Interested in one of the new Pixel phones? Make sure you know what you’re getting into; in eliminating the 3.5mm audio jack Google has chosen to ape one of the iPhone’s worst features, while providing only minimal protection from water damage. And, like Apple, they’ve once again taken the high road on pricing, asking $1,289 CAD for their most expensive model. But this is the same story as last year, and in late 2017 appears to be the cost of entry to join the fight in the war on smartphone bezels.
The big differentiator in hardware for Google is again, like last year, going forward with a single rear-facing camera vs. Apple’s dual-lens setup. The Pixel 2’s camera tech does look promising, and I wouldn’t fault anyone making a purchase for that feature alone. As for the fabled “pure Android experience” I’m pretty sure Google gave up on that when they introduced their Now Launcher back in 2013. The exclusive-to-Pixel Google Lens visual search only continues that trend—though it may be available more widely at a later date.
Here’s what I found weird about yesterday’s event… Granted, I was unable to watch it live and had to settle instead for The Verge’s 19-minute supercut after the fact. I was nonetheless surprised at how little overall time was spent on the phones. Your home, it seems, is the new frontier that Amazon, Apple and Google are all simultaneously trying to conquer. I’m personally not so thrilled at the prospect of having an always-listening device in the place where I sleep and shit, but that’s just me.
As for the other gear, I think the Clips camera is an intriguing alternative to GoPro. But I don’t have particularly high hopes for the automatic translation feature of the Pixel Buds. Raw technology is no match for the subtle nuance of language.
What are your thoughts on yesterday’s event?