We toured Google’s new pop-up store in New York City — here’s what it’s like

NEW YORK – Google is about to open its first retail store, just a few short blocks from one of New York City’s many Apple stores.

But it’s not the usual retail experience: It’s a pop-up store, intended to showcase the range of new “Made by Google” products. That’s everything from the just-released Google Pixel phone to its Amazon Echo competitor, Google Home (to say nothing of all the other stuff).

The store doesn’t open officially until Thursday, October 20. But Google offered Business Insider an early peek at what customers can expect.


The Google pop-up store is at 96 Spring St. in beautiful downtown Manhattan.

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Planning a visit? It’s between Broadway and Mercer, and it opens at 10 a.m. every day.
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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk in is this massive wooden fountain of light.

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

And this gigantic wall of colored blocks. (Its design changes every now and again.)

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

But you’re here for Google products, right? That’s what the whole store is about!

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

The focus of the ‘Made by Google’ pop-up is Google’s new phone, the Pixel.

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

Customers can try out the phone, which is otherwise sold only at Verizon stores and online through Google.

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

You can also check out the new custom cases for the Pixel, which are quite fetching.

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

Not bad, right?

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

Did you know there’s a little button on the new cases that can do stuff on the Pixel?

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It’s that tiny symbol in the middle, below the fingerprint sensor. You can program it to do various things, like automatically turn on your flashlight.
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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

Anyway, beyond phones, there’s lots of other stuff in Google’s pop-up store. A whole area is dedicated to showing off Google Home, the Amazon Echo competitor.

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

You can check out the various looks for Google Home — the bottom portion can be swapped with a variety of other colored bases.

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

Better yet, there are two rooms, a kitchen and a living room, meant to exemplify the experience with Google Home.

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

There were even some cute little hidden items in the kitchen, like this Saint Pablo candle. (Praise be to ‘Ye.)

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

And this Google-branded box of cornflakes.

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

The largest section of the store, without a doubt, is dedicated to Google’s new virtual reality headset: Daydream View.

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

You can check out the headset up close before trying it on.

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

The headset is covered in a comfortable microfiber, similar to fabric on sweatpants and other sportswear.

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And, as you see here, it comes with a relatively basic controller.
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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

The Daydream View headset is actually powered by the Google Pixel phone, so each of these headsets has a phone strapped to the front.

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

You can see it here pretty clearly from the side. That’s definitely a phone in there!

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

In the store, after strapping on the headset, you’re seated in a swivel chair — which is good, because it makes looking around in VR easier than ever:

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

When you’re not busy trying out VR, there’s this bizarre spheroid object made of tablets to, uh, look at? I guess?

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

And you could always take a load off on these steps.

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Ben Gilbert / Business Insider

If you like anything you see here, you can’t actually buy it on the spot. This is an ‘experience’ store — you’ll need to go online to order it.

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Google

The Google pop-up store opens to the public on Thursday, October 20, and it’ll be open through the end of 2016. It’s at 96 Spring St. in downtown Manhattan — right here:

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Google