In this week’s top stories: We bring together all of our recent Pixel coverage in a convenient Google event roundup, Xiaomi launches a new Android TV box, Razer unveils a new smartphone, and more.
The best gifts for Android users
Our biggest stories this week revolved around Google’s big Pixel event. The company unveiled its new Pixel 3 smartphones, the Google Home Hub, the Pixel Slate, and more this past Tuesday. Before we get to that, though, our top story of the week actually came from our own Stephen Hall who points out that the word “Android” wasn’t mentioned a single time at Google’s event.
“Android” wasn’t said a single time during the Made by Google 2018 keynote. It marks the first time ever that Google has held a public-facing hardware event like this — since the introduction of the operating system in 2008 — without at least mentioning it by name.
As for the event itself, it brought a whole lot of big reveals. We’ve gathered up all of Google’s announcements below.
- Google announces Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL w/ new design, wireless charging, Snapdragon 845, more
- Google announces Google Pixel Slate, its first Chrome OS tablet w/ powerful specs, optional keyboard
- Google announces Google Home Hub, its 7-inch Assistant Smart Display
- Google ‘Home View’ is a dashboard with easy home controls for Home Hub, Home app
- The Google Pixel Slate Keyboard is a premium, multipurpose accessory
- Google Pixel Stand brings wireless charging and Assistant features to Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL for $79
- Google quietly refreshes Chromecast w/ improved Wi-Fi, still 1080p, new ‘Chalk’ color
- Google’s new $30 USB-C earbuds bring Pixel Buds features, Assistant, real-time translation
Furthering our Pixel coverage, we’ve gone hands-on with each of Google’s new products as well.
- Hands-on: Google Pixel 3 & 3 XL, Google Home Hub, Google Pixel Slate, more [Video]
- Google Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL first impressions: Initially delightful in the way Pixel 2 wasn’t
- Hands-on: At first glance, Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL are just what we expected [Video]
- Hands-on: Google Pixel Slate brings the true Chrome OS tablet debut [Video]
- Hands-on: Google Home Hub’s display is a natural addition to the lineup [Video]
- Review: The new Google Chromecast is much the same w/ some solid upgrades [Video]
Another top story this week that quietly launched during Google’s event was a brand new Android TV streaming box. The Xiaomi Mi Box S follows up on a previous version which launched in 2016. It delivers 4K HDR and the latest version of Android TV, all while costing just $59.
…the Mi Box S packs the redesigned interface that Google first showed off last year. It’s based on Android 8.1 Oreo and will likely eventually get an update to Pie. The included remote now includes a Netflix shortcut, Assistant button, app shortcut, and the same volume and directional controls as before. Pre-orders for the Xiaomi Mi Box S are open now exclusively through Walmart. Pricing lands at just $59 which is actually $10 lower than the original.
Google’s event brought a ton of information to its big event this week, so it’d be pretty easy to miss some key details. In our ongoing “tidbits” series, we take a closer look at some of the interesting details about Google’s new phones, as well as their cameras specifically.
- Google Pixel 3 tidbits: Vastly improved displays, ‘Night Sight’ samples, ‘Now Playing’ history, more
- Pixel 3 camera tidbits: Pixel Visual Core tasks, Google’s opinion on dual-cameras, Night Sight details, more
Just a day after Google’s event, Razer took to the stage to unveil its latest smartphone with the Razer Phone 2. This new piece of hardware updates the specs, brings an improved design with water resistance and louder speakers, and much more. Plus, it all costs $799 and has RGB backlighting. Check out our full coverage for more information.
During Razer’s presentation, the focus for the company was bringing a flagship phone and a gaming phone together… With the Razer Phone 2, though, the company is trying to make its device better for someone who still wants to use their device as a daily driver smartphone.
One of the more exciting details that arrived around Google’s big event was the revalation that Google’s displays this year are vastly improved. DisplayMate actually awarded these OLED panels a “Best Smartphone Display” award and gave an A+ rating.
Apparently, the Pixel 3 XL has been given an “A+ rating” for its display and also a “Best Smartphone Display” award. For context, both of those have also been given to the Galaxy S9, Galaxy Note 9, and iPhone XS Max in the past year.
Our own in-house Fuchsia expert, Kyle Bradshaw, also came to the revelation that Google’s new Home Hub is also a known test device for Google’s up and coming operating system.
Amidst the announcements from yesterday’s Made by Google Event, we got a variety of details on the hardware for each of Google’s upcoming products. One of those, the Google Home Hub, may have outed itself as the latest Fuchsia OS device.
Early in the week, Google also revealed that its social network, Google+, would be “sunsetting” over the next year following a data breach. In other words, the consumer version of the platform is dead. RIP G+.
Google is shutting down the consumer aspect of the social network. It will remain available for enterprise clients that need an internal social network, but the regular app will be unavailable starting in August after a 10-month wind down period.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
- The dirty word: ‘Android’ wasn’t said a single time during the Google Pixel 3 event
- OnePlus 6T reworks navigation gestures to be more natural, adds quick switch gesture, ‘new UI’
- [Update: Not Wear OS] Huawei Watch GT leaks w/ new design, alleged 14-day battery life, ‘power-saving modes’
- Google accidentally pushes dogfood OTA of next Android 9 Pie patch to Pixel 2 XL
- The Samsung Galaxy A9 goes official, first smartphone w/ four rear cameras [Video]
- OnePlus 6T will go on sale November 6th following its launch
- How to download your Google+ data before it shuts down next year
- Despite a misleading quote, Google hasn’t dropped unlimited Google Photos backup for life on original Pixels
- Google might be preparing free 4K upgrades in Play Movies
- Hands-on: The new white Chromecast is Google’s ‘Panda’ product for 2018
Chrome OS |
- HP Chromebook x360 14 launches as a premium Chrome OS convertible at $599 ahead of Pixel Slate
- Google Pixel Slate specs, explained
- Nest Thermostat quietly launches in three fancy new color variants
- Lenovo Yoga Chromebook goes up for pre-order at $699 w/ Core i5, 8GB RAM
Apps & Updates |
- Messages 3.7 preps Google Assistant, more search filters, attachments [APK Insight]
- Google Maps for Android Auto gets a refreshed layout with Material design changes
- The new Google Home app finally goes head-to-head with the iOS ‘Home’ app [Video]
- Google Wallpapers updates Art, Earth, and other collections w/ new images