We’re just a few short days away from Google’s hardware event on October 6, which is set to bring the Pixel 7 phones and quite a bit more. From the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro to all the latest Nest smart home gear, here’s everything we’re expecting Google to announce.
Confirmed Google announcements
In the weeks leading up to the October 6 hardware event, Google has only outright confirmed a few of the products that will be present — Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel Watch. We’ve already got a pretty decent understanding of this trio, as they were all previously unveiled at Google I/O in May.
Pixel 7 and 7 Pro
The big announcement everyone is anticipating from this event is the arrival of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, the latest flagship Android phones from Google. In terms of hardware and performance, the Pixel 7 series is set to bring only small, iterative improvements over the Pixel 6.
Even the design is quite similar, featuring the same camera bar, albeit with a metallic finish instead of glass. Somewhat humorously, these similarities played a role in a pre-release Pixel 7 Pro being inadvertently used by a customer for three weeks without them realizing.
But that’s not to say the Pixel 7 series doesn’t pack some exciting upgrades. One feature we’ve been tracking for nearly a year now is the addition of Face Unlock in one form or another after the feature was seemingly pulled from the Pixel 6 Pro right before launch. From what our sources have told us, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro should be able to offer full face unlock either at launch or shortly thereafter.
Another upgrade that’s been spotted is that the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will use a brand new Samsung modem. With any luck, this could go a long way toward fixing the connectivity issues that many have experienced with the Pixel 6.
For cameras, the Pixel 7 series will see the return of the 50MP Samsung GN1 sensor from last year, along with the Sony IMX381 for ultrawide photos. The only known difference will be a new Samsung GM1 sensor for taking telephoto pictures, which should be comparable in real world use. As always though, Pixel phones manage to be exceptional because of software, more so than raw hardware improvements.
No firm release date has yet been reported or leaked for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, but Google has confirmed that pre-orders will begin after the event on October 6. While pricing hasn’t leaked, we’re currently expecting the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro to stay in the ballpark of $599 and $899 respectively, matching last year’s prices.
Each of the two phones will be available in three distinct colors — Chalk, Obsidian, and Lemongrass on the smaller Pixel 7, while the Pixel 7 Pro swaps Lemongrass for a stylish shade of Hazel. Whichever color you pick for the Pixel 7 series, you’ll be able to buy a case to match, as Google’s official cases seem to be in the exact same sets of colors.
Of course, a key portion of the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro announcement will be the full unveiling of the Tensor G2 chip. As the first successor to the Google Tensor chip, made in collaboration with Samsung, the Tensor G2 is poised to be featured in multiple upcoming Made by Google devices, like the Pixel 7a and the long-rumored Pixel Notepad foldable.
Ahead of the event, a benchmark of the Pixel 7 Pro actually gave away quite a few details of the CPU and GPU hardware inside of the Tensor G2 chip. From what’s been pieced together, the Tensor G2 may use the exact same cores as last year — two Cortex-X1 cores, two Cortex-A76 cores, and four Cortex-A55 cores. The only difference is that the clock speed has been slightly boosted.
Additionally, as we learned from an earlier report, the new chip should use Samsung’s 4nm process, down from the 5nm used in the original Tensor. Between the boosted clock speeds and the smaller process size, the Pixel 7 Pro was able to get about 10% better multi-core performance according to the Geekbench benchmark.
Instead, the real improvements of Google’s Tensor G2 chip are upgrades to the GPU (for gaming and camera processing) and TPU (Tensor Processing Unit, for machine learning). The new Mali-G710 graphics should bring a 20% boost to both performance and power efficiency. Meanwhile, details of the new TPU are still unknown, but Google has said Tensor G2 will allow the Pixel 7 to “bring even more helpful, personalized features to photos, videos, security, and speech recognition.”
What we would really like to see is for Google and Samsung to bring improvements in power efficiency and heat reduction for the Tensor G2. Qualcomm made great strides in those departments with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, making devices like the Galaxy Z Fold 4 truly exceptional, and it would be great to see the Tensor G2 in the Pixel 7 keep pace.
The decision to not strive for major performance improvements may be a sign that Google is indeed focusing on power efficiency and heat. However, we’ll need to get hands on with the new Pixel 7 series to know for sure.
For many, the real star of Google’s hardware event this year is the long-awaited Pixel Watch. Powered by the same Wear OS 3 that debuted in the Galaxy Watch 4, the Pixel Watch features a sleek circular design and colors that excellently fit into the Pixel hardware lineup.
In fact, we were able to exclusively report that the Pixel Watch will have a broad variety of alternate bands available at launch, rivaling that of the Apple Watch. On the high end, there will be options akin to the Apple Watch’s Milanese band and Rolex’s link bracelet. More affordable Pixel Watch bands are poised to include fabric, stretch, and leather options.
Fitness wise, the Pixel Watch is set to have deep integration with Fitbit, possibly even featuring the same array of health sensors that are included in the Fitbit Charge 5. If that holds true, we can expect monitoring for heart rate, oxygen saturation (SpO2), and overnight skin temperature, as well as potentially ECG support.
That said, those in the market for a Wear OS watch with high-performance hardware may want to look elsewhere. The latest reports indicate that the Pixel Watch should be running an Exynos 9110 — as featured in the 2018 Galaxy Watch — as a main chip, supported by a co-processor. To keep things feeling snappy, though, the Pixel Watch is also reported to have the most RAM ever included in a Wear OS device, at over 1.5GB.
According to our earlier reporting and text in the Fitbit app, estimates of the Pixel Watch’s battery life put it somewhere in the vicinity of 24 hours of use. While certainly sufficient for getting through the day, it’s a far cry from the multi-day battery life of other recent Wear OS watches.
What we’ve yet to learn about the Pixel Watch is how Google intends to differentiate its debut first-party smartwatch from the broader Wear OS lineup. Considering the Pixel phones and their excellent software, we’re eager to see what software enhancements Google has for the Pixel Watch. It’s also basically a given that the Google Assistant will be a major aspect of the watch.
Things Google is likely to announce
These are the devices that Google hasn’t outright confirmed will be present at the fall event, but we’ve seen evidence of their upcoming arrival. In some cases, these devices have already gotten FCC approval and are therefore quite close to launching.
Nest Wifi Pro
Google’s October 6 hardware event won’t be solely focused on Pixel devices, as the company has confirmed that Nest will also have some announcements. Considering the Chromecast with Google TV HD has already been made official, the Nest division surely has a few other surprises up its sleeve.
One bit of Nest hardware we’ve been tracking for a while now is a new generation of the Nest Wifi mesh system. Itself a successor to the Google Wifi system from 2016, Nest Wifi brings a cozy design that better lends itself to blending into your home’s decor.
The Nest Wifi line also originally set itself apart from other mesh Wi-Fi systems by including a Google Assistant smart speaker within the extender points. This helped subtly ensure that you place the extenders in places where people were more likely to need better Wi-Fi signal and also made the Google Assistant more prevalent throughout your home.
Thanks to a recent leak from a retailer, we now know the new Nest Wifi will be called the “Nest Wifi Pro.” The appearance of that leak also all but confirms the Nest Wifi Pro will be announced at Google’s October 6 event alongside the Pixel 7.
Seemingly retailing for $199, the Nest Wifi Pro justifies its $30 bump in price by offering Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, a significant boost over the Wi-Fi 5 offered by the previous model. In terms of raw speed, Wi-Fi 6E is (under perfect conditions) capable of handling up to 9.6Gbps of traffic.
However, the real boost of Wi-Fi 6E, which Nest Wifi Pro owners should be eager to gain, is in the introduction of the 6GHz band of wireless, joining the now familiar 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. While there aren’t yet many devices that can connect via the 6GHz band, you can use a second Nest Wifi Pro as an extender, which in theory, should be able to connect via that less-crowded band. If done right, this could help create a more stable overall network.
All that said, there are a few downsides to Google’s Nest Wifi Pro. For current Google Wifi or Nest Wifi customers, while it’s assumed that your existing hardware will be compatible with the Nest Wifi Pro, those extenders won’t have the benefits of Wi-Fi 6E. To help with this, Google appears to be readying bundles of two and three Nest Wifi Pros, with each additional router adding $100 to the price.
The other downside is that there’s currently no indication of Google updating the combination Nest Wifi point and Assistant speaker device. That clever combination was a significant aspect of why we enjoyed the original Nest Wifi, and we’re sad to see the Pro upgrade seemingly leave that behind.
Nest Doorbell (wired)
The Nest Wifi Pro will likely not be the only Nest device announced at the October 6 hardware event for the Pixel 7. Back in 2021, following the release of the revamped Nest Doorbell (battery), Google confirmed that a wired variant of the video doorbell would be coming in 2022.
While it’s certainly possible to give the current, battery-equipped Nest Doorbell a hardwired connection — to keep from needing to occasionally recharge it — the inclusion of a battery leads to some disadvantages. For one, even if your doorbell is wired, any temperatures below freezing will prevent the battery from charging. With time, in sustained cold weather, the battery may fully discharge and shut down.
Beyond that, the Nest Doorbell (battery) cannot be used for 24/7 recording, even with a wired connection, due to thermal concerns about the battery itself. That crucial missing feature (which requires a Nest Aware subscription) is why the existing Nest Hello has remained on the market.
Our APK Insight team was able to uncover images of the upcoming Nest Doorbell (wired) in the Google Home app. The effectively official imagery shows that the new doorbell camera should be shorter and thicker than its battery-equipped sibling. Otherwise, the design appears to be unchanged, offering the same pill-shaped layout and the same “hello” easter egg around the sides of the camera.
The big surprise at Google I/O in May was the reveal that the company was preparing an Android-powered Pixel tablet to be released in 2023. Quite a few additional tidbits have leaked out since then, making the upcoming Made by Google event a great opportunity to have some more aspects of the Pixel tablet announced and confirmed.
That said, all of the other devices we’ve discussed today are primed for near immediate release, while the Pixel tablet is still at least a few months away. It’s possible Google may stay silent about this tablet until it’s closer to launch.
The Pixel tablet is seemingly the culmination of Google’s efforts to improve the large screen experience for tablets, foldables, etc in Android 12L and Android 13. At the same time, the Pixel tablet is also set to be the center of the smart home, thanks to a charging dock and other features that allow it to double as a Nest Hub smart display — including receiving video/audio like a Chromecast.
From what we’ve seen in Google’s own animations, the Pixel tablet should simply slide onto its dock, attaching to the four pogo pins visible on the rear of the device. While docked, you can cast videos/music from your phone to the Pixel tablet just like you would a Nest Hub. When it’s not in use, the docked Pixel tablet should also be able to show your favorite Google Photos, artwork, or clock faces.
Normally when you think of the Pixel series, especially devices that run Android, one of the first things you think of is top-notch photography. In the case of the Pixel tablet, though, we find only two cameras, one rear and one front. Interestingly, both camera sensors are set to be the same IMX355 as found in the Pixel 5, making it useful for video calling and some light photography.
In terms of performance, it’s all but guaranteed that the Pixel tablet will run on one of Google’s Tensor chips with all of the AI prowess that they bring. What’s unknown is whether the tablet will stay on the affordable side with last year’s debut Tensor or step up to the Tensor G2. Similarly, we don’t yet know how much RAM or storage will be included on the device.
One interesting spec that did break cover, though, is that Google intends for the Pixel tablet to be compatible with the Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) spec. While far from the first Android tablet to offer a stylus, the Pixel tablet is currently poised to be the first Android device with USI.
What that means in practice is that you’ll be able to use any USI-compatible stylus with the Pixel tablet, such as one you bought for your Chromebook. This is a significant improvement over past stylus-capable Pixel devices like the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate which required a dedicated, Google-made “Pixelbook Pen.” While we haven’t seen any evidence that Google is actually preparing to make their own USI-compatible stylus, the odds of it are quite high.
The mystery of the Pixel tablet also deepened recently, when new evidence pointed to the existence of a “Pro” variant. For now, though, the only difference we could find to distinguish the Pixel tablet “Pro” is that it should have an upgraded camera. Hopefully Google will be shining a light on both the Pixel tablet and its “Pro” sibling at the upcoming event.
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