A Reddit user was recently able to purchase an unannounced Google Chromecast device from a local Best Buy store that had possibly stocked those units ahead of Google's upcoming hardware event. From the packaging to the device itself, every shared image is indicative of a major redesign worthy of a third-generation gadget. The overall form factor of the Chromecast 3 doesn't seem to have changed, with the HDMI connector still being attached via a flat cable, although the glossy finish found on the current-gen variant has been replaced with a matte one. The Chrome logo has also been ditched in favor of a rather subtle "G." Google also got rid of the magnetic connector that kept the cable from dangling around, as per the same source.
Other hardware details include the presence of a microUSB port for powering the device which has reportedly gotten a bit thicker compared to its predecessor. To set up the unreleased Chromecast unit, the Google Home app kept suggesting the user update the app despite being on the latest available version. The source also said the cashier wasn't able to scan the product as the SKU was marked unlisted until October 9 in Best Buy's system, which is also the day when Google has scheduled its launch event where the Pixel 3 series of Android flagships is expected to go official. The next-gen Chromecast is presumably set for release alongside the new Google-branded smartphones but Best Buy mistakenly stocked it ahead of its official announcement. The store later let the user have the device under the second-gen Chromecast's SKU mainly because their prices are similar or identical. The Chromecast 2 is regularly retailed at $35.
The second-generation Chromecast was released back in 2015 and an Ultra variant with support for higher-resolution 4K streaming was added to the lineup a year later. Google has long been rumored to announce a new Chromecast hardware with improvements to Wi-Fi connectivity and the addition of Bluetooth. A set of images of the new device and its box were later shared by 9to5Google, showing a maximum supported resolution of 1080p along with the full FCC ID mentioned on the unit's back which is in line with a previous Chromecast 3 leak. The October 9 event is just a week away and more details about the third-generation Chromecast are expected to be revealed during that happening.