Google announced a slew of new hardware products at its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL launch in San Francisco. To recap, the ‘Made by Google’ family of devices now includes a new Premium Pixelbook, a Home Mini speaker and a Google Max speaker in addition to the Google Pixel Buds wireless earphones. There’s also a new mini video camera called Google Clips.
Of course, the one thread common to all the hardware is the inclusion of Google Assistant, which will be present on all the devices, except the Google Clips camera, though this does have a machine learning element in it. Here’s a look at everything Google launched at the Pixel 2 event.
Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 smartphones: Specifications, features, price in India, availability
Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL were the highlight of the company’s hardware announcements. The two phones are successors to the original Pixel series and carry a similar two-tone design, which is half glass on the back and half metal. The Pixel 2 has a 5-inch full HD resolution OLED display, while the Pixel 2 XL gets a 6-inch full vision display with reduced bezels and an aspect ratio of 18:9 aspect ratio. The Pixel 2 has the standard 16:9 aspect ratio. The Pixel 2 XL also has a P-OLED display on board.
But other than the display and battery size, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL sport the same specifications. Pixel 2 series is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM and will come in 64GB and 128GB storage variants. Both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL have a 12.2 MP rear camera with an improved f/1.8 aperture and this time Google has included OIS as well in addition to EIS.
Google’s new Pixel 2 series has scored 98 on DXO Mark’s rankings for mobile smartphone cameras, which beats the Apple iPhone 8 series. The front camera is 8MP and there’s a portrait mode included on both phones, which is driven by software, rather relying on two camera sensors.
The Google Pixel 2’s camera also comes with Google Lens, which relies on Machine Learning and Google’s knowledge graph to identify objects, buildings, landmarks, even works of art correctly. Users can also take actions on Google Lens, asking it to copy URLs and contact information from a picture of a poster or business card, says the company.
Google Pixel 2 series also comes with a new ‘Active Edge’ feature, which was seen on the HTC U11 phone. A user can activate Google Assistant by just squeezing their Pixel smartphone. The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL come with IP67 water and dust resistant rating, and sport a 2700 mAh and 3520 mAh battery respectively. The phones run Android Oreo out-of-the box with the promise of regular security updates.
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be available in the US, UK, India. Canada, Germany, and Australia in the first wave. Pricing for the Pixel 2 phones is: 64 GB at Rs 61,000 and 128 GB at Rs 70,000. The bigger Pixel 2 XL will cost Rs 73,000 for the 64 GB version, while the 128 GB version is priced at Rs 82,000.
Google will take pre-orders for Pixel 2 from October 26, 2017 in India and this is the phone that goes on sale first from November 1. Pixel 2 XL will be in stores and on Flipkart from November 15. Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will online exclusive for Flipkart.
Google Pixelbook: Price, specifications, availability
Pixelbook is the new premium laptop/Chromebook from Google with a $999 price tag and there’s a special Pixelbook Pen accessory as well, which costs $99. Google is touting Pixelbook as a portable laptop/tablet; this weighs less than 1kg and is just 10.3mm thin. The design is allows for Pixelbook to function as 4-in-1: laptop, completely fold the keyboard underneath for tablet mode or use in tent mode.
Pixelbok has a 12.3-inch Quad HD LCD display with 2400 x 1600 resolution and this is a Touchscreen display with support for the Pixelbook Pen. The keyboard has soft-touch keys and a backlit design. Google says the touchpad has a “new, special touch-processing algorithms” for more accuracy.
Other hardware specifications of the Pixelbook include Intel core 7th generation processor with options starting at i5 and i7, 8GB or 16GB RAM. The Pixelbook comes in three storage variants: 128GB, 256GB and 512GB SSD. Overall, the laptop has an aluminium unibody design and Google says the battery will last up to 10 hours. The laptop supports Type-C USB charging as well so users don’t have to always carry around their Pixelbook charger and can rely on the regular phone charger as well.
Pixelbook also comes with Google Assistant built in and users can press the dedicated Assistant Key or say “Ok Google” for using this. Pixelbook is powered by ChromeOS, though it supports a host of Android apps. In fact, Google revealed they are working with Snapchat for a version of the app on the Chromebook.
Other features of Pixelbook include the ability to automatically connect to the Pixel phone’s data in case of no WiFi. Users can also download apps from Google Play for Pixelbook including Spotify, Adobe Lightroom, Netflix etc. Pixelbook will come in three configurations starting at $999 in the US. Pre-orders for this have started, though this is not officially launching in the Indian market.
Google Home Mini and Google Max Speakers: Price, features
Google Home Mini is the new speaker from the company, which is in a circular shape and only 3.86-inches in diameter and 1.65-inches in height. Like the regular full size Google Home, this one too is powered by the Google Assistant.
Google Home Mini is durable with a fabric enclosure on top, and the LEDs under this will light up once the user calls for the Google Assistant. Google Home Mini’s speaker has support for 360-degree sound with a 40mm driver.There’s also far field microphones to help Home Mini hear a user’s voice even from a distance. Google Home Mini is priced at $49 and comes in three colours: Chalk, Charcoal and Coral. The device has not been launched for the Indian market.
Google Max is the company’s new big speaker, which is also driven by the Assistant and comes with AI-based Smart Sound. The Max speaker has the ability to adapt the audio experience to a user’s environment, context, and preferences and adjust the music experience based on these factors. Google says Max has dual 4.5-inch high-excursion woofers to allow really loud music to be played in the home.
Max can be placed vertically or horizontally and comes in two colours: Chalk and Charcoal. Google Home Max will launch in the US for $399 and comes with 12 months of ad-free YouTube Music and this offer is for new subscribers only. The pre-orders for the Max speaker start from November 13 in the US.
Google Clips: Price, specifications, features
Google Clips is a new tiny camera, which the company says is driven by machine learning and AI. It can basically send clips to a user’s phone and even edit them and curate them. The tiny Google Clips camera is what the company calls a “lightweight, hands-free camera” to allow users to capture their surroundings.
The camera includes a shutter button—both on the camera and in the corresponding app to let users capture the moments they wish to it. It comes with a clip to hold it steady. Once the camera is turned on it, thanks to machine learning, “the camera looks for good moments to capture.” The camera shoots short motion photos, which can last several seconds.
Google says that when it comes to privacy, the camera will light up when it is shooting so people know it is capturing footage. The camera learns to recognise the faces of people in time as well, but Google insists “all the machine learning happens on the device itself.” Google Clips will be launched in the US later at a price of $249. Google has not confirmed the launch date. The camera works with Samsung S7/8, the Google Pixel series of course, and with iPhone (6 and up) devices.
Google Pixel Buds: Price, Specifications, Features
Google Pixel Buds are wireless earphones, though held together by a wire and the company’s answer to Apple’s AirPods. These can be synced with the Google Assistant as well and work with iOS and Android devices. Google Pixel Buds provide real-time live translation for various languages and the company also demoed this feature at the launch event.
Google Pixel Buds are priced at $159 and come with their own charging case. The Bluetooth earphones have 120 mAh in-built battery as well. Google has not confirmed if these will be coming to India anytime soon.
Google Daydream View refreshed: Price in India, Availability
Google also refreshed its Daydream View headset, which now has high performance lenses for better image clarity and a wider field of view. The new headset is made of premium fabric and will come in Charcoal colour. The India price for this is Rs 7,999 and it will be sold exclusively on Flipkart starting November 1 2017. The Pixel 2 smartphones are compatible with the new VR headset.