If you’ve been dying to get your hands on products officially #MadeByGoogle, you’re in luck – the Google Store in Singapore has just been launched, and everyone in the little red dot can finally get their hands on the Google Pixel 2 XL, Google Wifi, Chromecast and Google Pixel Buds! To top it all off, Google’s bringing in the Google Home and Google Home Mini smart home speakers too.
The opening of the Singapore Google Store is fantastic news because most of the products #MadeByGoogle had very limited availability in Singapore during launch. Google Wifi and the Google Pixel 2 XL with Pixel Buds were only available through Starhub and Singtel, and customers who wanted other Google devices had to have them shipped over from overseas without warranty.
Thankfully, the Google Singapore Store is now here to stay – and along with it, a nice list of six devices with official warranty support. Here’s the latest list of #MadeByGoogle swag you can get off the store:
Google Home – S$189
Google Home Mini – S$79
Chromecast – S$65
Google Pixel 2 XL – S$1,390
Google Pixel Buds – S$238
Google Wifi 1 pack – S$199
Google Home – S$189 (Coming this Friday 20th April)
The Google Home is a smart home speaker. Apart from playing good sounding music with a very boomy bass, Google Home is built from the ground up to host Google Assistant, and answer any questions you have. And by any questions, we really mean all sorts of questions. You can ask about dogs, cats, children, humans, adults, martians, telephones, countries, questions about history – and Google Home will magically give you the answer in a nice a pleasant sounding voice. Need to plan a trip? Ask Google Home about the weather in Tokyo and when your next flight is. Need to go to the supermarket? Google Home can help you with a shopping list which appears on your phone when you’re at a supermarket. Curious about what sound a penguin makes? Yep. Google’s got your back. Even on your weird-ass questions.
Thanks to the Google Singapore’s efforts to localise Google Assistant in Singaporean English, you can ask Google Home all sorts of local questions – such as how long it takes to go to Mustafa, the directions to the nearest kopitiam, or how to say good morning in Chinese or Malay. You can even ask it to talk to Singapore Airlines to get more information about flights, to OCBC Bank and Starhub to check on your account balance, play local radio from 987fm or news from Channel NewsAsia – or if you’re feeling bored – tell you a joke or play a game, Singapore-style.
Google Home goes beyond playing music and answering questions though. You can ask it to play videos on your Chromecast or Smart TV, or set an alarm to wake up every morning. Thanks to third party integration, Google Home works with smart home platforms like Samsung Smartthings and zigbee hubs, which enable you to control your home lights sensors, cameras, wifi power switches – even doorbell and security technology with nothing but your voice. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even experiment with IFTTT – a scripting technology – to come up with your own interactions. One of our fellow techies even wrote a script to shutdown computers with just the sound of his voice. Stay tuned for our full review!
Google Home Mini – S$79 (Coming this Friday 20th April)
The Google Home Mini is…a mini Google Home. It comes in a rounded puck-shaped form factor and functions identically to the Google Home, save for the different touch controls. The main difference is in its sound – while Google Home Mini pumps out decent, loud sound, it’s slightly flat and lacks depth as it only has a single 40mm radiator. The Google Home on the other hand, has deeper sound and richer bass due to its 2-inch driver and 2-inch dual passive radiators
Chromecast – S$65
Speaking of Google Home devices – the Chromecast is coming to the store too! It’s a little dongle you plug into your TV that enables you to play videos from Netflix and Youtube, as well as music or media from supported apps such as Spotify, Plex and Chrome. If you’re a fan of local TV, you can cast Toggle on Chromecast, enabling you to watch Channel 5, 8, or Channel NewsAsia free of charge.
It connects to your home wifi and is powered over a USB port – and best of all – is super easy to use and set up. Chromecast also works with Google Home and Google Assistant, meaning you can control your Chromecast enabled TV or Smart TV with your voice. This is a great accessory to have if you’ve got a non-smart TV in the house and are not looking to upgrade.
Google Pixel 2 XL (64GB) – S$1,398
The Pixel 2 XL is Google’s latest smartphone to date which packs arguably the best camera on any smartphone to date, thanks to its ingenious software portrait mode tricks. It has top of the line specs, a decent OLED screen, fantastic front facing speakers, and decent battery life. To top it all off, the Android software on it is straight from Google – so you’ll always get the latest Android updates and security patches as they come.
Although many other smartphones have since launched after the Pixel 2 XL, the phone still stands out as one of the top smartphones we’ve used to date – going head to head with the LG V30+, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, iPhone X, and even the Samsung Galaxy S9. While you could get a Google Pixel 2 XL in Singapore last year, it was only available on contract through Singtel or through various third party resellers. This time round, anyone can buy it at the Google Store – which is great news.
Google Pixel Buds – S$238
The Google Pixel Buds are Google’s first ever wireless earbuds. They promise a great audio experience with the smart and helpful notifications provided by Google Assistant. The buds look very sleek and are extremely high tech – the outer surface of the earphone housing is touch sensitive and enables you to control the volume, play/pause/track/call controls, and more. You can even tap to get Google Assistant to read out notifications in your ear out loud, or pair it with the Google Pixel 2 XL to use Google Translate in real time.
When you’re not using them, you can stow them away in a nice little fabric case which charges the Pixel Buds. Although the Pixel Buds produce fantastic sound and look super sleek, they can misbehave and feel very un-intuitive to use as compared to Jaybird or Bose’s headsets. Still, we think this is the perfect accessory to the Google Pixel 2 XL and something Android users should definitely check out.
Google Wifi 1-pack – S$199
Google Wifi is a mesh wifi system that blankets your house with extremely strong wireless. It’s essentially a very, very pretty looking router which can be daisy chained another unit of itself to expand the Wifi signal. You can expand this setup with 3 Google Wifi units, 4, 5 – or more. We reviewed it last year and found it to be one of the easiest router systems to set up ever, providing strong performance and coverage despite its lack of advanced features. It’s not the cheapest router at S$199, but you can get a three-pack at a fantastic deal of $360 on contract (+S$15 a month with Starhub’s internet plans).
Wait a second – where’s all the other cool stuff like Google Home Max?
Unfortunately, Google Home Max, Chromecast Ultra (4K), Chromecast Audio, Google Clips, Pixel 2, along with the other Google accessories like cases and chargers, are not available in the Singapore Store at this point of time. There are no plans for distributing them in Singapore at the moment, but Google is still keeping tabs on the market with local retailers and partners to see if there’s an opportunity to launch more stuff in the little red dot.
While we’re waiting for more good stuff to come, we highly recommend taking a look at the devices which have just been brought into Singapore. The Google Home and Google Home Mini smart speakers can be found at StarHub, Courts, and Challenger and other online outlets such as Hachi.tech. While the larger Google Home comes in white with a grey base, the smaller Google Home Mini is available in grey, black, and coral.
Starhub still offers the Google Wifi pack with their internet plans, and is also making the Google Homes available for bundled purchase too, while the Pixel 2 XL and Pixel Buds can be found at Singtel. If you’re lucky, you can snag the Pixel 2 XL with local warranty at some third party retailers such as redwhitemobile.com, Kasia Mobile, Hitec Mobile, or Mobyshop.
Still hunting for more information on products #MadeByGoogle? Stay tuned – we’ll be reviewing Google Home and the entire Google Ecosystem very soon!