Top 5 from Google’s Pixel 2 event

Google’s Pixel event last night confirmed a lot of leaks and rumors, but it also held numerous surprises and software upgrades developed with machine learning. Marking its second year making hardware, Google announced the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL; an interesting new camera called Google Clips; a new Google Home Mini and Max; a Pixelbook, and an updated Google Daydream.

Google Clips

Google has come out with a camera that uses AI to capture vividly intimate moments that one isn’t able to get on his/her own. As shown in the demo onstage, the TG of Google clips seems to be parents, allowing them to focus more on interacting with their kids and pets than holding a camera in their hand. Google clips avoids laws against wiretaps by capturing only soundless videos. A blinking LED light lets people in the room know when the camera is turned on.

Clips comes in a two-tone white-and-teal color, and has a battery life of three hours of continuous use. It has a 12-megapixel sensor, a 130-degree field-of-view lens, and takes photos at 15 fps. Lastly, it has 8GB of internal memory. The Google Clips camera will be available for $249.

Google Home Mini and Max

Google also announced the Google home Mini and Max. The mini is a smaller smart home device for listening to the news or podcasts. It’s tiny and fabric-covered, with a four-inch diameter and a height of over an inch and a half. The Home Mini costs $49 and will be available on October 19th in major retailers. The Mini comes in three beautiful colors of chalk, charcoal, and coral.
Similar to the Mini is Google Home Max, which prides a stereo speaker with two 4.5-inch woofers, which is 20 times more powerful than the original Google Home. It comes in two colors of black and white, costs $399 and will be available from December.

Google Pixelbook

The show stopper of the event, which got the loudest cheer from the audience, was the new Pixelbook. It starts from $999 and goes up to $1,649 for double the RAM, a 512GB NVMe, and a seventh-generation Intel i7 processor. The Pixelbook has a 12.3-inch high-resolution screen, and it’s the first laptop with the Google Assistant built in. It also has soft touch keys that are backlit and guarantees 10 hours of battery life.

It’ll be accompanied by an optional accessory i.e. the $99 Pixelbook Pen, a stylus made in partnership with tablet maker Wacom.

The $1,649 option marks the first time that the company has returned at the high end of the Chromebook market since Google discontinued the Chromebook Pixel last year. Preorders have started from last night and the Pixelbook and Pen will become available from October 31st.

 Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

The highlight of last night’s event, and certainly the one that everyone was looking forward to was the new Pixel. Both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL use Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processors with 4GB RAM. (You can also choose between 64GB and 128GB options.) They have the same camera, processor, and speaker specs. They have 12.2-megapixel rear cameras that have auto-focus with laser and dual-pixel phase detection, and optical and electronic image stabilization. In the front, the Pixels have a fixed-focus 8-megapixel camera. Like the IPhone 7 onwards, these phones too do not have a headphone jack and run on Bluetooth 5.0. Unlike the new IPhone however, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have not shifted to wireless charging and instead use the traditional USB-C.

While the new pixel may have fallen behind in terms of wireless charging it sure has won over with its superior camera quality. According to DxoMark the camera has a record setting score of 98 putting it ahead of the Apple iPhone 8 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Aparna Chennapragada, Senior Director of Product at Google, Inc., talks about the new Augmented Reality stickers feature of the Pixel 2 smartphone at a product launch event, Wednesday.

The Pixel 2 XL has a bigger battery and a 6-inch screen with a 2880 x 1440 smart OLED resolution. In comparison, the Pixel 2 has a 5-inch screen and 1920 x 1080 OLED resolution. This year’s XL is slightly bigger than last year’s 5.5-inch screen. The Pixel 2 is also slightly lighter and slimmer than the XL. The Pixel 2 comes in “kind of blue,” “just black,” and “clearly white,” according to Google product chief Mario Queiroz.

Both the phones can be pre-ordered now and will be available from October 19th. The Pixel 2 64GB will cost $649, while the Pixel 2 XL 64GB costs $849. The 128GB variant costs $749 and $949, respectively.

Google Daydream

Amidst the Pixelbook and the new Pixel phones, Google announced a new Daydream View VR headset, which is an update to last year’s model. It’s available in gray, black, or coral pink to complement the Google Home colors. It’s compatible with the Pixel 2, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8, and LG V30.

It’s priced at $99 (up $20 from the original but still affordable, especially compared to the likes of the $599 HTC Vive). The Daydream View will be sold on the Google Store and through major carriers like Verizon and retailers like Best Buy and Amazon. It will be available from November

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