Google has announced its Pixel 2 smartphone, the follow up to its successful Google Pixel smartphone released in 2016, featuring a more powerful camera, the Android Oreo operating system and “Active Edge” sensors.
The software giant also released a new Google Home Mini smart speaker, new Daydream View virtual reality headsets and a new Chromebook. Google has said the new phone combines “the best of Google’s hardware, software and AI”.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
Google’s two new phones include the 5-inch Pixel 2 and the 6-inch Pixel 2 XL. The phones come weeks after Apple revealed their iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, although both run on Google’s Android operating system as showcases for the software.
The Pixel 2 has an aluminium case and comes in three colours, black, white and blue. It now has a red power button. The Pixel 2 XL comes black and white. They both have an all-day battery and superfast charging.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Price
Google said the Pixel 2 will start at £629 in the UK. The prices break down as follows:
Pixel 2: £629 for 64GB, £729 for 128GB
Pixel 2 XL: £799 for 64GB, £899 for 128GB
UK release date
The smaller Pixel 2 will be released in the UK on October 19, with pre-orders starting today. The larger Pixel 2 XL will be released almost a month later on November 15. The Pixel 2 is available through Google’s own store, or on networks from Carphone Warehouse and directly through EE.
Advanced smartphone camera
Pixel 2 will bring a portrait mode, allowing users to take professional-looking photos with a blurred background. Similar features have been added on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, iPhone 8 and Huawei P10. Google says its own camera contains dual pixel sense technology, meaning it can add the effect without a dual camera.
Google’s voice assistant will still be on the new Google Pixel 2. The virtual aide will connect users with their smart home devices while also answering questions using the wake word “OK Google”.
No headphone jack
The Google Pixel 2 will lose the headphone jack, which was dropped on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. This represents a departure from the tech giant, which had opted to keep the port on the original Pixel.
Active edge, also known as “squeezable sides”, will allow the phone to identify a squeeze for activating Google Assistant, a special button to add shortcuts to a number of tasks.
Google said Pixel users will always be the first to receive Android security updates, including Android Oreo, which will come on the Google Pixel 2.
Google showcased its augmented reality platform on the Pixel 2. Augmented reality superimposes virtual programmes and images over the real world, for games or social messaging. Apps like Netflix have also been working with ARCore to create programmes, similar to Apple’s own ARKit which it announced earlier in the summer.
Google has also unveiled several new pieces of hardware that will join its Pixel 2 smartphone in its Android and Google Assistant-powered ecosystem.
Google Home Mini
A miniature version of Google’s voice-activated smart speaker, the Home Mini is “smaller than a donut” and powered by the Assistant. It comes in three colours including red, chalk and grey. It costs $49 (£37) in the US and will be available from October 19. It will also be coming to the UK.
Google Home Max
Google has also revealed the Google Home Max, which features larger speakers 20 times more powerful than the original Google Home. It will be able to automatically adjust its sound levels to remain level against background noise. It has Google Assistant, that Google say will be able to hear users even when music is playing.
Google Pixel Buds
Google has also released a pair of smart ear buds which connect to its Google Assistant virtual assistant and can perform translation functions, voice translating in real-time to enable natural conversations in 40 languages.
The Pixel Buds come in a charging case, offering up to five hours of charge in on go, while the case can independently add up to 20 hours to charge.
By Matthew Field