It won't be officially available until 9 October, but that hasn't stopped one Redditor purchasing a third-generation Chromecast in a Best Buy outlet. Here's everything we know about the Chromecast 3 launch date, price and specs.
When the Google Chromecast was announced back in 2013 it was a must-have bit of kit - a £30/$35 HDMI dongle that plugged into the back of any old TV to add smart features including app and cast support. It was then updated in 2015 with a new design, alongside the Chromecast Audio, and the Chromecast Ultra followed in 2016.
It's been all quiet on the Chromecast front ever since, so we're due an update. Even in 2018 not everyone owns a smart TV.
On 9 October 2018 we'll get exactly that, as Google announces the third-generation Chromecast during its annual hardware event. This takes place at 4pm BST and we'll be bringing you all the news from the event, plus a live stream so you can follow the action in real-time.
While Google has worked hard to keep its new Chromecast under wraps, a Best Buy outlet in the US has mistakenly put the device on sale ahead of schedule. As you can imagine that's led to the release of some juicy details on the new media streaming device.
When is the new Chromecast coming out?
The Chromecast 3 will be unveiled on 9 October 2018 during a hardware event that starts at 4pm BST. We expect the third-gen Chromecast to go on sale immediately.
How much does the Chromecast 3 cost?
According to Redditor GrooveStreetHomie, who managed to purchase the device ahead of time, the pricing is exactly the same as for the Chromecast 2. That means in the UK you'll pay £30, and $35 in the US.
However, it's worth noting that the Best Buy employee wasn't able to scan the Chromecast 3 box on the till so put it through as a Chromecast 2. Thus it is not confirmation the price won't change, but we expect Google to keep the price fairly constant - especially given the fact there doesn't seem to be a huge number of new features...
What's new in Chromecast 3?
Thanks to images posted by GrooveStreetHomie (and others shot at different angles obtained by 9to5Google) we know that the new Chromecast has an updated design.
The form factor is the same - still a circular pebble-like device with a fixed HDMI cable and Micro-USB power port - but now with a newly matte finish and Google's 'G' logo rather than the previous Chrome logo. GrooveStreetHomie also notes that the new version is a little thicker and loses the magnetic connector that was useful for managing the HDMI cable.
Here it is alongside the Chromecast 2 he was using on another TV:
Unfortunately the Redditor was unable to use the new Chromecast because it required an updated version of the Google Home app that is not yet available.
The packaging images give away little about the new Chromecast's spec save for the fact it supports 1080p streaming.
However, documents held by the FCC give away the fact it will also feature improvements to Wi-Fi and the addition of full 2.4GHz Bluetooth support (previously 2.4GHz Bluetooth LE was supported). It's not clear exactly how this Bluetooth will be used, but it could be used to add a remote control.