Google unveiled a series of new hardware at the Made By Google event and introduced their newest smartphone that will no longer carry the Nexus moniker. Here are some of the things the company announced.
Google Pixel and Pixel XL is the newest smartphone announced by the firm, sporting a metallic case and a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 coated screen. These new phones are powered by Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 821 SoC, a quad-core processor, a stunning 4GB memory and 32 or 128 GB internal memory. Unlike the former Nexus phone, the Pixel phones are made in partnership with Taiwan’s HTC.
Pixel will be the first to include the Google Assistant, introduced in Allo as a preview feature and a fingerprint scanner. The phones will also include an unlimited photo and video backup via Google Photos. As an added bonus, it will save them at full resolution – a nifty deal when you’re recording at 4K resolution. This will also be Google’s first phone to support Daydream VR.
Google is keeping up with Apple in the race for cutting edge phone cameras, arming its Pixel phones with 12.3 megapixel Sony Exmoor R IMX378 sensors, with phase and laser detection auto-focus, a large 1.55 μmphotodiodes for great shots in any light, and wide f/2.0 aperture lenses for excellent low-light photo shots. The cameras support 1080p HD video at 30, 60, and 120 fps, with 4K at 30 fps. The front cameras sport an 8 MP resolution with f/2.4 fixed focus lenses.
The new phones will come in in two sizes – 5” and 5.5”. Pre-order starts at US$650 and US$ 870, respectively – a much cheaper offer than Apple and Samsung’s offering.
Daydreaming in VR
The company announced a companion VR headset for Pixel, the Daydream View, as their next entry into virtual reality. Bearing similarities to Samsung’s Gear VR, it comes with a variety of coloured fabric designs (red, grey and white) and a simple control hub.
Google also demoed their VR-capable apps on Daydream View, allowing you to watch 360 videos and movies in a virtual home theatre.
Your Home Assistant
Google is taking on Amazon with their own digital assistant device: Google Home. Announced earlier this year at Google I/O, Home can sit everywhere at your home and intuitively listens to your commands, all thanks to Google Assistant. The device contains a hi-fi speaker for smooth audio playback and connects wirelessly through Wi-Fi. Just like Amazon’s Alexa device, Home can play your favourite music, control your Google Cast-enabled devices and learn your preferences over time.
The device can be bought from the Google Store for US$129, this November 4 which is the launch date. You can also pre-order the device from Google Store.
Extend Your Network Experience
Google is also eager to continue its effort into the home network game with their Google WiFi router. Similar to their OnHub router, it will let you control it remotely, selectively block specific devices from your network, and reset your router.
The coolest thing about it is that it lets you expand your network easily by simply adding another Google WiFi device and it automatically extends your network’s reach. Or you can just simply do it with any of your old routers if you’re too savvy.
The device can be bought for US$129 at the Google Store. But if you prefer to have the three-pack offer, you can get it for just US$300. Pre-orders will start by November and shipping will begin in early December.
Streaming in 4K
Lastly, a new Chromecast device, the Chromecast Ultra, is also announced and now supports 4K video streaming while providing better performance and reliability than the older Chromecast version.
The new version will be priced higher than its predecessor, setting you back at US$69, but the 4K streaming feature is just worth the price.