During the Made by Google launch event on Oct. 6, 2022, the company presented the latest Pixel devices. The lineup included the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, the all-new Pixel Watch, additions to the Nest smart home portfolio, and a teaser for an upcoming 2023 Pixel Tablet.
Google also announced the second generation of the Tensor chip that brings improvements in performance for the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. Most of the products presented had been previewed during the past I/O 2022 event in May.
The new Pixel phones and Pixel Watch were made available for preorder on Google Store. The preorder window is short, just seven days, after which general availability for every device is expected. By keeping prices low, the company is attempting to differentiate itself from its competitors and arguably puts to rest consumers’ concerns about how the economic slowdown, inflation and supply chain disruptions could affect the price of the new Pixel lineup.
What’s new in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
One of the main updates for the new Pixel phones is the new Tensor G2 chip, as the product continues to be centered around the software. While the G2 does not bring significant improvements over the G1, Google claims it allows for better performance and says it can “run machine learning 60% faster” than the previous generation.
Other updates include minor case design modifications, new colors and improved camera features. If there is something the Pixel phone is known for, it’s the camera. Google leveled up its computational photography to provide impressive 30x zoom with clear details, new image stabilizers and updated night photograph quality.
SEE: Google Pixel phone: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
Results of the Statista Global Consumer Survey conducted in the U.S. in 2021 reveal that Google’s phones rank fifth among the primary phones Americans use. While the brand has been increasing its sales and building up its fanbase, it far underperforms against the leader: Apple’s iPhone.
In 2021, only 4% of people in the U.S. carried a Google phone. The iPhone is used by 46% of Americans, Samsung mobile phones by 29%, LG by 9% and Motorola by 5%.
Users report that the main strengths of the Pixel phone are the quality obtained for the low price, the familiarity with Google software such as Maps and Lens, and the phone’s camera.
Pixel 7 and 7 Pro: Technical details and specifications
With a simple design and a powerful chip, the Pixel 7 starts at $599 or $24.96 per month for 24 months. It has a slightly bigger screen than its predecessor, the Pixel 6, at 6.3″ with a responsive display. The phone is also water resistant, and upgrades to the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus cover now have scratch-resistant capacities.
Costing just $100 more than the Pixel 6, it has better luminosity as part of its new upgrades. The company claims it is 25% brighter outdoors, even in sunlight. Another upgrade, as previously mentioned, is the Tensor chip, which in the Pixel 7 comes in its second generation. The phone’s battery is designed to last 24 hours, and in Extreme Battery Saver mode, Google assures the battery can live up to 72 hours.
The function Clear Calling, which reduces noise for better voice messages, calls and video recordings, will come soon to the Pixel 7 this year through a software update. The new phone has all Google landmark products like Maps, Calendar and Google Lens, and it pushes them to create mobile features like Live Translate to translate different languages in real time.
The number of dual cameras remains the same, but the dual camera system does include hardware updates like a 92.8° ultrawide field of view for group selfies. The cameras also have a bigger sensor, sharper lens and better 4K resolution low-light photography. The super-resolution zoom is a newly added feature to the Pixel 7, significantly improving zoom detail and quality.
The Pixel 7 has 8GB of Ram and new fast wireless charging, and it improves the Titan M2 security core chip with fingerprint unlock and face unlock. It comes in three colors: the new Lemongrass, Snow and Obsidian. Users can opt to buy the phone with 128GB or 256GB of storage space.
Pixel 7 Pro: ‘The most powerful Pixel phone’
The Pixel 7 Pro starts at $899 and comes in three colors, Hazel, Snow and Obsidian. Google says it is the most powerful Pixel ever built. The phone can be used to unlock your car as you approach, thanks to ultra-wideband technology that measures range and direction. The display is the largest of all Pixel phones, set at 6.3.” With Quad High Definition and LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide), the Pixel 7 Pro enables the dynamic refresh rate in the display and can lower to 10 Hz to save battery.
The Pixel 7 Pro has a triple rear camera system: wide lens, ultrawide lens and telephoto lens. It uses the same second-generation chip as the Pixel 7 but has 12GB of Ram. Google Store allows customers to compare all Pixel phone models with comprehensive details.
Pixel Watch: Tech and specs
The Made by Google Launch event star was the much-expected Google Pixel Watch. Since November 2019, when Google bought Fitbit—a robust health and sports smartwatch and wrist maker—the company has been teasing a product that combined the best of Google features with the best of Fitbit.
Unlike other Fitbit watches, which have been selling on the Google Store for years, the Pixel Watch has a circular domed design. The design immediately differentiates the product from Google’s main competitor in the smartwatch market: Apple. The company again turned to price to set itself apart. The Pixel Watch starts selling for $344.99, cheaper than the Apple Watch 8 Series which starts at $399.
The Pixel Watch comes with six months of Fitbit Premium included. Users can access exercises, health and sports guidance, exclusive workouts, and track their health and performance. Like all Pixel lineup products, the watch connects and integrates seamlessly with the Pixel portfolio using Android 13.
SEE: Android 13 cheat sheet: Everything you need to know (TechRepublic)
Customers have over 20 bands to choose from and a large variety of customizable watch faces that can result in more than one thousand combinations. The Pixel Watch can be ordered in four color combinations: Champagne Gold case with Hazel Active band, Matte Black case and Obsidian Active band, Polished Silver case with Charcoal Active band, and Polished Silver case with Chalk Active band.
Google chose premium recycled stainless steel for the watch’s finishes. For $344.99, the watch comes with 4G LTE.5, allowing users to leave their phone at home. The new experience of Wear OS by Google powers this smartwatch and provides Google Maps on your wrist, Google wallet to pay with your phone, Google Voice Assistant, Email, Calendar, and Youtube for streaming video and music. Using the smartwatch, users can also take photographs on their Pixel or ask the Watch to help them find the phone if they misplaced it.
Exclusively for this watch, Fitbit created what they call the “most accurate heart rate tracking system.” Users can assess heart rhythm for atrial fibrillation with the ECG app and easily share results with their doctor, track night sleeps, and be guarded by fall detection and Emergency SOS.
The Pixel watch is water resistant up to 50 meters (5 ATM). You can swim in the ocean, play in the pool, take a shower, and more without worrying. Fitbit also included stress management, built-in GPS, cardio fitness score, and 40 exercise modes.
Throughout the event, Google stressed how interconnected and integrated all Pixel products are. From smart homes powered by Nest to the Pixel Watch, new Pixel phones, and the upcoming new Pixel tablet—which aims to act as the center console of a smart home—the company has a vision where each device ends where the other begins and is making it happen.
Moving calls, audio, video, and content or connecting Pixel devices is made easy.
While the Pixel brand still has a long way to go to the lead in the market, and while the company faces intense competition from all sides, the new Pixel lineup is simple, powerful, smart, and affordable, making its products an attractive option.