On the heels of Apple's September keynote, Google held its own Pixel 2 event in San Francisco today. As expected, Google talked up its software chops in Google Assistant and AI, but Android fanboys like myself only had ears for the hardware announcements. Without further ado, let's take a look at the most exciting Google hardware of the day!
If the Google Home was an answer to the Amazon Echo, then the Home Mini is a response to the Echo Dot. Just like the Dot, the Home Mini is here to bring Google Assistant to every corner of your house, from the ever-busy kitchen to your kids bedrooms. Affordable: yep, at only $49. Cute: yep yep.
While the Home Mini was leaked well ahead of time, the internet had only heard rumblings of a potential larger sibling. A rumor no longer, the Google Home Max features premium audio and a new Smart Sound system, which lets it tune itself automatically to its surroundings. A shot across the bow of the Apple HomePod? I think so.
Pixel 2 & 2 XL
Let's be honest: while the Home Mini and Max are lovely products in their own right, this event was nicknamed the "Pixel 2 Event" for a reason. After months of rumors and leaks, Google finally announced their next generation Pixel 2 and 2 XL phones today, sporting major software and hardware upgrades. Google Lens is nearing launch and will teach your Pixels via AI to truly understand the world. And, in a major coup, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL feature an unprecedented DxOMark camera score of 98, dethroning the iPhone 8 Plus in less than a month!
Google announced several other products today, including the expected Pixelbook laptop with accompanying Pixelbook Pen. Google Clips came seemingly out of left field, though, and has left me both bewildered and wildly intrigued. Ostensibly a portable standalone camera, it captures the best moments of your life at little to no effort. Will it really work? Only time will tell.
Last but not least, Google now has an answer to the Apple AirPods: the Pixel ... Buds? Even though the battery life and pricing match Apple's offering, the left and right buds are actually tethered. Tethered! Still, the Pixel Buds have one redeeming feature with great promise: real-time language translation. Could our Babel Fish have arrived?