With Google’s ‘Launch Night In’ less than 24 hours away, we wanted to quickly recap all we expect to see at the virtual event that is slated for 2PM EST tomorrow on September 30th. This will be the first all-virtual Google hardware event and it will be interesting to see how Google approaches announcing its latest hardware compared with what we’ve already seen from companies like Apple, Samsung, Acer, OnePlus and others since the pandemic changed the tech scene in 2020.
First up, Google sent out personalized packages to members of the media ahead of the event that show just how all-in they are on this ‘Launch Night In’ theme they have going for the event. The boxes are well-presented, fun and an interesting bit of swag that ultimately didn’t come bearing any preview hardware of any sort. Well, at least not for us, anyway. The whole thing is interesting enough that we figured we’d show you the whole package in detail via – you guessed it – a proper unboxing. Now, on to the event and what we expect will be on display.
Let’s start with what is the usual star of the show: Pixels. This year is quite different than years past as Google is diversifying its Pixel phones across the low to high mid-range. We just got the excellent Pixel 4a last month and alongside that phone we are expecting the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. Both of these devices look to be larger than the 4a and will both contain the faster Snapdragon 765G.
The rumor is a 6.2-inch screen will be available on the Pixel 4a 5G and a 6-inch screen will be on board the Pixel 5. The Pixel 5 will bump up everything else, however, and could come with a questionable $699 starting price. With IP-rated water resistance, a 90hz screen, better build quality, larger battery and more RAM, the Pixel 5 will definitely be the nicer phone of the two. The Pixel 4a 5G will likely be the utilitarian winner, however, as it is rumored to come in at $499, have the same Snapdragon 765G processor as the Pixel 5, and still come with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.
Chromecast with Google TV
My personal favorite going into tomorrow will be the $49 Chromecast with Google TV. The Chromecast finally gets a remote and proper UI while keeping a rock-bottom price and all the standard Chromecast functionality we all know and love. As long as Stadia gets added in an official way, I can’t see any reason anyone should continue buying older Chromecasts once this one hits store shelves. It will be a go-to recommendation for many, many users.
The Nest Audio also looks interesting, and bringing a Nest Mini vibe to a larger, fuller speaker sounds like an absolute win. We love the Google Home Max at our office for its clarity, bass, and overall audio fidelity and hope that Google will take what it learned with that speaker and the revamped Nest Mini and combine it into a more reasonably-size speaker. At $99, we expect this to also be a very, very popular piece of hardware for Google.
New Google Wi-Fi
Finally, it seems likely we’ll see a revamped Google Wi-Fi – not Nest Wi-Fi – at the event as well. This one is a bit of a head-scratcher as it looks to be sticking with the aesthetic and naming structure of the original Google Wi-Fi. With most of Google’s home-related items falling in with Nest branding, it is unclear why they would choose to offer Google Wi-Fi alongside Nest Wi-Fi. If this shows up at the event, we’ll all be honed in on how Google chooses to position it.
That’s all we know for now. There is absolutely zero evidence that we’ll see any Chrome OS devices at this event, but we’ve known that for a bit now. While we do feel confident Google is working on a new Pixelbook, there’s simply no way that device is even close to ready for a debut at this point. We’ll all be watching for the rest of the hardware to debut at 2PM, however, and we’ll have the video up on the site closer to the event when it becomes publicly available. Hope to see you there!