Google Pixel 5, Nest Audio and Google TV launch live blog: ‘Launch Night In’ as it happened Pixel 5

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The Pixel 5 and a variety of other Google gadgets have now been unveiled in a (rather short) virtual event.

We’ve seen the new Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, a new and more dynamic speaker in the Google Nest Audio, a refresh of Android TV into Google TV as well as a new Chromecast too.

The event started at 11am PT / 2pm ET / 7pm BST (that’s 4am AEST on October 1). You can re-watch our reacts video below, or check out everything that happened over on the official Google Launch Night In page.

We’re also going to spoil you with full explainers on all the new products right here:

Then there’s the question about Stadia – clearly Google isn’t giving up on this in any way, as it made a huge deal about it being something you can play on the cheap(er) one of its new phones, and it’ll play well too.

However, there’s nothing about it playing on the Chromecast, where Amazon Luna was instantly shown to be a feature on the $39 Fire TV Stick 2020. 

Come on Google, if you’re going to make Stadia ubiquitous, make it properly ubiquitous.

OK, let’s have a quick think about what’s just happened here: we saw a new Pixel 4A 5G with some pretty high-end specs… why not just call it the Pixel 5 mini or something? It instantly makes it feel like the new version is older.

Then there’s the confusion over Google TV – that’s the operating system for the new Chromecast, as well as the app that replaces Google Play Movies and TV. Also called Google TV to help you find your content.

And another thing: there’s YouTube TV. That’s not Google TV, but it is actual TV from Google. Can’t we just call it all Google TV and be done with it?

I mean, and I can’t even believe I’m saying this, it makes Apple TV Plus look like it makes sense.

Looks like we’re wrapping up now – and we’re back to Rick. We refresh the Audio, the new Pixels and the fact it can all be pre-ordered on the Pixel Store.

Aaaaaand, we’re out. Wait, we’re seeing some bloopers from Mark Ronson, the speakers and presenters giggling on camera. I want to see proper swears, but no – it was credits without actually being credits (just reminding us what we’ve seen).

Let’s talk Google Stadia on the phone. Interesting, showing it off on the Pixel 4a 5G, rather than the Pixel 5.

Showing playing Immortals Fenyz Rising, claiming that you can get high frame-rates on the go with the 5G connectivity here.

Hold for Me is designed to let you put someone who put YOU on hold, on hold. Press the button and the phone will listen to the hold music and ping you when someone comes on the line. 

There’s also extreme battery saver to help stretch things up to 48 hours of life. Oh, not if you use the three months of Stadia Pro, YouTube Premium, 100GB of cloud storage and more.

Talking about the AI lighting effect, you can use this new way to light your photos even from five years ago. 

But why isn’t Google sticking more cameras on this phone when it’s all about the snaps? 

For those that like the video recording side of things, you can use three new stabilization modes – locked, active and cinematic pan – the latter stabilizing and slowing down motion by two times.

No, I don’t know what that means either.

Right, let’s get to the camera – the same cameras on both sides for the Pixel 4a and 5. There’s a new Ultrawide lens on the back of the 5, HDR+ with exposure bracketing, NightSight coming to portrait mode.

The Pixel 5 has 8GB of RAM, is water resistant, can do reverse wireless charging, 100% recycled aluminum enclosure.

There’s a lot of chat about how you can share your screen, download YouTube Music playlists automatically… lots of things designed for lockdown needs, but things like Duo and YT Music are not the main winners in this game.

Let’s get onto the Pixel phones now – the Pixel 4a 5G is coming at $499, with an edge-to-edge OLED display, a HEADPHONE JACK, and an ultrawide lens.

But more than that, here’s the Pixel 5.

Oh hey, Selena Gomez – nice to see you too. We’re having a little chat with her about why things like music, which you can listen to on YouTube Music.

That’s not as interesting as this hot news: the Google Pixel 5 and other stuff are now live on the Google Store.

Tell you what though – for all that fairly subdued chat from Marks Ronsons and Spate, a few of these for $99 will make a decent surround sound in the house.

Now we’re hearing about YouTube music.

I don’t know what key I just hit, but I just got a blob of butter on my finger. (You’ll need to scroll back to just before the start of me on the liveblog to understand why that is).

Apparently the outer covering of the Audio is recycled material – and now we’re heating ‘I saw the light’ and we’re getting more of it than we got from Winehouse.

It’ll be coming from October 5 in 21 countries… and only costs $99. That’s not bad at all.

Mark Ronson showing how he can just ask to hear the Amy Winehouse / Ronson collaboration, and he’s waxing lyrical about the sound while doing some cheeky air drums to Valerie, shuts it down before she even finishes the first line.

Can’t love the song that much, eh? He’s just talking about how speakers are better than they were before… what are we getting from this speaker?

Just saw the Google Nest Home Max shown off – ‘stocked with all the latest shows’. This is like the Echo Show 10, but without the wiggle robot below.

And now we’re going into a chat with Mark Spate and Mark Ronson. Lots of Marks here – and they’re introducing Google Nest Audio.

It’ll work with Nest Mini as well, and can connect to make a wider audio system. Nest audio has 50% more bass and is 75% louder and an improved tweeter and woofer – this is designed to take on the like of Apple’s HomeHub indeed.

I literally don’t know if there are any new channels on there – he spoke too quickly. Let’s assume there are some new ones on there. NBC was the last one, let’s focus on that one.

Swider will be happy – there’s a remote! There’s a button on the remote for YouTube and Netflix on the new Chromecast, and it’s coming in peach, blue and white, will cost $49 and is available now (like two days ago).

It’ll be coming to the rest of the world latertoo.

Now we’re hearing all the channels that will be on YouTube… oh come on Google, there’s a rapper going through all of them. Thanks, MacLethal.

There’s going to be picture in picture that can play in the corner of what you’re doing, Google will be connected to all your viewing needs in one place.

There’s a watchlist to bookmark movies and shows to watch later – with YouTube TV fully integrated and DVR functionality, it’s designed to be the one-stop shop for things like Nest cameras, music and more.

This isn’t really anything magical – but here’s the new Chromecast (the one that’s already on sale…) to make up for it.

Let’s go to TV first – we’re seeing Google TV. Clearly taking over from Android TV to try and rival the 33 million others services that are promising to give you content you want to watch, when you want to watch it etc etc etc etc.

It better do something good. 

What’s that? A sneaky little Stadia plug in the intro video? Why yes, yes it is.

Rick Osterloh welcomes us on, and is telling us that the new things that Google is working on will bring joy, entertainment and connection to people in these difficult times.

There’s more on Google TV and Chromecast, there’s going to be chat from Mark Ronson (obviously) about the new smart speaker, and there’s going to be lots of chat around the two new Pixel phones (clearly Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5).

We are live!

WAIT – I just found out you can type on the Google landing page for tonight and it’ll play a piano note with each key you hit.

I would try it on the iPad but I now have a cat snoozing contentedly on my lap, so I’m a bit stuck here.

Sadly, each key does not correspond to a note, so I can’t play my school day piano songs.

Our managing editor Matt Swider back with the hot thoughts on what we need to see tonight – have to admit, I agree with him.

What are your thoughts? Hit me on twitter @superbeav and I’ll embed the best tweets here in this live blog.

I am back, kitty is all fine. 10 minutes (and a bit) to go now, so let’s have a think about what Google needs to show here.

The competition is hotting up from all angles – the new Amazon Echo range was rather impressive last week, so if Google doesn’t have something to rival the wizardry of the Echo Show 10, which can follow you around the room, then I’d worry a little for the search giant.

That said, we can probably live without a drone for the home.

Right, what’s happening tonight? According to the big Google countdown clock on the livestream, we’re 17 minutes away from fun. There’s currently some relaxing music playing from google on the live stream itself, and a promise of ‘bonus content’ after the show.

Oh FOR F… my cat just sneezed on my arm. Be right back.

Right, Gareth Beavis here on the decks – big thanks to James Peckham for warming up the crowd before I entered.

I would have entered 10 minutes ago but I made a toasted bagel and smeared butter on the keyboard, which I needed to wipe off. Then my cat made a sound like it was going to vomit.

Then it vomited. 

I’ve used a lot of toilet paper in 600 seconds.

As expected, we’re already seeing last year’s Google Pixel 4 come down significantly in price. Those in the UK can already save £205 through Argos and we would imagine American retailers will follow with their own major discounts during the Google Pixel 5 pre-order period.

What does the Google Pixel 5 need to have to succeed? TechRadar’s Managing Editor, Matt Swider, has boiled it down to five key emojis… oh, and some actual words too.

A little over an hour to go until the Google Pixel 5 launch, so we’re going to run you through what we’re expecting one last time:

With just under three hours left to go until the event starts, let’s talk you through how you can tune into the Google launch yourself.

Next up, let’s talk about the Google Pixel 4a 5G. This isn’t going to be the most exciting announcement of Google’s big event, but it’s a product the company has already confirmed exists.

The Pixel 4a 5G is set to be a similar phone to the Pixel 4a that we saw earlier this year. And you guessed it, it’s set to have 5G connectivity built-in so you can make the most of the next-gen internet service.

For that to be possible, Google will have to include a new chipset in the Pixel 4a 5G and there may be some other internal differences as well. We’re expecting to hear all about them, as well as a release date.

In fact, we think we know the prices already too. Google has confirmed the phone will be $499 in the US, and there’s a lot of reason to expect it’ll be £499 or AU$799 in the UK and Australia respectively.

Leaks suggest Google won’t be changing the rear camera from the Pixel 4 much for the Google Pixel 5.

Mark Wilson, Cameras Editor at TechRadar, says “Google is so keen to flex its software muscles that recent Pixel cameras have had to fight their rivals with one arm tied behind their backs – and I’m expecting that to continue with the Pixel 5. The Pixel 4 finally relented and added a 2x telephoto lens to its main camera, but lacked a wide-angle equivalent. 

And now rumors are suggesting that the Pixel 5 might ditch the telephoto for a wide-angle option, or just stick with the same camera hardware. This is a bit frustrating. Google’s computational wizardry can’t be doubted and the Pixel 5 will probably deliver some scarcely believable new tricks. But why not combine this with equally versatile hardware? Still, hopefully the Pixel 5 might surprise us.”

Can you expect Google Stadia news today? There’s not anything rumored so far.

Adam Vjestica, Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar, says “With Google expected to reveal a new Chromecast during today’s event, I’d be surprised if the tech giant didn’t at least give Stadia a passing mention. Competition has certainly increased in the cloud gaming space in recent months, and the announcement of Amazon Luna has made things a lot more interesting. 

“Stadia could certainly benefit from some much-needed publicity, then. Firstly, to remind consumers that yes, it still exists – but it’s also a prime opportunity for Google to hammer home why Stadia is superior to its growing list of rivals.”

The name is confirmed already by Google, and it’s very likely we’ll be hearing about the Google Pixel 5 at this launch event. It’s a bit earlier than when Google usually unveils its new flagship device – in previous years they’ve been unveiled in October – and this year it’s expected to just be the one phone.

Rumors of a Google Pixel 5 XL did exist at one stage, but more recently leaks have pointed toward the company streamlining to the one device. It’s expected to cost
£615 (around $790 / AU$1,095) after a big price leak, and it may be out before the end of October.

One big thing is that it’s expected to sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 chipset, which isn’t a top-end processor. If that’s true, this device may have lower specs than previous versions of Google’s handsets.

Other leaks point toward the same 12.2MP main camera and 16MP that we saw on the Pixel 4, and it’s expected to get a Full HD 6-inch display as well.

Since June, we’ve heard rumors that the new Chromecast (codenamed Sabrina) will use a remote and a rejigged interface, and we’re expecting to see it finally surface at Google’s Launch Night In event. 

Details are incredibly sparse on the specs right now, but the thinking here is that Google is making a device for both its tech-savvy users who know how to Cast as well as some less technical folks who still enjoy using a remote control to peruse their streaming devices. 

Early leaked images of the device show that it’s not a massive departure in terms of design from its predecessors and still connects to your TV through an attached HDMI cable. An XDA leaker says that the new Chromecast will come in three colors – white, black and peach – but couldn’t confirm if it would support high-end AV formats like Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos

No word on pricing or release date yet either, but if it’s anything close to the Chromecast 3rd-Gen ($35, £30, AU$59) or Chromecast Ultra ($69, £69, AU$95) then the new Chromecast could be the new de facto streaming device for most people.

So what else will we be seeing alongside the Pixel 5? Throughout the day we’ll be talking you through some of the gadgets expected, and we’re starting with the Google Nest Audio.

The so-called Google Nest Audio is rumored to be the company’s latest smart speaker, and it’s set to be the successor to its flagship speaker, the Google Home

We’ve actually seen a lot of the Google Nest Audio in recent weeks, after the tech giant released a teaser video that showed off the wireless speaker’s new design, with a loaf-shaped build and fabric grille. 

Said to offer superior sound to its predecessors, the Nest Audio has even been mistakenly sold by Walmart in the US, as one Redditor discovered.

“Audio quality blows the original Google home out of the water by a very, very wide margin,” the Redditor reports. “Highs are super clear and crisp, lows are remarkably delicate and defined whereas heavy bass items seem to have definition rather than just heavy output. Seems competitive with my Sonos IKEA Speakers at lower volumes.”

Of course, we’ll need to test it out for ourselves to find out whether the Nest Audio delivers in terms of audio quality – as well as its onboard Google Assistant’s smart home integration – but we’re excited to hear more about it at the big event.

The first of the last minute leaks are in, and this one gives us another look at the Google Pixel 5 before it’s unveiled properly on stage later today.

It from Jon Prosser – a leaker of a wide variety of gadgets – who has photos of the Google Pixel 5 in a hand. 

We’re not sure if it’s his specific hand, but it largely confirms what we’ve seen from the most recent leaks so we think this is the final product:

What do you think of that look? Is it going to make sure you pick a Google Pixel 5 later this year?

Welcome to our live blog! We’ll be talking you through what to expect later today throughout the hours before the stream starts, and this is where we’ll share any last minute leaks or information that we can spot.

We’ll also then be here to talk you through the whole event itself so you’ve got the first information on the Google Pixel 5 and whatever else the company decides to unveil later today.

Want to tune in yourself? Try our how to watch the Google Pixel 5 launch explainer to find the links you’ll need.