Google announced quite a few things at their event today in San Fransisco. We got to see the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google Home Mini and Max, Google Pixel Book which were pretty much already knew through various leaks from the interweb. They also did announce another product which didn’t get leaked: Pixel Buds and Google Clips.
Google Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were obviously the products all of us were most excited about, and although it wasn’t quite as revolutionary as we hoped it would be they did bring some cool things to the table. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL now displays of 5-inch OLED and 6-inch pOLED respectively. Following the trend of 2017, the XL comes with a significantly lesser bezel while the regular Pixel 2 still has those big chins. The specs have been upgraded as well, with a Snapdragon 835 chipset, 4 GB of RAM and an improved 12-megapixel camera which tops the Pixel DxOMark score of the Pixel by 9 closing in at 98 points in total. Although they feature a single lens camera, they can shoot potrait photos like on the iPhones and Galaxy S8 with the help of their advanced machine learning.
The Pixel 2 will be available in three color variants: Just Black, Clearly White and Kinda Blue. The 64GB Pixel 2 will cost $649, while the 128GB model will retail for $749. As for the Pixel 2 XL, there are two color options: Just Black and Black & White. The 64GB costs $849, and the 128GB costs $949. Preorders for both the phones go live today.
And oh, they no longer sport a headphone jack.
Google Home Mini & Max
The first product that Google announced was the Google Home Mini, which is a smaller smart speaker in the Google Home line. The Mini is wrapped with a premium transparent fabric that lets light and sound pass through which makes four LED lights visible through the fabric. You can tap the fabric to control music, adjust volumes or talk to your assistant. The Home Mini gives off 360-degree sound and can hear you even when the music is blasting with its advanced far-field microphones. Not many speakers of this size can do that. The Google Home Mini will be available in Coral, Chalk and Charcoal color variants and you can cop it for $49 in the US. It’s now up for preorder and will start shipping on October 18th. I’m personally really excited for this product as it gives people a chance to try out a handsfree assistant without spending huge bucks on it.
Along with the Mini, they also announced the Google Home Max which to me looks like a direct competitor to the Apple Homepod. It features dual high-excursion woofers, 0.7-inch tweeters and an acoustic brace. This no doubt will result in a loud and crisp audio output. Google talked about their new technology called Smart Sound which will adapt sound dynamically to its surroundings. This will make sure you hear the best sound no matter where you place it. Google Home Max supports online streaming services like YouTube Music, Spotify, and Pandora. More so, Google’s also giving away a year of subscription to YouTube Red with the Home Max. One cool thing that they really showed of in their video was how you can place the speakers both horizontally and vertically. The Google Home Max will be available for $399, and start shipping in December. They’ll come in Chalk and Charcoal color variants.
Google then went on to a different department by announcing the new Pixelbook: “The High Performance Chromebook”. The Pixelbook is 10.3mm in thickness and weighs just about 1.1 kilograms. Like any convirtibles today, you can use it as either a tablet or a laptop. The specs look pretty good for a chromebook with a a 12.3-inch Quad HD LCD touchscreen, Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 512GB of internal storage and 10 hours of battery life. The Pixelbook comes with the full-fledged PlayStore and is the first laptop with Google Assistant. It actually has a button dedicated for triggering Google Assistant which is pretty neat. They also introduced the Pixelbook Pen which will be accompanying the Pixelbook which is pretty much like most of the smart stylus’s today.
The Pixelbook starts at $999 and the Pixelbook Pen accessory will sell for $99. Preorders start today, while the laptop will start shipping on October 31st.
If you cared enough about Google Daydream, there’s something for you today. The new Google Daydream View headset allows you to pair it with Daydream-ready phones. It features high-performance lenses for better clarity and a wider field of view.
They’re available in three colors: Fog, Charcoal and Coral. It’s currently up for pre-order and will run you 99 USD.
Google Pixel Buds
Google also announced a new pair of wireless earphones called the Pixel Buds. Although they aren’t truly wireless, they do in most ways compete with the Apple Airpods. They automatically connect to your Android phone and offer up to 24 hours of listening time upon full charge. They also make simple tasks more accessible with gesture controls. You can do things like swipe forward or backward on the earphone touchpad to control your music.
The most highlighting and impressive part about it was the live translation feature. Google actually showed a demo of the Pixel Buds translating speech in real time between two people speaking Swedish and English. They’ll support several languages like Spanish, French, Chinese, Nepali and so on.
But the most impressive demo that Google showed off had the Pixel Buds translating speech in real time between two people speaking two different languages. The Pixel Buds come in three colors (Just Black, Clearly White and Kinda Blue), at 159 USD and will be available in November.
At last, Google introduced the Google Clips. It’s a hands-free camera that’s small and easy to carry around. It uses artificial intelligence to capture intimate moments that you can’t quite manage to click on your own. It’s not always ideal to carry our phone, look at the viewfinder and to try and frame a picture. It’s also useful for times when it’s cumbersome to wait for the perfect shot. Google Clips, with the help of AI, recognizes these intimate moments and automatically captures photos for you. You can of course also press the shutter button on the device or on the app if needed.
It’ll soon be available in the US for $249.
Besides the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, I’m really excited to try out the Google Home Mini. I’ve been looking forward to stepping into the home automation game and this might just be my first step. What was your favorite announcement from the event? Let me know what you guys think.
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