The Pixel 2 has kinda rekindled my love for Android and Google Hardware again.

The Google Hardware lineup for the year 2017–18.

Google is serious about hardware, like they went ahead and acquired a part of HTC and their engineers for $1.1 billion serious. We saw plenty of goodies from Google in the October 4th event including the new Pixel Buds and a tiny camera. Google’s intent was pretty clear from the event. They want to go toe to toe with every other manufacturer in almost every segment. (Yes, even when it comes to removing the innocent headphone jack)

We saw:

1. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL to compete with the iPhone 8 and X and the likes of S8. (No Ultrapixel this year)

2. The Google Home Mini and Google Max to compete with the likes of the Amazon Echo Family, Apple’s HomePod.

3. The Pixel Buds which are Google’s take on wireless earbuds and to compete with the Apple AirPods. (Jaybirds X3 FTW)

4. Google Clips, which is like a tiny camera, makes me feel it can be used to spy on people, but it won’t since it records soundless videos. Google is targeting to capture moments with parents who have kids and if you have pets too.

5. The Pixelbook (Because Google feels you would pay $1000+ for a laptop running a browser)

6. Google Daydream because VR is still a thing.

Google’s hardware lineup looks complete, it kind of has a ‘yep, this looks about right’ feel to it.

Whatever Google has introduced, none of it is a breakthrough in hardware. Yes, we know Apple likes to boast about how they integrated so many sensors in one tiny notch and they love the sound of A11 Bionic Chip and Samsung loves their edge to edge display. Even the phone designs are kinda outdated and no match for Apple or Samsung’s hardware. Just look at the Pixel 2, look at the bezels on it, but you know what? I am still considering to go for it. It’s the stock Android goodness, the camera and all the AI making me ogle at the Pixel lineup and also the fact that I have been a big time Android nerd.

Google has always been about making good software, services and amazing apps. And that’s exactly what you get with Google’s new line up.
Google’s all about AI, Google’s algorithms, machine learning capabilities. Google is betting big on AI. From Gboard to Google Assistant to Maps, Google’s using AI everywhere, at least that’s what they claim.

The 2nd generation of Pixel phones.

We have a bunch of new features in terms of software in the Pixel phones, these are a few that I am excited about:

1. Portrait mode for both front and back cameras: It’s pretty amazing Google managed to pull of portrait mode to give you that cool bokeh effect without actually cramming a second lens in their phones.

2. OIS and EIS Combined for even smoother videos.

3. Google Lens, kind of like Bixby vision but promising.

4. Active Edge, HTC U11 had it too right?

5. Always on Display made better with perpetual sound recognition.(Creepy but neat)

All in all I am liking the direction Google’s heading into. It’s a pragmatic approach, as Dieter Bohn calls it and I agree with him. Google’s doing what it thinks is the future of mobile and that’s a world powered by AI. It’s the Pixel phones which I am really excited about, with all the reviews pouring in, it’s bound to be this year’s Android king, but the Pixel 2 XL’s screen seems to be having issues. We will have to see in the coming weeks if these so called issues can be sorted with future updates/patches, but I have my doubts.

For now, I am just waiting for these devices to hit the Indian stores and get my hands on with them. Really pumped about the camera as well and get a taste of some of that Android 8.0 Oreo goodness.

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