A Google employee holds up the new Pixel 2 smartphone and Google Clips wireless camera


At the Google Hardware Event in San Francisco on Wednesday, the company announced a slew of new devices. The belles of the ball were the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, the second generation of the product line that Google launched in 2016. The Pixel 2 XL, manufactured by LG, sports a new six-inch display screen, while the Pixel 2, built by HTC, looks largely the same as the original.

Both phones now have stronger waterproofing—they’re now able to withstand water five feet deep for 30 minutes. A criticism of the first generation was that the phones could only withstand light rain, unlike Galaxy and iPhone models. The new devices have other updated features like Bluetooth 5.0 and dual speakers in the front, too.


The smartphones also come with tuned-up augmented reality software that allows users to put 3-D animations and moving emojis into their videos and photos, some of which will be based on Star Wars characters. Pricing for the Pixel 2 starts at $650, while the Pixel 2 XL is $850.

Google also revealed other items like the Google Clips Camera, which automatically takes photos and soundless video based on A.I. programming that recognizes faces. The idea is that it will know when to take pictures for you, so you won’t have to be preoccupied with your camera during get-togethers. There are also new Google Home Mini and Max smart speakers, which will compete with Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot, plus another generation of the Google Dream, a virtual reality headset that works with the Pixel phones.

And as rumored, Google has produced a high-end laptop with a touchscreen and stylus, a follow-up to the Chromebook Pixel. But with a slight swapping of Google jargon, the product is now called the “Google Pixelbook.”

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