Google seems to like being last when it comes to major product announcements, but maybe saving the best for last is the way to go. Starting tomorrow at 12pm Eastern Time, their Pixel 2 event will be action packed. Along with the highly anticipated new Pixel phones, Google will announce a host of new products, from a convertible Chromebook to a cheaper Google Home. Lets take a look at everything we’re expecting.
It wouldn’t be much of a Google Pixel event without new Pixel phones, and Google has a pair from both LG and HTC. Starting with LG’s larger Pixel 2 XL, it will likely have a 6-inch AMOLED panel (18:9 aspect ratio) with front facing stereo speakers. IP67 water and dust resistance will join the show, and it’ll sport an updated design that borrows a little from Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8. Unlike the Note, however, there won’t be a headphone jack. The top two pictures were recently leaked by Evan Blass and allegedly show the final design, while the bottom four show the smaller Pixel 2.
The Pixel 2 XL will come in two colors, “Just Black” and “Black and White”, and retail for $849 (or $35.38/mo) for a 64GB model and $949 (or $39.54/mo) for a 128GB model. The latest rumors claim that it won’t be available to buy until mid-November.
The smaller Pixel 2, built by HTC, will have a 5-inch (maybe 5.5-inch) screen and also sport front facing stereo speakers. It’s not 100% clear if the aspect ratio will be 18:9 or 16:9, but the huge bezels from last year are unfortunately making a return. We’re getting three colors this time around – “Just Black”, “Clearly White” and “Kinda Blue”. They’ll also have an IP67 rating and ax the headphone jack.
The Pixel 2 will retail for $649 (or $27.04/mo) for a 64GB model and $749 (or $31.21/mo) for a 128GB model, and should be available to buy in mid-October.
An interesting software change is seen in the Blass leak, bringing the Google search bar to the bottom, just above the navigation buttons. Based on the pictures, I’m not really liking the change (is it Oreo 8.1?), but we’ll see how consumers take to it.
Next up is a new convertible Chromebook, the Pixelbook. This will be the third generation of Google’s high end Chromebook line and is rumored to be the first to have Google Assistant baked in. It’ll launch in silver only. For an additional $99, there will be a Pixelbook pen that will be pressure sensitive, have tilt support and be “lag free”.
Pricing starts at $1,199 for a 128GB model, $1,399 for a 256 GB model and $1,749 for a 512GB model. As a reminder, Samsung makes a couple of high end Chromebook convertibles starting at under $500. And a pen is included, free of charge.
Google Home is getting a little brother, the Google Home Mini, which will take on Amazon’s Echo Dot. Starting at just $49, it’ll be a much more accessible Google Assistant speaker (Google Home retails for $129). Three colors will be available at launch – “Charcoal”, “Chalk” and “Coral”. The regular Google Home has interchangeable bases, but the Mini’s will be fixed. The Mini will also have to be plugged in and won’t be wireless.
Gizmodo just posted a Walmart listing for the Mini, which has since been taken down, that claims availability will start on October 19th.
There are also credible rumors that an upgraded Google Home, the Google Home “Max”, will debut with stereo speakers and a more premium design. It seems positioned to go head to head with Apple’s new HomePod and products from Sonos for music playback quality. It’s unclear if the “Max” will be announced tomorrow, but it seems likely that it will launch relatively soon.
A new Daydream View VR headset should also be announced tomorrow, ready to take advantage of the new Pixel phones. It’ll retail for $99, which is $20 more than last year, but it will have an upgraded design and more advanced controller. The finish seems to have also been upgraded to a tougher nylon material, presumably to be more sweat resistant. Three colors will be available at launch – “Charcoal”, “Fog” and “Coral”.
And finally, there’s a chance we’ll hear more about Google Lens. This has advanced visual recognition that can potentially identify a breed of dog, species of snake or flower, etc. just by aiming your camera at it. You can also point at a storefront and Lens will provide ratings and other business information. Google claims that your smartphone camera will “understand” what it sees.
Google Lens will be integrated with Google Assistant, which opens up a lot of possibilities. For example, you can aim your camera at Japanese text and ask Assistant to translate it.
Lens was announced back in May at Google I/O and with Google Assistant showing up everywhere as of late, tomorrow would be a good time to announce a release date.
You can stream all of Google’s announcements right here starting at 12pm Eastern Time. It should be a great show.