By Nate Kammerer
Last week Google showcased a line of new products at their annual hardware event. On stage, Google announced the newest members of the Pixel lineup, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, as well as some brand new products like Stadia, Pixel Buds, Pixelbook Go and Nest Wifi.
Google Pixel 4
The Google Pixel 4 was the biggest announcement, but it was not much of a surprise. For months, the new Android phone has been leaked by companies involved with its production, including Google itself. Back in June, Google posted a picture of the phone with the caption, “Well, since there seems to be some interest, here you go! Wait 'til you see what it can do.”
For months afterward, companies and employees involved with the manufacturing leaked spec lists, photos and even hands-on videos. Some of the most important features on the new phone are its high refresh rate screen, super fast face unlock and radar technology that can be used to interact with the phone without touching it.
The phone’s design is very bold and unlike the others in the pixel lineup. On the front, it has a large, dated forehead and relatively big bezels. This year instead of a notch, Google decided on a large bezel at the top of the screen to house new sensors and cameras.
The back of the phone is glass with a large, square camera bump, similar to that of the iPhone 11. The Pixel 4 comes in 3 colors: Just Black, Clearly White and a limited edition Oh So Orange. Around the edge, there is a bold, matte black band.
On the inside, the phone packs a lot of new impressive features. The screen is a Full HD+ 90Hz OLED, capable of bright, vivid colors at a very high variable refresh rate. The phone’s processor is a fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 with a Pixel Neural Core, designed to enable secure face unlocking and on-device machine learning, according to Android Police.
The Pixel also has 6GB of RAM, and 64-128GB of storage.
One of the main focuses of the Pixel lineup is the camera performance, which the Pixel 4 did not disappoint with. It has two cameras on the back, a 12MP Dual-Pixel, and a 16MP Telephoto, as well as a wide angle selfie camera on the front. Also on the front, Google has introduced new radar technology that can sense when you are near your phone.
This new system can be used to snooze alarms, dismiss calls and skip songs without touching the phone’s screen. Google’s radar technology is also used to sense when you are about to pick up your phone, which preps the face unlock sensors and unlocks your phone practically as you pick it up.
Despite all the impressive features, tech reviewers and power users are very concerned with the battery life of the phone. The smaller model has a seemingly small 2,800 mAh battery, which might not be enough to power the high refresh rate screens all day.
The Google Pixel 4 is a powerful phone, but critics seem to agree that its impressive features are not enough to justify the price tag for most people. The smaller phone with 64GB is $799, the XL model is $899, and you can upgrade either to 128GB for another $100.
The Google Pixelbook Go is Google’s new high-end Chromebook. The traditional clam-shell style laptop has a slick, lightweight and modern design and comes in two colors, Just Black and Not Pink. The display is available in a 13.3 in. HD 1920 x 1080 variation, or a more detailed 4K 3840 x 2160 variation.
Inside, the device has an 8th Gen Intel Core m3, i5, or i7 processor, and is available with 8GB or 16GB of RAM and 64GB, 128GB or 256GB SSD internal storage.
The device is light, thin and very powerful. Google claims the laptop has 12 hours of battery life and is capable of fast charge. Starting at $649, the laptop is already more expensive than other Chromebooks on the market.
The cheapest model, at $649, is perfect for general browsing and media consumption, but if you are running more computer-intensive programs, you can configure it for more power, costing you up to $1,399
Google also announced their new truly wireless earbuds. The Pixel Buds are Google’s first true AirPods rival and have many improvements and new features. Along with “rich” audio, the earbuds also have hands-free help from the powerful Google Assistant.
The buds have live translation, so if you are in a foreign country or with anyone who speaks a different language, the earbuds will translate what they are saying in real time.
The Google Pixel Buds will be available next spring for $179.
Stadia is Google’s new video game streaming service. Basically, Stadia works like Netflix or any other streaming service, but it lets you play PC and console games over the internet. It requires no extra software and works straight from Chrome.
Stadia will be available November 19th.