What to expect from Google’s hardware event today

Google devices Pixel 4
Google Pixel 4 XL renders. (Photo: Evan Blass @evleaks)

It’s tech season and Google is expected to unveil new hardware devices today. We can expect new phones, a new Chromebook and perhaps new Google Home devices.

Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL

The biggest announcement of the day will undoubtedly be the new Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. After months of leaked images, videos and rumours, the Google Pixel 4 will be officially unveiled. The Pixel 4 is probably the most leaked phone ever.

The devices were leaked so heavily that Google themselves released an official photo showing the back of the device. Google keeps its tech secrets as well as a sieve.

The Pixel 4 XL may have a similar camera square to the iPhone 11 Pro series. It is also expected that the Pixel 4 series will bring improvements to its camera. Pixel photos have always been very good. Google pioneered computational photography in its devices and this year should be no exception.

Google devices Pixel 4
Google posted a preview of the Pixel 4 after a host of leaks surfaced online.

The rumours suggest that the Pixel 4 devices will be equipped with an advanced face unlock system, similar to Apple’s Face ID implementation. In addition, Google may put radars on th front along side the face unlock hardware. Back in 2016, Google showed off Project Soli; an advanced radar system for gesture control. This hardware will enables gesture interaction with the devices without direct contact. This tech may make it to the new phones. Users will be able to reject calls and turn off alarms among other things.

Pricing is a big question. Competition is stiff. The smartphone space is saturated with great devices. If Google wants to compete, it may need to slash prices out the gate. Undercutting the competition might work in their favour.

The iPhone trio is the Pixel line’s biggest competitors. Apple has a huge following with tight integration with hardware and software. This year might be the Pixel’s biggest fight. The iPhones launched with excellent cameras that shoot pictures and videos very well. While the Pixel 4 will most definitely shoot some of the best pictures on a mobile phone, iPhones have consistently been better at video. It’s going to be a dirty battle and that’s good. It will only result in better phones for the consumers.

Improved Google Assistant

Google next generation Assistant
Next Generation Google Assistant being used to compose e-mail. (Photo: Google)

Back at Google I/O in May, Google demoed its “next generation Assistant”. The Assistant was able to quickly process commands one after the other without saying the trigger words “Hey Google.”

Through advancements in deep learning, Google has managed to shrink the model required to make the Google assistant work from 100GB to 0.5 GB. This is small enough to fit on a mobile phone. This will make the Google Assistant up to 10x faster than before. This tech will most likely make it to the new Pixel 4 line as well as any other Google Assiatant enabled devices.

The improvments will enable cross-app multi-tasking, hands free email composition, and advanced search.

New Chromebook

Google devices Chromebook
Alleged Pixelbook Go opened. (Photo: 9-to-5Google)

Thanks to “9to5Google” we’ve got a pretty good picture of what Google’s next Chromebook will look like. The device is rumoured to be called the PixelBook Go. The original Pixelbook was released in 2017 so this year’s refresh is overdue.

The device appears to have a grippy texture on the bottom. No doubt to differentiate it from Apple’s MacBook Pro line (Yes, it looks similar).

Google devices Chromebook
Supposed image of the Pixelbook Go with grippy, ribbed texture on the back. (Photo: 9To5Google)

The device is rumoured to have a 13.3-inch screen, 8 or 16 GB RAM and 64 to 256 GB of storage. The higher-end devices will supposedly have 4K screens while the lower tier screens will be FHD 1080p.

Other devices that may make the cut

  • Pixel Buds 2
  • Google Nest WiFi
  • Google Nest Mini (2nd Generation)

These are all rumours but with the way leaks have been flying left and right, its hard to believe there are any new surprises But, let’s see.

— Written by Renor C.