A fresh report from Android Police claims that October 4 will be a Google extravaganza. The site says we're going to see the launch of Google's upcoming "Sailfish" and "Marlin" phones, along with Google Home, the company's answer to the Amazon Echo; Daydream VR, the company's answer to the Samsung Gear VR; and a Chromecast capable of 4K playback.
News about Sailfish and Marlin has been trickling out for months. We believe we know what they're going to look like (see above) and what specs they're going to have. The one thing we haven't known is what they're going to be called. Nexus phones? Google Phones? According to another Android Police report, the devices will actually be branded "Pixel" and "Pixel XL."
Assuming the new phones are branded "Pixel," so far we haven't seen much from them that lives up to the "Pixel" name. To date there have been three "Pixel" products: the Chromebook Pixel 1 and 2, which served as the flagship devices for Chrome OS, and the Android-powered Pixel C. Earlier this week, Google discontinued the Chromebook Pixel 2 without replacing it, but said that the Pixel branding would live on.
- All three of the existing Pixel devices have been designed by Google, but Sailfish and Marlin are HTC-built devices that seem to be heavily based on the iPhone-like HTC One A9 design.
- The three existing Pixel devices have a trademark light bar on the back, but we haven't seen a light bar on the design of these phones.
- All three existing Pixel devices have used a bare aluminum shell with a square design. The renders and leaked pictures we've seen of Sailfish and/or Marlin have all been of a black, rounded design. In the original render leak, Android Police did say "the "flagship" advertised color will be a standard aluminum finish with a white face," so at least it seems Google will get the color right.
Hopefully the pricing will stick around the traditional Nexus-level, which strives for bang-for-your-buck. Some Pixel products, like the original Chromebook Pixel, have been expensive, super-premium devices.
It makes sense to launch Daydream VR with the new Pixel Phones, since they will undoubtedly be the Daydream launch devices. The Pixel Phones are also expected to bring an updated version of Android Nougat with a slew of Google-exclusive features.