Pixel 8 Pro, Pixel Watch 2 and everything to expect from the Google event

Estimated read time 5 min read

Pixel 8 Pro, Pixel Watch 2 and everything to expect from the Google event

The Little Island, next to Google’s new Pier 57 office in New York. Picture: June Wan/ZDNET.

While almost all the major technology groups made their announcements in September, Google is organizing its back-to-school event today.

On the program: the highly anticipated Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, the Pixel Watch 2 and new Pixel Buds Pro. It may even be that Google has a surprise in store for us…

While waiting for the event, here’s what we know about the upcoming announcements.

1. Pixel 8 and 8 Pro

It was hoped that Google would present the Pixel 8 range during the I/O conference this year, much like it did with the Pixel 7 series last May, but this did not happen. Nevertheless, the latest Pixel have ended up being leaked a few weeks before their official launch.

Several promotional documents, in particular complete screenshots of the presentation page of the Pixel 8, have been discovered by our colleagues at 91mobile. They list pretty much everything there is to know about the Pixel 8 series. But it may be that Google announces something else at its back-to-school event.

If you are not afraid of spoilers, here is the list of the main features and novelties of the Pixel 8 series. Officially, nothing has yet been confirmed by Google before today’s event.

At first glance, the Pixel 8s look a lot like last year’s models. However, leaked renderings and several grip images have indicated a rounder device, with curved edges and corners on both devices. The camera bar is just as polarizing as the previous one, the Pixel 8 Pro having a three-lens configuration and the standard Pixel 8 having only two – a wide-angle sensor and an ultra-wide.

The edges of the new Pixel devices also seem thinner than ever, granting users a larger screen area. This will be particularly appreciated on the standard Pixel, because this year it benefits from a noticeable improvement in its refresh rate, which goes from 90 Hz to 120 Hz.

Google should follow its competitors and their announcements last month by placing AI at the center of its Pixel 8 devices. New photo and video features are coming to this series: Video Boost, which uses its Night Sight technology to better record videos in low-light environments; Audio Erase, which removes unwanted background noise from a video; and even a Magic Editor tool, exclusive to the Pro model, which allows you to exchange in a group photo.

The leaked data sheet also suggests that the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will be equipped with 4,600 mAh and 5,100 mAh batteries, respectively, and powered by a new Tensor G3 chipset. What are the exact gains achieved with the new generation processor? It’s a safe bet that Google has customized the chip to help it with all the AI features mentioned above.

The big question that arises now is that of the price: Will Google charge the new Pixels at the same price as last year’s – ie 649 and 899 euros – despite these improvements? Answer in a few hours.

2. Pixel Watch 2

Picture: Jason Cipriani/ZDNET.

Last year, Google unveiled its first connected watch, the Pixel Watch. Naturally, like all first-generation products, many problems have been reported: a rather average battery life, a software full of bugs and a finish that leaves something to be desired compared to the best models from Apple and Samsung.

According to rumors, the Pixel Watch 2 should look like the first one, with a circular watch face and extractable watch straps to fit. An article by 91mobiles, on the other hand, mentions several changes under the hood, mainly focused on sports and health :

  • an improved heart rate sensor, which is both more accurate and faster ;
  • a stress management system powered by Fitbit and based in part on the detection of sweating, heart rate variability and skin temperature ;
  • a wider variety of activity tracking, including cycling and running, with automatic detection of training sessions ;
  • the “Safety Check”, a new feature allowing users to program a timer when they move from one place to another. If the user does not respond to the watch prompt at the end of the delay, an SOS message will be sent to his emergency contact list.

Since the original Pixel Watch was the first of its kind, the Pixel Watch 2 should be more refined. And, hopefully, with a more dynamic integration of Fitbit’s sports and health functions. The sharing of resources between brands is of obvious interest, as demonstrated by the latest Fitbit Charge 6.

3. Pixel Buds Pro

This is no joke, Google should release an updated version of its Pixel Buds Pro, released last year. In any case, this is what the teaser video of today’s event suggests.

What will be the changes of the new Buds Pro? A new color – or even several – is a guarantee, the teaser showing a porcelain-style finish that will probably match the same color on the Pixel 8 and the Pixel Watch 2.

Inside the headphones, software improvements regarding sound performance and noise cancellation could be made. Regarding the price, Google should set it at the same price as last year’s model, which is 219 euros.

How to follow the event?

The event will take place today Wednesday, October 4 in New York and will be broadcast live from 16 hours (French time) on Google’s YouTube channel.

Source: ZDNet.com

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