Google launches Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL and more

Its finally here! Device reveals were never as exciting as when Google decides to show up to the arena and face off against industry giants like Apple and Samsung. Sure there’s a bit of Google in everyone, but its actually impressive that they decided to make their own hardware too. Last year we saw the Pixel and Pixel XL, Google’s own homegrown flagship smartphones. Today we welcome the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL into the slowly growing family.

They’re also launched the new Pixelbook, which Google hails as a worthy successor to its Chromebook Pixel. Google’s Home Mini and the Google Home Max make entrances which are here to oppose Amazons Echo Dot and whatever Amazons next big speaker is. We get to see an updated Daydream VR headset too.

New Pixels in the House

The new successors to the Pixel are definitely the highlights of the event. They are the Pixel 2 and the larger Pixel 2 XL. Besides minor design changes, the Pixel 2 looks the same as its predecessor. However, the larger sibling has definitely seen some upgrades. The Pixel 2 XL has been shown to have a new screen design and smaller bezels to compete with the “market aesthetic”. However, there is a small pop of colour on the side of the phone to add “playfullness”. And it comes in a nice white and black combo. Panda XL, if you will.

Also new to both devices is the new squeeze feature called Active Edge which they’ve gained thanks to the HTC U11. Optical Image Stabilisation has also been welcomed with open arms along with IP67 water resistance. Stereo speakers are finally here, although the headphone jacks have been removed in favour of a solitary USB-C slot. Heres to getting used to that dongle.

For a better look at what all comes in the phone, here are the specs below:

Pixel 2 – Specifications

  • 5-inch, full HD OLED display – 16:9 ratio.
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 chipset with 4GB of RAM.
  • Runs Stock Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.
  • 12.2 MP main camera with dual autofocus, f/1.8 aperture.
  • Rear video in 1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps; 720p @ 30fps, 60fps, 240fps and 4K @ 30fps.
  • 8 MP front camera, f/2.4 aperture.
  • Front video in 1080p @ 30fps, 720p @ 30fps and 480p @ 30fps.
  • 2700 mAh battery – 7 hours of charge on 15 minutes of charging.
  • Always-on display shows a variety of information.
  • No Headphone Jack.
  • Stereo front-firing speakers.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 + LE.
  • Fingerprint scanner.
  • Active Edge (squeeze function) to launch the Google Assistant.
  • IP67 water and dust resistant.
  • 2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5.
  • 64GB and 128GB storage options plus Unlimited online storage for photos and videos till 2020.
  • Daydream Ready.
  • Available in Clearly White, Black and White and Kinda Blue.

Pixel 2 XL – Specifications

  • 6-inch, Quad HD pOLED display – 18:9 ratio.
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 chipset with 4GB of RAM.
  • Runs Stock Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.
  • 12.2 MP main camera with dual autofocus, f/1.8 aperture.
  • Rear video in 1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps; 720p @ 30fps, 60fps, 240fps and 4K @ 30fps.
  • 8 MP front camera, f/2.4 aperture.
  • Front video in 1080p @ 30fps, 720p @ 30fps and 480p @ 30fps.
  • 3520 mAh battery – 7 hours of charge on 15 minutes of charging.
  • Always-on display shows a variety of information.
  • No Headphone Jack.
  • Stereo front-firing speakers.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 + LE.
  • Fingerprint scanner.
  • Active Edge (squeeze function) to launch the Google Assistant.
  • IP67 water and dust resistant.
  • 3D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5.
  • 64GB and 128GB storage options plus Unlimited online storage for photos and videos till 2020.
  • Daydream Ready.
  • Available in Just Black and Black and White.

 

Ok Google Home Mini

The new Google Home Mini is to the Google Home what the Amazon Echo Dot is to the Amazon Echo. It has the same Google Assistant features its older sibling as in a smaller package and a reduced price point. Expect the device to make calls, update calendars, do your Google searches, play videos on your TV and whole lot more.

 

The tiny tot is expected to come in 3 colours – charcoal or black, chalk or gray, and coral or reddish.

Say Hi to the Google Home Max

Google wants to reinvent sound the way it’s Pixel reinvented cameras. Its their new giant home speaker thats connected to the Google Assistant. This is their biggest Google Home device so far. The device comes with machine learning and is supposedly 20 times louder than the regular Google Home.

The Max can adjust its sound according to where its placed and improve the sound dynamically. It can be placed vertically or horizontally depending on how it wants to be placed thanks to a magnetic attachment.

Pixelbooks Galore

We see the upgrade from the Chromebook Pixel to the new high end Pixelbook. This time around, however, it’ll support a stylus (Pixelbook Pen) and be able to flip around like a tablet. The device is very slim weighs just 1Kg. It comes with a 12.3 inch screen Quad HD LCD. The keyboard is nice and keys are backlit and soft to touch.

The Pixelbook comes with Core i5 and i7 processors with up to 16GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. The device also comes in 128GB and 256GB storage options. The Pixelbook comes with Instant Tethering that allows you to connect to your Pixel device instantaneously. So far there doesn’t seem to be an SD card slot but there are 2 USB-C slots. Also no surprise, but this is the first laptop to have Google Assistant built in.

For some reason, you can use Snapchat on it. No its not a Snaptop. Please don’t call it that.

Oddly enough, the Pixelbook will not ship with the stylus and this can be bought for an addition $99 (Dh 363).

Oh, A New Daydream VR Headset

The new and improved Daydream VR headsets now come in three colours for starters – charcoal or black, fog or gray and coral or reddish. The new headsets will also be made of nylon as compared to the soft jersey material of last year.

Pricing and Availability

As of now, the Pixel 2 will be launching on October 19th at $649 (Dh 2,382) for the 64GB and $749 (Dh 2,749) for the 128GB model. The Pixel 2 XL however, will be releasing on November 15th, more than a month later at $849 (Dh 3,116) for the 64GB model and $949 (Dh 3,483) for the 128GB version.

The Pixelbook is releasing at $999 (Dh 3,666) while the Daydream VR headsets are coming in at $20 dollars more than last year at $99 (Dh 363).

The Google Home Mini is going to launch at a nice $49 (Dh 180) on October 19th and the Google Home Max will launch at $399 (Dh 1,464).