Big changes are happening at Alphabet and Google — the search giant is rumored to have scrapped its Project Ara modular phone, several Nest employees are switching over to Google, and Fiber executives were ordered to lay off several employees and make huge cuts to its operating budget. There’s plenty of good news, though — a wave of Google products, including Google Home and Daydream, are rumored to launch on October 4.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Google’s Nexus program launched in 2010 with the Nexus One, which was manufactured by HTC. It was meant to offer a pure version of Android with fast updates — a goal Google has maintained over the years with the Nexus S, the Galaxy Nexus, the Nexus 4, the Nexus 5, the Nexus 6, the Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013) the Nexus 9, the Nexus 10, and of course, the more recent Nexus 5X and 6P.
It’s fitting that after beginning with HTC, Google is ready to begin a new brand of devices starting with the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer again. Android Police is reporting the two Google smartphones expected to come in October, widely believed to be HTC-manufactured Nexus devices, will in fact be called the Pixel and the Pixel XL.
The Pixel line has a shorter history — it began with the Chromebook Pixel in 2013, a premium laptop that ran Google’s Chrome OS. Google then made a 2015 refresh of the same name, but the company recently discontinued it with no plans for a new device any time soon. Last year also saw the release of the first Android Pixel device — the Pixel C tablet.
Related: Report: Google cans Project Ara, its ambitious attempt to build the perfect modular smartphone
Google is reorganizing its hardware division under former Motorola CEO Rick Osterloh, and the Pixel and Pixel XL rumor seems to suggest the company is unifying all its hardware platforms into one.
The Pixel and Pixel XL are currently code-named Sailfish and Marlin, respectively. Both devices are expected to look the same though they will be sized differently, hence the “XL” addition. Keep in mind that we cannot yet verify this information.
The Pixel XL is expected to be a 5.5-inch device with a Quad HD resolution of 2,560 by 1,440 pixels. It is rumored to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 or 821 processor, have 4GB of RAM, 32GB and 128GB storage options, a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 8-megapixel selfie cam.
The Pixel, or Sailfish, is rumored to also be powered by the Snapdragon 820 or 821 and 4GB of RAM. But it’s smaller thanks to a 5.2-inch or 5-inch display, and Google has lowered the resolution to 1,920 by 1,080 pixels. It’s expected to have the same storage and camera options, and is rumored to house a 2,770mAh battery.
The fingerprint sensor on both devices is expected to be a little more useful — such as having the ability to expand the notification shade with a downwards swipe. Both devices will likely feature proprietary software, such as a new launcher with Google Assistant integration. You can read more about the rumored Pixel and Pixel XL here.
Sources tell Android Police that Google will hold a major hardware event on October 4. The two Pixel devices are sure to be the highlight, but it will also be the day the company officially announces Google Home, its own Daydream VR headset, and a 4K Chromecast.
Related: Everything you need to know about Google Daydream
Google offered a refresh of the original Chromecast and introduced a new model, the Chromecast Audio, last year. It seems like a 2016 refresh is on the menu. This version of one of the best-selling streaming devices may be called the Chromecast Plus or the Chromecast Ultra, according to Android Police. It’s main draw is that it will be able to cast content in 4K.
Google announced Daydream, its virtual reality platform for Android, at its developer conference in May and said it would arrive in the fall. The company said it is also building its own headset, while also offering a reference design to other manufacturers. Google’s own headset may be named Daydream View.
And of course Google Home, another device announced at I/O, may also make its debut at the Oct. 4 event. The vase-like object is powered by Google’s upcoming Assistant and is akin to Amazon’s Echo, which is powered by its Alexa voice assistant.
There have also been reports of two Android Wear smartwatches in the works by Google, and with Android Wear 2.0 set to launch some time in the fall, it’s not unreasonable to expect some hardware to pair it with. There isn’t much information available yet, but rumors point to further Google Assistant integration.
It’s clear that Google Assistant is an important part of many of these upcoming devices, but we have yet to see official information about it. That could change soon, as Google’s upcoming messaging application Allo is expected to launch before the summer ends. The messaging app carries a tight integration with Google Assistant.
That’s a lot for one event, but keep in mind that we cannot verify most of these rumors — especially the October 4 date. A Google spokesperson said the company does not have anything information to share at the moment.