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New Phones, Smart Speakers and a Chromebook: Everything Google Announced at Its Pixel 2 Event

Google announced a wide range of new devices at its second “Made by Google” event in San Francisco Wednesday, including new phones, smart speakers and a new laptop. Here are all the major announcements, and the key details you need to know about them:

Pixel 2: After introducing its first Pixel-branded line of phones last year, Google followed up with the 5″ Pixel 2 and the 6″ Pixel 2 XL Wednesday. Both phones got a design refresh with smaller bezels, a new front-facing stereo speaker, and both also allow to summon the Google Assistant with a squeeze of the phone frame.

Both the Pixel and the Pixel Xl feature the same camera, which got a score of 98 from the camera experts at DxOMark. The real two devices is really only differ in display and battery sizes. “We don’t set aside better features for the larger device,” quipped Pixel chief Mario Queiroz in a clear reference to the iPhone. However, the feature parity goes for the good and the bad: Both the Pixel and the Pixel Xl don’t have a headphone jack anymore.

The Pixel 2 starts at $649, and the Pixel 2 XL starts at $849. Both are available for pre-order via the Google Store effective immediately, and will once again sell exclusively at Verizon stores as well.

Google Home Mini and Google Home Max. The company’s Google Home smart speaker is getting two companions with widely different price points: The Google Home Mini is essentially Google’s answer to Amazon’s Echo Dot, and packs the whole Google Assistant with a lot less sound in a small but well-designed package. It’s available starting October 19 for $49.

The Google Home Max plays in a different league entirely, and aims to appeal to music lovers with stereo sound that’s automatically optimized for the room the speaker is placed in.

For that, Google actually integrated six microphones, as opposed to the two that power voice control on the Home and Home Mini, to automatically listen to the music it is playing, and then adjust the sound accordingly. The Google Home Max also comes with line-in connectivity, and can be combined to pairs of two for true stereo sound. It ships in December for $399.

You can read more on both devices here.

Google Pixel Buds: To complement the Pixel, Google has developed its own set of earbuds. The Google Pixel Buds come with their own charging case, which holds up to four charges, with each charge lasting up to five hours of use. They feature a tight integration of Google’s Assistant, which can be summoned by simply placing one’s finger on the right earbud.

One of the most intriguing features demonstrated on stage is an integration with Google Translate, which makes it possible to automatically translate anything that is being said into your native language. However, it’s worth noting that this heavily relies on your phone, which has to be used to record whoever is speaking, and to translate what is being said. Google’s Pixel buds will work both with last year’s Pixel and the Pixel 2, and ship in November for $159.

Daydream View. Google’s mobile VR viewer may look very much like last year’s version, but the company actually did change a number of things to improve the experience with the device. The new Daydream viewer comes with an additional head strap that is supposed to make long-time use more comfortable.

It also packs new lenses that feature a wider field-of-view and some design changes to make sure that less light sneaks in while consumers wear the device. Finally, Google also added a heat sink to cool down the phone while in use, which should make heavy graphics rendering less taxing. The new Daydream View is available immediately on the Google Store, and costs $99.

Pixelbook: Google has been partnering with other companies to make Chromebooks for years. Now, it’s making its own, shooting for the higher end of the market. The Pixelbook features a 12.3″ LCD touch screen that swivels into a tablet-like form factor and is compatible with an optional Pixelbook Pen stylus.

Inside, it’s being driven by an Intel i5 or i7 processor, at least 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. High-end specs for a Chromebook, which leads to a comparably high price as well: The Pixelbook is starting at $999 and up.

Google Clips: Perhaps the most unusual product announced by Google on Wednesday is Clips, a small camera that’s being billed as a way for parents and pet owners to easily record fotos from unique perspectives.

Featuring a 16 Megapixel camera, the Clips automatically records anything it finds noteworthy, which is powered by machine learning. Users can then offload these short clips to their phone, where they can be turned into still photos, Gifs or short videos. However, don’t expect to replace your GoPro with a Clips any time soon: The camera doesn’t include any microphone. Clips will cost $249, and Google representatives said that the camera would ship “soon.”

 

 

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