As the hoards of seemingly excited Apple fans roll up for the keynotes, similarly we have the ever-increasing Google purist fan base, who rushed in today to the Pixel 2 event at San Francisco, 9:00 AM local time. The last of the many big announcements in the smartphone world for the year 2017. Please read on to find out all that happened at the Google Event this morning.
The Google daydream project is its Android VR initiative and since last year, we did get not get a much different but fairly appealing refresh of the VR headset called the daydream view. This year's model comes in three colours, Charcoal, Fog and Coral, which are ways apart from last year's colour choices, which were Slate, Snow and Crimson. Google boasts that the new View would also host newer optics and material, which would make it feel better on hand and use. The fabric changes the aesthetics as well and so does the colour selection for the controller which is now in line with the headset.
Google Pixel Buds
Google came up with Pixel buds which are comparable to the apple's wireless airpods. Though the pixel buds look and seem quite a bit more practical as they are connected using a neck string. This helps you not lose one of them.
Though the Buds don't really scream the massive technological footprint that Airpods present, they are definitely more convenient as it sits around your neck and works seamlessly with the Google Pixel phones. The buds also hold pretty well in the ear as by design, it is much different than the in-ear headphones that most of the wireless headphones have. The buds use the outer canal to hold itself in place.
With 24 hours of battery life and a price tag of $159, these will ship in November.
You can view our First Impressions article on Google Pixel Buds here.
Now, this is one of the interesting things that Google has launched. Every Time Google has always managed to surprise us with its take on hardware as well as software initiatives.
Google Clips is a portable small camera that is used to take pictures. But the interesting part is that it can be clipped onto anything, be it a bag of groceries or your shirt pocket or a pot or any item around you. The wow factor about this is mainly in the software. Google Clips is going to use machine learning to identify faces, interesting emotions, situations and decide to click pictures on its own. The thought of giving machine learning, the credibility to have your artistic shots does seem admiringly attractive. It's like having a photographer friend follow around with you, but you get to take the credit for his work. We will see how it works. It will sell for $249 but they didn't mention, as to when will, it start shipping.
Google Home Mini
So Google has now bought up its echo dot type device for the Google Home. It is pretty convenient and sits cozily in your budget. The Google Home Mini is a small speaker in various shades and works seamlessly with other Google Home devices. Now you can officially own multiple Google home devices for your house, witout burning a hole through your pocket, as it costs a meager $50. The mini is set to ship on October the 19th.
Google Home Max
Now if Google Home Mini is the small brother to Google Home, the Max is definitely the bigger sibling. The Home Max hosts two 4.5 inch woofers along with tweeters covered by Fabric speaker Grill.
This speaker is the Googles alternative to Apple Homepod. And as its a Google product, it uses machine learning to incorporate something called "Smart sound". This feature allows the Home max to use increase/decrease volume of the speaker based on the environment. Also, it adjusts the audio depending upon the type of audio being played, eg: it is all different for a podcast or a phone call or a rock song etc... The home max is a pretty loud and amazing speaker. The sound is clear and beautiful.
Also, Nest is now teaming up with Google Home in a more integrated way as it launched an array of new products which work with Google Home and also incorporates the newly introduced Google Actions API's which developers can use to ask Google to perform various actions, in response to commands.
Well, this was a surprise. Google, after a long time, has refreshed its Chromebook line and well its a new line altogether, called the Pixel book. The design is sleek and it does look sporty. The Pixelbook does come in Core i5/i7 variants.
This is a 4 in 1 convertible that can be used as a regular laptop with keyboard, a tablet, the keyboard as a kickstand or as a base. The Pixel book line works seamlessly with the pixel phone. And there is a Pixel pen which ships for $99 from 31st October.
Read more about the Google Pixelbook here.
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
And now, we finally arrive for which everyone has been waiting for the last one year. Last year's pixel phones were received with mixed feelings. A truly optimized Android software experience like never before, but in a hardware that left much to desire. This year's iteration didn't disappoint and certainly was an improvement from last year.
The Pixel 2 and the Pixel XL 2. One is a 5" OLED and the other is 6". Both are made by LG and look stunning, comparable to the LG V30. The Pixel XL adopted the bezel-less trend and is presented with a massive 6" OLED panel. This is by far the largest OLED display panel on a smartphone. One of the things inspired from iPhone is the removal of a headphone jack which might be a disappointment from fans. It has also borrowed the squeeze functionality of the HTC U11 that triggers desired actions, i.e. the Google assistant. The phone is IP67 water / dust resistant. The 5" Pixel starts at $649 and the 6" Pixel starts at $849. Pre-orders start today and shipping starts on October 13th.
Google Pixel performed outrageously well in the DxOMark rating. Learn more about the DxO Mark rating by clicking here.
Click here to read an in-depth review of the newly launched Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel XL 2.
Google is really pushing it hard against the other competitors but the biggest advantage that Google has is its versatility of Android coupled with being a leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Last year's design was not a famous choice but this year, the Pixel phones look beautiful along with the Pixelbook. Future looks pretty exciting for Google. Let's see what 2018 will have in store for us. On an end note, I'll be desperately waiting to get my hands on some of these devices and hopefully give you a review on all of these.