The Pixel 9 looks set to gain new connectivity option thanks to new modem

A set of leaked renderings depicting the Pixel 9 Pro.
(Image credit: MySmartPrice)

What you need to know

  • The Pixel 9 Tensor G4 may debut a new Samsung Modem 5400.
  • The modem will support 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN), bringing satellite connectivity to the next Google flagships.
  • A new 5G tablet is reportedly in the works, along with the same SoC and modem.

The Pixel 9 is Google's highly anticipated flagship series, which will likely be launched this fall. Ahead of the launch, the devices are tipped to bring satellite connectivity, which could help popularize the feature on Android after Apple launched it on the iPhone.

According to Android Authority, which has gathered information from a Google insider, the upcoming Pixel 9 series will see some essential modem upgrades, likely bringing satellite connectivity to both flagship models.

The publication notes that the new modem will also make its way to the next-gen Pixel Fold and an unknown 5G tablet from the search giant — the details of which are yet to be determined. 

While we already figure that the Tensor G4 will power the Pixel 9 series and the Pixel Fold 2, it will feature this new satellite-enabled modem dubbed Samsung Modem 5400. For now, apart from the moniker, very little is known about the new modem, and it is expected to be significantly faster and more power-efficient than the current iteration, the Samsung Modem 5300, which is seen in the Pixel 8 series through the Tensor G3 chipset.

However, the new modem supports 3GPP Rel. 17, which translates to support for 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN), bringing satellite connectivity. 

Android 15 logo in hand

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The latest findings come in conjunction with an alternative satellite messaging service, which was recently spotted in Android 14 beta and is likely to be included in Android 15, which presumably debuts with the Pixel 9 series out of the box. We have also seen proof that Google Messages is also preparing to support satellite messaging.

It is encouraging to see satellite connectivity possibly arriving on upcoming flagship Android phones after Apple debuted the feature on its latest iPhones. While satellite communication isn't likely the defining factor of the Pixel 9 series for users who want to buy them, it is still a welcome addition.

As for the unknown tablet from Google, Android Authority states that it is still in the early stages of development and is codenamed "clementine." It is believed to have the identical Tensor G4 next to the aforementioned new 5G modem. The launch timeline of the Android tablet also needs to be determined.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.