Man, oh man. Google showed off a LOT of new products at its event in California today, but not everyone has time to sit down and watch the 2-hour long presentation to see what’s coming to the market directly from Google. So to help everyone out, we’re here to condense everything and let you know what you missed.
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
The obvious announcement today was the introduction of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. These devices replace last year’s Pixel lineup, while offering some upgrades in hardware externally and internally. Both devices are powered by the Snapdragon 835 chipset, which has powered many of 2017’s flagship devices, while also being coupled with 4GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage.
Both devices also come equipped with the same camera sensors on either the front or back, making for a unified experience regardless of which device you decide to pick up. The front sensor comes in at 8MP with a f/2.4 aperture, while the rear sensor comes in at 12MP with an aperture of f/1.8 along with dual-LED flash, OIS, and EIS built-in.
Speaking of the rear camera, these new devices have a big standard to live up to after the Pixel and Pixel XL were rated as the best camera of last year, including the highest rating ever by DxOMark. Well, the rating system has returned with the new Pixel 2 and 2 XL, with DxOMark giving this camera a rating of 98, which is again the highest ever, and 4 full points higher than that of the iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
Moving to the differences, the Pixel 2 features a 5-inch FHD AMOLED display, with a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio and the ugly bezels that were included on the original Pixel. As for the Pixel 2 XL, we have a 6-inch P-OLED display, with a 2:1 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2880 x 1440. Since the Pixel 2 XL features a larger 2:1 display, Google has curved the edges and trimmed up the bezels leaving just a little bit of space for the dual front-firing speakers.
Battery life has always been a point of contention, and the Pixel 2 comes packed with a 2,700mAh battery, while the Pixel 2 XL comes equipped with a 3,520mAh battery which is even larger than its predecessor. In fact, Google has claimed that you’ll be able to get 7 hours of battery after charging for just 15 minutes.
The other biggest addition to the Pixel 2 and 2 XL is the addition of the squeezable frame, which has been named Active Edge. This allows you to simply squeeze the frame of your device and quickly activate Google Assistant before asking it to perform a task. We’ve already seen something similar come with the HTC U11, and considering the fact that HTC is the OEM for the smaller Pixel 2, this move makes sense.
As for pricing and availability, the Pixel 2 starts at $649 for the 64GB model while the Pixel 2 XL starts at $849 for the 64GB model. There are also 128GB variants that can be purchased for an extra $100 for either device. The Pixel 2 will come in three color options – Kinda Blue, Just Black, and Clearly White. The Pixel 2 XL comes in just two color options with Black & White, and a Just Black option.
Pre-orders for both devices opened today through the Google Store, Verizon, Project Fi, and Best Buy, with shipping to commence on October 19th. Oh, and for a limited time, Google is throwing in a free Google Home Mini for anyone who buys either the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL.
- 7 reasons I’m passing on the Pixel 2 this year [OPINION]
- Pixel 2’s unlimited Google Photos deal has a limit after all
- Best Buy is offering $100 off the Verizon Pixel 2
- Here’s how Google built the camera inside the Pixel 2 [VIDEO]
- Win a Google Pixel 2/XL! [GIVEAWAY]
Google Pixel Buds
So now that the speculation surrounding a headphone jack can be put to bed, Google decided to exclude the 3.5mm headphone jack from both Pixel 2 models, in favor of using either a dongle or the new Pixel Buds. The Google Pixel Buds are a set of Bluetooth headphones that are Google’s response to Apple’s AirPods.
No, these aren’t completely wireless, as there is a single braided cable that will rest on your neck. However, the fun here really comes when you look at what these are capable of. During the announcement, Google showed off some translation capabilities, making it possible for you to have a FLUID conversation with someone speaking a completely different language. This translation is done in real-time and will make life much easier for those who travel abroad.
The right earbud holds all of the gesture support which allows you to activate Assistant or control your music with just a gesture. As for battery life, Google claims these are rated for 5 hours of usage, but the included case will give you up to 24 hours of usage before needing to recharge the case.
Finally, another huge feature here is “Fast Pair” which will automatically pair the Pixel Buds with any device rocking Android Nougat above just by opening the case. This type of technology has already been seen with Apple’s AirPods, but this marks the first option for Android users to quickly pair without fumbling with buttons and menus.
The Pixel Buds are priced at $159 while coming in three color options – Kinda Blue, Just Black, and Clearly White. Shipping is expected to begin this November.
- Google Pixel Buds: First Impressions [VIDEO]
- Google Pixel Buds vs Apple AirPods: Which is the best option?
After Google was finished showing off its new phones, the company took a turn to take a look at virtual reality. With last year’s Pixel lineup, the Daydream View VR headset was introduced and a new version will be making its way to storefronts alongside the Pixel 2.
This updated Daydream View headset features a slightly improved design, including new lenses for better field-of-view during usage, along with a built-in heatsink to help avoid your brand new phone from overheating while experiencing VR on the go. There is also a new strap that can go across the top of your head to make things more comfortable when you’re using the Daydream View for long periods of time. And when you’re done using it, a holster on the strap makes it easy to tuck away the remote until you’re ready to go again.
The new Google Daydream View is priced at $99, and is compatible with any Daydream-compatible device including the recently launched Galaxy Note 8, and others.
Google Home Mini
Now for the move to new Google Home products. The Google Home Mini got things kicked off, but thanks to some well-timed leaks, we already knew what was coming, including price, design, and more.
Priced at just $50, it’s clear that Google is ready to take Amazon head on with this Echo Dot competitor. The Google Home Mini features 4 LED’s across the top, which has been covered in a fabric that is likely to get dirty or dusty if it’s not at least cleaned a few times a week.
Regardless, the plan here is for Google to put Assistant in every room of your home, and at this extremely low price point, it makes life much easier. Plus, you won’t have to worry about forking out a boatload of dough just to get the Assistant that you want and need.
- You’ll get a free Google Home Mini with every Pixel 2 purchase
- Google is hosting pop-up shops for Pixel devices and free Google Home Mini’s
- Google Home Mini vs Amazon Echo Dot: Which is best?
Google Home Max
From the budget-minded to those with a seemingly endless bank account. While the Google Home Mini is designed to take on the Amazon Echo Dot, it’s extremely clear that the Google Home Max is aimed at the Apple HomePod which was announced back at WWDC 2017.
The problem lies within the price point, as the Home Max is priced at $399, while the HomePod is *just* $349. While Google did a pretty good job at showcasing the Home Max with its upcoming TV advert, it’s tough to tell exactly who this speaker is for.
Nonetheless, the Home Max comes equipped with two 4.5-inch woofers, along with far-field microphones which make it easy to get in touch with Google Assistant, even if you’re already bumping up the music. Additionally, the Home Max features “Smart Sound” technology which allows the speaker to automatically adapt to its location, providing the best music experience, regardless of the situation.
Google Home Max is priced at $399 and will be arriving sometime in December and Google will be giving owners 12 months of YouTube Red for free.
One announcement that wasn’t all that exciting was the new Google Pixelbook. The Pixelbook is the successor to the widely-popular Chromebook Pixel which was last released back in 2015, but hasn’t been updated since.
This new Chromebook features a Pixel-style design, complete with the glass window along the top of the rear casing, and aluminum embodying the rest of the case, including the keyboard. However, the design isn’t all of the story as Google Assistant will be making its debut in Chrome OS thanks to the Pixelbook and a dedicated Assitant key that will let you enter any query with ease.
For an extra $99, you can pick up the Wacom-powered Pixelbook pen which is said to feature 2,000 levels of pressure sensitivity and a response time of just 10ms. Plus, you can use the Pixelbook Pen to circle items on your touch-sensitive display, and then Google Assistant will help you find whatever bits of information that you may need.
The Pixelbook itself is priced at $999 for the base model, which is powered by the Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. If you want to opt for some more storage, you can do so for an extra $200 for the 256GB model. However, there is an ultra-powerful option which comes equipped with 16GB of storage, a 512GB NVMe hard drive, and the Intel Core i7 processor, and that will set you back $1,649 when the Pixelbook launches on October 31st.
The final product announced today was completely out of left field. Google Clips is an AI-driven smart camera, which will automatically take pictures and videos for you. Clips is definitely geared at parents or proud pet owners, as the camera will automatically capture moments without needing to take out your phone or fuss with any buttons.
Unfortunately, video clips won’t have any sound as Google has left out any microphones, likely to avoid any wiretapping or awkward situations in the future. Nonetheless, you can basically just turn on Google Clips, leave it standing somewhere, and let Google’s powerful AI do its thing and get some excellent shots that likely wouldn’t have been possible before.
Google Clips is priced at $249 from the Google Store, but it seems there is no mention of a specific release date. However, you can join the waitlist if you’re interested in snagging one for your family.
Whew. Google has definitely been hard at work over the last year developing all-new products to enhance our lives, but without a doubt, my favorite is that sexy Black & White Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel Buds are a close second for me, as I have been hoping for Google to offer something similar to the AirPods, but geared for the Android faithful.
Let us know what your favorite product from today was, and if you’ll be picking anything up!