Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Google Pixel Buds hands-on

Theresa Hayes | 07 October, 2017, 08:19

Besides the Pixelbook, fans are also looking forward to seeing what Google will have to offer on the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices this year.

Despite Verizon being the exclusive carrier of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, it isn't the only place to get a new Pixel 2 smartphone. The Pixel 2 has a display density of 441 pixels per inch and the Pixel 2 XL has a plastic OLED display with 538 pixels per inch; for comparison, Apple's iPhone 8 has a less efficient liquid crystal, or LCD, display with 326 pixels per inch, its iPhone 8 Plus has a LCD display with 401 pixels per inch, and its iPhone X has an OLED display with 458 pixels per inch. The devices feature IP67 water and dust resistance, and can be charged for seven hours of use in just 15 minutes.

Both phones are powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processors and run Oreo, the latest version of the Android operating system. The handset received positive reviews, but it did not threaten the premium smartphone dominance of Apple or Samsung. The original Pixel indeed retailed at $649, and this price tag was frozen for the release of the Pixel 2.

None of the now available technologies and gadgets are quite the true Babel fish in your ear, but with the Pixel Buds and the Bragi Dash Pro, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy dream of a seamless removal of language barriers is closer than ever. The phones, both now available for pre-order, will be shipped on October 19. Pixel Buds will also allow you to translate something on-the-go with access to Google Translate.

The question of Google's commitment to hardware is a testament to the challenges of competing against devices made by Apple, Amazon and Samsung.

"These days many devices - especially smartphones - look and act the same", Osterloh wrote yesterday on the Google blog.

Launched in 2015, the wireless service is limited to Google phones, but this will soon be no more thanks to the upcoming Moto X4. "That means in order to create a meaningful experience for users, we need a different approach".

Unlike the way an Apple event is conducted - usually chock-full of talk about chip speeds and screen resolutions - Google didn't spend much time on product specifications.

For example, the $249 Google Clips, set to arrive soon in the USA, "is a totally new way to capture genuine, spontaneous moments - all powered by machine learning and AI", Osterloh noted. As for the design of the Pixel Buds, it's apparent that Google favors a more natural design language, much like what we see in its other products like the Google Home Mini and 2nd generation Daydream View headset. Users will pay the unlikely figure of $27.0 over this period on a monthly basis, although the carrier also charges a $30 activation fee.

"It's like you've got your own personal translator with you everywhere you go".