The 5 Coolest Announcements From Google's Pixel Phone Event

By Christina Warren on at

The much hyped Google gadget event has come and gone, and left us with an impressive haul of new gear. Here’s the coolest stuff from today’s keynote.

1) Pixel is way more than just a new Nexus

The 5 Coolest Announcements From Google's Pixel Phone Event

The Pixel and the Pixel XL are NOT Nexus devices. They were designed by Google to be a reflection of how the company sees the evolution of mobile moving forward.

The Pixel and Pixel XL are available in two sizes. The Pixel is 5-inches and the Pixel XL is 5.5-inches. Both contain the exact same specs—no forcing small-phone fans into a corner here—which include Snapdragon 821 processors and 12.3-Megapixel cameras. The cameras promise “no shutter lag” and promise to help users take great photos with a special HDR+ mode. Google Photos comes baked into the phone so all your photos are stored in the cloud, without any need to remove images that might take up too much space.

Notably, the Pixel and Pixel XL are the first phones to come with Google Assistant built-in, so you can tap into Google’s knowledge graph with just a long press on the home button. Prices start at £599 for a 32GB 5-inch device. Pre-orders are open today, and the phones will ship later this month.

Google’s Amazon Echo Killer has arrived

The 5 Coolest Announcements From Google's Pixel Phone Event

Google first teased its Amazon Echo killer, Google Home at Google I/O back in May. Powered by Google Assistant, Google Home is a cute little speaker that can take commands or questions.

It’s designed to sit in homes, with its always-on microphone ready to help give you more information about the weather, your schedule, or even current events. The big difference between Google Home and the Amazon Echo is that Google Home can tap into everything in your Google ecosystem. That means you can get information on your calendar, your routes home, and it can talk to your Chromecast. Google Home doesn't appear to be available outside the US for now, but it's worth noting none-the-less.

Daydream View is unlike any VR headset we’ve ever seen

The 5 Coolest Announcements From Google's Pixel Phone Event

Google first showed off Project Daydream at its I/O conference in May. Now, it’s showing off its Daydream View, a VR headset that will work with Daydream compatible phones, including the new Google Pixel.

The headset will sell for just £69, and it’s made out of soft, breathable microfibre so that it will be comfortable to wear. Google says it is 30 percent lighter than other VR headsets, another perk in the comfort department

The Daydream View includes a special remote to navigate apps and games. Gaming is obviously a big part of VR, but Google is also partnering with YouTube, Netflix, and more to make video playback more immersive too.

A new futureproof Chromecast

The 5 Coolest Announcements From Google's Pixel Phone Event

Google has had huge success with the Chromecast, selling more than 30 million of streaming dongles over the last three years. Its new Chromecast Ultra will bring 4K to the casting experience. That’s awesome but what makes it even better is the price. At just £69, the Chromecast Ultra will be the cheapest 4K streaming device on the market, when it hits stores in November.

Google Wifi promises to fix crappy home networks

The 5 Coolest Announcements From Google's Pixel Phone Event

There is almost nothing more annoying than losing Wi-Fi signal in your house. Google is aiming to fix that with its new Google Wifi router. The technology makes it easy create a mesh network—multiple routers that work together—so that you always get the best signal, no matter where people are in their homes.

You can blanket your house in these little guys and not have to worry about dropped connections. As mesh network routers go, Google Wifi seems pretty cheap. It starts at $130 (£102) for a single unit, though it also appears to be a US exclusive. Here's hoping for an international launch sooner rather than later.