Amazon shared its slate of new devices customers can look forward to this year, and not it’s Google’s turn.
During Wednesday’s (Sept.30) pre-recorded Launch Night In Event, Google didn’t really surprise anyone and just confirmed what “leaks” had already hinted that the tech giant was working on. During the 30-minute impressively produced event, we got to see two new Pixel smartphones, the new Chromecast device, and Nest Audio speakers.
Google Pixel 5
The follow-up to the solid Pixel 4 has arrived. Google’s latest smartphone doesn’t really bog you down with new features but instead is geared towards giving Pixel new and old a reliable device at an affordable price. The Pixel 5 ditches the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor for a Snapdragon 765G that still allows the flagship device to utilize 5G service. Also gone is the Pixel 4’s Soli radar module, which means that the face unlock feature and the gimmicky Motion Sense controls are not featured on this device.
Now that face unlock is gone, that means the fingerprint sensor is back and is located on the back of the phone like on the Google Pixel 3. The Pixel 5 also features a notch-less design with a pinhole punchout on the 6-inch, 2,340 x 1,080 display that retains the Pixel 4’s 90HZ refresh rate. As for the battery issues that plague the previous models, that shouldn’t be an issue this time around thanks to the Pixel 5 having a larger 4,000mAh capacity battery.
Pixel phones are well-known for having excellent cameras, and that won’t change with the Pixel 5. The phone’s primary camera system features 12-megapixel and 16-megapixel sensors that allow users to capture wide and ultra-wide photos. One new noticeable tweak is a panning tool for smoother video recording.
Google Pixel 5 also features Qi wireless charging, 128GB of storage, and waterproof design, and it all starts at $699.
Pixel 4a 5G
The Pixel 4a 5G offers pretty much all of the main features the Pixel 5 does, like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor and the same front and rear camera system but at an affordable $499 price tag. The only thing missing is Qi wireless charging, the waterproof design, and the 90hz display. But it does have a headphone jack if that makes up for anything.
The Pixel 4a 5G sounds like the perfect substitute for last year’s Pixel 4 XL model.
Google unveiled its new smart speaker, the Nest Audio. Like the Nest Mini, the Nest Audio is draped in fabric and comes in an array of colors to compliment your home aesthetic. Inside the device, there is a 19mm tweeter and 75mm mid-woofer. According to Google, those new components allow the speakers to be much louder and crank out 50 percent more bass than the Google Home.
When you issue commands to the Nest Audio’s built-in assistant, the LED lights that turn on. If your a cautious smart speaker user and don’t like it when the assistant is accidentally beckoned, there is a mute switch located on the back of the Nest Audio. There is also a Media EQ feature that Google says will automatically fine-tune the device based on what you’re listening too.
If you were wondering if two Nest Audio speakers could be paired together for stereo imaging, Google confirmed that it is possible. That Nest Audio sounds like a necessity and only costs $100.
Last but certainly not least, Google has answered the prayers of Chromecast users and has finally included a remote. The “puck” now features a new processor for 4K HDR content that streams at 60 frames per second. Dolby Vision is also supported for your surround sound needs.
The remote also features a microphone, which will allow you to beckon the assistant easily and quickly. There are the usual Back, Home, Mute, Power and Input keys, and a volume rocker. The remote also features YouTube and Netflix buttons. Chromecast will also introduce users to the new Google TV.
A very solid lineup from Google, you can head here to preorder any of the devices and get a brief look at them in action in the video below.
Photo: Google / Google Launch Night In Event