About this time of year for the past 3 years running, we’ve checked our email inboxes daily in anticipation of an invite from Google to the big, yearly hardware event from the search giant. When this invite came each year, there have been multiple reasons for excitement: new phones, new Google Home stuff, and new Chromebooks. While I think we’re clearly going to be missing a new Chromebook announcement this time around, the bigger thing I’m missing is honestly the enjoyment of traveling to New York or San Francisco to attend the event in-person.
However, this is 2020, and no one expected or hoped for a real event this time around. Instead, we all expected a relatively-standardized time frame for Google’s hardware unveiling and what we’re seeing is a week or two ahead of Google’s standard October schedule. On the positive side of things, we don’t have to get travel arrangements made and the event is happening sooner than it usually does: September 30th. On the negative, we don’t get to hang out in New York in the fall this year. It is what it is, I suppose.
What we expect to see
As I stated in the opening, we don’t expect to be seeing a Chromebook at the event this year. While we think that ‘Halvor’ has a great shot at being the next Pixelbook, there’s nothing leading us towards a conclusion that this device is anywhere near ready for an unveiling. While I’d love to be surprised by an announcement on this, I’m not holding my breath. Everything else we expect has leaked left and right, so the fact that there have been no leaks whatsoever lead me to believe a new Pixelbook isn’t in the cards just yet.
The highlilght of the show will likely be the new Pixel phones that have been teased already by Google. It seems we’ll see the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 at the event and hopefully understand a bit more clearly what Google’s 2020 plan is for smartphones. It feels like the Pixel 4a 5G will be a rehash of the Pixel 4a with 5G support, a larger screen, and a faster Snapdragon 765G processor. The Pixel 5 looks to be the more-premium device of the two with a faster refresh rate on the screen, better build materials, better cameras, and the same 765G Snapdragon the Pixel 4a 5G is set to launch with. It will be interesting to see how Google positions them at the event for sure.
My most-anticipated hardware announcement will be the new Chromecast with Google TV, though. Google’s phones will be fine and at their price, they should sell well. They are by far the least interesting thing Google is announcing, though. This new Chromecast has been leaked extensively, so I’d point you to another post to learn more about it. In a nutshell, this will be a Chromecast that has an interface and remote, runs apps, plays Stadia, and will cost only $49.99. It will be the absolute go-to Christmas gift for me this year!
I’m also looking very forward to the new Nest Home speaker. As the original Google Home has ceased production, the gap has been made for a standard Nest Home speaker. The Nest Mini is great and the Google Home Max is still awesome, but a solid, reasonably-sized speaker in the Nest speaker lineup is needed and will be appreciated by many users across the board. If it looks good in person and has nice sound and a decent price, Google will likely sell tons of these as well.
The event begins at 2PM EST/11AM PST and will be live-streamed to the public for your viewing pleasure. As always, we’ll have the link and embed up where you can watch the event as we get closer. With only 16 days to wait, it will be here before we know it.