What Google got right and what Google got wrong on Pixel day

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Opinion post by
Eric Zeman

Google today announced a slew of devices at its fall hardware event. We saw the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, as well as a new Nest Mini, Google Wifi, Pixelbook Go, and Pixel Buds 2. Each of these products has pros and cons.

Now that we’ve had a minute to digest the news and assess where Google stands, here’s what we think about everything on Day One.

The phones

Pixel 4 XL screen on table 4

Obviously, we’re all about the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. The devices may look simple, but they are feature rich and appealing in their own way.

What we like: 

What we don’t like:

  • No 3.5mm headphone jack, and no ‘buds or adapter in the box. What?!?
  • Loss of full-resolution photo storage in Google Photos
  • Not the latest high-end processor
  • Skimpy entry-level storage at 64GB
  • Meager battery capacities
  • High price tag

Google fans will love the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. These expensive handsets go on sale October 24.


The ‘buds

Google Pixel Buds 2 colors and charging case 3

The company teased the Google Pixel Buds 2, a sequel to its original Assistant-capable in-ear headphones.

What we like:

  • Google in your ear!
  • Attractive form factor
  • Plenty of colors to choose from
  • Lots of playback time
  • Better sound(?)

What we don’t like:

  • Google in your ear!
  • Six-month wait until launch (Spring 2020)
  • High price tag ($179)

These true wireless headphones will go head-to-head with Apple’s AirPods once they reach the market.


The nest

Google Nest Mini closeup in Coral color

Google’s smart home division had a few things to talk about during the fall event, including a new Nest Mini and Nest Wifi.

Nest Mini – What we like:

  • New colors
  • Sound quality improvements
  • Use of recycled materials

What we don’t like: 

  • Boring design
  • Could be more power efficient
  • Still pricey at $49

Google Nest Wi Fi color options

Nest Wifi — What we like:

  • Expanded range
  • Fewer nodes required
  • Nest Mini built in!

What we don’t like: 

  • Utterly drab
  • Pricey at $269 for two, or $349 for three

The book

Google Pixelbook Go on table in black

Google unveiled a new Pixelbook at its fall event, but this is no flagship machine. Where the Pixelbook is a high-end device, the Pixelbook Go is a mid-range offering.

What we like:

  • Understated styling
  • 12-hour battery life
  • Stereo speakers
  • Backlit keyboard

What we don’t like:

  • Ribbed bottom surface
  • Only Full HD resolution on most models
  • Only two USB-C ports, no USB-A
  • High-end models too pricey

In the past, Google never felt as stingy as Apple with its products, particularly with respect to pricing options. This year things feel different. Things like the minimal storage on the entry-level Pixel 4 and the outdated Core M3 processor on the cheapest Pixelbook come across as Apple-level grift.

How did Google make you feel today? What do you like and what do you dislike? Sound off below!

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