During Wednesday’s event in New York, Google officially announced their latest smartphones, the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro, along with the new Pixel Watch 2 and the upgraded Pixel Buds Pro. The announcements didn’t come as a surprise as the company itself “leaked” and then shared a clip of the new Pixels well ahead of the event.
But now we can say for sure that the new phones will use Google’s latest Tensor G3 chip and that the company will support seven years of security and OS updates for them. The Pixel Watch 2 packs a longer-lasting battery, which will hopefully resolve one of our biggest complaints about the first generation smartwatch. And while the Pixel Buds Pro aren’t completely new, software upgrades (and two new colors) should improve upon the existing buds. Here’s how to pre-order the Pixel 8, the Pixel 8 Pro, the Pixel Watch 2 and the updated Pixel Buds Pro.
Google Pixel 8
The Pixel 8 has a 6.2-inch OLED Actua display, which is a new display for the Pixel, which is brighter and should offer more clarity. The screen iteself is actually a tenth of an inch smaller than on the Pixel 7, though the refresh rate can now reach 120Hz and the peak brightness is higher than the older model, getting up to 2,000 nits. Despite the smaller overall size, the battery is actually bigger this time, with a 4,485 mAh typical capacity. It can recharge from zero to 50 percent in about 30 minutes with Google’s own 30W USB-C 3.0 charger. Though, unfortunately, that doesn’t come with the phone.
The chip inside is the new generation of Google’s own Tensor G3, which the company says will allow for better photo processing and help to filter out spam calls. The RAM tops out at 8GB and you can opt for 128GB or 256GB of storage capacity. The case is made from a metal frame and polished back glass. The display glass, meanwhile, is Corning Gorilla Glass Victus and the device is rated IP68, which means it’s dust-tight and can handle a dunk in up to a meter of water.
As for cameras, they are largely the same as last year’s, with a 10.5MP front camera that’s just a few hundred pixels smaller than last year’s 10.8MP selfie cam, and a 50MP and 12MP cameras that match the resolution of the Pixel 7. Though it’s not all about megapixels. Google notes that these rear cameras are improvements over their predecessors thanks to software improvements like Macro focus for closeups and Best Take that blends multiple group photos together to get one where everyone has their eyes open.
In a solid move towards sustainability, Google will support OS upgrades, security updates and new features drops for seven years after the phone’s launch. The Pixel 8 starts at $699 and comes in Hazel, Rose, and Obsidian. Pre-orders are open now and the phones will ship next week. If you pre-order from Google, the company will throw in a free pair of Pixel Buds Pro or give you $200 off the Pixel Watch 2.
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Google says the Pixel 8 Pro has the best Pixel camera yet. (Though, to be fair, no company ever says its latest pro-range cameras are a step down from last year.) The triple lens array includes a 50MP wide, a 48MP ultrawide and a 48MP telephoto camera with a 5x optical zoom. The 10.5MP selfie camera is similar to the one on the Pixel 8, but this one has an autofocus feature. The 6.7-inch screen sports Google’s new Super Actua LTPO OLED display with a intelligently-adjusting 1Hz to120Hz refresh rate, up to 2400 nits of peak brightness and ultra HDR images. It’s covered in Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and is housed in a polished aluminum frame with a matte glass back.
It’s got the same Tensor G3 chip as the Pixel 8, which will enable all of the AI perks Google has cooked up, like a more helpful Google Assistant who can paraphrase what’s on your screen and understand pauses instead of just barreling ahead with a half-baked request when you take a breath. The Pro model comes with 12GB of RAM and the option of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of storage.
There’s even an infrared sensor on the Pixel 8 Pro to take the temperature of a cup of coffee or the frying pan you’re about to use. And google has submitted an application to the FDA to allow it to act as a thermometer for people too. Like the Pixel 8, the Pixel 8 Pro will get a promised seven years of OS and security updates and new features support. It starts at $999 and ships next week. Google will throw in the new Pixel Watch 2 or the revamped Pixel Buds Pro when you pre-order the Pixel Pro 8 from its storefront.
Pixel Watch 2
We were a little disappointed with the first Pixel Watch’s battery life and thought the emphasis on Fitbit branding took away from a pure Google experience. With the Pixel Watch 2, it looks like the company has improved upon the battery life, with a claimed 24 hours even with the always-on display enabled. But it appears to be doubling down on the Fitbit union.
There’s a new multi-path heart rate sensor that uses both photodiodes and LEDs to get better estimates of your pulse. Fitbit stress management features use various sensors to potentially identify tense moments in your day and suggests actions such as mood logging or guided breathing and walking sessions. New safety features include Safety Check which can alert friends, family or even emergency services if needed and Emergency Sharing lets your circle of people see your real-time whereabouts. Fall detection and Emergency SOS were already released earlier this year for the Pixel Watch but will come standard on the Pixel Watch 2.
The housing is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum and the AMOLED screen is covered in 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Many fitness features like workouts and Daily Readiness Score live behind Fitbit’s paywall, but the watch comes with six months of the subscription for free. The updated Fitbit app will integrate more AI features when it updates later this year.
The Pixel Watch 2 is priced at $349 for the Wi-Fi version and $399 for the cellular enabled model and comes in Black Aluminum, Polished Silver or Champagne Gold cases with a different colored bands. It will ship next week.
Google announced the new Fitbit Charge 6 at the same time. It’s also available to pre order now and retails for $160.
Pixel Buds Pro
This isn’t a brand new product for Google, but the company made enough updates to the Pixel Buds Pro to make them worth a few minutes of air time during the event. We already called the Pixel Buds Pro Google’s best earbuds yet and hopefully these improvements will make them even better. Conversation Detection can discern when you’re talking to someone and pause the music. And Clear Calling with a Pixel phone reduces extraneous noises from the other end of the conversation so you can hear them better. They also come in two new colors, Porcelain and Bay, which happen to match the new Pixel 8 Pro phones.
Follow all of the news live from Google’s 2023 Pixel event right here.