Come get your smartphone. Hat tip to the folks at Google for the great announcement video for their October 4th hardware event. Redbone’s Come and Get Your Love or Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1 Track 8.
Well played Google. Now, let’s get down to the details of what we can expect from Google on October 4th. They aren’t confirming the Pixel Phone, but they should have told that to the Nest team when they let it slip into a commercial.
Yep, that’s the Pixel. And then there’s the madeby.google.com site that damn near says it’s a phone event. So, no real surprises.
Ok, that’s not the most stylish smartphone I’ve ever seen – mixing glass and aluminum seems odd, but expect the Google event to push the aesthetics more. Leaked photos never cast the phone in the best light. There’s a reason why there are professional product photographers.
Goodbye cheap Nexus phones? Pricing rumors on the Pixel phone have a starting MSRP of $649 for the smaller Pixel. That was the initial pricing rumor for the Pixel XL. Google wants to compete with the iPhones and Galaxy smartphones, so here comes the higher price point.
The Google Pixel will jump in price with higher storage tiers.
Google Pixel Payment Plan. Don’t want the sticker shock of throwing down $649+? Google is said to be working up financing options including accidental damage coverage plus another year of warranty coverage for $99 (Pixel) and $119 (Pixel XL). You have to wonder if the coverage is named GoogleCare. Come on Google, have some fun.
No word on the markets financing will be in, but count the United States as a near definite.
Bezels. Maybe it’s the angle of the photo, but damn. In a push to go edge to edge on smartphones, the Pixel bezels look absurdly large. We’ll know more at launch on dimensions (rumored 5-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes), but to compete against Samsung and Apple, the screen will have to be on par with both.
Camera. Head back to the madeby.google.com. Notice the animation? Once it morphs into a phablet shape, it’s all imagery. The company knows the high-end smartphones market via camera capabilities now. Yeah, the whole waterproof thing, etc. Seriously, consumers should buy a damn GoPro and quit thinking you can snorkel with your phone.
No dual lenses, but that’s not a deal breaker. Maybe the giant bezels are hiding a larger sensor?
It’s HTC. The Made By Google is a nice marketing phrase, but the Pixels are being contracted out to HTC.
Other Google Announcements
The Pixel announcement is the big one, but Google is unveiling other hardware at the event. The Chromecast is going 4K and getting a new name. Rumored names include the Chromecast Plus or the Chromecast Ultra. I vote Ultra.
Google Home and Daydream VR are expected to have a sizeable presence at the event. Daydream VR is Google’s answer to push content out. While its rumors, the company has been tossing cash around like mad to secure exclusive content for the Daydream VR.
It was first announced at Google’s I/O conference in May and is a new protocol for VR-ready Android smartphones and tablets. Safe bet the Pixel is one of those devices. Snap it into a headset and you have your VR experience.
Google Home. Expect a ton of details. We got a sneak peek in May, but that was it. The smart home device will connect with other smart home appliances, allowing us to be as lazy as we want. Google Search is expected to be tightly integrated, something similar devices can’t hang their hat on. It can search your email, photos, etc. to better answer questions like if your flight was delayed or where the hell UPS is with your package.
Can’t make it to the event. YouTube is your buddy. It will stream the entire event live on October 4th.
I’ll update the post as more leaks out. Sound off in the comments or social media on your thoughts on the Pixel Phone. It’ll come down to camera and price. For the price tag, we can expect blistering performance and tuned to what Android can really accomplish.