Google’s popular I/O developer’s conference kicked off yesterday, and they pulled no punches during the event. They announced a slew of new software coming to Android, but the hardware was singularly the show’s highlight. In addition to announcing a new Pixel Tablet, AR Glasses, and Pixel Buds Pro, Google also teased the Pixel 7 line and officially announced the Pixel Watch.
This year’s Pixel devices have been polarizing, to say the least. Despite boasting an excellent, premium feeling design and the first generation Google Tensor chipset, the Pixel has been marred with software issues since its launch. Owners have reported everything from glitchy displays to poor camera quality, to inconsistent battery life. Perhaps the biggest beef on the device overall is the insanely slow in-display fingerprint reader.
Despite the consumer complaints about the Pixel 6 (specifically, the Pixel 6 pro), Google says the device has outsold the Pixel 4 and 5 combined. Even without releasing EXACT sales figures, that’s a pretty impressive feat and shows that Google hardware is moving in the right direction. After checking out the brief Pixel 7 and 7 Pro announcement yesterday, the company is intent on continuing to elevate the design of the Pixel line even further.
For starters, there’s a slightly revamped camera assembly on the rear of the Pixel 7. The giant rectangular glass camera bump has been replaced by a single piece of aluminum, while the lenses themselves have moved into a pill-shaped arrangement. The aluminum camera housing blends directly into the side of the device, and the Pixel 7 will retain a dual camera setup, while the 7 Pro will have a triple lens system.
In addition to the Pixel 7, Google also finally unveiled the long-rumored Pixel Watch. It was inevitable that Google would eventually release its own wearable tech given the popularity of the Apple Watch. After acquiring fitness wearable company Fitbit, we’d all assumed a Pixel branded smartwatch was coming, but after a year and a half of stop and go filings and leaks, it appeared plans for a Pixel Watch had been scrapped. Google put those rumors to rest yesterday by briefly showcasing the Pixel Watch which will release alongside this Pixel 7 later this fall.
The Pixel Watch has a domed circular display, a tactile digital crown, and a side button. You’ll have access to notifications, turn-by-turn navigation, and an improved version of Wear OS 3. Taking a page out of Apple’s playbook, the Pixel Watch will have proprietary bands, but like the Apple Watch, expect the third-party options to be plenty. It will also be available in Cellular or Bluetooth-only models.
While full details and specs on both devices are currently scarce, expect to see them start to leak out within the coming weeks and months. Check out the full keynote below: