A pink room of pink animals and a gallery of smells? Yeah, the Pixel 2 launch was bizarre.
Andrew LanxonEditor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
ExpertiseSmartphones, Photography, iOS, Android, gaming, outdoor pursuitsCredentials
Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
As I looked into the eye of the bright pink giant grizzly bear, I knew this wasn't a normal phone launch event.
Google has just taken the wraps off its brand new Pixel 2 phone and new additions to its smart home lineup in San Francisco. (Here's literally everything Google announced.) But I was following the news from a "satellite" event in London.
And it was quite a different experience than what the world was streaming from California.
It started here, in the bright pink room, with bright pink foliage and, yes, a whole menagerie of life-size bright pink animals.
Where do you even get something like this? "OK Google, find me a giant, pink crocodile."
This is completely normal.
A large swing hung from the ceiling in the main event space. Because why wouldn't there be a swing.
Giant wall of foliage? Google's got you covered.
Welcome to Google's gallery of smells.
Shove your face into the fishbowl and take a good whiff. Apparently you might experience certain feelings with different smells. The main feeling I got was one of embarrassment at putting my head in a fishbowl.
At least at the end you get to create your own scent from your favourites from around the gallery. This is totally normal for a phone launch. Totally normal.
Next up: Throwing big silver balls around, for some reason!
Your throw is captured in 'bullet time' (read: that funky Matrix stuff) on a whole set of Pixel 2 handsets.
Demo Google's new VR headsets in this smokey jungle zone.
Tucked away on the floor of a back room; this adorable little tableau of a mouse selling doughnuts. Bottle for scale.
There are road signs, but there's no way I found of properly navigating this bizarre daydream event. More like this, please Google.