Everything we might see at Google’s big hardware event –
Here’s the rundown of everything we know so far and what we’re expecting to see Tuesday. As always, we’re sure to get at least one or two surprises, so stay tuned for Mashable’s full coverage of the event Tuesday.
Two new smartphones
Given the months of rumors and recently-leaked images, we are extremely confident that we’ll see two new smartphones next week, just don’t expect them to bear the Nexus name. Reports suggest Google will be abandoning the Nexus branding for the new handsets, which will apparently launch under the Pixel name.
The devices, which are reportedly being made by HTC, will come in 5.2 and 5.5-inch varieties and will be called the Pixel and Pixel XL.
Both are expected to have flagship-worthy specs: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chips, 4GB of RAM and 12MP rear-facing cameras.
Thanks to (the usually reliable) leaker Evan Blass, we also have a pretty good idea of what the software will look like. We don’t know the details, but rumors point to a Google Now rebrand and Google’s new Assistant could play a prominent role.
The devices may also run a slightly updated version of Android Nougat — version 7.1, according to at least one report — though Google hasn’t detailed such an update yet.
Other reliable reports suggest the devices will be significantly more expensive than previous Nexus handsets. The Pixel will start somewhere north of $600, according to Android Police.
First announced (rather hastily) at I/O earlier this year, Google’s Amazon Echo-like speaker is expected to make its formal debut.
Thanks to Google I/O, we already know that Google Home will have the company’s new assistant, which you can also find in the messaging app Allo, built in and that it will work with smart home devices.
What we don’t know for sure is the price, though Android Police reported last week that it may sell for $129.99, which would make it extremely competitive with the $180 Echo.
VR + Cardboard
For awhile, it seemed like Google might have also had some Cardboard-related announcement in the works. Google teased Cardboard news in a tweet last week that was later deleted. It’s now clear that tweet was unrelated to the upcoming event.
But other signs do point to a virtual reality announcement. Google promised a new VR headset back at I/O. And an earlier report from Bloomberg claims that Google is getting ready to launch Daydream, its new VR platform, alongside new phones and its own headset and controller. And it would certainly make sense for Google’s new Pixel phones to be the first Daydream-compatible devices.
While it may seem surprising that Google would have a new Chromecast one year after launching its last models (especially since we had to wait years between the previous two releases), it does seem like we’ll be seeing a new 4K-ready Chromecast that will reportedly be called “Chromecast Ultra.”
The device was first reported by Android Police, whose sources said it would sell for $69, while Blass later followed up with an image of the device. Between that and just about every other streaming device moving toward 4K, we feel pretty confident about this particular rumor.
Google already has a router (last year’s OnHub), but the company may be gearing up to launch another one. The new one will supposedly be called Google Wi-Fi, according to Android Police, whose sources say the new router will borrow many features of the OnHub. Details for this one are scarce, but it will apparently act as a Wi-Fi extender. And bothAndroid Police and Droid Life say it will sell for $129.
A new Android tablet
This one is a bit convoluted, so stick with us. Just a couple weeks ago, Blass revealed that Google was working with Huawei on a 7-inch tablet that would have 4GB of RAM. Blass revealed nothing else, including whether or not the device would carry Nexus branding.
Then, 9to5Google reported that the same Huawei-made tablet is being used to test Google’s long-rumored project that will bring Chrome features to Android. That last bit muddles the timing a bit though, as other reports about Andromeda (Google’s apparent name for the effort) make it sound like it won’t be ready until 2017. Some have speculated that the tablet could launch independently of the OS, so it’s still possible that we’ll see the tablet sooner rather than later.
Consider this one a tossup. All signs point to Google making a new Android tablet (it certainly needs one after the underwhelming Nexus 9 and confusing Pixel C), but late-breaking rumors about its OS could mean we’ll have to wait a bit longer for it.
Chrome + Android (again!)
That, of course, brings us to Andromeda. In what seems to be the rumor that refuses to die, it seems likely that Google is working on a new project that will bring Chrome and Android closer together, separate from its last such effort (which resulted in… Android apps on Chrome OS.)
Andromeda, on the other hand, is apparently more geared toward bringing Chrome features to Android. Given the prevalence of these rumors, it does seem extremely likely, though the timing is a bit more difficult to pin down.
At least one report says that Google won’t be ready for the release of Andromeda (and the accompanying Pixel laptop) until well into 2017.
If you were hoping for new Android Wear devices or the new software that was promised at I/O, you’re going to be disappointed. In fact, don’t expect to hear much of anything about Google’s smartwatch platform.
After reports that watchmakers like LG, Lenovo and Huawei were waiting until 2017 to launch new hardware, Google revealed that its Android Wear 2.0 update would be delayed until 2017. There’s no reason why the company would wait until days before the event to reveal the delay if it had plans to release any significant updates.