We're less than a week away from Google's hardware event in New York, and Team Engadget will be there to report live from the ground. The leaks and even official reports on Google's next smartphones have been relentless, so much so that we've learned even more about the company's upcoming devices since we wrote about them last month. Here's an update on what we expect from Google, based on the latest tidbits.
We already know there will be new Pixel phones -- Google has been teasing it since mid-summer, in increasingly direct fashion. The company published a blog post in July by Pixel product manager Brandon Barbello that said the Pixel 4 would feature a motion-sensing radar called Soli. This would enable something called Motion Sense, and it would let you skip songs, snooze alarms, silence phone calls and even pet Pokemon by waving your hand. The radar would also enable Face Unlock on the phone, which might mean that there won't be a fingerprint sensor this time.
Since mid-September, we've also learned that the device will have a so-called Pixel Neural Core, which appears to be a new name for the previous Visual core that powered the Pixel 3's class-leading camera. We also found out that the upcoming flagship may have a transcription-centric recording app preinstalled and a personal safety service that will detect car crashes. Oh, and there will be an orange (sorry, coral) variant of the Pixel 4, which is likely to cost more than the iPhone 11.
Some other nuggets of information include Assistant being ready to listen for your requests the second you lift the new phones. There's even a potential 5G version of the Pixel 4 in the works. More hands-on videos, marketing material and renders of the devices have also been exposed recently, giving away pretty much everything about the Pixel 4's appearance.
So yes, there's a lot we know about the upcoming phones, but there might still be features Google is waiting till the official launch event to announce, and maybe we'll still be pleasantly surprised.
Plus, there are other devices to expect next week, and perhaps because the Pixel 4 leaks have provided a distraction, we've heard less about the other upcoming products. We saw a 9to5Google report about a redesigned Pixelbook -- you know, the premium Chrome laptop that has a cult following despite its steep price. Frankly, it's high time the Pixelbook got an update, but it seems like this time around we're getting something a little less expensive.
It's likely to be called the Pixelbook Go and it will reportedly pack a 4K display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. We know little else about it other than it might have a clamshell design and won't rotate on a hinge to become a tablet. According to 9to5Google, the Go will also feel more "subdued" compared to the original Pixelbook and have a more tactile feel that makes it more durable and easier to hold. That sounds like a less flashy, possibly less stylish laptop than the beautiful glass-and-aluminum machine we saw the first time around.
The leaks about Pixels and Pixelbooks may be plentiful, but clues about Nest's upcoming launches are harder to find. We haven't seen much since the FCC filing that shows a next-gen Nest Mini, which is Google's small puck-sized smart speaker. From those documents, it appears the new Mini will have a wall-mount and potentially a headphone jack, which could make the compact speaker useful in different ways.
It sounds like we'll be expecting a trio of gadgets from Google's hardware team next week, although you never know, there might still be well-kept secrets and surprises in store. And since a lot of what we've gotten so far are unofficial reports, not everything that's been leaked might be true. The Pixel 4 and 4 XL are coming, that much we know. As for all the info on what it does and what other devices Google will unveil, we'll just have to wait till the event to find out for sure.