Last week, search-giant Google hosted their #MadeByGoogle event and unleashed a range of products to the world. And to kick it off, we start with the Pixel 2.
To watch the entire event, scroll down to the bottom of this post.
Below are the highlights:
Let the wars between Apple and Android fans begin. It didn’t help that Google executives threw a fair amount of shade towards the new iPhones at the launch.
Mario Queiroz, the VP of Product Management at Google said: “We don’t set aside better features for the larger device.” A not-so-subtle nod to the premium features found in the iPhone X, and not in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
So what are the premium features found in the new Pixel 2s? For starters, they come in two sizes: The Pixel 2 is 5-inch and the XL is 6-inch.
Both feature all-aluminium bodies, front-facing stereo speakers and OLED screens. The fingerprint sensors are at the rear of the device and they are both IP67 water and dust resistant. As expected the new devices come with HTC U11’s squeeze feature — where the sides of the devices have sensors that can be squeezed to trigger actions, open apps etc.
One of the main features that is bound to get everyone talking is its cameras. Now this is interesting. DxOMark, a company that pops up every time a smartphone is launched (and a source of independent smartphone image quality measurements and ratings), gave the Pixel 2 a ranking of 98. That’s a big deal considering how the Apple iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 were bestowed with a ranking of 94.
The Pixel 2 features a single 12MP rear camera packed with a range of new features such as better autofocus and better image stabilisation. It features a Portrait Mode, similar to the iPhones which can be accessed with both front and rear cameras.
The Pixel 2 starts at approx Dh2,400 and the XL at Dh3,100. However prices could skyrocket once they reach our shores. Last year’s versions have seen a very slight drop in prices. Some are available on Souq.com for around Dh2,000 for the 32GB Pixel and Dh2,800 for the 32GB XL.
The Pixel 2 wasn’t the only thing that Google unveiled at the event. Here’s the rest.
Take a deep breath and power through the next few paragraphs as we go into rapid-fire round.
1… 2… 3…
Google Home Mini and Max
This small personal assistant is priced at Dh180; and a larger Google Home Max (Dh1,464) with pumped up audio quality and high-range woofers for extra bass.
The large one features a new ‘Smart Sound’ feature that can map you rooms for optimum audio quality. There’s a new Google Pixelbook (Dh3,666) which is a laptop/tablet/convertible hybrid. It features a 12.3-inch touchscreen with configuration options of either i5 or i7 processors. Cool thing about this rendition is that Google Assistant in now inbuilt.
Where there’s a book, there’s a pen — the Google Pixelbook Pen (Dh363) has been made in partnership with Wacom. There’s a new Daydream View as well which features updated lenses and fabrics. The new headset, which is reportedly the best virtual reality headset in the market. will cost Dh363. There’s a mini camera as well called Google Clips, which features a high-performance lens which is ‘coming soon’ at a reported price of approximately Dh900.
I’ve saved the best for last. My favourite: the Google Pixel buds. The buds reportedly offer amazing audio quality as one would expect from audio products in 2017. However, besides music, you have access to Google Assistant as well. A standout feature which definitely gets these buds on my Christmas list is its new real-time translation loaded with 40 different languages. The Pixel Buds will cost approx. Dh600 and will be available in November, hopefully in the country by December in time for Christmas. Mum, I hope you’re reading this.