Google's "Launch Night In" event will be live streaming today starting at 2 pm ET (11 am PT) so we've put together a guide on how to watch along and what we expect at the event.
The Pixel 5 is going to be the biggest draw for most people at this event. Google's flagship smartphone is going through some changes this year so you'll want to read on to set your expectations for this new direction for the Pixel line. That won't be the only smartphone though, the Pixel 4a 5G will also be officially announced, adding 5G and a few other notable upgrades to the well-liked Pixel 4a.
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Here's how to watch the event and a quick overview of what we know about each of the devices Google will be announcing.
Pixel 5 event: How to watch
Google's 'Launch Night In' event will start at 2 pm ET (11 am PT) on September 30. The easiest way to tune in is via the Made by Google YouTube channel below, which has already begun a countdown toward the event.
The Pixel 5 should be the star of the show as Google's new flagship smartphone. If you want a full look at everything we know about the device heading into the event, check out our in-depth Pixel 5 hub. Below is a quick overview.
The biggest change with the Pixel 5 is the move away from flagship specs on par with the best smartphones from Samsung and Apple. The Pixel 5 will not feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ found in the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra or even the Snapdragon 865 of the Galaxy S20 FE, instead, it will be using the Snapdragon 765G.
While this chipset should still offer solid performance for daily tasks and includes built-in 5G support, it will be a definite step down when it comes to gaming or other high-performance apps. On a more positive note, Google is upping the RAM to 8GB, which is at least on par with some higher-end devices like the Galaxy Note 20.
The camera experience, something the Pixel line has been known for traditionally, will be a step down from its competitors. Google will stick to just two lens options on the Pixel 5, an ultrawide and a standard, forgoing the third telephoto lens found on most 2020 flagships. Expect Google to spend some time talking about its camera software and how it might offer telephoto via post-processing.
Pixel 5 will only be available in a single size; screen size rumors have varied between 5.8 and 6-inches and it will most likely feature an FHD+ resolution OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. Around the back of the device is a fingerprint reader, eliminating the facial recognition found in the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Color options will be Just Black and Subtle Sage.
The pricing for the Pixel 5 is going to be one of its strongest selling points at a rumored $699, but while there was little competition at this price point last year, it will now be going up against the newly announced Galaxy S20 FE and both the iPhone 12 mini and standard iPhone 12.
Pixel 4a 5G
While we know virtually everything about the Pixel 5, the Pixel 4a 5G has managed to keep a few secrets from us. We know that it will be priced at $499 and that it's not simply a Pixel 4a with a 5G radio, but more like a supersized cross between the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5.
The Pixel 4a 5G is the device on the right in the leaked photo above, with the smaller Pixel 5 to its left. Its OLED screen should be approximately 6.2 inches with FHD resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate.
The back of the Pixel 4a 5G will be plastic and also includes a fingerprint reader for your biometric login. The rear cameras are another area where we see some Pixel 5 DNA creeping in as the Pixel 4a 5G will offer two rear cameras, a standard and an ultrawide.
Rumors regarding the internals on the Pixel 4a 5G have been much harder to come by. We assume it will move to something like the Snapdragon 765 to incorporate 5G and deliver a bit more power, but there haven't been any solid leaks to this effect.
Chromecast with Android TV
A new Chromecast is also expected at the event; it will be the first Chromecast to integrate Android TV (rebranding to Google TV) and should be priced at $49.99.
The new Chromecast will also feature a remote for the first time, making it a standalone device rather than relying entirely on a smartphone or tablet to pass content through it as has previously been the case.
Leaks have indicated that it will feature support for 4K content along with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support, but will likely not be compatible with Stadia due to the lack of an Ethernet port.
Nest smart speaker
Last up will be a new Nest-branded smart speaker, rumored to be called the Nest Audio. It will take the place of the original Google Home released way back in 2016. The speaker will feature an entirely fabric-wrapped design and a more rounded rectangular shape rather than the cone design of the original.
Pricing should be right around $100 and audio quality is reportedly much improved from the original, but we'll just have to wait and see what else Google has to tell us about Nest Audio.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.