After Amazon, Microsoft and Apple itself, it’s time for the Google to present its weapons for the end of the year and the beginning of 2020. And the Mountain View giant came out strong: after months of leaks (some even of its own), the company showed a solid line, full of interesting news – and some nods to Brazil, including. Let’s take a look at everything.
The first of the news of the day, as it should be, are the new smartphones from Google. As is already a tradition in the line, the Pixel 4 it’s the Pixel 4 XL they are identical in almost everything – except, of course, in size (physical, battery and screen / resolution); the company’s focus remains on the photographic power of smartphones and new technologies that can help users.
To start, we have – for the first time in the Pixel line – a dual camera at the rear, with a 16MP telephoto lens and a 12MP wide-angle “Dual-pixel” sensor. Most innovations, as usual, are in software: we have a way Live HDR which features double exposure controls and a real-time preview of how the final image will look; an automatic white balance adjustment uses machine learning to make all photos as realistic as possible.
The famous night mode (Night Sight) also gained improvements, and now has a specific feature (called “astral photography”) to capture starry skies, planets or satellites; you can simply leave the phone standing for a few minutes in the correct position and the software will take into account factors such as rotation and translation of the earth and movements made by the device itself.
Another innovation of Pixels 4 is in the front – and explains the huge upper edge of the devices. The call Motion Sense, the business name of what Google once called Project Soli, is basically a radar installed inside your phone that detects your presence and opens up a range of possibilities.
For starters, it allows the devices to have the fastest facial sensor on the market, with the radar working with the front camera to detect the user’s face before he even takes the phone in his hands. There is no information about the reliability of the feature, but considering that it arrived to completely replace the digital reading, it is considered that Google has put in-depth security technologies here.
THE Motion Sense has other cards up its sleeve: it lets the device know when you’re around and let the Always-On Display connected only in those moments. If an alarm or call is ringing and Pixel 4 realizes that you are reaching for it, the sound is muted. And you can perform basic gestures, such as sliding your hand over the device, to silence alarms / calls or pass tracks on a streaming.
The new smartphones also feature OLED HDR screens of 5.7 inches (FHD +, Pixel 4) and 6.3 inches (QHD +, Pixel 4 XL) with a refresh rate of 90Hz – placing smartphones close to iPad Pro with ProMotion screens (in the sense of showing much more fluid and realistic animations – in the case of the tablet, we are talking about screens with a refresh rate of 120Hz). We also have a Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of storage, stereo speakers, IP68 certified and a machine learning neural coprocessor.
The resource Active Edge allows you to “squeeze” the sides of the smartphone to activate the Google Assistant – which, in turn, arrived at Pixel 4 in a new version. Now there is “almost zero latency” voice processing, 10x faster responses and several new techniques, such as the ability to “take your place” when you are put on hold on a call (the assistant will simply send you a notification when you is answered). It also has new integrations with native apps and processes commands on the device itself, instead of the cloud.
The new smartphones will depart from $ 800 (Pixel 4) and $ 900 (Pixel 4 XL) in colors “Just Black” (black), “Clearly White” (White). and “Oh So Orange” (orange, limited edition). Pre-sales start today, and sales will start in the United States next Thursday (10/24) by the largest operators in the country – a first for Google, which has always preferred to work with one or two phone companies.
Did Pixel 4 come into the game?
Google also introduced the new generation of its new wireless headphones – which are now totally wireless, without a cord connecting the two ends. The new ones Pixel Buds they have a new Bluetooth long distance connection, which allows you to use them up to three rooms or a football field away from your smartphone; on devices running Android 6.0 or higher, you can connect the headphones with just one touch.
The headphones also feature all kinds of software tricks. Sensors detect when Pixel Buds are removed from your ear, and others are able to “read” your voice through the movement of your jaw to ensure that your commands for Google Assistant will be understood even in noisy environments. Speaking of which, the assistant is deeply integrated into the headphones and can be accessed with a simple voice command.
Pixel Buds have a touch-sensitive surface for controlling music, calls and volume; the design of the headphones is in-ear, but an opening at the bottom allows ambient sounds to pass through. Oh, and in another software trick, the headphones can detect when someone is talking to you and automatically turn the volume down.
In terms of battery, the headphones last for 5 hours on a charge; combining this with the refills provided by the case, we have 24 hours of use; Pixel Buds also provide water and sweat resistance. The only problem is availability: according to Google, the phones will only be released between March and June 2020, for $ 180.
The little Nest Mini (new version of Google Home Mini, now that the “Google Home” nomenclature has been discontinued) was also announced at today’s event, and its biggest news – for us, Brazilians, at least – is that the device will be the first Google smart speaker to land in our beloved republic; a page in Portuguese for the product is already on the air, stating that it will be available here “soon” and inviting users to join a waiting list.
Even almost identical to its predecessor, the Nest Mini has some new cards up its sleeve. The sound, for example, is superior, with reproduction of bass tones up to 2x better; we now have three microphones (versus the two before) to listen to you from anywhere. The processor is faster and allows you to connect multiple speakers around the house, creating a single sound system; a presence sensor makes the Nest Mini light up when you approach to control its volume.
The accessory is also able to detect the noise of the environment and increase or decrease the volume of the reproduction so that you can hear the assistant or your music even if some noise appears in your presence. In addition, Nest Mini also has a built-in support for you to attach it to the wall, like a painting, and has its fabric cover made 100% with recycled plastic bottles.
The Nest Mini will be launched, in the USA, next Tuesday (10/22) by $ 50. There is still no information about the price of the device in Brazil, but we will be alert.
Google also combined its Assistant with routers: with the new Nest Wifi, you can configure your home internet with strategically located devices (through so-called networks mesh, or mesh) that, guess what, also respond to your voice commands, answer questions and perform tasks.
We have a main device, the Router (Router), which can be connected to Points (Points), secondary devices that extend the range of your Wi-Fi network to other places in the house. A combination of a Router it is a Point is enough to cover a 350m² house, for example – but it’s worth noting that only the Point has built-in Google Assistant.
The Assistant, by the way, can be used here to control the home network with a little help from the Google Wifi app. You can, for example, ask him to “pause children’s internet” at bedtime.
Nest Wifi will be sold in packages, all with a Router: the two-piece kit will come out for $ 270, while the package with a trio of devices will cost $ 350; the devices are backwards compatible with Google Wifi routers and will be launched in the US on November 4th. Unlike Nest Mini, there is no mention of launch in Brazil.
Do you think it’s over? Because Google also presented the Pixelbook Go, the most affordable Chromebook ever made by the company. Starting from $ 650, the notebook has an ultra-thin design and satisfying specifications – including a 13.3-inch screen (which, depending on the configuration, can be Full HD or 4K), Intel m3, Core i5 or i7, 8GB or 16GB RAM and storage between 64GB and 128GB. The model with Full HD screen can stand 12 hours away from the socket.
Unlike previous Google creations, we don’t have a convertible screen or anything like that here; the Pixelbook Go is a laptop and that’s it. But it does have its charms, like a textured bottom (designed to make you carry your computer more firmly), a pair of stereo speakers and a trackpad multitouch generous in size. It runs, of course, the Chrome OS.
The Pixelbook Go is already in pre-order in the USA, in the black version (the pink version will be available soon), and will hit the shelves in the country on October 28th.
Finally (whew!), Google announced the launch date of its gaming platform by streaming. THE Stadia will arrive on the day November 19 to the following countries: Germany, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Spain, USA, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Sweden. There is still no information about Brazil.
In the USA, the Stadia Pro will cost $ 10 monthly, with access to the game library (which already has renowned titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, Destiny 2 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey), 4K transmission at 60fps, HDR and sound surround 5.1.
Your gaming progress is saved in the cloud and accessible on any compatible device. Next year, players will also be able to use Stadia for free, in a model where the games will be purchased individually (in this case, the game will be limited to 1080p).
An access kit, called “Founder’s Edition”, is already being sold by Google for $ 130 and features a Chromecast Ultra unit, a navy blue controller and two three-month subscriptions to Stadia Pro; whoever purchases this package will be able to access the platform on the day of its debut.
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