We’ve been talking for months about ‘Sabrina’ – Google’s upcoming Chromecast/Android TV dongle – and how this new take on a streaming device from Google will bring together the companies two differing takes on the smart TV market. With the flexibility of Chromecast from both a use case and hardware standpoint to the more-robust UI and navigation that Android TV offers (there’s a remote, after all), this new device could be the best of both worlds when it does show up later this year.
With what appears to be ‘Sabrina’ spotted passing through the FCC just last week, it looks like we won’t be waiting much longer for this new streaming hardware to arrive. Everyone’s expectation is some sort of virtual October event from Google to announce their already-teased Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 phones and it seems a new Google Home and this new Chromecast/Android TV dongle will join them. Who knows, maybe we’ll see a new Pixelbook, too, but none of that is the point of this post today.
Last night, news leaked on the pricing of Google’s new dongle and what we’re seeing is super-aggressive for a device that in all likelihood will be more powerful than the existing Chromecast Ultra and will cost less. It’s a bit ambiguous at this point, but three separate listings show a price for ‘Sabrina’ between $49.99 and $59.99, and honestly, anything in that range is pretty amazing for all you’ll get in this single streamer. Don’t forget, you’ll be able to run Android TV apps and do all the standard streaming stuff you’d do with a regular Chromecast, too. I see little reason why this dongle won’t be fully-capable of giving users a great experience for Stadia and NVIDIA GeForce NOW, too. Slap on Google Assistant support and there’s not much this little dongle can’t do.
You can see a listing over at Walmart’s website right now for the higher price and Android Police’s Artem Russakovskii tweeted about a confirmed Target availability for the same price as well. The lower-priced leak come from Home Depot where the folks at 9to5 Google were able to find a cached version of the landing page for the product and it’s $49.99 price tag. Additionally, they had a tipster send them photos of Home Depot’s internal system showing a full range of colors and pricing, too. We’re seeing ‘Rock Candy’, ‘Como Blue’ and ‘Summer Melon’ in the company’s inventory, so there will be at least those colors as an option, if not more.
A streaming device in this price range puts ‘Sabrina’ in line with other, similarly-functioning devices from Amazon and Roku, but those devices don’t have Chromecast built-in and won’t function as streaming game devices, either. While many have simply just wanted a Chromecast with a remote, ‘Sabrina’ looks ready to offer far more than that and, at the risk of sounding like a total fan boy, could easily be the streaming device just about everyone should go out and buy. It’s taken years, but it really feels like Google has figured out its smart TV strategy with this one, and we’re ready for it.