What to expect from Google's big Oct. 4 hardware event

Pixel phones, Google Home, a 4K Chromecast, and maybe even a new tablet may come to dine at the hardware feast.

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Updated 10/03/16: Carphone Warehouse leaked some info about the Pixel and Pixel XL phones. It's our clearest look at them yet.

Get ready for a Google hardware-palooza.

The company is set to not only unveil a pair of smartphones during its just-announced Oct. 4 event in San Francisco, but we also may also see some other gear that will surely make it onto the holiday wish list of anyone that’s a fan of Google services.

You'll be able to watch the livestream right here.

The story behind the story: Late Monday, the company sent out a press invite and a playful tweet that takes you to a not-so-subtle teaser site. It’s clearly a phone and the URL of madeby.google.com tells us that instead of this being just another Nexus partnership, Google is more fully in control of its latest smartphones. 

Goodbye Nexus, Hello Pixel

After a steady flow of rumors and leaks, we’re pretty confident that we’re going to see two smartphones, dubbed the Pixel and Pixel XL. Android Police captured some blurry images of two devices that match the rumor mill: 5-inch and 5.5-inch phones made by HTC. 

pixel leaks Andoid Police

These very well could be the latest smartphones from Google.

The rotating images on the teaser site are a good hint there’ll be a focus on the camera’s photo capabilities. During last year’s unveiling of the Nexus 6P and 5X Google spent quite a bit of time favorably comparing the 6P’s low-light capabilities to the iPhone. It’s definitely something to keep your eye on.

Carphone Warehouse accidentally published its listing for the Pixel and Pixel XL on Oct 2. Though quickly pulled, sharp readers took screen captures of the page, which featured the specs and marketing images.

pixel cw 2

Goole's new phones will come in two sizes, with very few differences between them.

In terms of specs, it's exactly what the rumors suggested: a speedy Snapdragon 821, 4GB of RAM, either 32 or 128GB of storage, and AMOLED displays (1080p for the smaller Pixel, 1440p for the Pixel XL). Batteries are 2770 mAh and 3450 mAh, respectively. The phones are to launch with Android 7.1 and feature 8MP front-facing and 12MP rear cameras.

pixel cw 5

Google is once again touting a great camera, but will it stand up to the best of Samsung and Apple?

The marketing slides went on to tout a fantastic camera, but the competition is fierce. Last year's Nexus phones took great photos, but the cameras were ponderously slow. Beyond that, most of the marketing was centered around Google's latest apps like Allo and Duo, and the power of Google Assistant.

Google Home

google home purple

Google Home, featuring a purple base.

The first look at Google Home came at the company’s I/O conference in May. It’s essentially a Googly version of Amazon’s popular Echo, with an always-ready Google Assistant listening. This sounds like as good a time as any to show this off, which should finally include pricing, availability, and some more details about what the device can actually do.

A new tablet

We recently got a pretty solid rumor from Evan Blass about a Huawei-built, seven-inch tablet coming from Google. It’s not clear if this will also bear the Pixel name or how it will fit into Google’s new branding efforts. We’ve argued before that we’re long overdue for a stock Android tablet of this size, and we’re glad to see one may finally be coming. 

4K Chromecast Ultra

New hardware is always better with leaks. Thanks to Venturebeat, we have a pretty solid look at Google’s new Chromecast Ultra, which rumor has it will support 4K streaming.

chromecast ultra Venturebeat

The Chromecast Ultra features a similar design to the current hardware available.

Another report puts the price at $69, making it the most expensive option of the Chromecast family. But it’s a smart move given the rising popularity of 4K and the success Google has had with Chromecast, unlike its other television initiative. 

Google Wifi

Google’s OnHub router isn’t the last word when it comes to the company’s home Wi-Fi efforts. Google will purportedly release a product called Google Wifi that will be a more traditional home network router. We don’t have much on how it will be a supposedly better choice than all the other routers out there, but we’re sure Google will have something to say about it at the upcoming event.  


The idea of some type of Chrome and Android merger has been floated for a while, but it’s looking way more real thanks to the latest rumor. Andromeda is the alleged code name for a hybrid Chrome-Android operating system that could usher in a new era of Google-powered computing. The latest is that a forthcoming Huawei tablet could run Andromeda. The considerable Android developer community will want assurance from Google this would be a smooth transition, so we’ll surely watch this one closely.

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