Google unveils Pixel 5, Chromecast and Nest Audio smart speaker

Google has announced four new additions to its own-brand hardware line including two new Pixel smartphones, a new Chromecast and Nest Audio smart speaker.

The Pixel 5 is Google’s new top phone, which slots in above the well received but heavily delayed Pixel 4a and the new Pixel 4a 5G, which also launches today.

Announced during a live-streamed event, the new Pixel 5 replaces the Pixel 4 with a cheaper, simplified design, ditching its face recognition system for the older fingerprint scanner mounted in the back of the device.

The new phone has a 6in 90Hz OLED screen with a selfie camera poking through a hole in the top left and a dual-camera setup with wide and ultra-wide lenses on the back, but no optical telephoto zoom camera.

Differing from top-spec rivals, the Pixel 5 has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G mid-range processor, rather than the Snapdragon 865 used in the latest Samsung and OnePlus phones. It has 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, wireless charging, water resistance and 5G support. The phone’s case is made of 100% recycled aluminium and it costs GBP599 in the UK or $699 in the US shipping on 15 October.

The Pixel 4a 5G offers most of the features of the Pixel 5 with a larger screen and cheaper price.

The new Pixel 4a 5G is a larger, 5G-enabled version of Google’s excellent mid-range smartphone the Pixel 4a. It features a bigger 6.2in screen, larger battery, the same two cameras on the back and the same Snapdragon 765G chip as the Pixel 5, but has the same plastic body and design as its smaller, cheaper sibling.

The Pixel 4a 5G costs GBP499 in the UK or $499 in the US shipping on 19 November.

Chromecast with Google TV

The new Chromecast with Google TV adds a remote and full Android TV to Google's popular streaming dongle.

Google also launched a new version of its Chromecast media-streaming stick that is a bit different to its popular predecessors. It still works as a Chromecast receiver, meaning you can cast photos, audio and video from your phone, but it also has a new smart TV experience called Google TV.

The new GBP59.99 Chromecast with Google TV is a slightly fatter HDMI dongle that’s made of 49% recycled plastic and plugs into your TV, but now comes with a remote and a full smart TV interface that is a modernised version of that seen on various Android TVs, including Sony’s TVs and Nvidia’s Shield streaming box.

The dongle supports the latest TV formats, including 4K HDR and Dolby Vision. The remote has a Google Assistant button and mic for voice control, while a new unified search will find TV shows and movies across your various subscriptions, apps or rental stores. It will not have Google’s Stadia game-streaming service on launch, but supports Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and most of the UK’s catchup services on launch, except All4, and will ship in mid-October. It will cost $49.99 in the US.

Google Nest Audio

The new Nest Audio replaces the original Google Home with a fabric-covered smart speaker.

The Nest Audio is Google’s replacement for its original Home smart speaker from 2017. The new Google Assistant speaker looks more like a smaller version of Google’s big Home Max, with a full fabric-covered body, hidden LEDs on the front and a touch-sensitive top for volume and playback control.

The new wifi speaker is 75% louder with 50% more powerful bass than its predecessor with a 19mm tweeter and 75mm woofer. It has an automatic equaliser and a smart Ambient IQ feature that adjusts the volume of the voice, news, podcasts and audiobooks based on background noise. Two Nest Audio speakers can be used as a stereo pair and it has Google’s local AI chip for faster and more private voice recognition.

The Nest Audio costs GBP89.99 in the UK or $99.99 in the US, is made of 70% recycled plastic, comes in white or charcoal and ships on 15 October.

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