Google Unveils Its First Smartwatch and New Pixel 7 Phones

Google debuted its new flagship smartphones, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, powered by updated Tensor G2 processors. The company also showcased a new Pixel Watch with built-in Fitbit. The devices were touted at Thursday’s Made by Google event in Brooklyn, following months of leaks after a developer conference preview in May. The phones run on the updated Android 13, which was rolled out to the Pixel 6 in August. The new gear ships October 13, and Google says the new phones pack five years of security updates. With 8GB of RAM, the entry level Pixel 7 phone costs $599, while Pixel 7 Pro pricing starts at $899 with 12GB of RAM (with configurations up to 512GB).

Both models support 5G on AT&T and Verizon, but T-Mobile will offer its fastest 5G only for the 7 Pro, according to CNET, which says the Tensor G2 “handles advanced image processing, expanded security (in conjunction with Titan M2) and machine learning, as well as system cache.”

The Pixel 7 features a 2x crop-mode zoom and 50-megapixel main sensor. Still-photo Unblur algorithms can be used to sharpen old photos, as well as improve faces. For the sight-impaired, there is a selfie-help mode. Cinematic Blur has been added for video (CNET compares this to Apple’s Cinema Mode). The phone records 4K at 60-frames-per-second, and has improved video autofocus and speech enhancement.

The Pixel 7 Pro has greatly enhanced camera capabilities, with “a 12-megapixel, 10x crop-mode zoom out of its 48-megapixel telephoto camera (normally a 5x zoom),” per CNET, which notes “the camera computationally zooms using the main and telephoto cameras for the range between 2.5x and 5x. The Pro also adds a macro mode using its third camera.” Google, CNET adds, “promises sharp, stabilized 30x zoom photos.”

CNBC reports that “The Pixel is gaining momentum, but it still has just a fraction of the phone market,” and reminds us that during Alphabet’s Q1 earnings call CEO Sundar Pichai called the Pixel 6 Series the “fastest-selling Pixel ever,” setting an all-time quarterly sales record.

The Google Pixel Watch is the first smartwatch designed and built by Google, which completed its Fitbit acquisition in January 2021. It marks “the first time we’re bringing together Google’s helpfulness and Fitbit’s health and fitness expertise,” per the Made by Google announcement.

The Pixel Watch features a reimagined WearOS and integration with “all Pixel and Android phones” and earbuds. An Engadget reviewer calls it “possibly the prettiest smartwatch.” (Engadget helpfully compiles all Pixel 7 event news.)

“Google also teased the Pixel tablet with a speaker dock,” CNET writes, noting that days earlier the company announced new smart home products, including “a Nest Wifi Pro mesh router with full support for Wi-Fi 6E, as well as a hardwired version of the Nest Doorbell.”

Pixel 7 Pro’s New Cameras Make You Think Twice About an iPhone, CNET, 10/6/22
The Biggest Announcements from Google’s Pixel 7 Event, The Verge, 10/6/22
Google Remembered the Phone Part of the Smartphone, The Verge, 10/7/22

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