After months of leaks, Google finally announced the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G smartphones at an event last night. At the same event, the company also announced two other products, the new Chromecast with Google TV and the Nest Audio smart speaker.
The new Chromecast features an oval-shaped form factor. The device ships with a voice remote which can be also used to control other devices like TV and soundbars through Google Assistant. The Nest Audio smart speaker is positioned between the Nest Mini and the Google Home Max. It has arrived as the successor to the Google Home smart speaker.
Google Chromecast with Google TV specifications and features
The Chromecast with Google TV is loaded with new software called Google TV. It is a new interface based on Android TV. The content-rich UI is similar to what you get on Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, which brings category tabs at the top and tiles that organize apps based on the watch history of the user.
The Watchlist function makes it possible to add content to a list through any device with the same Google account. The new Google TV software will roll out to Android TV partners in 2021.
When it comes to I/O ports, the new Chromecast has an integrated HDMI cable to connect it directly to your TV, and a USB Type-C port for power. It comes with support for Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth connectivity. The new Chromecast supports 4K content at 60fps with Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HDR10. It supports audio technologies such as Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus with Dolby Atmos.
The remote control of the new Chromecast is equipped with Bluetooth, an IR blaster, and an accelerometer. At the top is the navigation pad and below are buttons for Google Assistant, YouTube, Netflix, mute and power, among others. The volume buttons are placed on the right side of the remote.
Google Nest Audio specifications and features
The Google Nest Audio is packed with a 19mm tweeter, a 75mm mid-woofer, three far-field microphones, and a mute switch. Compared to Google Home, the Nest Audio allows can produce 75 percent louder sound output with 50 percent stronger bass.
Ambient EQ and Media IQ are the two sound modes available on the Nest Audio. Ambient EQ can be used to automatically adjust the volume of the Nest Audio according to the background noise. Media EQ can automatically choose the right kind of audio settings while listening to music, audiobooks, podcasts, and so on.
Users can pair two Nest Audio smart speakers to produce stereo sound. The multi-room control will let users group multiple Google speakers using the Google Home app. By doing this, users can play the same song on all the paired speakers simultaneously.
There are capacitive buttons for play/pause, volume up and down on the top side of the device and it comes with Google Assistant built-in. The voice assistant can learn most used music commands to deliver a twofold faster response. However, this feature is only restricted to the US at present.
The Google Nest Audio has a fabric-clad body and it weighs 1.2kg. It supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and is driven by a 1.8GHz Cortex-A53 quad-core processor. There are no I/O ports on the device, apart from the proprietary charging port.
Chromecast with Google TV and Nest Audio pricing and availability
The Google Chromecast with Google TV is priced at $49 (~Rs 3,600) in the US. It comes in Snow, Sunrise, and Sky colour variants. The new Chromecast is also expected to arrive in India, but the company is yet to release any official confirmation on it.
The Google Nest Audio is priced at $99 (~Rs 7,300) in the US and it comes in five colours – Chalk, Charcoal, Sage, Sand, and Sky. The company is yet to confirm its pricing for India. It will be available through Flipkart and other retail outlets later this month. In India, it will only be available in Chalk and Charcoal colours.