The wait is over! The day for the Google Pixel 2 event has come. It’s a big day for the company, which is expected to reveal its new pair of flagship smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
They’ll be the first new phones from the company in a year, since the original Pixel came out last August. It’s also the first we’ve heard from Google’s hardware team since they sort-of acquired HTC two weeks ago, bringing the team who built the Pixel in-house. Google Home was also a major topic of buzz at the event.
The Pixel 2 is here!
The phones look like we expected: the smaller phone has a rather chunky, iPhone 8-style bezel, but with an OLED screen, while the XL phone has a full-screen display, more like the iPhone X or Galaxy S8. Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL revealed with edge-to-edge screen and no home button
“Feel free to choose whichever size pixel you want, because we don’t set aside better features for the larger device”, Queiroz says, in a diss at the iPhones
It comes in two sizes, a 5” and a 6” XL, and we’re back to the buzzwords for today: “the best of hardware, software and AI”. Google’s borrowed an idea from HTC. And you can now squeeze the phone to enable the assistant. Which Ellis does, then takes a selfie.
More interestingly, the Pixel 2 camera has a portrait mode, like the iPhone Pluses, but thanks to Google’s “computational photography”, it can do it with just one camera. That means can take a high depth-of-field image from the selfie camera, as well as the back camera on both the large and small devices.
The Pixel 2 will cost $649, and the Pixel 2 XL $849.
Both can be pre-ordered today in six countries including US, UK and Australia, though Queiroz didn’t give a shipping date – rumour has it the XL will be shipping considerably later than the smaller Pixel.
To make up for that, perhaps, Pixel 2 owners will get a free Google Home Mini for a limited time.
Google Home mini
- Voice Match – how Google Home can now recognise your voice. This way the Google Assistant can bring personal help to each member of your home.
- It has a new fabric, designed by Google itself, apparently, and can be connected to any chromecast enabled speaker. It comes in three colours
- If you have a Nest cam, you can ask Google Home to show your camera on your TV if you have Chromecast.
Basically, Nest has teamed up with Google to integrate Google home with Next products to achieve ease of access and security to lighting, thermostat, and cameras. It remains to see if this is implemented as elegantly as it looks on paper!
Google home Max
The Google Home Max is a supersized version of the smart home speaker.
The tech giant has announced the Home Max, a larger version of its Home smart speaker designed to compete against Apple’s HomePod and Sonos. The Home Max is a stereo speaker running Google Assistant that resembles Apple’s old Hi-Fi speaker from over a decade ago.
“Just like the Pixel reimagined the camera, we’ll do the same with sound,” Chandra says.
Home Max features two 4.5-inch woofers alongside tweeters covered by a fabric speaker grille. It also includes far-field microphones that Google says will be able to hear you when the music is playing.
It’s a small, sleek Chrome OS laptop: 10mm thick, 1kg heavy, with a fold-back screen that lets you use it as a tablet. It has a 12.3” touchscreen, and a backlit keyboard, with up to 16GB RAM and up to 512GB storage and a 10 hour battery.
You can speak to this laptop too, since it’s the first laptop with Google Assistant built in. To Vokoun’s credit, he acknowledges the weirdness, and the Pixelbook lets you type your request too. It also comes with a stylus: the Pixelbook Pen.
- Charging over USB-C, there is fast charging with a charge providing 10 hours of usage.
- Meanwhile, Google Assistant can be activated via the “Ok Google” hotword or by typing through a dedicated key.
“The next big innovation will happen at the intersection of AI, software, and hardware.”
Juston Payne comes on stage to introduce the upgraded Daydream View headset, with new lenses and new fabrics. It has more than 250 VR titles, and you can now cast your VR experience to the TV. That’ll cost $99.
Google’s also bringing out some wireless headphones. To make up for the lack
of headphone jack on the Pixel 2. Called Pixel Buds, they’re not truly wireless earbuds – they’ve got a connecting cable running between the two ears – but they do work directly with Google Assistant.
One more thing (Obviously!)
One last product from Juston: Google Clips, a lifebloggy-style camera that takes pictures automatically: “turn it on, and it captures the moment, so you can be in the moment.” Stick it to your wall while you’re playing with a pet, for instance, and the camera will snap images when you’re both in frame. It’s “coming soon” for $249.
That’s it from us at Learn2Create! Leave us a comment about your thoughts on the Pixel 2 Event.
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Check out the list of latest releases by Google in it’s product page.