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Google Pixel event: What to expect from search giant’s October hardware reveal

Google will reveal its latest rival to Apple’s iPhone at an event on 4 October.

The search giant announced the date for its own annual smartphone unveiling just a day after its fellow tech giant, which will show off its upgraded handsets on 12 September.

Google has already been busy this year when it comes to product announcements – with a new budget phone, a unique tablet, and its first foldable device all released over recent months.

Here’s what we’re expecting from its next showcase, which will take place in New York.

Pixel 8

The main attraction will be Google’s Pixel 8 phone and a pro version.

Leaks – including an image mistakenly posted on Google’s own store page this week – suggest the devices will look very similar to last year’s models.

There appears to be a minor change to the camera bar on the back, with all three lenses on the pro (main sensor, ultrawide and telephoto) contained in a single cutout rather than being separated.

Other tweaks are similarly subtle given the Pixel only underwent a more significant redesign a couple of years ago, however renders of the incoming phones hint at a flat screen instead of the slightly curved display on the Pixel 7.

Both phones will of course get improved processors, namely Google’s bespoke G3 chip.

Interestingly, given most tech manufacturers favour big phones these days, the Pixel 8 is tipped to come in a little smaller than its predecessor – potentially shrinking the display from 6.3 to 5.8 inches.

The pro is expected to keep the same 6.7-inch screen as last year.

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Given neither device is going to get any bigger, it’ll be tough to squeeze in a superior battery. Google may look to improve efficiency, like charging speed, instead.

New Google Pixel 7 Pro smartphones are displayed at a launch event for new Google hardware devices in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 6, 2022. REUTERS/Roselle Chen
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The Pixel 7 Pro was last year’s flagship Google phone

Pixel Watch 2

The device at the event with the most potential for improvement is the Pixel Watch 2.

Google’s first attempt at a smartwatch hit shelves in 2022 following its acquisition of Fitbit the year before.

The wearable, which had a more traditional circular design, was pretty well received but reviewers and users were extremely critical of the battery life.

Reports suggest that’s been a focus for the sequel, which will have a new chip and an updated operating system.

Google marketed the first watch aggressively and will hope to entice new buyers as well as loyalists this time.

New Google Pixel watches are displayed at a launch event for new Google hardware devices in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 6, 2022. REUTERS/Roselle Chen
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Google’s first attempt at a smartwatch was criticised for its poor battery life

Android 14

Google’s Android operating system is the backbone of smartphones from every major non-Apple manufacturer, but major updates always come to its Pixels first.

As such, the launch of the Pixel 8 should also mark the release of Android 14.

It’s bringing more accessibility features, like bigger fonts and notifications that make your phone’s torch flash; more privacy options, like greater control over how apps access your photos; and extra lock screen customisation.

The new Pixel phones typically release a week or so after the reveal event, so look for Android 14 around then too.

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Anything else?

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As mentioned, it’s already been a busy year for new Google hardware.

The products the company has released so far in 2023 won’t be due an update until at least the spring, when we will likely see the usual budget version of the most recent Pixel phone.

It remains to be seen whether the Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold, both launched over the summer, get follow-ups.

Google has had little success breaking into the tablet market previously, while the foldable’s eye-watering price tag means mainstream penetration there will be limited.

Read more:
Can Google’s new tablet with a twist find an audience?
Why the Pixel Fold might not catch on

Pixel Fold. Pic: Google
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Google has already launched the Pixel Fold this year, among other devices. Pic: Google

It’ll hope updates to the standard Pixels will encourage more people to part with their cash.

The October event may also be an opportunity for Google to refresh its Pixel Bud earphones and Pixelbook laptops.

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