Made By Google Unveiled: Sleek New Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel Tablet And Pixel Watch
Today’s Made by Google Launch event formally introduced the world to an array of new Pixel devices. Extensive information about the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones has already been shared, or otherwise leaked out, but some new tidbits were covered as well. In addition, the Made by Google team announced the Pixel Watch and shared its vision for a cohesive ecosystem incorporating an upcoming Pixel Tablet as well.
Google’s Senior Vice President of Devices and Services, Rick Osterloh, introduced the event. He explained that the core of Google’s consumer ecosystem is built on AI, Android, and Google Tensor. Google Tensor is the company’s designed in-house computing platform which was introduced with the Pixel 6 family. Osterloh says the chip’s machine learning capabilities enable Pixel-only experiences which include Live Translate, Magic Eraser, and Real Tone.
Google Pixel Tablet
Osterloh says Google is building a Pixel portfolio that includes phones, tablets, watches and earbuds. The company has previously released a Pixel Slate tablet in 2018 which curiously used Intel Core processors but was widely considered to be a flop. Google says the tablet market is challenging because these devices spend more than 80% of their time at home, and are typically used for short periods of time. Often, tablets end up in a drawer or otherwise forgotten about.
The new Google Pixel Tablet has a plan to augment its usefulness. The Pixel Tablet will work with a new charging speaker dock to extend its versatility. While docked, the tablet will function like a Nest Hub and sit perched up at an angle. The dock’s speaker is said to provide richer sound for media consumption, whether it is used for video streaming, music playlists, or to provide another avenue to reach Google Assistant.
The dock’s magnetic connection system should make it easy to grab and stow the Pixel Tablet for other uses, while also reducing cable clutter for charging. We think this is a very slick solution which solves many of the pain points we have encountered when using tablets—primarily that stowing them can be awkward and that they represent yet another device that needs to be charged. The tablet announcement serves more as a teaser at this point though, and Google did not discuss pricing or availability beyond arriving in 2023.
Google Pixel WatchThe Pixel Watch is now available for order, however. The Pixel Watch is Google’s first wearable device that marries together Fitbit and WearOS experiences. The Pixel Watch features an array of activity and sleep trackers to provide deep insights into health and fitness. This includes a recognition that sometimes rest is more important than another workout and will provide recommendations accordingly based on the user’s needs.
This allegedly offers Fitbit’s most advanced heartrate tracker yet. It records heartrate constantly in one second intervals. The development team touted the significant work it has put in to improve the accuracy of measurements for a variety of wearers using machine learning and other techniques to reduce noise and error in the readings. The Pixel Watch will include a 6-month subscription of Fitbit Premium as well as a 3-month subscription to YouTube Premium, presumably for music streaming.
The Pixel Watch has several design considerations to maximize its wearability. Google says its 3D domed design helps the bezels disappear and does not get in the way of shirts and sleeves. The watch also uses an internal attachment mechanism for watch bands via a twist and click. This provides both a seamless transition from watch face to band and makes swapping bands easier. Bands will be available in a variety of materials (silicon, cloth, metal, etc.) and styles to suit the user’s in-the-moment needs.
The Pixel Watch will be available in two variants. Both options offer Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, but those who wish to use the watch untethered from the phone will want to opt for the LTE edition. The Pixel Watch starts at $349 (Google Store, Best Buy), but the LTE-enabled version is only $50 more at $399 (Google Store, Best Buy).
Google Pixel 7 And Pixel 7 Pro
The headlining devices of the event are the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. The Pixel 7 features a 6.3-inch (160.5 mm) display with 1080 x 2400 FHD+ OLED display. This supports Google’s Smooth Display feature with variable refresh rates up to 90 Hz and a peak brightness of up to 1400 nits.
The Pixel 7 Pro is a little larger with a 6.7-inch (170mm) display and offers a higher resolution 1440 x 3120 QHD+ LTPO OLED display. It also supports Smooth Display with refresh rates spanning up to 120 Hz for extra fluidity. Its peak brightness is slightly higher as well with a rating of up to 1500 nits.
The Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel Tablet will use Google’s new Tensor G2 processor. Google’s coverage of the revised processor was brief but did mention that it incorporates its Titan M2 security coprocessor. The spec sheet reveals that the Tensor G2 is comprised of 2.85GHz Dual Cortex X1 “Big” CPU cores, 2.35GHz Dual Cortex A78 “Medium” CPU cores, and 1.8GHz Quad Cortex A55 “Small” CPU cores. These are backed by 4MB and 8MB of L3 and System Level cache respectively. The SoC also includes an ARM Mali G710 MP07 GPU, a next-gen Google custom TPU for AI workloads, a DSP and ISP, and the aforementioned Titan M2 security chip.
Google used the Titan M2 as a launchpad to talk about the new devices’ privacy and security features, saying that products are only as helpful as they are safe. Google highlighted that the new hardware allows more data processing to be completed locally, including the sleep tracking features of Digital Wellbeing. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro will also gain support for Google One’s free VPN service later this year. The phones are also set to receive 5 years of guaranteed security updates.
The compute engine is backed by 8 GB of LPDDR5 RAM in the Pixel 7 and 12 GB in the Pixel 7 Pro. This should be an ample amount of memory for most multitasking needs, though power users will probably want to opt for the Pro. Both models offer 128 GB and 256 GB tiers of UFS 3.1 storage, though the Pixel 7 Pro also tacks on a 512 GB tier.
Google’s primary focus was on the upgraded camera arrays in both phones. The front-facing cameras for both models are spec’d at 10.8 MP with a 92.8-degree field of view. The rear cameras both feature a 50 MP Octa PD Quad Bayer 82-degree field of view primary shooter (1/1.31” sensor) and a 12 MP ultrawide camera. The ultrawide on the Pixel 7 Pro spans a wider 125.8-degree field of view than the Pixel 7’s 114-degree field of view, but are otherwise similarly capable. The Pixel 7 Pro also adds a 48 MP Quad Bayer PD telephoto camera with a 20.6-degree field of view.
The new Pixel phones have improved Super Resolution Zoom to improve image quality when pinched in beyond a lens’s optical limits. At focal lengths between lenses, the system blends captures from the two sensors together and applies machine learning to enhance details. The Pixel 7 Pro can effectively zoom up to 30x with additional machine learning tricks applied beyond 20x zoom.
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro bring additional video processing features too. They are now able to apply a cinematic blur to backgrounds in footage using depth mapping with minimal latency. Video is also enhanced with active stabilization so users can “capture the moment, not your movement.” The stabilization extends to high-zoom applications by using AI to identify the subject and track the frame accordingly.
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are available for order now. The Pixel 7 starts at $599 (Google Store, Best Buy) and the Pixel 7 Pro starts at $899 (Google Store, Best Buy), both of which match the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro’s introductory pricing. Buyers can take advantage of carrier trade-in offers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile) as well. These will ship along with the Pixel Watch starting next week on October 13th. The Pixel 7 is available in Snow, Obsidian, and Lemongrass colors, while the Pixel 7 Pro will offer Snow, Obsidian, and Hazel as options.
Stay tuned for our full review of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro coming soon to get our full thoughts on these new devices from Google.