Google just concluded its annual developer conference and aside from all the interesting software changes coming to Android and other Google services, there were a few exciting hardware announcements made. Although the chances of us getting these devices sold locally is next to none, for those who are patient enough to want to import, here’s all the details you need to know about Google’s latest gadgets:
Nest Hub Max
This is Google’s first smart display after the company acquired Nest – a company that creates smart home products. The Nest Hub Max propels the company forward in providing all-round solutions to the home an indication of the future being fully driven by Google.
If that does not scare you, then having a smart speaker with a 10-inch display in the house will be an exciting thing. Personally, I like it. I have always considered Google’s perceived “creepiness” a necessary evil to make my life easier since I mostly use Google services anyway.
The Next Hub comes bundled with Google Assistant which provides the smarts for the device, other notable features include the camera which will be used for video calls on Duo as well as facial recognition in order to personalize your experience with the Hub. Also, the Hub will allow users to take advantage of the camera and use it as a nanny cam or a home monitoring camera that will alert you of unusual activities in your house when activated.
For those who find the idea of a device that has an always-on microphone and camera creepy, Google has included a physical switch on the back of the Hub that will electronically disable both the camera and the mic, however, if you wish to just have the camera off and the mic on, there’s a software switch to do this.
On top of this, the Nest Hub Max can act as a simple photo frame – especially when not in use. Through integration with Google Photos, users can select photos that the Hub Max can carousel through. Additionally, users can access YouTube TV and Hulu among other streaming services on the Hub, thus making it a TV of some sort.
If you are interested, you can grab the Next Hub Max for $229, which will probably see you pay close to Kes.40,000 inclusive of taxes and shipping charges but it could all be worth it.
For a while now there have been rumours of a “budget” Pixel device launching soon and I say budget because to emerging markets, the $399 starting price of the Pixel 3A is in no way budget but rather a strong mid-range contender.
The highlight of the Pixel 3A and justification of spending that much on an ugly phone is the superb cameras that it shares with the Pixel 3. The high-end Pixel 3 has some of the best cameras on a phone, only rivalled by the likes of Huawei P30 Pro, so Google putting the same camera of a phone that costs half the price of flagships is really a good move.
The Pixel 3A comes in two sizes, a 5.6-inch device and an XL with a 6-inch display, aside from the size difference and battery capacity of 3000mAh and 3700mAh respectively, everything else remains the same with the phones.
The famous night sight and portrait mode found on the more expensive Pixels are here, with other features such as USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, OLED displays and even adaptive battery technology that Google says can push the device for up to 30 hours of usage. Oh yeah, the cheesy colour names are also present with Just Black, Clearly White and Purple-ish… the only problem with the devices, Google is not launching them in the expected emerging markets, at least for now.
The Pixel 3A retails at $399 while the Pixel 3A XL retails at $479. Both have 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage and if you have ever wanted a Pixel, these are the ones to get.