Google Pixel: All you can expect from tonight's San Francisco event
After Apple & Samsung, now, it's Google's turn to show off some hardware might with some new phones and accessories.
Obviously, it's the Pixel phones that will hold centerstage. These devices will likely make it to multiple markets globally before the year is out. Current reports indicate that the devices will be made by HTC Corp and we're inclined to believe them - HTC has been contracted to make Google phones in the past. This time, however, it seems that there won't be any HTC branding on the devices themselves.
What we know so far - there will be two sizes: Pixel (with a 5.2-inch full HD screen) and Pixel XL (with a 5.5-inch quad HD screen). The design on both phones seems to be mostly identical. The fingerprint reader is around the back and it seems to have a glass + metal unibody construction. Hardware should be the latest available, which means a Snapdragon 821 processor, paired with 4GB DDR4 RAM and storage options that range between 32GB to 128GB.
Apart from the hardware, there will be a few advantages of using a Google phone. For starters, you'll get unlimited storage in Google Photos for photos clicked by the phone - in full size! A Smart Storage feature will automatically offload older photos to the cloud when connected to a WiFi network. They will also have USB type C and fast charging support. There's not a lot of info on the cameras, but given the premium specs, we expect premium snappers with optical image stabilisation on both phones.
In terms of software, the phones will likely come with the very latest version of Android Nougat (7.1) with all the latest apps like Duo (video chat), Allo (messaging) and Assistant pre-loaded. This will tie in nicely with Google Home - a speaker that gives the Google Assistant a permanent place on your desk or table. You'll be able to talk to the assistant, ask questions and have it manage your schedule. While we'll have to wait for official pricing, we expect that the phones will have premium pricing: starting at US$649 and 699 for the Pixel and Pixel XL respectively. Google Home will be available in limited markets at an expected price of US$100 to 130. Watch this space for the official announcements.