What to expect from Google’s Pixel 3 event

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Pixel 3 and 3 XL

Good grief, has this thing been leaked to death. Thanks to the Pixel 3 XL (I’m going to call it Xposed Lyft) incident, we have a pretty good idea what it’ll look like. The larger flagship will have a notched screen and glass back, and it will more or less look very similar to its predecessor. Meanwhile, the smaller model looks like a shrunken Pixel 2 XL, with a 5.5-inch notch-free display. It appears to have a 2,160 x 1,080 resolution, dual front cameras and just one on the rear. Both models should come with a Snapdragon 845 processor and run Android 9 Pie.

Some rumors suggest we can expect software features like the same Active Edge navigation gestures as the Pixel 2 and updated shortcuts. For instance, double pressing the power button could launch the camera app while long pressing it may take a screenshot, which doesn’t sound like a great idea. You might also be able to hold down on a restaurant’s name in Gmail to make a reservation. We’ll probably have to wait till next week to find out the full details.

Pixel Slate Chrome OS detachable

Leaks frequently come from careless partners, and we have accessory maker Brydge to thank for this exposé. It appears to be a Chrome OS tablet code-named Nocturne, which we’ve seen references to in Chromium code for months. Its real name, though, is probably Pixel Slate. From what we can tell, this device would be Google’s first 2-in-1 detachable. Renders show a fingerprint reader embedded in the power button and pogo pin support while Chrome OS code indicates a display resolution of 3,000 x 2,000. Some rumors suggest it could support Windows 10, too, though it doesn’t seem like that will be ready at launch.

We’ve already seen the first Chrome OS tablet and detachable from Acer and HP, respectively, but like the Pixel C and Pixelbook, Google’s own hardware could set the standard that others need to live up to. For example, it might get new features first, like Assistant on the Pixelbook. Of course, expect it to cost more too.

Home Hub

While the first Assistant-powered smart displays from Lenovo and JBL were worthy rivals to Amazon’s Echo Show, we might see a better contender from Google itself. The Home Hub looks to be a seven-inch screen attached to a speaker base, with an aesthetic that neatly matches the company’s smart home lineup. Basically it looks like a small Home Max grew a face. The rumor also indicates the Home Hub will be surprisingly light at just 480 grams (1.05 pounds), which is the same as the original Google Home.

The smart display should enable a richer Assistant visual experience, which should include some of the new features Google just announced. For example, you should be able to see footage from your Nest security camera on the screen, follow recipes on YouTube or see your Google Photos. The recent updates to Assistant also enable on-screen fitness coaching and interactive messaging, which would make it far more useful on something like the Home Hub. A separate retail leak suggests this will cost just $150 — cheaper than both Lenovo’s and JBL’s, which both cost $200 (though the Link View goes up to $250).

New Chromecast

Seriously, can Google trust its retail partners at all? Last month Best Buy actually sold one customer an unannounced Chromecast that’s supposed to go on sale October 9th. The third-generation device looks similar to its predecessor, with the same round puck dangling from a cable. It even appears to cost the same $35. This looks like just a subtle refresh, though FCC documents suggest we could see Bluetooth support and potentially more-powerful WiFi.

Considering the reports we’ve heard about Google making its own game-streaming console and the just-announced Project Stream, it’s also possible that the new Chromecast could let users play games like Assassin’s Creed on their TVs. That would tie in nicely with the Bluetooth capability, which could be used to connect controllers.

Surprises?

If Google has anything else up its sleeve, it’s done a far better job of keeping those secrets to itself. Though rumors of a Pixel Watch were rife, Google appears to have shut down those reports. A new Google-made watch under another name might still be possible, though the company seems to have been focusing on its Wear OS software and partnership with Qualcomm lately instead.

It’s also high time we saw an updated version of the Pixel Buds, but leaks are scarce. Though they did get some new gestures and features earlier this year, the wireless headphones are still disappointingly far from the world-changing devices we were promised. We’re not holding our breath for second-gen earbuds, but man, it would be nice.

We’ve exhausted our pool of knowledge of what Google has in store, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the company unveiled anything unexpected next week. Who knows, maybe a Google-branded microwave is on its way. If I were you, I’d stay tuned to find out.

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