After months of rumors, Google has sent out press invites for an event at which it appears is related to Pixel smartphones.
It sounds as though Google is ready to unveil its 2016 smartphone lineup. A teaser page for the event has a search bar that transforms into the outline of a phone, as does a new video on Google’s YouTube channel.
Google planning to unveil Pixel smartphones
Press invitations confirm that the company will be putting on an event on October 4. A previous report from Android Police also mentioned the date for the launch of two Pixel handsets, as well as Google Home, Daydreeam VR and a 4K-ready Chromecast.
Google Home is seen as the company’s answer to the Amazon Echo, while Daydream VR will go into battle with the Samsung Gear VR. However Google has only teased the launch of the Pixel smartphones for its October 4 event so far. The whole event will be available to live stream on YouTube as well.
Commentators believe that two Pixel smartphones will be released. First is a 5-inch handset known as “Pixel,” and second is a 5.5-inch version known as “Pixel XL” in rumors. It looks like the Google Nexus range is dead.
High-end handsets aiming to compete with iPhone 7
Pixel handsets are believed to be more high-end smartphones and could include features that are exclusive to Google. According to the latest leaks, the 5-inch model will sell for a significantly higher price of $650.
The Pixel XL will cost more than its smaller sibling, and it is likely that Pixel phones with more storage will cost more than the $650 starting price.
According to Android Police, Google will offer Pixel financing options. However it is not yet clear where these programs will be available. Alongside the phones Google will also offer accidental damage coverage and another year of warranty cover for both handsets. It will cost $99 for the Pixel and $119 for the Pixel XL.
The move to higher-end smartphones will allow Google to better compete against the Apple iPhone and other rivals. However it looks like Google is still getting other companies to build its smartphones for it.
Leaks show how new smartphones will look
Another leak related to the phones comes in the form of a commercial for Nest. The ad was released by Google in the Netherlands, and features a smartphone that has not yet been officially announced.
We have also seen photos leaked to Android Police, which purportedly show the two Pixel handsets side-by-side. The handsets in the photos look like those in the Nest advert, with the same setup of sensors under the speaker.
If Google is set on taking on Apple it will make things even more interesting in the high-end smartphone market. Already this year we have seen the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the Apple iPhone 7.
Samsung has been Apple’s biggest rival in the past few years, but the Galaxy Note 7 has run into problems due to an overheating battery pack. The phone is subject to a global recall after some exploded, impacting the company’s reputation for safety.
Google could stand to benefit from Samsung’s problems, as could Apple. However it is not yet clear when the Google smartphones will go on sale.
Tune in on October 4 to get the latest information straight from the tech giant itself.