Google, apart from Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, also introduced 4K enabled Chromecast, Google-branded WiFi router, first Daydream VR headset and Google Home speaker. Google’s new hardware devices are aimed to push company’s other products like YouTube to a whole new level.
The highlight here is the new Chromecast Ultra, which brings support for a higher-resolution format called 4K. The ability to stream 4K content is not new to streaming devices but Chromecast Ultra is making it really affordable. Google Chromecast Ultra will cost about $70. Google will, however, face competition from other gadgets like Xiaomi’s recently announced Mi Box and Roku when it comes to streaming devices. If you are a YouTube junkie, Google Chromecast 4K is the way to go.
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Google is also introducing a new WiFi router similar to Eero. With its new router, Google wants to improve Wi-Fi in the home, which is still a real painpoint for most. Google’s new Wi-Fi system will be modular, allowing users to add new components based on the shape of their home. Google is also pushing software to help manage the various access points for you as you move around. Google’s new WiFi router will $130 for a single unit while a three-pack is priced at $300.
Google also announced its first Daydream compatible VR headset. With Daydream, Google is making VR an integral part of Android. Google’s Daydream headset is similar to Samsung’s Gear VR in terms of design but features a separate motion controller and will be compatible with a wide array of smartphones when OEMs start supporting Daydream by default with Android 7.1 Nougat.
Google’s Daydream can be seen as a direct challenge to Facebook’s Oculus powered Gear VR, HTC ‘s Vive VR and Sony but for now it is only entering the mobile VR space. Google says 50 partners are bringing apps and games to Daydream, with more on the way. Google services such as photos, YouTube and Street View maps will also come to Daydream. Google’s ‘Daydream View’ VR headset and the controller will be out in November for $79.
Google has also introduced Home speaker, a new range of personal assistant based speaker to take on Amazon’s Alexa. Google Home comes with Google Assistant built-in.