While the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are sure to be the headliners at Google’s event this Tuesday, the company has plenty to show us as Google has utterly failed to keep seemingly anything under wraps this year.
Let’s take a look at all of the devices that Google could have in store for us this week.
Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
Given the number of leaks regarding these devices, it probably feels like there is nothing left to be said about them on stage, but there are actually a surprising number of details that remain less than 100% certain.
We know that the Pixel 3 is moving to an 18:9 screen ratio with reduced bezels and rounded edges to the 5.5-inch screen, but it otherwise bears a strong resemblance to the Pixel 2. The Pixel 3 XL, on the other hand, is perhaps regrettably joining in on the notch craze that has swept the smartphone market this year while still inexplicably retaining a fairly substantial chin.
Both devices will feature dual front-facing cameras for improved selfie performance with a wide angle and zoom available. They’ll be powered by a Snapdragon 845, although reportedly with just 4GB of RAM according to the latest leaks, for whatever software magic that Google has up its sleeves for the new Pixels. That is the one piece of the puzzle that we can’t completely fit in place just yet. Even the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were fairly unassuming devices to look at when they launched last year, it was the software that allowed Google to deliver the best smartphone camera on the market in that nondescript package.
Love it or hate it the Active Edge features will be here, allowing you to trigger different actions by squeezing the device, hopefully, this is improved from current offerings which at least in my experience trigger almost exclusively when I don’t intend it to.
After having been ahead of the pack with its devices, on Tuesday it will have been just shy of 4 years to the day since Google unveiled its last smartphone that supported wireless charging, but thankfully that wire-free power drought is set to end with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
With the triumphant return of wireless charging to Google’s smartphone line (missing since the Nexus 6), Google is apparently doing what some other smartphone makers can’t and releasing a wireless charger to go with it.
This is one of the less thoroughly leaked devices in Tuesday’s lineup, we just have a few renders to go on, but the rumor also suggests that the charger will trigger an ambient mode that can display photos, notifications, and perhaps allow you to use Google Assistant without unlocking your phone. Essentially this would turn your phone into a Smart Display Mini, which would make for a pretty compelling addition to a desk or bedside table.
Google Home Hub
Speaking of Smart Display, Google is rumored to be stepping into this market themselves after giving their partners like Lenovo and JBL a few months head start. The Smart Display platform is pretty well defined by Google, so it’ll be interesting to see how they might try to differentiate themselves from the devices that we’ve already seen other than pure cosmetics.
Part of setting expectations is what we shouldn’t expect to see and a Google/Pixel Watch isn’t in the cards for this event as Google confirmed to Tom’s Guide back in August that the company is entirely focused on the Google Wear software experience this year and wouldn’t be releasing any hardware of its own.
One product that we’ve heard basically nothing about are the Pixel Buds, Google’s not so wireless earbuds from last year fell a little short of expectations so it’s safe to say they could use an update if they are looking to remain relevant in 2018 and beyond. Given Google’s complete inability to keep hardware under wraps this year it is unfortunately hard to see a major redesign of the Pixel Buds having slipped through the cracks, so perhaps they’ve punted this project to next year.
What we will certainly have is a new pair of packed in USB-C wired Pixel Buds in the box with the new Pixels.
Android tablets may not be dead, but they are certainly on life support, but with Chrome OS support for Android apps it seems plausible that Chrome OS tablets could step in as the solution to Android’s tablet problem. Google’s offering looks to be taking on the high end with a detachable keyboard option that will take on the iPad Pro and Surface Pro market.
Other rumored specs include a 3000 x 2000 resolution display, USB-C ports, and a fingerprint sensor. Multiple configurations should be available, topping out around 16GB of RAM with an Intel i7 processor, so again suffice to say this isn’t going to be a budget device, this is definitely following the Pixelbook model rather than the old budget Android tablet days of the Nexus 7.
And for those that are happy to stick with a standard laptop design, the Pixelbook is due for another refresh, but this is more likely to be a spec bump rather than a true redesign. The one potentially juicy update for the Pixelbook would be a 4K UHD display, rumors of such a device have been swirling since last April.
The Chromecast hasn’t seen any major updates in years and it doesn’t seem like this is going to be the event where that changes. Much like the Pixel 3, this one actually slipped into a customer’s hands somehow thanks to Best Buy, so we can expect just a matte finish to replace the old glossy model and the addition of Bluetooth.
How to Watch
If you want to be on the frontlines with us watching Google unveil all of its latest and greatest you can tune in to the Made by Google YouTube channel at 11 a.m. Eastern Daylight time this Tuesday, October 9th.
If you can’t make it live, have no fear, we’ll certainly have you covered here after the event.