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For the past several years, two of the hottest products during the holidays have been low-cost streaming devices from Amazon and Roku, often discounted down to around $25 for end of the year sales.

And often left out of the party was Google, which first launched its own unit in 2013, Chromecast, initially selling for $35, a product aimed at early adopters and serious tech nerds.

Which is why Google’s announcement Wednesday of a new $49.99 Chromecast (available by Oct. 15) was hands down the most interesting of its presentation, and the one most likely to end up in more consumers homes. Also announced were two new smartphones ($499 and $699) and a redesigned Google Home smart speaker with better sound, selling for $99.

New Chromecast from Google (Photo: Google)

Update: Google introduces new phones, Google TV, smart speaker and Chromecast

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