Google launches Pixel 2, Pixelbook and smart speakers in hardware push

Google launches Pixel 2, Pixelbook and smart speakers in hardware push

In the USA, we're teaming up with Verizon to make Pixel available nationwide at all Verizon retail outlets as well as at Best Buy stores.

Google on Wednesday finally unveiled the new smartphones Android fans across the country and around the world have been waiting for.

Google Pixel 2 sports Google Lens, which can take pictures from your surroundings and recognizes phone numbers and addresses and asks follow-up questions about what you want to do with the information. Both phones are powered by Android 8.0 Oreo, with an always-on display. The move, if confirmed, will coincide with Google's hardware products event, which is also happening today. Now, as you speak your Pixel phone's speaker will play aloud the translation in Italian. And also like the AirPods, the Pixel Buds are sold separately from the phone itself.

All of the Pixel Buds' controls are built in to the right earpiece, which is a common hardware solution on wireless earbuds.

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The second generation of Google's Pixel phones feature larger, brighter screens that take up more of the phone's front. Following in the footsteps of Apple's iPhone 7, neither sport a circular headphone jack, instead relegating headphones to the USB-C charging port. The closest competitor to Google Pixel 2 in the asking price is the OnePlus 5 that features massive 8GB RAM and dual rear camera along with other hefty specifications. The Pixel 2 will be priced at $649 and $749 respectively for 64GB and 128GB SKUs.

Nearly everything Google announced on Wednesday, except for a small action camera called Clips, competes directly with similar Apple products. Prices for the iPhone X start at $1,000. The device was expected for months as it was speculated that a new flagship Google Chromebook device is coming out.

Google Home Mini was the first to be introduced and for a small device, it packed an impressive number of functions. It includes the same features featured in a cylindrical speaker that Google rolled out a year ago in response to Amazon's Echo. New Home Mini is a $99 speaker that competes directly with Amazon's Echo Dot. The Google Clips will cost $249 and will be available "soon".

The Google Home Max is a rectangular speaker with superior acoustics for playing music, mimicking Apple's HomePod.