Sunder Pichai started off the Made By Google event where the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are to be launched by sparing a thought about those who lost their lives in the LA terror attack as well as the recent hurricanes which were quite devastating. He talks about AI and Machine Learning, following which Rick Osterloh takes the stage and talks about what’s next.
Osterloh reminds us of last years’ event where he says the next big innovation will happen at the intersection of AI, Hardware and Software. He talks about re-imagining hardware from the inside-out. Machine Learning ensures your pictures are vibrant and videos are stable. Google Wi-Fi too, makes use of machine learning to reduce congestion and boost signals.
He shows off a media montage and gives some interesting statistics:
- 55 Million Chromecast Devices
- Google Wi-Fi is the #1 selling mesh router
- 100 Million+ answers added to the Google Assistant.
- Google Pixel user satisfaction is the highest ever. Osterloh jokes he wishes the numbers were higher.
The Google Assistant on Google Home can pick up your voice even in a noisy room, thanks to Machine Learning – hence Google needed only 2 mics to achieve what others needed 6 mics for.
Following this the Google Home Mini was announced
Up next came the surprise Google Home Max
It was followed by the Pixelbook Laptop
Google Pixel 2 Specifications
Design and Display
Google’s Mario Queiroz comes out to launch the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphone – designed with the best of Google technologies built-in. The phone comes out in a 5 inched and a 6 inched (XL) variant.
The device is made of aluminium and glass. The fingerprint sensor has now been moved below the glass back. Google has now added a pop of color on the power button so that it looks distinct. The device now comes with stereo speakers on the front. It has been placed in a manner where your hands do not block the speakers.
Google is all set to go cable-free as the 3.5mm jack has been kicked up.
The Google Pixel 2 comes with a 5 inched OLED display. The display is intelligent and knows which pixels to turn on and which to turn off at the right times. The phone comes out in these colors. The 6 inched Google Pixel 2 XL comes with a POLED display, which comes with an 18:9 aspect ratio. It comes with a pixel density of 538ppi.
The Google Pixel 2 comes in three color variants
- Kinda Blue
- Clearly White
- Just Black
The Google Pixel 2 XL comes in two color variants
- Just Black
- Black and White
Google confirmed that both devices are IP 67 water resistant!
The Google Pixel 2 comes with an always-on display which will show all your important reminders on the display without even having to touch your screen or push a button. The phone will also recognize music playing around you thanks to machine learning. You can tap on the song title and open it up on Google Play Music or Spotify, or watch the video on YouTube.
Processing, UI and Google Assistant
The UI has received a number of tweaks. On the top of the display, there’s a space which Google calls ‘At a Glance’. The Google Search bar has now been moved on the bottom of the display. The phones both run on the Snapdragon 835 processor and runs on 4GB of RAM. Both these devices come out into the markets with two variants of 64GB and 128GB.
Google also introduced Active Edge – similar to HTC’s Edge Sense. You can now squeeze your phone to trigger the Google Assistant. It can be customized on different apps – squeezing could result in different actions being triggered on different phones.
The Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL will launch with Android Oreo OS out-of-the-box!
The Google Pixel has been known for the amazing pictures that are taken with their camera. The company has re-imagined smartphone photography with this gen-next Pixel camera. Last years’ DXO mark score of the camera was 89. This year, the numbers are out of the charts, at an unprecedented 98!
The Pixel 2 comes with a 12 MP f/1.8 camera with OIS. The camera supports HDR+ photography. The Google Pixel 2 camera introduces a ‘portrait mode’ which allows users to make professional looking shots with a blurred background.
Google Pixel 2 can click pictures with blurred background by generating Machine Learning based depth maps with a single camera. Other smartphones might need two cameras for this, but the Google Pixel 2 attains this with a single camera!This is attained with the help of a dual Pixel technology. The camera views each picture with a right and left view – just as your eye views it – giving it an amazing sense of depth. The portrait mode technology also works with the front camera.
Google has introduced a ‘fused video stabilization’ which makes use of Google’s hardware, software and AI by combining Optical as well as Electronical Image Stabilization. Google Pixel 2 introduces motion pictures – which can capture motion of 3 seconds in a picture.
Google gives a quick preview of the Google Lens – which will help you do much more with the help of your camera. The phone’s camera will be able to grab text from images, identify movies and give you reviews among many other things.
The Google Lens is based on Google’s knowledge graph which has the knowledge of entire Google! Photos taken on different angles, weather conditions, shaking hands – nothing will matter as Google will be able to identify objects from images.
Augmented Reality brings the physical and the digital together. Google comments on the ARcore technology. There’s so much that can be achieved with AR! Google is also working on Pixel-exclusive AR Stickers. These aren’t just stickers which are static. They feel more alive. Google Partners such as Netflix have teamed up to create these interactive characters. Characters from SNL and NBA as well as Star Wars Episode VIII will be a part of the AR stickers. AR content plays at a smooth 60fps!
Google Pixel 2 Users will continue to get free unlimited storage in original resolution in Google Photos. Google commented Pixel users take twice as many photos as iPhone users.
Availability and Pricing
Google Pixel 2 comes out at a price of $649 for the 64GB variant.
Google Pixel 2 XL comes out at a price of $849 for the 64GB variant.
Australia Canada Germany India the UK and the US
pre-orders begin today. Italy Singapore and Spain will be getting the phone later this year. Users in some countries will be getting a Google Home Mini as well.