Google has a huge product event on Wednesday, here's what to expect

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Google has a huge product event on Wednesday, here's what to expect

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
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Google CEO Sundar Pichai
  • Google has a huge product event on Wednesday
  • Expect new phones, a new Google Home and more
  • Google may even have a few surprise announcements

Google is hosting a major product event Wednesday in California where it's expected to unveil several new products.

The event follows similar ones held recently by Apple and Amazon. Apple showed off new iPhones in September and, just last week, Amazon revealed several new Echo products. Now it's Google's chance to get in on the fun.

Two new Google smartphones are expected to be highlights of the event, but here's a look at everything we expect to see thanks to rumors and analyst notes.

Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 smartphones

Sabrina Ellis, Director of Product Management at Google, speaks about the new Pixel phone during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco, California, U.S. October 4, 2016.
Beck Diefenbach | Reuters
Sabrina Ellis, Director of Product Management at Google, speaks about the new Pixel phone during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco, California, U.S. October 4, 2016.

As I said earlier, I think Google's new smartphones will be the highlight of Google's event. The company is expected to unveil two new devices including the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which will follow the Pixel and Pixel XL (pictured above) that were launched last year. The devices introduced last year were extremely hard to find in stock, so the hope is Google has bigger plans to sell more units going forward.

It's been reported that HTC is building the smaller Google Pixel 2 while LG may have been selected to build the larger Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 2 may have some sort of squeeze feature that allows you to launch applications or services by squeezing the sides of the phone -- a feature introduced in the HTC U11. I also expect the latest processors from Qualcomm, sharper displays, better cameras and a good deal of discussion about software.

New Google Home

Google Home
Source: Google
Google Home

Google currently only sells a single smart home assistant called the Google Home. In an effort to compete with Amazon — which just announced several new Echo devices across multiple price points — Google is expected to introduce a smaller and more affordable Google Home Mini (leaked image from the blog Droid-Life pictured below.)

ONE TIME: Google Home mini Rumor
Droid-Life

If it's anything like Amazon's more affordable Echo Dot, expect the Google Home Mini to have the same features as the Google Home but without the more premium speaker experience.

A new Pixel Chromebook

Handout: Google Pixel Chromebook
Google

It's also been reported that Google is preparing to launch yet another Pixel-branded Chromebook called the Pixelbook. It would be the third Chromebook released by Google (the first one is pictured above) and will likely highlight any changes coming to Google's Chrome OS operating system.

Google's Pixel Chromebooks typically cost more than $1,000 and are targeted at developers and enthusiasts willing to pay that kind of money, especially since most Chromebooks cost around $300 or so. It's possible Google's Pixelbook will cater to the mainstream market, however, which means Google would need to drop the price.

A new VR headset

Clay Bavor, VP of Virtual Reality for Google, introduces the Daydream View VR headset during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco, California, U.S. October 4, 2016.
Beck Diefenbach | Reuters
Clay Bavor, VP of Virtual Reality for Google, introduces the Daydream View VR headset during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco, California, U.S. October 4, 2016.

Google is also apparently ready to launch a successor to its original Daydream VR headset. It's unclear what exactly will change — especially since the Daydream VR is comfortable, works well and supports a variety of existing Android smartphones. It's possible this model is cheaper, or that it introduces some sort of new optics that improves the user experience.

Android Oreo discussion

oreo.jpg
CNBC.com

Google introduced and launched Android Oreo for its existing Google Pixel smartphones without much fanfare. I think we'll hear a bit more about the operating system and how well it works with Google hardware when Google talks about the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The software experience, especially the Google Assistant, was the highlight of both the Google Pixel and Pixel XL when those phones launched last year.

Surprises

Motorola Moto 360 Android Wear watch
Getty Images
Motorola Moto 360 Android Wear watch

Amazon's event last week was chock full of surprises, and it's possible that Google has a few things up its sleeve that haven't leaked yet. I'm not holding my breath, but I'd love to hear more about its Android Wear smartwatch platform, which has been kind of a dud, and a bit more about what Google envisions for the future of Android tablets, which have kind of fallen by the wayside. CNBC will be covering the event live on Wednesday so be sure to check back.