The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones might have been the stars of today’s big Google event, but the tech giant also introduced a wide range of other products covering everything from virtual reality to AI-controlled cameras. Plenty of leaks were confirmed, as expected, but Google remarkably managed to sneak a few surprises into the event as well. Here’s a quick rundown of the most noteworthy products to cross the stage today.
The Google Pixel 2/Google Pixel 2 XL
Let’s start with the obvious. The Android Oreo-powered Google Pixel 2 and the Google PIxel 2 XL come with 5.5-inch and 6-inch displays respectively, and the XL comes with a nifty curved plastic OLED display that stretches almost to the phone’s edges. Google claims the screen size is the only way the two phones differ in general user experience, which is great because that means owners of both phones can enjoy neat features such as squeezing the phone to take a selfie. Much as with the iPhone 8, the Pixel’s 8-megapixel cameras support augmented reality, along with a “Portrait” mode that blurs the backgrounds of close-up shots. But, sorry headphone lovers, the jack is gone. Both phones are now available for preorder, with the Pixel 2 starting at $649/£629/AU$1,079 and the 128GB Pixel 2 XL starting at $849/£799/AU$1,399.
It turns out the long-rumored Pixelbook was a Chromebook, after all. It’s also a tablet if you want it to be, as the design allows you to switch effortlessly from tablet to laptop and to a tent display for interacting with the 12.3-inch touchscreen on a table. You’ll get around 10 hours of battery life from the device, as well as access to Google Assistant.
If you talk to Google Assistant, it’ll give a voice response, but if you type out a question, it’ll give you a silent, written response so you’re not bothering everyone around you. Optionally, you can also pick up a $99 (about £75/AU$126) stylus that was created from a partnership with Wacom.
Preorders open today for the device, which starts at $999/£1,199 (about AU$1,270). You can also get a high-end version for $1,649/£1,699 (about AU$2,097) with more RAM and an Intel i7 processor.
Google Home Mini/Google Home Max
Google announced two new varieties of the Google Home assistant today, including the smaller Mini, which aims to compete with the Amazon Echo Dot. The sound is reportedly impressive for so small a device, and you can activate it with a single tap. You’ll be able to get it at major retailers for just $49/£49/$AU79 on October 19 in the US and UK in either gray, black, or coral.
On the larger side of things, the Google Home Max looks as though it will compete with Apple’s upcoming Siri-powered HomePod. The Max offers similarly built-in support for Google Assistant, as well as a stereo speaker with two 4-5 inch woofers. When it goes on sale for $399 (about £300, AU$500) in December, you’ll be able to buy it in either white or black.
Google Daydream View
Google is still chasing the virtual reality dream, and to that end it announced a new version of last year’s Daydream View virtual reality headset with better straps and a wider viewing area. Unfortunately, you'll only be able to use it with the Pixel 2, the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Samsung Note 8, and the LG V30. In a nod to the colors for the Google Home devices, you’ll be able to get it in gray, black, and coral. You’ll be able to buy it in November for $99/£99/AU$149, which marks a $20 increase from last year’s model.
Google Pixel Buds
The Pixel Buds are Google’s new wireless Bluetooth headphones, which should come in handy considering that the Pixel 2 doesn’t support standard headphones. But they’re more than just headphones – the Pixel buds also allow for speedy access to Google Assistant and relay notifications and messages aloud through the speakers. For that matter, Google claims they can use Google Translate to translate foreign languages in real time.
The buds are available in blue, white, and black, and come with a charging case that offers around 24 hours’ worth of power. The buds themselves last around five hours on a charge. Preorders start today, but the the $159/£159/$AU249 headphones won’t ship until November.
Google Clips Camera
One of the event’s biggest surprises was the announcement of the artificial intelligence-powered Google Clips camera, which automatically takes photos of subjects it finds “interesting.” That could mean anything from people smiling to dogs chasing toys, and it’ll apparently get smarter about these subjects over time. Photos automatically upload to Google Photos, and an in effort to avoid wiretapping concerns, it only records soundless video. You can attach the 12-megapixel device to almost anything, including your clothes.
When it goes on sale sometime in the near future, you’ll be able to pick one up for $249 (about £188/AU$317).