Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones were announced by the company at an event in San Francisco, last night. The Pixel 2 launch also saw Google showcase other hardware, including accessories for its latest devices. One particular accessory that stood out was the Google Pixel Buds, which are the company’s answer to Apple’s AirPods. Well almost, though Pixel Buds offer some unique features.
First, Google Pixel Buds aren’t totally wireless like the Apple AirPods and are held together with a wire. From a design perspective, these might not the most attractive earphones seen in the market, but its what they offer inside that matters.
Google Pixel Buds come with ‘Live Translation’ built-in from the Google Translate feature. Pixel Buds include the Assistant, and in order to activate this users have just touch and hold the right earbud to activate this feature. Apple’s AirPods also include access to Siri in them, but the Pixel Buds are compatible with iPhones, iOS devices, unlike the former which are limited to iOS universe. Users can also rely on Google Assistant in the Pixel Buds to listen to music, get directions on Google Maps, etc.
Google gave a very solid demo of the ‘Live Translation’ feature. For example, if a user says ‘Help me with French’ and then proceeds to talk in English, the speakers of the earbuds will put translate these words in French and play them out. Essentially, the Pixel Buds will be translating what you speak in English to French in real-time. Further, the other person’s reply in French will be translated to English and played into your ears.
The demo showed the feature works very accurately, but of course, how accurately it works with other languages is hard to say just yet. Google Pixel Buds are compatible with any smartphone with Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher, any iOS device running iOS 10.0 or higher. However, if you want to access Google Assistant on the Pixel Buds, you will need to be on Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher.
The Pixel Buds connect via Bluetooth and rely on USB-C for charging in the box. Once again Google is sticking with the theme of Pixel 2 colours for the Pixel Buds and these come in “Just Black”, “Clearly White” and “Kinda Blue.”
The battery size is 120mAh on the earbuds, while the charging case has a 620mAh one. Google’s Pixel Buds come with their own charging case and the company is promising 5 hours of listening with one single charge. The Pixel Buds also have a Microphone, Accelerometer inside them, and the box will include a USB-C to USB-A charging cable as well.
Google Pixel Buds are priced at $159, though there’s no word on whether these will be coming to the Indian market or not. For now only the pricing of the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL phones have been announced for India along with the new DayDream VR headset.