Google kicked off its Pixel event yesterday with an intro from HBO’s popular sitcom Silicon Valley. The major announcement at the event was the introduction of its new lineage of Pixel smartphones, the first phone exclusively built and designed by Google. While HTC manufactured these devices, Google touts them as the ‘first phone by Google inside and out.’ Google it seems is serious on taking on the iPhone with these new Pixel smartphones, as they’re priced on the same lines as new the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Apart from the new Pixel range, Google also announced a bunch of other hardware devices at the event. Hence, we ‘ve compiled a list of the top five announcements from the event yesterday.
Pixel and Pixel XL
As suggested by the barrage of leaks and rumours, the Pixel range includes a 5-inch Pixel priced at Rs.57,000 ($649 in the U.S) and a 5.5-inch Pixel XL priced at $769 (Rs. 65,000 approx). The 5-inch model gets a full HD resolution while the larger Pixel XL variant gets a Quad HD panel.
Both smartphones pack the latest Snapdragon 821 processor bundled with 4GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 128GB of storage. Other key specs include USB Type C, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 12.3 MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture along with a fingerprint scanner.
On the software front, both devices run a specialized version of the latest Android 7.1 Nougat with support for its DayDream VR platform. Besides, Pixel is the first that comes with the new Google AI Assistant out-of-the-box.
In India, both Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones will be Flipkart-exclusives. Besides, the new Pixel and Pixel XL will also be available across all major physical stores such as Reliance Digital, Croma and Vijay sales. Google is offering the new Pixel phones in ‘Quite Black,’ Very Silver’ and ‘Really Blue’ color options, however the blue colour variant will not be available in India.
Google also announced the first VR headset for its DayDream VR platform. It’s called ‘DayDream View’ and works with the newly launched Pixel smartphones. It also comes with hand-held remote which allows users to control what’s happening on the screen.
Google is also working with Warner Brothers to bring more immersive content on the DayDream VR platform. Priced at $79, the headset goes on sale in November and will be available in slate, snow, and crimson color options.
Google also unveiled its next-gen content streaming dongle – the Chromecast Ultra. The device now gets 4K capabilities along with support for HDR and Dolby Vision. The new Chromecast Ultra is priced at $69 and goes on sale starting in November.
It works just like its predecessors – just plug the dongle into your TV through an HDMI port and start streaming content from your PC or a smartphone.
Google also showcased its new Wi-Fi system simply called Google Wi-Fi. It’s essentially a multi-point network allowing you to adjust and manage your internet connection at your home or workplace. It automatically detects the strongest Wi-Fi point while you’re moving around in your home or office to manage and optimise your internet connection efficiently. Besides, it also lets you manage your Wi-Fi network through an app. Priced at $129, pre-orders for Google Wi-Fi begin in November while its starts shipping in December.
We got a glimpse of Google’s Amazon-Echo like voice controlled smart speaker back in May, and Google has finally shared more details about the device. It comes built-in with Google Assistant and lets users actively manage their day to day chores such as schedule meetings, adjusts calendar, or set reminders and alarms.
In addition, it can also control smart home devices such as Philips Hue Lights. Besides, it can also stream music from popular services like Spotify, Google Play Music, YouTube and more. Priced at $129, Google Home is now available for pre-order in the US with a six-month free trial of YouTube Red. There’s no information on its pricing and availability in India yet.