Last month Apple has showcased their latest and greatest products to the world. Now, last month Google event wrapped up with a bunch of hardware lineup for this year: with Pixel 2 smartphone, new Google Home, a PixelBook, Pixel buds earphone and a new camera named Google Clips. So let’s take a detailed look at the product’s launch by Google.
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 X
Google has unveiled the most-anticipated smartphones of the year. The Pixel 2 and larger Pixel 2 XL offer the same high-end, bleedingedge tech as the original Pixel phone. Google added a few features including waterproof and removed radio and headphone jack. Both devices feature a mostly-aluminum chassis, complete with the glass panel towards the top of the device. As expected, the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphone has a few differences between one another. The most notable difference can be found on the front. The Pixel 2 sports a 5.0-inch full HD OLED display with a more traditional 16:9 aspect ratio, while the Pixel 2 XL goes with a 18:9 aspect ratio with its 6.0-inch P-OLED display. Also, due to the difference in size, the Pixel 2 comes with a much smaller 2,700 mAh battery while the Pixel 2 XL sports a 3,520 mAh battery. The camera also scores a 98 from DXO Mark, the leading independent camera rating group. That’s the highest rating for a smartphone camera ever.
Starting Price: $649
Google debuted its first dedicated camera to offer candid moments. The camera is named Clips. It’s not your typical camera, but Google designed for passive use, as a way to help capture moments that you’d miss with a dedicated camera or your smartphone. The palm-sized device like GoPro takes photos for you, using AI to find the candid moments you might want to capture. Those candid moments will be captured as stills, videos, or GIFs, then export them to your phone over Wi-Fi. Clips come with 16GB of built-in storage and also offers up to three hours per charge. It can also notify when its lens is blocked via notifications to your phone. The camera has a 130-degree field of view, Gorilla Glass 3 for durability, and has USB-C, Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth LE for connectivity.
While the Google Pixel 2 smartphone doesn’t come with headphone jack anymore, so Google has come up with a new pair of wireless headphone that is powered by Google Assistant. The Pixel Buds offers a premium design philosophy of the Pixel line and this are a great looking pair of earphones. There is a touch control to play or pause your music, swipe forward and back to change volume, or long-press to talk to Assistant. You can ask a question as you would do on your smartphone, and the relevant info will be replied by Google assistant to you via the earbuds. It also has Google Translate built-in, with the capability to translate languages in real time. The Pixel Buds are available in three different colors and also feature up to five hours of playback time per charge.
Last year Google introduced its Daydream View VR headset which only supported and worked with the Pixel with limited apps. Now, with a second-generation headset, Google’s setting its sights a little wider. The new hardware comes with a wider field of view and a better overall viewing experience. There’s also a new content including a new original YouTube series in VR, adding to the 250 Virtual Reality titles Google already offers. Daydream View now comes in charcoal, fog and coral editions. The VR headset is made up of a lightweight fabric for a comfortable feel. The controller lets you interact with the virtual world, letting you take various actions with help of motion and gesture sensors and physical buttons.
The new Pixelbook launch by Google comes with Google’s Chrome operating system. Chrome uses apps from Google’s Store and relies on primarily cloud-based features for storage. The 12.3-inch Pixelbook can be used as a laptop or rotate full 360 degrees and use it as a tablet. The whole thing weighs just two pounds which is quite lightweight compared to any another laptop available in the market. It also supports Google Play app store, means you can open same apps on your Pixelbook as well as on your smartphone. The new Pixelbook combines the experience of Android smartphones with its Chromebooks, such as Instagram and Snapchat for Chrome OS. This is also the first laptop to be integrated with a Google Assistant. You can talk to the Assistant by using its wake word or press the dedicated Assistant button on the keyboard’s bottom row.
Starting Price: $999
Google Home Max
While Google Home Mini is the tinier version, the new Google Home Max is a giant tabletop speaker that tunes automatically to your space. Google Home Max features two 4.5-inch woofers alongside tweeters covered by a fabric speaker grille. It also includes highly responsive microphones that will be able to hear you when the music is playing. The Home Max can use Google’s AI to configure the sound to your space called Smart Sound. It can intelligently detect surrounding noise to raise or lower the volume. It features touch controls and supports Bluetooth as well as Google Cast and a 3.5mm audio jack. With the purchase of Google Home Max, the company is also offering 12 months of YouTube Music.
Google Home Mini
The original Google Home was announced back in 2016. Now in 2017, Google announced a mini version of Google Home in a cute tiny circular design. The donutsized device can do everything the original Google Home can do including set timers, reminders, check the weather and lot more. Google has introduced mini in three colors – Coral, Chalk and Charcoal, which are designed to suit any home decor. The bottom of the device comes in a smooth, white plastic. The top of the device is enclosed by a transparent fabric which enables both light and sound to escape. It will also respond to your touches, as you play/pause music and alter the volume. Sadly, the Google Home Mini need to be connected to the power source all the time.
While we came up with our own Exhibit app with AR features, Google is also working on augmented reality framework on their OS. Google has announced AR Core, its AR software development kit for phones that were built specifically to handle augmented reality. Also as the name suggests, ARCore is Android’s equivalent to Apple ARKit: a baked-in augmented reality platform for developers. Google demoed with a collection of AR stickers that will be available on the Pixel, which let you bring characters from shows like Stranger Things to life right before your eyes. The official launch is planned by end of this year, where Google promises ARCore will work with 100 million existing and upcoming devices.