Google’s highly-anticipated Pixel event is all set to go live in a few hours from now. Other than the much-rumored Pixel smartphones, the event will also witness the launch of some new hardware including a smart home voice assistant, a new Wi-Fi router and 4K-enabled Chromecast among others. But it’s not just a hardware event, and Google will also have a bunch of software-related announcements and the Google Assistant is expected to take center stage.
The Google Pixel event will kick start at 9:30PM IST, but it has been already marred by a lot of leaks. The biggest has been, undoubtedly, the ‘accidental’ revelation of the Pixel phones. The latest phones made by Google bring newer elements like Android Nougat out-of-the-box and a microSD card slot for memory expansion among others. Here are six key product announcements which Google is likely to make at the Pixel event. ALSO READ: Google’s Pixel launch event today is not about hardware
Google Pixel: After Samsung and Apple have exhausted themselves, it is time for Google to show its open-source software power by launching its own range of smartphones. The Nexus lineup has reached the end of line, and the upcoming smartphones will carry the Pixel branding which is in tune with the search giant’s aim of building products that are more Google. Like the Nexus lineup, these smartphones too will run on the latest Android Nougat, but there will be enough changes to the UI and Google Assistant will be deeply integrated. We already have a good idea about what to expect from the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones courtesy of a huge leak by a UK-based mobile retailer.
Google Pixel XL : Just like the Nexus lineup, this year also consumers will see two new Google smartphones. The Google Pixel will be accompanied by a bigger model, called ‘Pixel XL’ that will feature a larger 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display with 534ppi and Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Under its hood will be a 2.15GHz Snapdragon 821 quad-core chipset coupled with 4GB of RAM, and 256GB of internal storage. If the speculations are to be believed, the phone will also feature a microSD card slot for memory expansion. While most of the specifications are same, the Pixel XL differs primarily on the display size and the battery which is at 3,450mAh, claimed to last 26 hours of talktime. It will also come with a rear fingerprint sensor and support 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC.
Chromecast Ultra: Google’s Pixel event is also likely to witness the unveiling of a new streaming device. It is anticipated that Google will take the wraps off the new Chromecast Ultra which will be packed with more features than earlier models and also cost more. According to recent leaks, the streaming dongle will support 4K video streaming and even HDR. While the Chromecast Ultra will feature a familiar design, Google’s gradual approach to improvements is seen as wise in a market where 4K video streaming is yet to see a mass adoption. The device is expected to retail for $69 (Rs 4,500 approximately), which is twice the price of a standard Chromecast.
Daydream VR headset: With Cardboard, Google brought virtual reality to the masses. With Daydream, Google has a similar aim, but is massively improving the hardware. At the event tonight, Google is expected to unveil its first Daydream VR headset with an accompanying motion controller. The talking point will be the price, which will be much lower than the likes of Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, and the Oculus Rift. With Google’s latest Android Nougat OS, the Daydream VR mode would open VR headset-compatible versions of Google apps like YouTube, Street View, Play Movies, Google Photos and Play Store.
OnHub Wi-Fi: Google is expected to unveil a new version of its OnHub router. While the functionality is expected to remain the same, the upcoming router will support higher speed and also boast more range. It is expected to be priced at $129, which is Rs 8,500.