Sunday , October 22 2017

Pixel Day is tomorrow, brought to you by Google: what are we expecting?

It is one of the happiest days of the Android calendar: Pixel Day. We have only had one Pixel Day, but the second annual Pixel Day is promising to be a big one with Google gearing up to launch several devices.

Obviously on Pixel Day we are expecting to see Google announce the two new Pixel phones but it is the bonus devices (as I call them) that are a bit more unknown. Rumours have a Google PixelBook (Chromebook) arriving with a stylus (Pixel Pen?), a new version of Daydream View and a Google Home Mini. A very big longshot is also the Google Home Max but we expect that to come later this year instead.

The Pixel Phones

These are the devices that are the headline act. As such they are already well known with many details already leaked. Just yesterday we saw Evan Blass leak pictures of both the Pixel XL 2 and the Pixel 2. This year the two Pixel phones are very different in design — one is stylish and one is bezelicious, old, five-years-ago design.

The phones will both house Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPUs and 4GB of RAM. Both will have squeezable sides (Active Edge), 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, dual stereo front-facing speakers and a 12MP single rear camera.

The differences are in the design and the display. The Pixel XL 2 will look very similar in shape to the LG V30, with an 18:9 aspect ratio display and much smaller bezels than last year’s model. The Pixel 2, or as we like to call it here at Ausdroid, the lesser Pixel 2, will have the same display ratio as last year and bezels that are either the same or slightly bigger. The design is very tired but some may prefer the smaller phone.

Don’t expect the phone to be cheap. We expect the pricing to be very similar to last year’s Pixel phones.

Google PixelBook

It has been a while since Google released a PixelBook, or Pixel Chromebook but with Google moving a lot of resources into Chromebooks (eg. Android apps, Google Assistant) and also focusing on hardware manufacturing, it is no surprise to see them bring out their own premium Chromebook.

Premium is what this new PixelBook is supposed to be. It looks to be superbly crafted with a price to match. Unlike previous Chromebooks which came in low storage options the new PixelBook will arrive in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options. With Android apps now available for Chromebooks this extra storage may well be required to run all the apps you wish to.

The PixelBook will also come with a style or pen which will be pressure sensitive with tilt support and “no lag”. It will also have a button which will most likely be able to be configured to launch Google Assistant, which we now know is arriving on Chromebooks soon.

The kicker is the price; the 128GB model is said to be priced at $1,199USD ($1,496AUD), the 256GB model at $1,399USD ($1,745AUD) and finally the 512GB model will be priced at $1,749 (that’s $2182.70AUD). At those prices for a Chromebook you would expect the Pixel Pen to be thrown in free of charge. Unfortunately that will be sold separately and set you back $99USD (about $124AUD). Very steep for a Chromebook but Google have stated they are in the premium device business so we expect their prices to match unfortunately.

Google Home Mini

The Google Home Mini has been leaked a few times and passed through the FCC a few weeks ago so we are expecting it to arrive alongside the Pixel devices. The Google Home Mini is set to have all the same functionality as the full sized Google Home without the decent speaker. The Mini is apparently designed to fulfil a gap in some people’s homes where they feel a full series of $200AUD speakers isn’t particularly feasible — a Google Home in every room?

No pricing has been leaked yet but with the full Google Home priced at $200 we expect this to come in a lot cheaper, priced to go up against the Amazon Echo Dot (~$60US). I can see myself buying one (or more) assuming they have a half decent speaker (I would still like to use them to listen to music).

Where can we watch this announcement?

Aside from keeping an eye on Ausdroid’s social media pages, as Jason will be live tweeting etc from the event, you can watch it live from Google’s Made by Google YouTube channel (see below). The event begins at 3am so if you decide to sleep instead check in here at Ausdroid when you wake up as we will every single piece of information you may want, including local release information if available.

What are you most looking forward to on Pixel Day? Personally for me it is the Pixel XL 2 and the PixelBook although at least one of those will most likely priced out of my price range.

 

Scott Plowman   Associate Editor

Scott is our modding guru - he has his finger on the pulse of all things ‘moddable’, pointing us towards all the cutting edge mods hacks that are available. When he’s not gymming it up, or scanning the heck out of Nexus devices, you'll find him on the Ausdroid Podcast.

Outside of Ausdroid, Scott's a health care professional and lecturer at a well known Victorian university.

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