File photo: Sydney, Australia – September 6, 2011: Close up of an Apple iPad and on a desk showing the Google search engine home screen. There is also a keyboard and some documents on the desk, the documents show charts and graphs. This scene depicts iPad in a working environment. (Courtney Keating)
Google’s latest hardware event is almost here, and it’s slated to be a big one.
While the upcoming Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones will likely be the stars of the show, we’re also expecting big new announcements for Google Home, as well as the debut of an ultra-premium Chromebook. From sexy new phones to stunning augmented reality tech, here’s everything to expect from Google on Oct. 4, and where to watch all the big reveals.
When and Where to Watch
Google’s big hardware showcase will kick off on Oct. 4 at 12 p.m. ET, and will be livestreamed on the company’s YouTube channel. We’ll be on the ground in California covering all the big news as it happens, so be sure to check back right here for all the latest announcements and hands-on impressions.
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
Google is set to finally unveil the much anticipated sequels to its Pixel phone, which became an Android favorite last year, thanks to its excellent camera and pure software experience. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are expected to build on that foundation, offering faster performance, curved OLED displays (at least on the XL), waterproof bodies, and, potentially, squeezable frames that let you summon Google Assistant by simply squeezing the phones.
LG is rumored to be building the Pixel 2 XL, while Google’s newly-acquired HTC is expected to be working on the Pixel 2. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will likely have 5- and 6-inch displays, respectively, will run on powerful Snapdragon 835 chips, and may ditch the headphone jack, which would be controversial. Expect the Pixel 2 to start at $649, and the Pixel 2 XL at a much more premium $849.
Chromebooks are known for affordability, but they might soon welcome an ultra-premium member to the family with Google’s rumored Pixelbook. This purported high-end Chromebook could feature a 2-in-1 convertible design, complete with a touchscreen and a special Pixelbook Pen designed for accurate drawing.
While Chromebooks typically run almost entirely on web-based applications, the Pixelbook could be different.The highest-end version of Google’s notebook is expected to sport a 512GB hard drive (for a whopping $1,749), suggesting that the Pixelbook could launch with a new hybrid software that blends together Chrome OS and Android for more robust app functionality.
Google Home Max and Mini
The Google Home could get two major new variations that would help Google continue to compete with Amazon for smart speaker dominance. According to leaked images, the first of these devices will be the Google Home Mini, a $49 puck-shaped speaker that will come in a variety of colors and looks like a direct answer to Amazon’s Echo Dot.
We also might see a higher-end Google Home Max, according to a report from 9to5Google . The Max could feature stereo speakers to deliver higher-quality sound, and is expected to sport “premium” materials. It’s unclear whether this device will be a dedicated speaker such as Apple’s upcoming $349 HomePod , or a hybrid touchscreen device such as the new $229 Amazon Echo Show . Either way, it’ll probably be expensive, and will hopefully sound great.
Daydream and ARCore
Expect to hear updates on both virtual- and augmented reality at Google’s big event. Google’s Daydream VR headset is approaching its one-year anniversary, and could get three new models that come in charcoal black, fog gray and coral — just like the leaked Google Home Mini. According to DroidLife , these new models will cost $99, which is a $20 price bump over last year’s model. No word yet on what kinds of technical upgrades to expect, nor what kind of new VR content Google has up its sleeve.
There’s also Google’s new ARCore technology, which is poised to compete with Apple’s ARKit by enabling developers to create all kinds of cool AR experiences for your Android devices. Google first unveiled the tech in August, and we expect to see some substantial demos of it in action once Oct. 4 rolls around.