15 September 2022
Google is widely rumored to be working on a cheaper Chromecast model for quite some time. It is expected to have content resolution limited to 1080p instead of 4K support on the current-gen variant. It is tipped to have a design similar to the 4K model but technical specifications were unknown until now. The latest leak has revealed some of the crucial details about the upcoming release.
Kuba Wojciechowski, a developer, has shared on Twitter that he managed to get his hands on the upcoming Chromecast's complete software build through a publically available source. During his investigation of the build, he managed to discover various noteworthy details. The first thing to note is that the device is referred to as Chromecast HD in the code. This is likely to be the commercial name but cannot be said with a guarantee.
The Chromecast HD is set to be powered by the Amlogic S805X2 processor with AV1 decoding. The decoding part is an upgrade but overall, the processor is a downgrade over the S905X3 used on the 4K model. It will have 1.5GB of RAM as compared to 2GB on the previous offering. It is said to boot Google TV software experience based on Android 12 out of the box which will be a first for a Chromecast. It is further expected to have WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.2, and a remote control same as the 4K variant.
The upcoming model is expected to fix one of the biggest issues of the Chromecast 4K i.e. software updates. The device is unable to receive any new software updates, especially major ones, due to storage space issues. It is the reason it is still running the same Android 10 that it debuted with. Google seems to have learned from its mistakes and added A/B software updates support.
This new support will essentially allow the team to stream updates to the device's partitions instead of first downloading them to the storage. It has led to the belief that we may see Chromecast HD receive the Android 13 upgrade. However, it is important to note that Google has added criteria of a minimum of 2GB RAM for the update. We will have to see if it will follow the limitation for Chromecast as well. The launch is expected to take place at the same event where Google will debut the Pixel 7 series and Pixel Watch.