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Phones

The Pixel 2 XL, Home Mini, translating Pixel Buds and more: All Google just announced

Google deluged us with new products at today's announcement, including new phones, earbuds that translate on the fly, smart speakers and a lot more.

Google packed a ton into its event, seemingly updating all of its products (or close) -- phones, laptops, VR -- as well as announcing a host of new ones. The phones also incorporate the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, Android Oreo, which was unveiled at Google I/O in May. 

The event began with CEO Sundar Pichai offering condolences on recent US tragedies. One notable stat was that 55 million Chromecasts have been sold.

Now let's dive in.

Now playing: Watch this: Pixel 2 and 2 XL: Better camera but no headphone jack
1:54

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

The HTC-built Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are identical save screen size, resolution and battery -- 5 vs. 6 inches; 1,920x1,080 vs. 2,560x1,440; 18:9 curved and polarized OLED, respectively. Highlights include:

  • Pure Android Oreo, natch
  • All aluminum
  • An updated (but still single) camera with better image stabilization for both photos and videos, portrait mode with background defocus, on-chip phase-detection autofocus and Motion Photos.  Plus more computational smarts.
  • Support ARCore, Google's AR programming interface for Android. Camera designed to support AR, Daydream-ready and compatible with headset. Also AR Stickers, animated characters that can interact with each other. Pixel phones only.
  • Squeezeable sides -- Active Edge -- initiates Assistant
  • Comes in black, white and blue (the latter is available on the Pixel 2 only)
  • Always-on display for notifications, music playing and more, plus home screen "at-a-glance" and search field at the bottom
  • Front-facing stereo speakers
  • Water- and dust resistance
  • Better integration with Google Play and Google Assistant
  • Pixels incorporate the first Google Lens implementations (a preview) for getting information about real-world objects via the camera, exclusive to the Pixels for now
  • No headphone jack, but bundled adapter
  • Prices start at $649/£629 for the Pixel 2 and $849/£799 for the Pixel 2 XL; preorders start today, available in in a couple weeks.

Also, for now, when you buy a Pixel you get a Home Mini.

Google Pixel Buds

The company's first foray into Bluetooth headphones, the Google Pixel Buds are notable for their ability to translate languages (via Google Translate) when you tap them. Babel Fish!

Other notable features:

  • Five-hour battery life; with portable charging case up to 24 hours
  • Joined by neck cord
  • Works with Google Assistant on Pixels
  • On-bud microphone, tap or hold right bud for controls
  • Come in black, white and blue
  • Priced at $159 or £159, preorders today, available in November
Now playing: Watch this: Pixel Buds first hands-on
1:45

Google Home Mini and Home Max

Home Mini is a smaller version of the Google Home Assistant speaker; Max is an embiggened and more audiophile-friendly version. To wit:

Home Max:

  • 13.2 x 2.7 x 6 in./337 x 190 x 154mm; 11.7 pounds/5.3 Kg
  • Works vertically or horizontally
  • Comes in white or gray
  • SmartSound (powered by AI!) adapts to the acoustic conditions of the area around it and context, like the type of music or the time of day.
  • Made of polycarbonate and fabric with a silicone base
  • Supports YouTube Music, Spotify and other services, Bluetooth playback
  • Two dual-voice-coil woofers with 11mm excursion, two tweeters
  • Wired-only operation
  • Costs $399, preorders start in early November, available in December
  • Coming to UK and Australia in 2018
Now playing: Watch this: Google debuts Home Max with Smart Sound
2:08

Home Mini:

  • Takes on the Amazon Echo Dot
  • Controlled by touch on the transparent fabric as well as voice
  • 360-degree sound
  • Can wirelessly connect to Chromecast Audio
  • Comes in dark gray, light gray and coral
  • "Smaller than a donut"
  • Costs $49 or £49, preorder today, available in a couple of weeks
Now playing: Watch this: Google Home gets Mini
2:14

Voice Match models your voice to provide personalized answers, and today Google rolled it out to more countries, calling to the UK, the ability to use your personal number in the US, and Google Home is heading to Japan. It performs a bunch of other new tricks.

Nest showed off better integration with Google Home as well, such as being able to tell your thermostat to "make it warmer." A new feature, Broadcast, allows you to have every Home speaker to send a message simultaneously. There are an expanded number of kid-focused experiences -- learning, games and storytelling -- in Family Link as well as more actions.

Google Pixelbook

The follow up to the Chromebook Pixel from 2015, the Pixelbook updates for 2017 with all the capabilities that have become popular in the interim. Such as:

  • Still Chrome OS-only with Android app support
  • Thin, weighs 1kg/2.2 pounds
  • Quick charge, up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Instant Tethering to Pixel phones
  • Google Assistant built in
  • Convertible design (360-degree rotation for use as a tablet, tent and so on) 
  • 12.3-inch, quad HD (2,560x1,440-pixel) touchscreen
  • Soft keyboard
  • Core i5 and i7 options
  • Pixelbook Pen, a stylus with 2,048 levels of sensitivity developed with Wacom, that can invoke Assistant in various contexts. $99/£99 option.
  • Price starts at $999 or £999, preorder today, available by the end of the month
Now playing: Watch this: Pixelbook first hands-on: Google's ultrathin Chromebook...
1:41

Google Daydream View

The next generation of Google's VR headset doesn't get a new name -- still Daydream View -- but it does get some physical improvements:

  • It comes in gray, light gray and coral
  • Softer and better-sealing facepad designed to fit more faces more comfortably
  • Better optics with a wide field of view
  • Better heat dispersion
  • Lots of new content including IMAX movies on Google Play
  • Costs $99 or £99, out Oct. 19

Google Clips

Now, this was a surprise.

  • For parents and pet owners at first
  • Standalone camera that captures short clips
  • Automatically selects and learns who you want in the shots and which shots are most stable, and builds clips from them
  • Uploaded on demand
  • $249, coming soon
  • No date for UK or Australian release

For more, see the archive of our event tweetstream.

And here's our full coverage of everything Google announced.