It was Google’s turn on Wednesday to announce a litany of devices and updates. The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro were the headline acts, though there was lots of interest further down the bill including the reveal of the Pixel Watch 2 and the public version of Android 14 making its way out into the world.
You can catch up on everything by watching the Made by Google event yourself or checking out our liveblog for real-time insight and analysis. Alternatively, we’ve rounded up all the major announcements for you right here.
Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro
The stars of the Made by Google show are, of course, the company’s latest smartphones. The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro run on the Tensor G3, which Google says is its most powerful chip yet.
Because it’s 2023, the two devices offer a string of generative AI features powered by the latest chipset. Google says the Pixel 8’s biggest machine learning model is 10 times more complex compared with the Pixel 6 from two years ago.
Google says it has been able to expand its AI tech to more areas of the device beyond the likes of image processing. The Tensor G3 can help the Call Screen function detect and filter out more spam calls. Improved Clear Calling, oddly enough, should enable clearer phone calls. An audio version of Magic Eraser will let you remove unwanted sounds from videos too.
Google Assistant can summarize text from websites and break down the highlights into bullet points. Similarly, you’ll be able to get summaries of whatever you capture in the Recorder app. Those who use Assistant to compose written messages with their voice should find that feature much faster on Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
The Pixel 8 has a 6.2-inch Actua display that can deliver sharp colors and vivid details, Google says. The screen supports a higher refresh rate of up to 120Hz as well, which should make scrolling through web pages and playing games a smoother experience. You’ll get up to 1,400 nits of brightness for HDR content and up to 2,000 nits of peak brightness.
The rear camera array is getting an upgrade on the Pixel 8. There’s a 50-megapixel wide main camera, with Super Res Zoom up to 8x and a 2x optical quality zoom. The second camera is a 12-megapixel ultrawide with autofocus and a 125.8-degree field of view. The front-facing camera is a 10.5-megapixel lens with a 95-degree field of view and fixed focus.
The Pixel 8 Pro has similar main and front-facing cameras (albeit with autofocus on the front-facing lens). Opt for that device, though, and you’ll get a 48-megapixel Quad PD ultrawide with autofocus lens and 48-megapixel Quad PD telephoto lens on the rear array. With the help of Google’s image-processing and image-editing knowhow, the device should help you to capture quality photos and videos.
The 8 Pro’s display is larger at 6.7 inches. Google says it will deliver up to 1,600 nits of brightness for HDR content and up to 2,400 nits of peak brightness. The Super Actua screen has a higher resolution than the Pixel 8 (1344 x 2992, compared with 1080 x 2400), and 489 PPI vs. 428 on the smaller device. The Pixel 8 Pro weighs 7.5oz (213g), while the Pixel 8 comes in at 6.6oz (187g).
Google is placing a bigger onus on security this year. For one thing, the company is promising seven years of OS, security and feature drop updates. Both phones have camera and mic toggles, a Google One VPN included at no extra cost and a Titan M2 security coprocessor. Google notes that there’s anti-malware and anti-phishing protection, and support for passkeys.
As for battery life, Google is promising “beyond 24-hour battery life” on both phones. With Extreme Battery Saver enabled, they may run for up to 72 hours before you need to recharge. There’s fast charging support, of course, with Google claiming they’ll reach around 50 percent of capacity within around 30 minutes.
One other intriguing thing about the Pixel 8 Pro is that it includes a temperature sensor. That’s an interesting feature that could come in handy for a host of use cases, such as checking whether someone has a fever or if another device may be overheating.
Both devices have 128GB of storage in the base versions. The Pixel 8 has 8GB of LPDDR5X RAM and the Pixel 8 Pro comes with 12GB of RAM.
Pre-orders are available starting today and the phones will be available on October 12. The Pixel 8 starts at $699. That’s $100 more than the Pixel 7. It’s worth noting that Verizon’s version of the Pixel 8 starts at $800, because it includes mmWave 5G support. The Pixel 8 Pro, meanwhile, will start at $999.
If you pre-order the Pixel 8, Google will toss in a pair of Pixel Buds Pro at no extra cost. Pre-order the Pixel 8 Pro and you’ll get the Pixel Watch 2 for free. Speaking of which…
Pixel Watch 2
The sequel to Google’s first own-brand smartwatch is here. The Pixel Watch 2 has been redesigned to offer an IP68 water protection rating. Google says there’s a lighter 100% recycled aluminum housing and the device is available in four color combinations: polished silver/bay, polished silver/porcelain, matte black/obsidian and champagne gold/hazel.
As for the functions, there are four pillars of personalization that Google has focused on with the Pixel Watch 2. Those are health, fitness, safety and productivity.
You’ll get the most advanced heart rate tracking the company has offered to date, Google says. A new multi-path heart rate sensor works with Google AI to power features such as sleep tracking, high and low heart rate notifications, and Daily Readiness Score. Stress management is a selling point too, as there’s a body-response sensor and skin temperature sensor.
Google says that when your Pixel Watch 2 detects a body response from things like stress, illness or the effects of caffeine or alcohol, the device (and the Fitbit app on your phone) will prompt you to log your mood and suggest things like taking a guided breathing exercise or a walk.
Automatic workout start and stop reminders can detect seven typical workouts, including running and outdoor cycling. Heart Zone Training will use voice and haptic prompts to guide you through personalized heart rate zones. The Pace Training feature uses the same cues to help you maintain pace or get back to your target pace when you fall behind.
You’ll get a six-month Fitbit Premium membership at no extra cost with the Pixel Watch 2. This includes access to workouts, your Daily Readiness Score and mindfulness sessions. Features like your Sleep Profile will also remain paywalled behind a Fitbit Premium subscription. In addition, Google is tossing in a one-month trial of YouTube Music Premium.
Speaking of Fitbit, Google showed off a new AI chatbot. It’s coming to the Fitbit app next year as part of the Fibit Labs initiative. You’ll be able to ask the chatbot things like how well you performed on a run and maybe gain a better understanding of why you might have found a workout particularly difficult.
Android’s Safety Check feature will be available on Pixel Watch 2. As with the Check In feature in iOS 17, this can share information such as your location with pre-determined contacts if you don’t confirm that you’re OK if you haven’t reached a specified location before a timer expires. Safety Check also lets users share medical info such as blood type, allergies and existing conditions with emergency services.
Google suggests Safety Check can help people have more peace of mind while doing things like running errands or coming home late at night. Google notes that Fitbit Premium members can access safety features even if they don’t have an LTE plan or their phone nearby.
Gmail and Calendar apps should help you to get things done from your wrist, while the At A Glance watch face delivers contextual information such as weather and traffic updates. The company also says there are new Google Assistant health and fitness queries that should make it easier for you to access real-time and historical stats.
If you have a Pixel phone, you can use the wearable as a remote shutter for your handset’s camera. There’s support for Find My Device and the Google Home app too.
When it comes to battery life — a major complaint about the original Pixel Watch — Google says the latest device should run for 24 hours even though it has an always-on display. After 75 minutes of charging, you should have enough juice for a full day of use.
The Pixel Watch 2 starts at $349. Pre-orders open today, and the wearable will be available on October 12.
Pixel Buds Pro
The Pixel Buds Pro are available in two new colors — bay and porcelain — to match Google’s latest devices. Google is also continuing to roll out new functions for the earbuds as part of its feature drops.
For one thing, there’s a new low-latency mode that should reduce audio lag when you’re playing games on a compatible Pixel phone or tablet. Bluetooth Super Wideband support doubles the bandwidth for voices with the aim of making you sound clearer and fuller, Google says. The company has also enabled support for Clear Calling on Pixel, so when you’re using the Pixel Buds Pro for calls, you should be able to hear the other person more clearly.
A Conversation Detection can, strangely enough, detect when you’re speaking. When it does, playback will be paused and Pixel Buds Pro will switch to transparency mode. When you’re done talking to someone, your music will start back up and active noise cancellation will kick back in.
In the Pixel Buds app, you’ll be able to see how loudly you’ve been listening to music over a period of time. It will tell you when to lower the volume to help you take care of your hearing wellness.
Starting today, you’ll be able to install the public version of Android 14 on Pixel devices. The OS will be available on phones from other OEMs at a later date.
Android 14 places a big focus on customization. For instance, you’ll be able to use generative AI to whip up custom backgrounds for your phone (this feature will be exclusive to Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro at first). There’s also the option to enable a monochromatic theme — you know, in case you wish you had an E Ink phone instead.
Google is adding more accessibility settings, such as the ability to increase the size of a certain chunk of text and not everything on the page. You’ll also have more control over your data and privacy. For one thing, you’ll now find Health Connect options right in the OS settings.
Meanwhile, Google is rolling out the fall feature drop for Pixel phones and tablets. Those with a Pixel Fold will be able to take advantage of a nifty interpreter mode that translates a conversation across the dual displays. The camera interface is being updated on Pixel phones too.
As for Pixel Tablet, there’s a more streamlined navigation bar in the kids’ experience. When your tablet is docked and in Hub Mode, you can ask Assistant to play news and podcasts through it.
Assistant with Bard
Although most of the announcements leaked in advance, Google had one surprise up its sleeve. It’s working on bringing Assistant and Bard AI together.
The aim is to bring information from different apps and services together to make Google Assistant far more useful. During a demo, Google showed the Assistant pulling details from a party invite in Gmail. Ask where the party is, and Assistant with Bard can tell you the location and tap into Google Maps to offer you directions.
You might also also ask Assistant with Bard to whip up a meal plan with a grocery list. You’ll be able to export that to Google Docs or Gmail. Assistant with Bard can whip up text to go along with a photo you snapped for a social media post too.
Google says Assistant with Bard is coming soon to Android and iOS, first to select testers. The company plans to expand access to the opt-in experience over the next few months.
Follow all of the news live from Google’s 2023 Pixel event right here.