Google’s Pixel hardware event recap

Google unveiled a gaggle of new products and
services today at its event in San Francisco. The company was all about making things easy
and seamless, so we thought we’d do the same. Here’s all the stuff you need to know…. First up were the new Pixel phones. These sleek devices are definitely focused
on the pure Google experience. The specs are flagship-level, with a 12.3-megapixel
camera that scored higher than even the mighty iPhone 7 in DxOMark’s labs. “No unsightly camera bump” either. The new camera app means microscopic shutter
lag, intelligent HDR photos, and anyone buying a Pixel gets unlimited storage of full-resolution
images in the Cloud. The new Pixel phone runs Nougat, the latest
version of Android, and sports a shiny new Pixel Launcher, which is clean, round, and
very Google-first. An omnipresent Google bar slides out from
the top, a long hold on the home button brings up the Google Assistant, and of course the
company’s new Allo chat app comes pre-installed. The Google Pixel is available for preorder
starting today. It comes in blue, black, and silver (white,
really), with a 5″ or 5.5″ screen, and 32GB or 128GB options. Starting price is $649. (And yes, there’s a headphone jack.) The Pixel phones also fit into another area
Google is excited about: VR. The new Daydream View headset, uses the new
devices (or other compatible ones) as its display. The headset is made of a “cozy” microfiber
material acnd omes in 3 colors. There’s also a compact VR controller with
motion sensors and a clickable trackpad. Demos of a Harry Potter game (a timely “Fantastic
Beasts” tie in, naturally), a space shooter, and some video apps put Daydream through its
paces. You’ll be able to buy the Daydream View
in November for $79. Switching gears to the home, Google WiFi was
next to be introduced. Much like the Eero, it’s a puck-shaped router
that you buy a few of, scatter throughout your house, and enjoy perfect wireless signal
forever after as they intelligently switch your signal up. These things cost $129 each or $299 for a
three-pack. A companion app lets you see what devices
are connected to your network, and turn them off if you’re suspicious of them or it’s
just time for Junior to quit watching Twitch and come down to dinner. Chromecast got a minor update: the Ultra adds
4K, HDR image, and Dolby Vision — all of which should mean something to you if you’re
a TV or movie buff. The new device also has an Ethernet port built
into the power brick, if you can believe it, so you can hardwire it. $69 in November. Google Home, which was teased back at I/O,
got an official price and ship date: $129 and November 4. The Home is very much an answer to Amazon’s
popular Echo, and many of the use cases demonstrated on stage are common between the two: asking
for recipes, getting a summary of your day in the morning, and so on. The Home has a nice little speaker set built
in, comes with 6 months of YouTube Red, and hooks in with your Internet of Things, should
you have one. Nest, Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue, and
IFTTT are the only partners so far, but more are coming. Naturally, it works with Chromecast and can
interact with your phone. And that’s all! Google was really stressing interconnectivity
today: the more of their gadgets you have, the better they all work together. Not that that’s a unique proposition. We’ll be sure to get our hands on all of
Google’s goodies soon for full reviews, so stay tuned.

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