Google Unveils 5G Pixel Phones, Nest Audio Speaker, New Chromecast

Joanna Estrada
October 1, 2020

Google's Chromecast lineup was getting a bit long in the tooth. Faster but less stable mmWave is only supported on the Pixel 5.

That pricing feels more appropriate given the differences between the phones - but the downside is that the USA is paying a premium for the Pixel 5 compared to the rest of the world.

As top-of-the-line phones from the likes of Apple and Samsung get more expensive, Google's game is affordability. The company also announced the Pixel 4a 5G.

Both Pixels pack the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset which makes 5G connectivity possible should you have coverage for it. Sadly, Google ditched the zoom camera from previous year, opting instead for a regular wide-angle sensor (12MP) and an ultrawide (16MP). It's also worth noting that the 4a 5G incorporates a 3.5mm headphone jack while the Pixel 5 doesn't. The Pixel 5 has a slightly smaller screen than the 4a 5G at 6-inches-it has a 90Hz refresh, but it's the same 1080p resolution.

The new Pixels come with an "extreme battery saver mode" that lets you turn off all but a few apps to extend your battery life by two days when you need it. On the topic of software another heralded feature of these new devices is the "Hold for Me" AI powered service which can wait in line for you (US only for now).

The Pixel 5 loses some features that made the Pixel 4 stand out, for better or worse. Google has also gone back to the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.

Of course, this is still a Chromecast device, so you can stream any Google Cast-compatible content from your phone or tablet.

The new Pixel 5 starts at $999 in Australia.

You'll never have to listen to hold music again with the new "Hold for Me" feature on Google Assistant. This smart speaker features a 75mm mid-woofer and 19mm tweeter for wide frequency coverage.

Nest Audio is available for $99.99 online at the Google Store and other retailers in the U.S., Canada and India starting 5 October.

Nest Audio is 75 per cent louder and offers 50 percent stronger bass than the original Google Home. It also has the room adaptation features from the more expensive Home Max.

Google TV's new homescreen experience is a big departure from the interface we've become familiar with on Android TV, thanks to a content-first approach that gives more importance to what you'd watch over where you'd watch it. Hopefully, we see you in this new thermostat soon. It's called Google TV (because what's old is new again). That means that even if you buy the phone unlocked here, you're paying for the mmWave technology inside if, regardless of whether you're going to use it.

Gildred added that not every partner device in 2021 will get the Google TV experience, but by the following year he expects Google TV to completely replace its predecessor. Android TV was introduced in 2014 as the successor to the Google TV platform from yesteryears, and it was Google's way of taking back control of the TV platform. It was an OS for TVs that offered support for streaming apps, and as a core TV operating system. But if you're in the market for something new, the Chromecast with Google TV seems competitively priced with similar products from Roku and Amazon. For context, Google sold 1.5 million smartphones in 1H 2020, a 63% decrease in the volume of smartphones it sold in the same period the year before.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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