Google sent us an invite to its media event on October 4 in San Francisco, where it's believed the company will make several hardware-related announcements. In the invite Google included an outline of what appears to be a smartphone and the caption "We'll be in touch soon."
It's about time we heard something out of Mountain View. Rumors surrounding the event have been pouring in for months, with new smartphones, smart home gadgets, and more, expected to be announced at the event.
Pixel and Pixel XL
The headline of Google's October event are the Pixel smartphones.
Google is believed to be shying away from the previous Nexus branding, but isn't manufacturing the smartphones alone. Google is rumored to be partnering with HTC to manufacture the handsets. Of course, Google is going to do all the branding.
Android Police reported the Pixel, code named Sailfish internally at Google, will be a 5-inch smartphone. Additional specs are believed to be:
Quad-core 2.0GHz 64-bit processor
4GB of RAM
12MP rear camera, 8MP front
Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
USB-C port (bottom)
Bottom-firing speaker or speakers (unknown if dual)
Top-mounted headphone jack
Different from the Nexus smartphone program in the past, it's believed the Pixel will be offered in two sizes.
The Pixel XL, or Marlin internally, will appease to the "phablet" crowd with a 5.5-inch QHD display. It will also boast a larger 3450mAh battery, according to Android Police, while keeping the similar specs as the smaller version.
VentureBeat leaked alleged images of the handsets, corroborating the design with earlier reports. Interestingly, the app icons are circular, which could signal an incremental software update to Android 7.0 Nougat.
The release date for the Pixel lineup is not known. Android Police reports the Pixel will retail for $649 when it goes on sale. VentureBeat adds both Pixels should be available on Verizon or unlocked directly from Google.
Android Police reports Google Wifi will retail for $129 and is described as designed like a small, white Amazon Echo Dot, and you can reportedly expand it with multiple access points for better connection across the home.
Google is likely to provide more details, like a release date for the public version, for its Daydream virtual reality software platform during the October event.
Google's developer website teases: "Coming in Fall 2016, Daydream provides rich, responsive, and immersive experiences with hardware and software built for VR."
Unveiled during Google I/O in May, Daydream is Google's software framework for virtual reality devices (think Android for phones). It's not clear what hardware partners will use Daydream.
A September report said Google is buying VR content and apps, along with funding 360-degree videos from top YouTube personalities. Hulu, Netflix, and IMAX are bringing their libraries to Daydream too.
Huawei Tablet: Maybe?
Often-correct @evleaks tweeted he expects a Huawei-built 7-inch tablet with 4GB RAM to be released before the end of the year.
A lot of details are still up in the air. Will it be Nexus branded? Read on.
There is a chance Google could show us its alleged Android and Chrome OS hybrid software called "Andromeda." Earlier this month, Android Police reported Google will launch a "Pixel 3" laptop running Andromeda sometime in Q3 2017.
It's not likely Google will talk about any Andromeda Pixel hardware at the October event, but it could preview the software to give developers time to build or modify their apps for the new ecosystem.