Google’s annual fall hardware showcase is happening on Tuesday, October 15th, and we expect it to be a big one. The star of the show will almost certainly be the Pixel 4, with its second back camera packed into an iPhone 11-like camera square, face unlock tech that might rival Apple’s Face ID, and a motion-sensing radar that Google’s been quietly developing for years.
And that’s just what Google has already told us. The rumor mill suggests there’s way more to the Pixel 4, and we might also see a much faster Google Assistant, a more affordable Pixel book, new-and-improved Pixel Buds, and additional devices.
But until then, here’s what to expect:
Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL
It’s not a stretch to say there’s almost nothing we don’t know about the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, given all that has leaked. Several hands-on videos have been published in the past two months alone, revealing all three of the forthcoming phones’ colors and their prominent rear cameras. Google itself revealed two headliners in facial recognition and gesture detection, the latter of which is likely based on the tech giant’s Project Soli technology (which uses radar to detect hand and finger movement).
So what else is new with the Pixel 4 and 4 XL? Google’s next flagships reportedly feature unibody designs with large top bezels, square rear camera modules, and jet-black frames. The cover glass and outer band have a textured finish designed to resist fingerprints and sweat. And while the Pixel 3’s rear-mounted Pixel Imprint sensors appear to be missing in action, that’s presumably because they’re embedded beneath the screen à la Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.
Under the hood, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are said to sport Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 system-on-chip paired and a proprietary coprocessor — the Pixel Neural Core, successor to the Pixel 3’s Visual Core — for photo pre- and post-processing. (For point of reference, that’s the same Snapdragon chip inside the OnePlus 7 Pro, ZTE Axon 10 Pro, and LG G8 ThinQ.) They’re complemented by 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage and either a 2,800mAh (Pixel 4) or 3,700mAh battery (Pixel 4 XL). Elsewhere, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL are anticipated to pack screens with ultra-smooth 90Hz refresh rates, much like those on the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7T. And if rumors are to be believed, at least one of the new Pixels phones’ dual rear-facing cameras will be capable of up to 8 times digital zoom
That’s all compelling stuff, but the new Pixels’ software might be just as (if not more) impressive than their hardware. A redesigned and on-device Google Assistant experience is in tow, Google says, and it’s up to 10 times faster than Assistant on the Pixel 3. A beefed-up camera app supports a new astrophotography mode that enhances the brightness and contrast of night-sky images. As for the aforementioned gesture recognition, dubbed Motion Sense, it’s said to be compatible with a raft of third-party apps, including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, and Spotify, plus a new Pokémon-themed minigame called Pokémon Wave Hello.
Pricing remains a mystery, but it’s a safe bet that neither will be much more expensive than the $799 Pixel 3 and $899 Pixel 3 XL. Of course, if a rumored but by no means confirmed 5G-compatible Pixel 4 model were to be unveiled alongside the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, it would probably command a premium.
The original Pixelbook came out in 2017, but since its release, we haven’t been sure of Google’s future ambitions for its laptops. For a while, it even seemed as if there may never be another one — that is, until Google confirmed earlier this year that new laptops were on the way. On Tuesday, we might finally see the first new Pixelbook laptop in two years, according to 9to5Google.
Apparently called the Pixelbook Go, it’s expected to have a 13.3-inch 16:9 touchscreen display offered in either Full HD or 4K resolutions. Unlike the 2-in-1 Pixelbook, though, the Pixelbook Go is expected to have a more traditional clamshell laptop form factor.
If you want a better idea of what the Pixelbook Go might look like, 9to5Google shared a lot of hands-on photos with what it claims is a prototype of the new laptop, revealing a coral-esque color and a ribbed texture on the bottom of the device.
The Pixelbook Go will also reportedly have two USB-C ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, also be available in a black color, and come in a variety of configurations, with Intel Core m3, i5, and i7 processors; 8GB or 16GB of RAM; and 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage.
New Pixel Buds
Not every Google product is a slam-dunk, and the Pixel Buds were one of the search engine giant’s missteps. While decent, Google’s Air Pods imitators weren’t up to the standard set by many other competitors. Since that release in 2017, Google has been a little quiet on a successor. It might finally be ready, as 9to5Google reports Pixel Buds 2 is set to debut at the October 15 event.
We’re not 100% sure it will be there though, as such a device would need to have passed through the FCC’s filings by now, and we haven’t heard much about them until now.
Google home Mini
The Pixelbook isn’t the only Google product that’s overdue for a refresh. Google announced the Google Home Mini, the miniature puck-shaped counterpart to its Google Home smart speaker, in October 2017. Following the rechristening in May of Google’s smart home portfolio and the recent migration of Nest accounts to Google accounts, the stage appears to be set for a Nest-branded speaker to arrive alongside other AI-imbued home products.
The Nest Mini won’t likely look too dissimilar from the Home Mini, save a lighter plastic-and-fabric body and a built-in wall mount. But the internals are a different story. The Nest Mini is said to feature improved, higher-quality drivers capable of producing better bass and reaching a higher maximum volume. It’ll also reportedly pack a 3.5mm jack like Amazon’s Echo Dot, and a proximity sensor that illuminates the volume indicator when you approach the Nest Mini.
That is all that’s made its way through the grapevine so far, beyond rumors that the Nest Mini is said to come in new colors (it’s unclear which) and start around the Home Mini’s $49 price point.
Could a Google-designed smartwatch make its debut on the same day as the Pixel 4, Pixelbook Go, Nest Wifi, and Nest Mini? Possibly. Nikkei Asian Review reported this week that some sort of wearable would be announced during next week’s event, presumably sporting the latest version of Android Wear and Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon Wear system-on-chip. That’s after Google tempered expectations ahead of last year’s Pixel 3 event by denying rumors of an impending Pixel Watch.
Then again, there’s a good chance such a watch might not break cover. According to 9to5Google, the Pixel Watch in its current incarnation isn’t likely to see the light of day anytime soon. Business Insider similarly suggested recently that a Google-made smartwatch isn’t in the cards for 2019.
So it’s a toss-up. Still, we’re not counting out the Pixel Watch yet.
It all goes down on October 15
where the show kicks off at 10 a.m. ET. You can watch the livestream of the event at the YouTube link above. you can count on seeing all of the above, and maybe even a few surprises. We’re excited to see it all!
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