Google Has a Busy Week

Google had a busy week with the release of the new Pixel 2, new members of the Google Home voice systems and a new Google Pixelbook.

Both models have OLED displays with the 6″ 2 XL version having a polymer OLED with 18:9 aspect ratio and 2880 x 1440 resolution. The 5.0″ version has a 16:9 glass OLED with FullHD resolution. There is an ‘always on’ display and both displays have Gorilla Glass 5. Colour support is 100% of DCI-P3 on the larger version and 95% on the smaller.

The Pixel 2 had its cameras highlighted (12.2mp rear and 8mp front) – both video and still images have electronic and optical stabilisation and the cameras have scored a new high mark of 98 from DxOMark. UltraHD is supported at 30fps. Google is also supplying free unlimited storage of photos and videos. The processor is a Snapdragon 835 with 4GB and 64GB or 128GB of storage and the GPU is an Adreno 540. The Pixel 2 has a 2700mAh battery, while the 2 XL has a 3520 mAh. Waterproofing is to IP67.

Of course, the new phones are Daydream ready and have connectivity with USB Type-C and the 3.5mm jack for headphones is supported with a standard adaptor. The Pixel 2 is available for pre-order from $649 in some countries with more to follow.

Google also announced a new version of its Pixelbook Chromebook that has a 12.3″ LCD (down from 12.95″) with 2400 x 1600 (235ppi) resolution and supported by a 7th Gen Core i5 or i7 Intel CPU with 8GB or 16GB of RAM and 128GB to 512GB of storage. The processor will support an external UltraHD monitor and has an optional pressure-sensitive pen. The device, which can run in four configurations, has an aluminium chassis that is 10.3mm thick. The keyboard is backlit and the unit has an ‘all day’ battery which can run for two hours on a 15 minute charge. The Pixelbook is available for pre-order from $999.

google pixelbook 678 678x452The new Google Pixelbook has a 2400 x 1600 display

There is a new Daydream View AR headset that is designed to work with the Pixel 2 and other smartphones. It has updating of AR objects at 60 fps. There’s a feature called AR Stickers that provides objects and characters. There is a video here.

Daydream ViewThe Daydream View AR headset supports phones from other brands

There are two new Google Home products with the Google Assistant for the home, the Mini and is described as “sleek and smooth, with no corners or edges, and about the size of a donut”. It has 360º sound and has far-field microphones. It costs $49 and will be available from October 19th and will be given as a free gift to buyers of the Pixel 2. At the other end is Google Home Max, which has dual 4.5″ woofers which is 20x more powerful than the original Google Home. It will cost $399.

Analyst Comment

The Pixel 2 looks very competent, but it’s getting hard to tell the best phones apart at the high end. The choice of OLED for both phones is not a big surprise, but puts Google and HTC (which makes it) at the mercy of OLED supply. (BR)