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Google last week announced a suite of new smart home products and, notably, a new content streaming service through which to navigate many options you have to choose from: Google TV. The new Chromecast was first to become available last week and, as of today, you can order the reimagined Google Home, now called the Nest Audio — everything else will be released in the U.S. and in about a dozen other countries throughout October and into November, a Google spokesperson told us. Here’s a brief overview of the new devices, including a new flagship phone, the Pixel 5, and a 5G-enabled model of the Pixel 4a (aptly named Pixel 4a with 5G).
The new products include a brand new Chromecast, which will now come with a remote for the first time ever, allowing the brand to compete with other and more traditional streaming devices like Apple TV or Roku. The idea behind the redesign elevates the speed and streaming capabilities of the Chromecast, as well as streamlining its operation, which includes now voice commands and other smart capabilities, as well as a dedicated remote akin to the Roku remote for easy, less-smart operation.
The new Nest Audio stands up straight and promises more bass, more volume and natural, clear sound. Google says it designed the new smart home device with 50 percent more bass than the original Google home speaker and that the sound from the Nest Audio will be richer and fuller. Its entire body is now covered in fabric, 70 percent of which is made with recycled materials.
3. Google Pixel 5 (pre-order, ships Oct. 29)
The new Pixel 5 is built to be water-resistant and, while you could charge it wirelessly as in the Pixel 4 model, the Pixel 5 will allow so-called reverse wireless charging: You’ll be able to charge other products wirelessly. The Pixel 5’s 5G capability is designed to enable high-speed download and streaming for movies and content in record speeds, Google said in a briefing. The new phone’s Smart Downloads feature will allow you to stream content while it’s still downloading and keep from interruptions. If you get a Stadia on the side, as well, you’ll be able to game on the go. The Pixel 5’s new camera sports a new ultrawide lens, too, and its HDR Plus features allow for photo-taking enhancements, from ever improving low-light to wide-angle shots.
A 5G-capable Pixel 4a was also part of Google’s release announcement. It’ll first become available in Japan in mid-October and later in the U.S. come November.