With Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus event a distant memory at this point, it’s time to look forward to the next major smartphone hardware reveal. Google’s October 4th Pixel event is just around the corner and is set to be one of the company’s biggest keynotes ever.
Rumours and speculation surrounding this year’s October Google launch event have run especially rampant, so we’ve sifted through everything in order to provide you with a solid summary of what to expect from the October 4th keynote.
Pixel and Pixel XL
All rumours point to Google dropping the ‘Nexus’ brand in favour of ‘Pixel,’ possibly jettisoning the Nexus name completely. It’s expected that along with the new name, Google’s Pixel smartphones, which are purported to be manufactured by HTC, will be a significant aesthetic revamp for the tech giant. Android Police, as well as a variety of other websites have confirmed the new phone’s moniker through a variety of sources.
Similar to the Nexus 5X and Huawei 6P, it’s expected that Google will once again release two different sized smartphones this year. Development codenames, t50 (also sometimes known as Sailfish) in the Pixel’s case and t55 for the Pixel XL (also called Marlin), indicate one device will feature a 5-inch display with the other opting for 5.5-inch glass.
It’s rumoured that the Pixel will be priced at $649 USD (about $852 CAD) and the Pixel XL will cost $749 USD (approximately $983 CAD). Prolific leaker Evan Blass has shared multiple leaked official press photos of both devices, which also include new Pixel-specific icons, a special pixel launcher — which has led some to believe that HTC and Google’s Pixel devices won’t run stock Android — redesigned on-screen buttons and a new, upgraded version of Google Now called Google Assistant.
Other specs for the Pixel include a 1920 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display, quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor with 4GB of ram and either 32GB or 128GB or storage with no microSD slot. The phone is expected to feature a 12-megapixel rear camera with a 8-megapixel front shooter, USB-C charging and a 2,770mAh battery.
The Pixel XL on the other hand, is rumoured to feature a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 pixel quad HD AMOLED display, Snapdragon 821 processor with 4GB of RAM, 32 or 128GB of storage and no microSD card slot, 12-megapixel rear shooter and an 8 megapixel front camera, USB-C and a larger 3,450mAh battery. Both devices will reportedly come in black, silver gold and white colour variants.
Google now evolves into ‘Google Assistant’
The October 4th event may see Google’s newest AI helper, Google Assistant, explained and highlighted in further detail. It was first introduced at the Google I/O developer conference alongside Google Home, a hardware competitor to the popular Amazon Echo. Extending from the functionalities of Google Now, Google Assistant is the company’s latest version of a virtual assistant.
According to the company it will be “conversational” allowing for an “ongoing two-way dialogue.”
After revealing Google Home at I/O 2016, rumours indicate that the Mountain View, California-based company’s October 4th event will give us a closer look at its first attempt at a voice-activated smart home assistant.
It’s expected that similar to Amazon’s Echo, Google Home will be compatible with a wide variety of devices and will link directly with Google’s services. Along with Home, Google is expected to reveal a new ‘smart’ router called Google Wi-Fi.
4K Google Chromecast Ultra
It appears likely Google will release a 4K-enabled Google Chromecast Ultra which could cost around $69 USD — more than double the original Chromecast.
Mobile tipster Evan Blass leaked images of the device that show a subtle change in branding, with the removal of the Chrome logo.
We announced the 1st version of Android 8 years ago today. I have a feeling 8 years from now we'll be talking about Oct 4, 2016.
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) September 24, 2016
Long-time rumours have spread the idea that Google is unifying its Chrome and Android operating systems into one system known as Andromeda, which could be shown at the 10/4 event. Leaks provided by Android Police and 9to5Google have suggested that the new OS will be on a modular laptop in 2017 and perhaps a Huawei-made tablet. Those sources noted, however, that the OS might see release in Q3 2017.
But whether or not we see a full release, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior vice president focused on Android and Chrome OS, has hinted that operating system history will be made on October 4th.
Google Wi-Fi Home Router
A leak from Android Police suggests the device will retail for about $129 USD and look like a white Amazon Echo Dot. Users with multiple routers will reportedly be able to turn them into a Wi-Fi mesh network like the Eero.
Google Daydream VR
It’s possible that Google could release its own proof-of-concept Daydream VR headset at the October 4th event, or at least make an announcement regarding the headset. Daydream was announced at the Google I/O developer conference this May and its dedicated web page currently states: “Coming in Fall 2016, Daydream provides rich, responsive, and immersive experiences with hardware and software built for VR.”
It’s currently unclear what hardware partners will develop for Daydream.
Pixel 3 Laptop
Google reportedly has plans to launch a modular laptop that will run Andromeda, the OS hybrid of Chrome and Android. Android Police has stated the codename is Bison and will hit the market in 2017, but it may be announced at the October 4th event.
Google's Huawei-built 7-inch tablet, with 4GB RAM, on track for release before the end of the year.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 5, 2016
VentureBeat reporter and renowned tipster Evan Blass has stated Google will release a Huawei-built 7-inch tablet with 4GB of RAM before the end of 2016. The October 4th event would be a logical time for launch.
Whether or not all the devices and additions listed are debuted, Google’s October 4th launch event is sure to be jam-packed. To tune in, fans will likely be able to head to Google’s YouTube page or launch event page at 12 p.m. EST, or follow the breaking news on MobileSyrup.
Rose Behar and Patrick O’Rourke contributed to this story.
Feature image credit: Maurizio Pesce via Flickr