Last year, Google released the Pixel, the first smartphone designed and sold by the company, and billed it as the best smartphone for Android around. One year later, the company is gearing up to release the next generation of its smartphone, the Pixel 2. Google is setting high expectations. Its teaser video makes claims that its phones can solve problems like bad photos, storage, battery life, software updates, and more.
Adding to the mix are a series of leaks from sites like Droid Life and Android Authority, rumoring that Google will be expanding its hardware presence in a big way with new Google Home devices, a new high-end Chromebook, and new Daydream VR headsets.
Taken together, itâ€™s starting to look like Googleâ€™s event will be one of the biggest hardware releases from the company in years. Hereâ€™s a rundown of what to expect:
While it seems that Google will have a few hardware products to announce at the event, the biggest thing will almost certainly be new Google Pixels. Weâ€™re expected to see two new phones to directly succeed Googleâ€™s existing lineup: a Pixel 2, and a larger Pixel 2 XL.
Of the two devices, the Pixel 2 XL is rumored to be the bigger upgrade. The larger phone is said to be getting a new screen design with reduced bezels reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy S8, while the Pixel 2 is will supposedly offer a similar design to the original.
Android Authority claims to have gotten a hold of the specs for the new devices, which look like some big improvements across the board. In terms of new features, both phones are said to be getting a similar â€œsqueezeâ€ interaction to the HTC U11, along with optical image stabilization for the cameras. The new phones are also expected to rated for IP67 water resistance, which would put them on par with Appleâ€™s recent iPhones (if not quite the IP68 rating that Samsung offers).
There have also been conflicting reports that Google will be removing the headphone jack in favor of only using USB-C, as well as the possible addition of stereo speakers, but itâ€™s unclear whether or not either of those will actually be happening or if both devices will even see the changes.
Google Home gets small (and big?)
Just like Amazon â€” which recently overhauled its Echo line to include a variety of new form factors â€” it looks like Google is planning to release at least one new Home model at the event. A miniature version of the Google Home, dubbed the Google Home Mini, leaked out earlier in September at Droid Life. It is said to offer the same suite of Google Assistant-powered features as its larger counterpart, but at a reduced size and a $50 price point that should make it a welcome competitor to the Amazon Echo Dot.
There are also mutterings of a larger Google Home â€œMaxâ€ speaker, which, according to 9to5Google, should have a more â€œpremiumâ€ design and stereo sound, but information on it has been far less forthcoming.
High-end Chromebooks are back
Another product thatâ€™s expected to make an appearance is a new high-end Chromebook called the Google Pixelbook, which looks to be a successor to Googleâ€™s original Chromebook Pixel.
Like the Chromebook Pixel, the Pixelbook is expected to sell at the ultra-premium end of the Chromebook market, starting at $1,199, with a separate stylus accessory similar to the Apple Pencil that will cost an extra $99.
Daydream VR updates
Another leaked product (also from Droid Life) is a new Daydream VR headset, which is expected to come in three colors â€” charcoal, fog, and coral â€” and a more expensive $99 price point (versus the current headsetâ€™s $79).
Beyond the fact that the headsets seem to exist, though, thereâ€™s still not a lot of information as to what the benefits will be with the new model over the original one.
While there have been plenty of leaks already, itâ€™s always possible that there will be some surprises that havenâ€™t made their way onto the internet just yet. And remember: Google is a software company first, which means that even though we may think we know what the Pixel 2 or Pixelbook look like, thereâ€™s always room for far more interesting pieces of the puzzle to exist on the software side.
As always, The Verge will be on the ground bringing you all of the latest news on Wednesday, October 4th.