It’s been almost exactly one year since Google held its first “Made by Google” event, featuring the first wave of products out of Google’s newly-found seriousness about hardware. This year we’re expecting refreshes for lots of products that debuted for the first time last year, and perhaps a few exciting surprises as well…
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Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
The (expected) announcement that’s getting the most buzz is the long-sought revamp of the Google Pixel. The Pixel was Google’s first take on a smartphone without co-branding from a partner hardware OEM, intended to represent what Google — and no one else — thinks a phone should be.
Now the Mountain View company is back for round two, bringing lots of enhancements to its flagship across the board — and, to some, a few compromises as well. Just like last year, the two phones will be almost identical under the hood. But this year the larger one is going to have a design that’s just a bit more modern.
The non-XL model is going to have a Full HD display surrounded by bezels on the top and bottom that look a lot like the original Google Pixel. On the inside, the new smaller Pixel will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 2,700mAh battery, and both 64GB and 128GB storage options.
The larger and more-premium XL model is going to sport a design much closer to that of a modern flagship, with minimal bezels above and below the screen and a QHD display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Internally the device’s specs are expected to be identical to that of the smaller Pixel.
On the side of compromises, it’s expected that both devices will entirely forgo the headphone jack in favor of Bluetooth and USB-C headphones. They’ll also be a bit on the pricier side: the Pixel 2 will start at $649 for the 64GB model of the smaller one, and the Pixel 2 XL will start at $849.
In the lead up to the coming Google Pixel 2, we’ve been revisiting the original Pixel this week to see where it still shines, where it falls short, and how it compares to the other flagships on the market. Overall, it looks like the Pixel 2 is shaping up to mostly be a refinement on what we thin was the best phone last year.
We’re also expecting Google to announce a new tablet/laptop hybrid with the Pixelbook. The laptop is expected to run a highly-modified version of Chrome OS and will be on the higher-end of the spectrum price-wise. There are three storage variants for the Pixelbook: 128GB at $1,199, 256GB at $1,399, and 512GB at $1,749.
There’s also going to be a special Pixelbook Pen accessory that is notably not included and costs an additional $99. Other than that, we don’t really know much about the device.
Google Home Mini
Also coming up this week is the Google Home Mini, which will be a smaller (and cuter) version of the Google Home that launched last year. We don’t have any specs or details, really, but we know it’s going to have a speaker covered in a cloth-like material and will probably be not quite as loud as the standard Google Home.
Unlike competing wireless products with Google Assistant that have been announced lately, the Google Home Mini will seemingly have to be plugged into the wall. And in contrast to the current $129 price, the Google Home Mini will reportedly come in at $49.
Last up in terms of things we’re nearly certain will be launching on Wednesday is a new Daydream View headset. Based on the leaked images we can’t really tell what’s new, but it’s obvious that there are new colors and a new texture for the material. The controller that ships with it looks identical to last year’s model.
This refreshed View comes in “Charcoal,” “Fog,” and “Coral.” And the price is jumping up slightly to $99, a $20 increase over the original.
Images and pricing for the above products all leaked thanks to Droid-life, but there are a lot of other things we’ve heard about that might debut on Wednesday — or, perhaps they won’t. We told you recently about a larger Google Home called Google Home Max that’s in the works, and we also reported on a new third-party accessory certification program called Made for Google. There’s also talk of Bluetooth headphones.
We’re not sure if any of these things will be mentioned on stage this week, but be sure to tune in here at 9to5Google since we’ll be on the ground in San Francisco to keep you in the loop on the latest.