Wednesday, 22 November 2017
News Tech

The 5 biggest announcements from Google’s Pixel 2 event


Google’s Pixel event today confirmed a lot of leaks and rumors, but it also held some surprises and software upgrades developed with machine learning. Marking its second year making hardware, Google announced the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL; an interesting new camera called Google Clips; a new Google Home Mini and Max; a Pixelbook, and an updated Google Daydream.

If you missed any of it, we have the biggest announcements right here.


The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both use Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processors with 4GB RAM. (You can also choose between 64GB and 128GB options.) They have the same camera, processor, and speaker specs. They have 12.2-megapixel rear cameras that have an autofocus with laser and dual-pixel phase detection, and optical and electronic image stabilization. In the front, the Pixels have a fixed-focus 8-megapixel camera. Both phones use USB-C, but don’t offer wireless charging. There is no headphone jack and it runs on Bluetooth 5.0.

The Pixel 2 XL has a bigger battery and a 6-inch screen with a 2880 x 1440 smart OLED resolution; the Pixel 2 has a 5-inch screen and 1920 x 1080 OLED resolution. This year’s XL is slightly bigger than last year’s 5.5-inch screen. The Pixel 2 is also slightly lighter and slimmer than the XL. The Pixel 2 comes in “kind of blue,” “just black,” and “clearly white,” according to Google product chief Mario Queiroz.

Both phones can be preordered today; they become available on October 19th. The Pixel 2 64GB will cost $649, while the Pixel 2 XL 64GB costs $849. The 128GB option costs $749 and 949, respectively.

On the accessories side of things, Google also announced its own wireless headphones called Pixel Buds, which are the company’s answer to AirPods. The headphones are compatible with USB-C for charging and provide up to five hours of listening time per charge. Notably, you can activate Google Translate on the headphones to get real-time translations of conversations.

Google has come out with a camera that uses artificial intelligence to capture intimate moments that you aren’t able to get on your own. If your dog or baby is camera-shy, you can plant the Google Clips camera somewhere nearby to automatically take photos for you. The camera is trained to capture soundless videos of faces and pets that it recognizes and deems “interesting.”


As shown in the demo onstage, Google Clips looks to be targeting parents, allowing them to focus more on interacting with their kids and pets than holding a camera in their hand. By only capturing soundless video, Google Clips dodges any laws against wiretaps. When the camera is on, an LED light blinks to let those in the room know they are being photographed.

Clips comes in a two-tone white-and-teal color, and has a battery life of three hours of continuous use. It has a 12-megapixel sensor, a 130-degree field-of-view lens, and takes photos at 15 fps. Lastly, it has 8GB of internal memory. The Google Clips camera will be available for $249.


Google announced the Google Home Mini today, a smaller smart home device for listening to the news or podcasts. It comes in three colors: chalk, charcoal, and coral. It’s tiny and fabric-covered, with a four-inch diameter and a height of over an inch and a half. The Home Mini costs $49 and will be available on October 19th in major retailers. Home devices are also coming to Japan for the first time.

Google Home will add more actions surrounding routines, similar to what Amazon announced last week in its surprise hardware event. Now you can say, “Good night, Google,” and Google Home will dim the lights, set your alarm clock for the next day, remind you of tomorrow’s appointments, and arm your security system.


Google also announced its Google Home Max, which boasts a stereo speaker with two 4.5-inch woofers, which is 20 times more powerful than the original Google Home. It comes in black or white, costs $399, and is available in December. Home Max buyers get a free year of YouTube Red.


The new Pixelbook starts at $999 and goes up to $1,649 for double the RAM, a 512GB NVMe, and a seventh-generation Intel i7 processor. The Pixelbook has a 12.3-inch high-resolution screen, and it’s the first laptop with the Google Assistant built in. It has soft touch keys that are backlit and promises 10 hours of battery life. You can either talk to the Google Assistant, or if you type to the Assistant, it responds silently.

It’ll be accompanied by an optional accessory, the $99 Pixelbook Pen, which is a stylus made in partnership with tablet maker Wacom. The $1,649 option marks the first time that the company has returned at the high end of the Chromebook market since Google discontinued the Chromebook Pixel last year. Preorders are live today and the Pixelbook and Pen become available on October 31st.


Google announced a new Daydream View VR headset, which is an update to last year’s model. It’s available in gray, black, or coral pink to complement the Google Home colors. It’s compatible with the Pixel 2, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8, and LG V30.

It’s priced at $99 (up $20 from the original but still affordable, especially compared to the likes of the $599 HTC Vive). The Daydream View is sold on the Google Store and through major carriers like Verizon and retailers like Best Buy and Amazon. It will be available in November.

For an exclusive look at all the new Google devices announced, check out our interview with CEO Sundar Pichai.



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