Earlier today, Google hosted a major press conference discussing their upcoming smartphone and search engine features. Although news of the Google Pixel was leaked beforehand, the event still explored the new smartphone in detail and explained its specifications. Here’s just a few key highlights from the San Francisco reveal:
For one, Google explored the features and abilities behind their new voice-based Google Assistant feature. Google Assistant is intended to be a personal search engine helper, not unlike Siri. More importantly, it’ll be the fundamental feature behind Google’s upcoming Google Home. Releasing on November 4th, Google Home comes from the same family as Amazon’s Alexa: It’s intended to be a physical personal assistant that uses voice commands to do everything from activate household appliances to watch Netflix on your TV.
There’s also the Google Pixel, which has the Google Assistant as a built-in feature. The Pixel is a cloud-based smartphone, and uses Google Assistant to answer and respond to particularly unique queries: such as photos from a specific month or music from a specific movie. Of particular note is the Pixel’s amazing camera. Clocking in at 12.3 megapixels, the camera comes with HDR+ by default and has received an 89 rating from DXOMark.
As well Google introduced the Daydream View headset for smartphones. The VR set looks a bit more like an accessory in style and is designed to be a light headset alternative. It’s also accessible for users with glasses. The Google Pixel will come with Daydream View support baked in too, although it will not be a Pixel-exclusive. The VR headset will go for $79 when it launches later this year in November.
Will the Daydream View and Pixel prove popular options for smartphone users? It depends. The View is certainly affordable, but the Pixel isn’t quite as flashy as other smartphones. Rather, it looks like it intends to be the Chromebook of smartphones: developed to connect with the Internet, prioritizing ease of use over raw power on its own.