Updated Oct 15, 2019 - Technology

Google debuts Pixel 4, other hardware

Ina Fried
Pixel 4 phones

Screenshot: Google

Google unveiled its Pixel 4 smartphone and other new Made By Google hardware at an event Tuesday morning in New York City. Other products included a cheaper Pixelbook, more capable mesh WiFi system and a preview of new Google Buds earbuds coming next year.

Why it matters: Google intends for the Pixel to directly compete with Apple's iPhone and, while past versions have received positive reviews, it remains a relatively minor player in the smartphone market.

The big picture: The Pixel 4 has a range of new cameras and sensors, including the first radar sensor in a camera, as well as new software features.

  • Radar powers gesture controls, but also speeds up face unlock and can power down a phone when you aren't nearby.
  • A new Recorder app not only captures voice recordings, but transcribes them, a feature that will no doubt be appreciated by journalists and students.
  • Improved computational photography for better portraits and night shots.
  • 3 colors: Just Black, Clearly White and a limited edition Oh, So Orange.
  • 2 screen sizes, available today for pre-order, and ships Oct. 24. Starts at $799.
  • Unlike previous versions, the Pixel 4 will be available from all major U.S. carriers.

In addition to debuting the Pixel 4, Google also:

  • Introduced a less expensive Pixelbook laptop, the $649 Pixelbook Go.
  • Detailed its second-generation Pixel Buds that are coming next spring for $179.
  • Announced its Stadia streaming game service that will arrive Nov. 19.
  • Debuted a second-generation Nest Mini (neé Google Home Mini) with a case made from recycled plastic bottles. It sells for $49 and will be available Oct. 22.
  • Introduced Nest Wifi mesh router that Google says can cover 85% of the homes in the U.S. with just one extender "point." It also includes a smart speaker with Google Assistant.
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