By James Rogers
Google is expected to ramp up its phone strategy with the launch of new Pixel devices at an event in San Francisco Tuesday.
Two new phones – the Pixel and Pixel XL, successors to Google’s Nexus devices, are said to be on deck. “At an expected $650 price point they will be significantly more expensive than the Nexus devices ($350-500 ballpark) they are ostensibly replacing,” explained Brian Fitzgerald, an analyst at Jefferies, in a note released on Monday. “The phones will allegedly be manufactured by HTC and will feature 5″ and 5.5″ screens, aluminum and glass construction, and even a headphone jack.”
Jordan Edelson, founder and CEO of app specialist Appetizer Mobile expects that, in addition to the 5.5-inch screen, we will see high-end components, a 12 MP camera, a USB-C charging port, and a faster processor than the current Nexus phones. Other features are likely to include dust and water resistance, as well as a finger print reader, he added, in a statement emailed to FoxNews.com.
Rumors have been swirling around the devices for months, with Google widely predicted to extend its Pixel brand from its Pixel C tablet and Pixel Chromebook to smartphones.
Jefferies’ Fitzgerald says that the Pixel devices are designed to compete more directly with Apple’s iPhone. Google will also likely aim the phones at the developer community. Edelson noted that the phones, running the Android N operating system, will “offer the cleanest version of software,” which is key for developers looking to build new Android apps.
Google is also expected to launch Google Home, a Bluetooth speaker that will compete with Amazon’s Echo. “The speaker will feature Google Assistant, which is Google’s answer to Siri (Apple) and Alexa (Amazon),” said Jefferies’ Fitzgerald. “Like those competitive services, Google Assistant will understand human speech (although we give Google an edge given its prowess in voice search).”
Reports suggest that the device will be priced at $129.
Other possible announcements include a Chromecast Ultra digital media player with 4K streaming, a new OS called Andromeda that combines Chrome and Android, and details of Google’s Daydream Virtual Reality (VR platform).
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