Our highlights from Google's Smart tech launch



Google have launched a host of new exciting products, but what advantages do the upgrades offer?

 

On October 4th, Google unveiled their new hardware line, as well as some exciting new software updates. The launch event in San Francisco was on the anniversary of Google’s original Pixel smartphone launch. So fittingly, amongst the slew of new products, the Pixel 2 was announced.

A number of teasers released in the run up to the Google launch had prompted great anticipation for the event. And for good reason – the second generation of the Pixel is a high-end smartphone, and the Google Home Mini is a challenger in the smart-home device field.

Let’s take a look at Google Home Mini first...

Google Home Mini - White 

The petite smart-speaker is just 4inches in diameter and made to blend into your home décor – covered with a specially designed, durable fabric, available in coral, chalk and charcoal.

You can now have the Google Assistant present in every room of the house – for your kitchen recipe needs, as an alarm in the bedroom and as the voice activation for your Google Chromecast activated TV or speakers.

Key new features include:

  • Free calls – direct Google to dial away
  • ‘Broadcast’ – send messages such as “Dinner’s ready” to the family through every device in the home
  • Voice-controlled Spotify streaming – play, pause and rewind, all hands free.
  • Voice recognition – get personalised responses for everyone in the home
  • Google Assistant - to tell you about your day, the weather forecast and your schedule
  • The ability to add events to your Google calendar

Google Home Mini

With Google Home Mini’s connection to more smart-home products it gives you ultimate control. For instance, when connected to a smart-doorbell you’ll even be notified of who’s at the front door.

The Google Home Mini is officially released on October 19th but is available to pre-order now at Currys PC World.

 

Google saved the best to last, with the announcement of the Pixel 2.

A refinement on the original, the Pixel 2 is cleaner and slimmer with three colour options: Clearly White, Just Black and Kinda Blue.

The key selling points of the Pixel 2? Google Assistant and an awesome camera.

Pixel 2

With a search engine second-to-none, advances in capable artificial intelligence were highlighted as well as access to other Google specific features including free cloud storage and a new augmented reality platform.

VP of Product Management at Google, Mario Queiroz, says his team has “reimagined smartphone photography.” 

The main camera boasts 12.2 megapixels, but Google have emphasized the importance of great software for taking fab photos. The software updates enable:

  • Portrait photography, even for selfies – with background blurring and face recognition
  • Selection of the perfect shot – a few seconds of video taken when you shoot a photo allows you to eliminate any blinking
  • Stabilisation of video shooting
  • Recognition of objects and landscapes with Google Lens

Other features include:

  • All-day battery life and swift charging capability
  • Water and dust resistance
  • Always-on display showing the time and notifications
  • Now Playing to tell you what’s playing on the radio
  • Activation of Google Assistant by squeezing the phone edges

The Pixel 2 has a five-inch OLED display, but if you’d prefer a larger screen, the Pixel 2 XL has a six-inch display that’s rounded at the edges.

 

You can pre-order the Pixel 2 now at Carphone Warehouse