Google this morning showed off its latest smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, following up on the release of the Pixel last year.
The two new phones are similar to each other, with the exception of size. Both feature an Always On display that automatically identifies music playing out in the world, a souped up camera and support for virtual and augmented reality apps. One thing they do not have is a headphone jack, joining Apple in that regard after poking fun at the iPhone for making the same move last year.
Google joins Apple and Samsung, which both released powerful new smartphones in time for the holiday season. Google has the advantage of its Google Assistant, backed by its powerful search engine and a push in machine learning and computer vision.
Google showed off some of the new capabilities of the digital assistant on the Pixel 2. Telling the assistant “let’s go home,” pulled up the commute, read off a text message and resumed a podcast. Using Google Lens, Pixel can identify and pull up information about landmarks, entertainment and more.
Google touted the Pixels’ new cameras, which feature enhanced stabilization to take better pictures and videos, as well as augmented reality support. Users can drop stickers from popular TV shows into the camera and watch them interact, or plan out a virtual living room.
The 5-inch Pixel 2 starts at $649 for a 64GB model. The six-inch Pixel 2 XL starts at $849. Google is offering the new phones through Verizon, though customers on other carriers can buy the phones through the Google stores.
T-Mobile, the nation’s third largest carrier, is offering deals for Pixel fans. The self-proclaimed “Un-Carrier” said it will pay half the cost of the device for new customers who add a line with T-Mobile. Existing T-Mobile customers can also get in on the deal if they add a T-Mobile One or Simple Choice Unlimited line.
To complement the new phone, Google also announced Google Pixel Buds, its take on wireless headphones. The headphones feature a built-in translator that works with the Pixel, allowing people to easily have conversations in different languages. The headphones will be available next month at a cost of $159.