12 Oct 2017
In case you missed the live stream of the event last week, Google has dropped some major announcements in San Francisco. Here are my top 4 favourite products from the announcements:
Google Pixel and Pixel XL 2017(Source: GSMArena.com)
1. Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
As the successor of last year’s Pixel and Pixel XL, the new Pixel phones are back with new and improved features with some compromises (Hint: headphone jack) packed in the form of aluminium bodies with the Pixel 2 rocking a 5-inch 1080p OLED display and a 6-inch OLED panel with QHD+ (or 2880 x 1440) resolution on the larger Pixel 2 XL.
Apart from the different screen sizes, both devices essentially share the same features as Google claims that “they don’t set aside better features for the larger device”. Since there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack this time round, a Type-C to 3.5mm cable adapter is included in the box.
As for the device specifications, both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processors, 4GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, and pure Android Oreo which features a new Always On Display, a newly-redesigned home screen with a persistent search box at the bottom, and Active Edge – squeezing the sides of the phone launches Google Assistant (Sounds familiar cough HTC U11 cough right?). Unlike its predecessors, both phones are IP67 dust and water resistance certified. The fingerprint sensor is placed where your index finger would rest naturally and the addition of the front-facing speakers are some of Google’s subtle changes.
Google Pixel 2017 Devices Specifications(Source: Made By Google’s YouTube live stream)
Google Pixel XL Tops the DXOMARK Score(Source: Made By Google’s YouTube live stream)
The 12.2MP rear-facing camera comes with f/1.8 aperture and OIS. Integrating A.I. and machine learning in the cameras, the DxOMark score of 98 comes as no surprise. The front-facing 8MP camera supports Google’s new Portrait mode, which blurs the background of an image creating DSLR-like images. Other than Portrait Mode, the rear-facing camera also has another interesting feature: Google Lens. It provides contextual information depending on what the user shows on the camera. If you were to point the camera at a book cover, Google Lens can bring up useful information regarding the book. This is just one of many possible scenarios. Speaking of images, Google is also offering unlimited storage on Google Photos for all images captured using both the Pixel 2 smartphones (Update: The unlimited free storage is only available until the end of 2020).
Google Pixel XL(Source: Made By Google’s YouTube live stream)
The Pixel 2 will be available in three colours: Kinda Blue, Just Black, Clearly White whereas the Pixel 2 XL will only have two colours to choose from: Just Black, and Black and White. The Google Pixel 2 will cost $649 for the 64GB model and $749 for the 128GB model whereas the Pixel 2 XL will be priced at $849 and $949 for the 64GB and 128GB models respectively.
Google Pixel ad Pixel XL All Colors(Source: Made By Google’s YouTube live stream)
2. Google Clips
Google Clips(Source: Made By Google’s YouTube live stream)
Google announced their very own A.I. powered camera, Google Clips. It is designed not for you to shoot with but to help capture moments for you so you can be in the moment. There is a little LED indicator and also a shutter button if you wish to capture something manually. Google Clips is smart and will get smarter over time thanks to Google’s machine learning. Google Clips can learn to recognise people’s faces in images and snap pictures of people you know of over time.
To access the clips and images captured on the Clips, you’ll need to pair your smartphone installed with the Google Clips app to the Clips. The clips or short 7-second videos can be saved as still images by selecting the frame of your choice. Taking privacy concerns into consideration, nothing leaves the device unless you, the user, choose to save or share it.
Google Clips with Pixel XL(Source: store.google.com)
With a 12 MP sensor, 130 degrees wide-angle lens, and 16GB of internal storage, Google Clips will be available in a two-tone white-and-teal colour and will cost $249. The release date has yet to be announced.
Google Buds(Source: Made By Google’s YouTube live stream)
3. Google Pixel Buds
Google Buds Close-up(Source: store.google.com)
The Pixel Buds is the first of its kind by Google. The wireless earbuds are connected by braided cable that goes around your neck or head. The braided cable which loops around each ear bud allows you to adjust them to fit your ear more nicely. Like most earphones out there, they can be used for phone calls and listening to songs.
The controls are integrated to the right ear bud and they are fairly simple to use. Tap to play or pause your music, swipe forward or backward to adjust the volume, or tap and hold to talk to Google Assistant and tell it to do stuff for you. For instant access to Google Assistant, you’ll need to pair the Pixel Buds to your Pixel 2 (and other Android devices).
Unlike most earphones, the Google Pixel Buds come with native support for real-time translation via Google Translate when used with the Pixel or Pixel 2 smartphones, allowing users to chat and hear translations of 40 different languages in real time (as seen in the live demonstration).
Google Buds Top View(Source: store.google.com)
Google Pixel Buds come in a pocket-sized charging case that provides up to 5 hours of listening time with a single charge of its 120 mAh battery. The charging case (which is also a wireless charger) has a battery capacity of 620 mAh and charges with USB Type-C. Google claims the charging case has enough to give you 24 hours of listening time.
Retailing at $159 this November in the U.S., the Google Pixel Buds will come in 3 colours to complement to the Pixel 2 phones: Kinda Blue, Just Black, Clearly White.
Google Pixelbook Side View(Source: store.google.com)
4. Google Pixelbook
Google Pixelbook Top View(Source: store.google.com)
The Pixelbook is Google’s latest high performance, convertible Chromebook that features a 4-in-1 design: Laptop mode, Keyboard underneath, Tablet mode, Tent mode. At only 10.3 mm thin and weighing only 1.1 kg, it is the thinnest and lightest laptop ever made by Google. This is the first laptop that has its own built-in Google Assistant with a dedicated Assistant key between the Ctrl key and the Alt key. A single tap will seamlessly launch the Google Assistant.
Assistant Key (Source: Made By Google’s YouTube video)
Google Assistant (Source: blog.google)
Speaking of Google Assistant, the virtual assistant is able to automatically connect the Pixelbook to your Pixel phones during moments when there is Wi-Fi network access, otherwise known as Instant Tethering
Instant tethering (Source: Made By Google’s YouTube live stream)
As for the hardware specifications, it has a Quad HD 12.3-inch touchscreen LCD display, Bluetooth 4.2, a 720p camera upfront, 4 microphones, 2 speakers, and a backlit keyboard. Going for the internals, the Chromebook comes in either a 7th Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, 8GB or 16GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of SSD storage. Since there’s no fans in either variants, you can expect a rather soundless and silent performance from using it.
It has 2 USB Type-C ports and Google claims that the Pixelbook has a battery life of 10 hours with a single full charge. With its 45W charger, it also supports quick-charging which gives 2 hours’ worth of charge in 15 minutes. The device runs on Chrome OS and it works well with all your Android apps.
Chrome OS (Source: Made By Google’s YouTube video)
Also compatible with the Google Assistant, there is the stylus called the Pixelbook Pen, which isn’t included in the box, ouch. You can draw and circle around a particular text or image on the Pixelbook’s screen and the Google Assistant will identify and display information relevant to the selected areas. The Pixelbook Pen has 10m/s of latency, 2000+ levels of pressure sensitivity and 60 degrees of angular awareness.
Pixelbook Pen (Source: Made By Google’s YouTube video)
The Google Pixelbook will cost $999 for the base model with Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. For slightly more storage with the same Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, the model with the 256GB internal storage will cost $1199. Lastly, the top-notch model retailing at $1649 will come with Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage.
Google Pixelbook and Pixelbook Pen (Source: Made By Google’s YouTube video)
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