- Google held a big event on Tuesday, where it unveiled its new Pixel 4 smartphone, new Nest smart home devices, and a refreshed Pixelbook, among other devices.
- Here’s a closer look at everything Google announced on Tuesday.
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As expected, Google announced its next major smartphone, the Pixel 4, at its “Made by Google” event on Tuesday alongside several other hardware products, including a new Nest Mini smart speaker, a refreshed Pixelbook Chromebook, second-generation Pixel Buds, and other devices.
The new products come just as Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon have announced their own competing gadgets as the holiday season approaches.
The biggest news of the day was the introduction of the Pixel 4, even despite the fact that most details about the phone had leaked ahead of its launch. The phone comes with an advanced motion-sensing system powered by Google’s radar technology called Soli, and a dual-lens camera with more powerful software.
Here’s a closer look at the big announcements Google made during its fall event.
The Pixel 4
After months of leaks and teases, Google officially unveiled the Pixel 4 on Tuesday, which comes with a radar motion-sensing system and a dual-lens camera that uses improved computational photography software.
The Pixel 4 starts at $US799 and ships on October 24, with preorders starting immediately. The larger Pixel 4 XL starts at $US899. It will be available in three colours: black, white, and a limited edition orange.
The new Motion Sense feature, powered by the company’s Soli radar technology, makes it possible to dismiss a call just by waving your hand, or lower the volume of your morning alarm as you reach for your phone. Google also says it provides the fastest face unlock on a smartphone since it can start the verification process before you pick up your phone.
The Pixel 4 comes with a dual-lens camera that consists of a 12.2-megapixel lens and a 16-megapixel lens. It’s noticeably lacking the third ultra-wide-angle lens found on other recent smartphones, like the iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10.
But Google showcased the new software-based computational photography features coming in the Pixel 4, such as Live HDR+, which shows HDR+ adjustments in real-time in the camera viewfinder rather than after the photo is taken. Improvements to Night Sight make it possible to better capture images of stars in the night sky.
The Pixel 4 will come in two sizes: the 5.7 inch Pixel 4 and the 6.3-inch Pixel 4 XL. The display on both phones will support a refresh rate of up to 90Hz, which should make scrolling and navigating the phone feel more smooth.
The Pixelbook Go
Google also unveiled a new laptop called the Pixelbook Go, a follow-up to the Pixelbook that’s lighter and more affordable than its predecessor.
The Pixelbook Go starts at $US650 and is made of a lightweight magnesium alloy material that enables it to weigh just two pounds. As leaks have indicated, it also has a wavy, rippled bottom that should make it easier to grip. The keyboard on the Pixelbook Go is also quieter than that on Google’s previous Chrome laptop, the company says.
Pixelbook Go will be available in configurations powered by Intel’s Core m3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors. Pre-orders are available now, and Google says the laptop is launching soon.
The Nest Mini
The $US49 Nest Mini is the successor to Google’s previous miniature home speaker, and it comes with improved sound quality that should offer twice the bass as the original.
The Nest Mini launches on October 22 and comes in four different colours: chalk, charcoal, coral, and sky.
The Google Assistant on the new Nest Mini will also be capable of processing more requests on the device itself rather than relying on an internet connection to do so, the company says. The device comes with a wall mount to make it easier to hang on a wall in your home, too.
Google introduced a new version of its Nest Aware service, which lets you pay one price that covers recordings for all of your Nest products, rather than signing up for each individual product.
Google is offering two Nest Aware plans: one that’s $US6 per month or $US60 per year that includes 30 days of event video history, and Nest Aware Plus, which costs $US12 per month of $US120 per year and includes 60 days of event video history and 10 days of 24/7 video history.
The service is expanding to cover Nest smart speakers, too, so that it can listen for sounds like smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors when you’re away.
The new Nest Aware plans will be launching early next year.
The Nest Wi-Fi
Google is adding a new Wi-Fi system to its product lineup this fall, the Nest W-Fi. The system consists of two devices: a router and another device called a “point,” which expands coverage throughout your home.
Google says its new WiFi system should be twice as fast as its predecessor, Google WiFi, and offer 25% better coverage. It also has the Google Assistant built in, and the company says it’s working with partners to make the setup process easier.
Nest Wi-Fi launches on November 4 and will be priced at $US270 for a two-pack and $US350 for a three-pack.
Google is taking another stab at launching intelligent wireless earbuds with its next-generation Pixel Buds. They’re launching next spring for $US179, and Google says it will share more about them in the coming months. That price makes them slightly more expensive than Apple’s $US159 AirPods.
The new Pixel Buds allow you to access the Google Assistant hands-free and support long-range Bluetooth connections, meaning they will work even if your phone is far away. Google says when you’re using the Pixel Buds indoors, they will remain connected even three rooms away. Outside, they will be able to work across an entire football field, the company says.
The Pixel Buds also come with a custom battery that should enable them to last for five hours on a single charge, and 24 hours with their wireless charging case.
Google Stadia launch date
Google’s Stadia gaming service also has an official launch date. The company announced that those who preordered the Founders Edition of Stadia will receive the hardware on November 19. The Founders Edition includes three months of Stadia Pro, a Buddy Pass that lets you share the service with a friend, a Chromecast Ultra, and a Google-designed controller, among other extras.
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