Made by Google, the big hardware launch event from the tech giant, concluded on 15th October. The one-hour presentation was streamed live from New York City and was filled with exciting new stuff that we need to get our hands on yesterday. Google told us about the new Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Nest WiFi, Nest Mini, Pixel Buds, Stadia, and Pixelbook Go. Everything looks super cool and we’re going to dig into the details to whet your appetite ready for the shipping dates to roll around.
Pixel 4 and 4 XL Are Here, and They Know When You Are Too
Finally, we’ve had the full reveal of the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phones from Google. They seemed most proud of the Soli radar chip, since it’s what kicked off the event. It allows users to control their phone with gestures without having to actually touch the phone. The new chip will be able to tell when you’re not around and power off the always-on display and come back to life when you come back in range. Google claims this is going to give the Pixel the edge on unlock times on its competitors, since the phone will be ready to unlock as soon as it knows you’re close by. There’s some scepticism about the practical use of the feature, but it’ll be interesting to see how developers use it in apps in the future.
The design of the phone has gone more industrial – no more two tone backing that came with the Pixel 3 and 3a. The handset comes in three colors, black, white, and a peachy-orange and a square-shaped camera housing.
The Pixel 4 and 4 XL have an impressive 90Hz refresh rate on their OLED display, making scrolling through feeds and watching videos much more streamlined and fluid. There’s also a new app that’s capable of transcribing voice recordings – useful for students and secretaries the world over. As well as the basic transcription, the app is able to hunt through the dialogue for specific words and phrases. Pre-orders have already started and shipping begins on October 24th.
The Google Nest and Point Smarten Up Your Routers
Google has rebooted the design for their new mesh Wi-Fi router system, giving it a noticeable cylindrical and rounded look. The Nest Wifi has a choice of colour options, but the stand out feature has to be it’s doubling as a smart speaker, basically becoming a Google Home. There are two versions of the Nest Wifi, once that’s a router that gets plugged into your modem and the Point that can work as a smart-speaker.
A lot of the new features have been seen before, on systems like the Eero from Amazon. These new additions to usability and functionality include family level controls, password sharing, speed tests, and creating networks for guests. To make it that bit different from their competitors, they’ve added that Google Assistant feature to the Point making each one a smartspeaker, but the feature isn’t on the router option. The system is going to be able to let you stream TV in the bedroom and also allow you to open up Netflix, as long as your device is compatible.
If everything hooks up and integrates as Google plan, this could well be a game changing release for 2019. You can get your hands on the new gadgets starting November 4th and see what you can do with it.
The Google Nest Mini Improves on the Home Mini
Things are getting just a little confusing with the naming conventions in the Google suite of smart home devices. The Nest branding got folded into the main line of Google products and now there are loads of options with plenty of names to match.
The latest smart speaker is called the Nest Mini, and although it looks a lot like the Google Home Mini, there seems to have been a few changes. First, there’s a hole in the base so that it can be wall-mounted and there’s now a sensor that activates indicator lights when your hands move towards it. The microphone and speaker have both received upgrades.
Google Nest have confirmed the Nest Mini will be priced at $49.99, the same price as the Home Mini. You can get your hands on this gadget starting from October 22nd.
Pixelbook Go is Looking and Feeling Sleek
In 2017 Google launched its challenge to Apple’s MacBook Air, the Pixelbook. At this latest event, they’ve announced their new Chromebook – the Pixelbook Go – but it’s not quite the direct follow up that the name suggests. Out of the box, it looks strikingly similar to a MacBook, yet on the underside there’s a ribbed textured surface to make actual lap-top work more stable.
Inside the computer is 8GB of RAM and the display is full HD. The keyboard is winning plaudits with it being specifically engineers to be super quiet and really nice to type on. Bear in mind, it is still a Chromebook so isn’t going to be able to do absolutely everything a Windows or Apple computer can do – it’s not the device for you if you want to do heavy video and photo editing.
It’s a good looking piece of kit, nonetheless. They’ve gone for a painted metal finish, which looks pretty cool in the pink colour scheme, which Google insists on calling “not pink”. You can’t pre-order the pink version yet, but you can get the black one on pre-order for $649.
Actually Wireless Pixel Buds are “All New”
Google didn’t quite hit the spot with the first incarnation of the Pixel Buds. They were connected with braided wire, didn’t fit well in the ear, had an ugly carry case, weren’t very user-friendly, and the touch controls were just bad. Luckily, they’ve learned the error of their ways and given the Pixel Buds the overhaul they deserve.
These new, totally wireless earphones give you hands-free access to Google Assistant by using the usual “hey, Google…” Also included is adaptive sound software that can sense the ambient noise around you and change your listening volume accordingly. The buds work across long ranges, with Google claiming a football field, or three rooms worth of connective distance.
They charge through a USB-C connection and have been made sweat and waterproof – ready for sweaty runs or dashes through rainy commutes. A microphone is also built in so you can use them for making and receiving phone calls too. Fully charged, they’re going to last up to five hours and the wireless charging case can sustain up to 24 hours of playtime. They’re coming on sale in spring 2020 and they can be yours for $179.
Gaming on the Cloud with Google Stadia
For the gamers amongst you, there was also an announcement that Google’s Stadia launches on November 19th. It’s the company’s cloud gaming platform that works through Chromecast, any Pixelbook, and Pixel phones. It’s accessible through a subscription that lets you buy games to use on any of your Google branded tech.
The leaks of the last few weeks were finally confirmed at these years Made By Google event. The details of the Pixel 4, 4 XL, Pixel Buds 2 and new Chromebook, Pixelbook Go, have now all been officially confirmed. Everything that has been teased by Google has now been set in stone at the launch event, along with plenty of other gadgets that should integrate their hardware and software into your daily life.
There have been some truly exciting things launched, with the Google Point and Pixel Buds 2 being real standouts with the potential to shake things up in their field. We’re excited to get our hands on everything they’ve announced and let you know if everything lives up to the hype. Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest updates from the tech world. See ya soon!