Google’s next Pixel phones, a Pixelbook laptop and more Google Home speakers. These are the top devices that the tech giant is widely expected to launch at its Oct. 4 event in San Francisco.
Hot on the heels of Apple’s iPhone X reveal and Amazon’s deluge of new Echo smart speakers, Google’s is expected to announce its own versions of mobile devices and smart appliances aimed to compete with its rivals, and keep users in its Google ecosystem. Its show is especially important since it’s the company’s last push to put its new products in front of eager buyers ahead of the holiday rush.
And as always, CNET will be covering the event from the ground. In the meantime, here’s exactly what we think we’ll get from next week’s event.
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones
Expected to be called the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google’s next-gen phones are rumored to be made in partnership with HTC and LG, respectively. They’ll serve as the followup to last year’s pair of Pixel phones, which introduced Google Assistant (now available on several Android phones) and impressed us with their camera prowess.
The phones will likely run the newest Android Oreo OS and are heavily speculated to have no headphone jack (much to the chagrin of CNET editors). There’s also talk that they’ll be water resistant, have improved cameras and feature squeezable sides similar to the HTC U11.
The Pixel 2s will compete with both heavy-hitters — like the Apple iPhone X (and iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and (and Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus — as well as others like the LG V30 and OnePlus 5.
As the company’s alternative to Microsoft’s Surface Book, this continuation of Google’s house-made laptop (the last one being 2015’s Google Chromebook Pixel) will purportedly come with a pressure-sensitive, tilt-sensitive stylus. It’ll likely run Google’s desktop OS, Chrome OS, and could take over the Chromebook legacy. It could also be pretty expensive, with an expected price tag starting at $1,200 for 128GB (converted that’s £890 and AU$1,500).
Google Home Mini and Max
A smaller version of Google Home calle Home Mini is the most likely. Set to go against the Echo Dot, the alleged leaked images show an adorable little speaker that comes in three colors and has swappable fabric covers similar to the original Home. There’s talk of a larger Home Max with stereo speakers too, though we know little about its potential features (or if it even exists).
New VR and AR news
From 2016’s Google Cardboard to last year’s Google standalone Daydream View VR headset, the company has continuously evolved its approach to VR. A new headset, refreshed with textured fabric and new colors, is rumored to be in the works in time for the Pixel 2 event.
In a similar vein, Google may announce updates to its ARCore platform for AR. This is Google’s answer to Apple’s ARKit, and the replacement for Google’s Tango AR project. Instead of working with third-party phone makers to make AR-centric phones with multiple rear-cameras (like the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and Asus ZenFone AR), ARCore will allow developers to use existing phones with single cameras to build AR games and content.
Other possible news
There’s always a chance Google will announce the unexpected. For instance, it’s been two years since the company overhauled its streaming Chromecast stick, not counting the incremental update that was the Chromecast Ultra. We’d also love to hear updates about Google’s nifty Lens AR technology, which stole the show at Google’s I/O developer conference this May.
We’re looking forward to seeing exactly which rumors pan out and which ones caught us off-guard. In the meantime, what else would you like to see from the presser? A new Android Wear smartwatch? Wireless earbuds? It might not happen, but it’s fun to imagine. Let us know in the comments below.