Google held their hardware event this morning to announce a slew of new hardware. The most anticipated agenda of the event, for most people, is of the unveiling of Google’s new smartphone line up. With so many leaks in the prior days, we pretty much already knew everything about the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Google had to say. Except one thing.
This comes as quite a surprise, but Google will make the Pixel 2 XL available in three new countries: Italy, Singapore, and Spain. Yes, Singapore. The all-new Google Store also came live this morning, with availability in Singapore too!
At this time, it’s not clear if Google will sell the Pixel 2 XL themselves in Singapore, or it will be via a partner. The Google Wifi which debut in Singapore two months ago was via a partner, StarHub.
For the Pixel 2 XL, Google has partnered with SingTel. Initially, the Google Store did show a “Join Waitlist” buttton, making it appear like Google themselves might be in the game. But the button was later replaced with a “Find Retailer” button, leading to a page that directed customers to SingTel.
The Google Store available here lists two other products. The Google Wifi, mentioned above, is still available only via StarHub. The third product is the Chromecast, which is available only via Lazada. So right now, the Google Store in Singapore doesn’t actually do any selling themselves.
We’re hoping, of course, that Google will start doing the selling themselves here in Singapore. Buying via SingTel isn’t such a bad thing per se, but there’s always the risk that smartphones sold from carriers could come with some catches, like delayed software update availability, etc. Also, in the U.S., the new Pixel phones ship with a free Google Home Mini, a promotion not available in Singapore.
Pixel 2 XL is the larger of the two new Pixel smartphones announced today. It’s also the one with more significant improvements from the first generation Pixels. The smaller Pixel 2 will not be available in Singapore.