Google just unveiled the Pixel 4. Google wasn’t shy about the fact it had another phone coming, and it unveiled the latest Pixel at the Made by Google hardware event on Tuesday.
The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are the headline acts at the event, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some other reveals. Google has its fingers in so many pies that it’s a safe bet we’ll be seeing more than just a pair of new flagship phones. With rumors mentioning a new laptop and new smart home devices, here’s what you can expect to see at Google’s event on October 15.
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Pixel 4, and Pixel 4 XL
Make no mistake, the Pixel 4 is going to be the biggest reveal at the October 15 event. Expect it to get the most amount of time at the event, as rumors suggest there’s quite a lot to cover.
But Google has already told us a lot. The back of the phone was officially revealed in a tweet from Google during the summer. It brings a massive change to the Pixel range — specifically, an increase in the number of cameras on the back. The Pixel range has been flouting convention with a single rear camera lens for years, and the Pixel 4 will be the first of the Pixel series to increase the number of lenses. It’s only increasing it to two lenses on the rear, but considering each Pixel phone has entered our best camera phones list using only a single camera lens, it’s likely to be a seismic change.
The two-tone design on the back has been removed, but so has something else — the fingerprint sensor. Google itself has shared that the front of the phone will have sensors that allow for face unlock, just like Apple introduced with the iPhone X. But it’s going to be some seriously special tech. Google has added the Project Soli chip to the Pixel 4, which can detect objects and movements in 3D space. What does this mean for face unlock? Google said it helps the face unlock sensors recognize you from the moment you reach for your phone, rather than having to bring it up to your face (it even works upside down, and it’s secure so it will work in sensitive apps).
That same tech will be leveraged to add air gestures to the Pixel 4 — so you’ll be able to make specific gestures to control your phone without touching it. So far, Google has said you can use gestures to skip songs, snooze alarms, silence phone calls — and leaked videos show us how this works. Soli tech is just the tip of the iceberg, the screen on the Pixel 4 is said to support a 90Hz refresh rate, just like the OnePlus 7T, and the camera is expected to show off an improved Night Sight mode, as well as an astrophotography mode to capture the stars.
News from last said we might be expecting some price rises, in line with leaked Canadian prices. Thankfully, early pre-order pages from B&H have revealed the truth. The pages have shown that the Pixel 4 will start from $799, while the Pixel 4 XL will start from $899. In the box, along with the phone, you’ll get an 18W USB-C power adapter, charging cable, and a USB-C to USB-A adapter, according to a leak posted to Reddit. It doesn’t seem as though the Pixel 4 will come with headphones.
Last but not least, earlier leaks suggested another variant of the Pixel 4 XL with more RAM, which could mean this is potentially a 5G version of the Pixel 4 XL. If it’s true, it likely means the phone will be locked to each carrier with no unlocked version. However, more recent rumors have denied a 5G version of the Pixel 4 will be arriving at the event. So while it’s not ruled out, it’s unlikely to be launched today.
Google Assistant news
What would a Google event be without an update on how its Assistant is doing? The launch of Google Assistant 2.0 will form a large part of the presentation. First shown off at the Google I/O keynote earlier in 2019, Google Assistant 2.0 will shift the Assistant’s brainpower from the cloud and onto your device. While this may initially seem a little odd — after all, isn’t cloud computing the future? — shifting the Assistant’s processing to local storage improves its response times and removes the issue of latency from your Assistant. It also helps keep your data on the device, a growing concern as smart speakers and voice assistants become more popular.
We’re also expecting a design revamp for the new Google Assistant. The new Google Assistant will favor a more transparent theme, with the pop-up panel only being used for larger information dumps. The new look will overlay most queries along the bottom of the display, and is intended to make using the Google Assistant feel more natural within apps. Expect to be able to use the new Google Assistant to text replies within apps and search for specific photos in Google Photos.
Expectations of this new and improved Google Assistant are high, and it’s absolutely going to be exclusive to the Pixel 4 first.
Formerly assumed to be the Pixelbook 2, it’s likely Google will dip back into the world of computing with the announcement of a new Pixelbook — the Pixelbook Go — at the October 15 event.
Google’s previous laptops haven’t seen much success. The Pixelbook was easily the best Chromebook in existence, but its high price didn’t quite justify its features, while last year’s Pixel Slate saw mixed reviews — so much so that Google reportedly canceled development on an upcoming Pixel Slate. What’s different about the Pixelbook Go that might spur enthusiasm from Google? According to the rumor mill, the Go will be a more usual clamshell-style laptop.
That may sound a bit boring, but it’s a departure for Google. The original Pixelbook was a 2-in-1 convertible, while the Pixel Slate was a tablet with a detachable keyboard. Whether a more traditional laptop design will help Google remains to be seen, but at this stage it can’t really hurt. According to leaked imagery, we can expect the Pixelbook Go to come in “Just Black” and “Not Pink” as color options, and will have a rugged underside for grip.
The display is expected to be 1080p, with a 4K option. Leaks also suggest there will be a range of hardware options, from the Intel i3, i5, and i7 processors to RAM at 6GB or 8GB. Storage options may start at 64GB and will include 128GB and 256GB options as well.
Of course, Google may have picked the wrong time of year to launch a new laptop. It hasn’t been long since Microsoft wowed us with the Surface Neo, and a regular-looking laptop may not arouse our emotions in the same way any more. We’ll find out on October 15th.
Nest Wifi and Nest Home Mini
The Google Home range has been one of Google’s most successful hardware lines, and with the range now making the jump to the branding of Google-owned Nest, it makes sense to assume Google is working on new versions of its Home smart speakers.
It’s most likely we’ll be seeing an enhanced version of the smallest entry in the Home range, and rumors have been circulating of a new Nest Home Mini for some time now. An FCC listing thought to be of the new device shows a design similar to the older speaker, but with the addition of a wall mount on the underside, as well as an additional cutout beside the power connector — which could be for a headphone jack.
We could also be seeing a new Nest Wi-Fi router. According to the whispers, such a refresh would not just be limited to adding the Nest name to the device, which will be succeeding the Google Wifi that debuted in 2017. It could come with smart speaker functionality — the main hub will not have this feature, but the beacons you place around your house for enhanced coverage through the mesh network will, allowing you to have fewer devices throughout the house.
What’s not expected is a new version of the original Google Home smart speaker. At almost three years old now, the Google Home is the oldest part of the new Nest Home range, and it seems ripe for a refresh. Unfortunately, we’ve heard nothing about a reboot, so scrub this one off your scoreboard for now.
Pixel Buds 2
Not every Google product is a slam-dunk, and the Pixel Buds were one of the search engine giant’s missteps. While decent, Google’s AirPods imitators weren’t up to the standard set by many other competitors. Since that release in 2017, Google has been a little quiet on a successor. It might finally be ready, as 9to5Google reports Pixel Buds 2 is set to debut at the October 15 event.
We’re not 100% sure it will be there though, as such a device would need to have passed through the FCC’s filings by now, and we haven’t heard much about them until now.
A hardy regular to these lists now, we can’t remember how many times we’ve mentioned the Pixel Watch on similar lists. The Wear OS smartwatch has been rumored for years, and analysts tipped 2019 as the year we would finally see a Google-branded Wear OS device on the market. Will the October event finally be the time we see it?
Fresh rumors indicate that no, we will not see the Pixel Watch at Google’s October event. It seems as if this particular hardware will continue to haunt our event roundups.
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