Fall has become the season for the biggest smartphone releases of the year. We’ve already seen what Apple has to offer, and now we’re going to get a look at what Google has been cooking up in the Pixel world.
A massive leak came from DroidLife, which details pretty much everything we can expect to see at the upcoming Google event. With that being said, if you want to shield yourself from spoilers, be warned. The event will start in San Francisco at 9 AM PST.
The Pixel 2
The next installment of the Pixel smartphones will no doubt be the star of the show on Oct. 4. The tentatively-named Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be launched at the event, giving us the newest hardware and software directly from Google. The phone was manufactured and engineered in partnership with HTC this year, which was recently acquired by Google for 1.1 billion dollars. We should expect this team, which is now in-house, to continue to develop the Pixel series moving on from here.
As for the details of the phone, the Pixel 2 will come in three color options, while the XL version will come in just black and white. The phones keep a familiar design to last year’s model with it’s two-tone color back, rounded corners and similar sizes.
Other leaks show that the Pixel 2 will be playing catch up on a number of key features, including a Portrait Mode for its camera app, the removal of the headphone jack and the upgrade to stereo speakers. The phone is also rumored to get the HTC U11 “squeeze to launch” feature that will give you a quicker way to launch Google Assistant.
There have, however, been some discrepancies in the leaks about the bezel situation. Originally, we heard that both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL would get slimmed down bezels to match the competitive 2017 landscape. However, new reports indicate that the Pixel 2 may look exactly like the original Pixel, while the XL version will get the bezels cut down. This could match up with other reports that Google was working on a third smartphone, similar to what Apple did with the iPhone X.
There are bound to be plenty of other features announced at the event, but those are some of the biggest things we know as of now.
Pixelbook and Pixel Pen
Google is also expected to announce the newest version of its ultra-premium Chromebook Pixel. The ChromeOS laptop hasn’t been updated since 2015, and the newly-branded Pixelbook looks to pick up right where it left off.
The Pixelbook is a high-end Chromebook with a premium unibody design that can be folded back into tablet form. Sold separately, the Pixelbook Pen stylus is designed for this tablet mode and will start at $99.
We’ve talked at length about how the $1199 Pixelbook doesn’t make a lot of sense in the overall hardware strategy by Google, but we’ll have to wait and see what it has up its sleeve to justify the pricetag.
Google Home Mini
To compete with Amazon’s Echo Dot, the smaller cousin to the original Echo, Google will launch the Google Home Mini. Essentially, this is just a smaller version of the Google Home, which is a multimedia speaker and home AI. The Google Home didn’t make the splash that the Amazon Echo did, but it boasts Google’s amazing Google Assistant, which is the best voice recognition and context-sensitive AI on the market.
The Google Home Mini will start at $49 and will be available in three color options.
Daydream View 2
Lastly, Google is expected to talk a bit about VR and AR. We don’t know all of what the company will detail, but the product for sale will be the Daydream View 2. It’s the second iteration of Google’s excellent VR headset, which was launched last year and came with a motion controller.
The new version has gotten a bit of a redesign and will no doubt come with some significant new technology inside.