Google’s key ‘made by google’ event saw all the rumours and multiple leaks of its phones hold true as they unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL at the event. There were a few other hardware products unveiled at the event which included a new Chromecast, Google Wifi, its new VR headset the daydream and a whole lot more. Although most of us had predicted a new Chromecast to be unveiled at the event, the VR headset and the Wifi router was a pleasant surprise.
Google’s event saw their Google assistant being the driving force behind their smartphones and their Google Home home assistant. Google stepped upped their game in both the software and hardware departments. Essentially their engineers talked about how Google as an ecosystem is growing with the Google assistant and their machine learning and AI prowess leading all the multiple hardware launches going forward. Read on to know more about the products launched at the event.
Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones
After weeks of leaks, it was no surprise that Google launched the new Pixel smartphones. Both phones are identical in specs say for screen size, battery capacity, and screen resolution. They are powered by the latest silicon by Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 821 and have 4GB of RAM and either 32GB or 128 GB of storage. These phones are built by HTC, although HTC branding is not found anywhere in the phone. Both have a 12.3 mp camera doing duties at the back which Google claims is the best camera on a smartphone till date with a DXOmark score of 89.
Both the Pixel and the Pixel XL runs on a custom version of Android 7 Nougat. It has google assistant serving a very upfront role in how people use the phone. Google assistant is front right and center in the phones. At the event, we saw Google show off how it useful the assistant is in everyday use from answering your queries to even interacting with apps and booking you a table at that restaurant. All this starting at 649$ or Rs 57000.
Daydream view headset
Google unveiled its first VR headset for the Daydream platform, the Daydream view. It’s compatible with any Daydream-supported phone which is only the Pixel as of now with more partners to come. The headset is made from soft fabric to feel ‘soft and cozy’. Google had worked with clothing fabric manufacturers for producing the Daydream view. It automatically pairs with the phone and are eye glasses friendly with an auto alignment feature built-in.
Like the Pixel phones, Google talked a lot about the software integration in the Daydream View. There are Google Streetview, the Google photos and the YouTube app that can be controlled using the remote controller. Yes, it comes with a remote that has a touchpad and two buttons. Obviously, you can watch YouTube in 360 and explore the streets of the world in virtual reality using the remote. Daydream view goes on sale this November at Rs 5300.
Another hardware that is an update instead of a new category is the new chromecast dubbed chromecast ultra. The form and function of the chromecast largely remain the same. It now supports 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision. It now features an Ethernet port integrated into the power adapter. The updated chromecast Ultra starts at Rs 4600 or 69$ with preorder starting in November.
The internet search giant is now making internet router (ahem). The system simply called Google wifi is a modular multi-point network. The router manages the network automatically and intelligently routes the data to you based on where you are in the room for maximum throughput. You can control the router via the app. You can even shut down the internet for your kids by ‘pausing’ the same which was shown in the tech demo. A single router will set you back by $129 or approximately Rs 8600 while a 3 router pack will cost you around Rs 20,000. It will be available for preorder starting November with shipping starting in December.
Google’s smart home assistant was shown at the Google I/O 2016. We got to see the final product now which costs $129 or Rs 8600. Google home is basically a Google assistant in every room of your home. You can ask search queries similar to what you can do on the phone. You can also control the music etc with it. This is a direct competition to Amazon Echo. Google home comes in a few different colours to match the interior decor of your home.