Just like last year, Google hosted a special Pixel event to showcase its new hardware products. While it was a very low-key event compared to previous events, we are assuming Google took this approach as a majority of leaks did reveal the most obvious details. This year Google has announced the new completely wire-free Pixel Buds, new Nest Mini and Nest Wi-Fi devices, and of course the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones. Google also announced the launch date for Google Stadia, the company’s cloud-based gaming platform. However, the news is that the Pixel 4 phones aren't coming to India because the radar uses 60GHz mmWave frequency which is currently not allowed for civilian use in India, as per the regulations.
The new Pixel 4 was leaked numerous times before Google put out an image of the device way back in the year. Google didn’t talk a lot about the phones, since most of the info had leaked. There is a 90Hz OLED display, Snapdragon 855 SoC, 6GB RAM and 64GB and 128GB storage options. The main highlight is the new Soli sensor which is a radar that can detect hand gestures and improves on the in-built face unlock feature as well. It can even understand if you accidently moved your hand over it, and only trigger when you actually meant to do an action. So basically you can control swipe around your phone by just waving on top of the screen.
Then there are the cameras. At the back there is a normal, and a telephoto camera. Google said, ultra-wide is fun, but telephoto is more important. The camera offers ulta-res zoom, allowing users to actually shoot from a far distance, without losing quality. Also, the night mode is now literally a night mode, as it can now capture stars by offering a combination of long exposure and HDR+. Speaking of which, you now get live HDR view and the ability to tinker with the shadows and highlights before taking the shot.
The Pixel 4 will start at $749.
Sadly, Google has confirmed that the Pixel 4 will not be coming to India. According to a Google spokesperson, “Google has a wide range of products that we make available in different regions around the world. We determine availability based on a variety of factors, including local trends, and product features. We decided not to make Pixel 4 available in India. We remain committed to our current Pixel phones and look forward to bringing future Pixel devices to India.” What Google isn't saying though is why. But we suspect the reason is that the Project Soli radar in the Pixel 4 phones use the 60GHz mmWave frequency which is currently not earmarked for civilian use in India.
Then there were the Pixel Buds. The first-gen Pixel Buds came with two earbuds connected with a cord. Now, Google is cutting that. The new Pixel Buds 2019 are completely wireless much like the Apple AirPods or Samsung’s Galaxy Buds. They offer 5 hours of battery while playing music and upto 24 hours with the rechargeable case. Google Assistant comes built-in and let’s you do even more than before, like controlling your music, sending texts, calling your friends, and so on. They offer better blocking of outside sounds so one can use them better in public. Sadly, there is no noise cancellation. Pricing starts at $179 and will start shipping in 2020.
Google is updating its tiny and basic smart speaker, the Nest Mini. The new Nest Mini now comes in a new colour and similar design and form factor. You can now hang it around your room and will have the ability all the improved abilities of the new Google Assistant as well as free calling all over the world using Google Duo. Pricing starts at $49. The Nest Wi-Fi system is an update to the Google Wi-Fi mesh system. It comes with improved stability and connectivity and the base station can act as a Nest Mini bringing voice controls and Google Assistant to your home. Pricing for the mesh router system starts at $249.
Announced earlier this year, Stadia is Google’s cloud gaming platform which will allow users to stream games on their TV, laptop or even a Pixel phone. The service will finally launch on 19 November. Google also stressed around the intricate process of making the controller, taking inspiration from a chef’s weapon, a knife. It will launch in 14 countries, including the US, Canada and the UK. Only Pro Stadia subscription users will be able to use the service at launch as the free subscription will be launching in 2020.
A budget oriented Chromebook, the new PixelBook Go comes in a simple design featuring a 13.3-inch display which is said to start at $649 with four configuration going up to $1,399. It will be offered in two colour options: just black and not pink. The body is made out of magnesium which according to Google offers better strength-to-weight ratio. You can opt for a 1080p display option or a 4K “Molecular Display.”