The rumored price for Google WiFi is $129 for each unit. More units means your network can cover a larger area. It would be very interesting if the Google WiFi routers can connect to the OnHub router. OnHub has always been a strange product from Google. We’re not sure what Google WiFi means for the future of OnHub, but for the sake of everyone that has one, we hope it doesn’t go anywhere.
Don’t forget about the Chromecast. Arguably Google’s most successful piece of hardware, the Chromecast is also due for an upgrade. The rumored Chromecast “Ultra” is said to support 4K and HDR content. Those high-end features will bring a higher price tag as well. The rumors say the Ultra will cost $70, which is quite a bit more than the $35 price we’re used to seeing.
There’s one last rumor that could end up being the biggest announcement of the event. Early last week, a few people in the know started talking about a new platform codenamed “Andromeda.” Rumors about the merging of Android and Chrome OS have been around for a while. Andromeda might finally be the platform that does it.
We don’t have a lot of details about Andromeda, just a lot of speculative tweets from people in the Android community and some #HYPE from the SVP of Android and Chrome. The new platform is said to combine elements from Android and Chrome OS for laptops and tablets. Google may even be testing Andromeda on the Nexus 9 already.
Google has always denied the merging of Android and Chrome OS, but just this year they brought Android apps to Chromebooks. Clearly, there is something going on between the two platforms. There’s a lot of mystery around Andromeda right now and there’s a very good chance we won’t hear anything about it at the event. If Google does talk about it, hold on to your butts.
Will there be any surprises?
That pretty much covers everything that has been leaked and rumored up to this point, but there could still be some surprises in tow. Android 7.1 is expected to come on the Pixel phones, but we don’t know anything about it. Google WiFi is still a big question mark. Andromeda could be mind blowing or nothing more than Android apps on Chrome OS. Virtual reality is another thing that could potentially have some stage time.
Google has their hands in a lot of stuff these days. There’s no telling what could have slipped under the radar. Do you expect any surprises from Google? If not, what are you most excited about from this list? Let us know in the poll below.