Google made a few announcements at their October 4th event, including the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google Home Mini, the Pixelbook and more.
Google Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL
Probably the biggest (and most leaked) announcement was the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The new phones have similar specs to each other and have a more rounded design and are made from aluminium.
The Pixel 2 has a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display while the Pixel 2 XL has a 6-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, just like the one found on the Galaxy S8/S8+ and LG G6. Both phones are compatible with Google’s VR platform, Daydream and are running Android 8.0 Oreo.
The camera on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is the highest rated smartphone camera by DxOMark with a score of 98. The camera is 12.2-megapixels and has OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) and EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization).
The phones’ camera also comes with a Portrait Mode which is like the one found on the iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus but Google has managed to do this without the need for a second lens. It is mainly done using machine learning and a single lens.
Also coming with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is AR Stickers, which allow you to put characters from your favourite show and movies virtually in your world. There will be AR Stickers for Stranger Things, SNL, NBA, Star Wars and more. AR Stickers will be exclusive to the Google Pixel phones.
Inside, you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM, both phones are IP67 water and dust resistant and get all-day battery life. There’s no headphone jack on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL but there is a USB Type-C port and front-facing stereo speakers.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have squeezable sides, which Google calls Active Edge, it will allow you to easily launch the Google Assistant. The phones will also be the first phones with Google Lens. Google Lens allows you to get relevant information based on what your phones’ camera sees. So you could be something like reviews for a restaurant or identifying a type of flower.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are now available for pre-order in Canada. The pricing is as follows:
- Pixel 2 – 64GB – $899 CAD
- Pixel 2 – 128GB – $1,029 CAD
- Pixel 2 XL – 64GB – $1,159 CAD
- Pixel 2 XL – 128GB – $1,289 CAD
The Pixel 2 ships by October 17th and the Pixel 2 XL ships in 5-6 weeks (so sometime in November). The Pixel 2 comes in Just Black, Kinda Blue (only in 64GB), Clearly White and the Pixel XL 2 comes in Just Black, Black & White.
Google Pixel Buds
Since the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL don’t come with a headphone jack, Google also created their first pair of Bluetooth earbuds and they have the Google Assistant built-in.
All the controls are done by the right earbud which had a touchpad. The Pixel Buds will be able to do real-time translation with the help of Google Translate. The Pixel Buds come in three colours, Kinda Blue, Clearly White and Just Black for $219 CAD ($159 USD), they’ll ship in November. You can join the waitlist to be notified of when they’re available.
The Pixelbook is Google’s first Chromebook since 2015, which is when the last model of the Chromebook Pixel launched. The Pixelbook is 10mm thin and 1kg with a 4-in-1 design, so it can be folded into a table, tent, airplane tray table and laptop form.
It has a 12.3” touchscreen and a backlit keyboard. The Pixelbook can be optioned with an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and up to 512GB of internal storage.
The Pixelbook is the first laptop with the Google Assistant built-in. You’ll also be able to use the Pixelbook Pen with the laptop, Google has worked with Wacom to create the stylus, it has 10ms of latency and 2,000 pressure points.
The Pixelbook also supports Google Play, so you’ll be able to use your favourite Android apps. Snapchat will also be coming to the Pixelbook.
The Pixelbook is available in three configurations and starts at $1,299 CAD ($999 USD), it will be available in Canada, US, UK, starting October 31st.
The pricing is as follows:
- Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD – $1,299 CAD
- Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD – $1,599 CAD
- Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD – $2,099 CAD*
*The i7 Pixelbook is now available for pre-order just yet, it’s listed as coming soon on the Google Store.
Google Daydream View (2017)
Google also slightly redesigned their Daydream View headset, it is made to accommodate the Pixel 2 XL’s 6-inch screen and provide better airflow thanks to the new heatsink.
There’s also a new adjustable top head strap and comes in new colours, Charcoal, Fog and Coral. The new Daydream View is available for pre-order for $139 CAD ($99 USD) and ships on October 19th.
Google Home Mini
Google a smaller version of their Home smart speaker with the Home Mini. The device is made from fabric with touch sensors. There are also LED lights to show you when your Home Mini is listening to you.
The Home Mini offers 360-degrees of sound and supports Google Cast. The Home Mini comes in three colours, Charcoal, Chalk and Coral. It’s available for pre-order today for $79 CAD ($49 USD) and ship on October 19th.
It will be available in Canada, US, UK, Australia, France, Germany and Japan. Google also released some new features for existing Google Home owners, including Voice Match which will create a profile of your voice, so your device can easily recognize it.
Google Home devices will also be getting Routines, they will allow you to perform more than one action at a time. “Ok Google, good night”, then it will turn off the lights, adjust your thermostat, arm your security system and set your alarm.
A new feature called Broadcast will let you send announcements to all your Google Home devices.
Items that are US Only
Google Home Max
In addition to the Home Mini, Google also announced the Google Home Max, which is designed to be the best sounding Google Home device.
The Home Max has the Google Assistant built-in and has a feature called Smart Sound which can automatically and dynamically tune your speaker depending on where it’s placed in your home.
The Home Max has support for Google Cast, Bluetooth and 3.5mm input. The Home Max will launch in the US for $399 USD in December and come in two colours, Chalk and Charcoal.
The device will be coming to more countries in 2018. The Home Max will be available for pre-order on November 13th.
Since the Home Max won't be coming to Canada at launch, you'll still be able to request one on Wantboard.
Google also introduced their first wearable camera with Google Clips. The device will allow you to “snap, save and share” your life’s moments and it uses machine learning to know what to capture.