Every year, Google shows off its latest flagship smartphones at its annual Made by Google event. This year was no different, as Google's big Pixel launch for 2023 took place on Wednesday when the company took the stage to launch its latest Pixel devices and software upgrades.
The star of the show was the Pixel 8, of course, but the company had some other hardware to show off, such as its new and improved smartwatch. We also got to take a look at some new software updates and cool new generative AI features coming to devices soon. There was quite a bit to see, so here's a roundup of the biggest announcements from the Made by Google 2023 event.
Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro
The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are here, and they represent the latest efforts from Google to show off its AI prowess. The Tensor G3 chip powering the phones increases its machine learning capabilities tenfold, enabling some impressive new features, allowing users to magically edit their photos, boost their videos, or adjust the volume levels of their footage.
The Pixel 8 gets a Macro Focus and a new display with a 120Hz refresh rate, while the Pixel 8 Pro gets exclusive access to certain features like a full suite of Pro camera controls. The phones also get 30W wired charging via USB-C.
However, the best part is that Google promises to provide a whopping seven years of support. That includes OS upgrades, security patches, and Feature Drops... all for seven years. That's more than the iPhone!
The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are available for preorder now and retail for $699 and $999, respectively.
Google Pixel Watch 2
The Pixel Watch is back, and it's better than ever. With the new Pixel Watch 2, Google has swapped the chipset for a Snapdragon W5 Gen 1, which promises faster performance and better efficiency. Not not only does the watch perform better, but it also does health and fitness tracking better, thanks to the improved sensors on the bottom of the device. This enables temperature sensing and more accurate heart rate monitoring, which are fed into the new and improved Fitbit app.
The Pixel Watch 2 also runs Wear OS 4, so it's able to take advantage of the latest features, apps, and software enhancements. Later this year, it'll also gain access to the latest Call Screen features coming to the Pixel 8 series.
The Pixel Watch is currently available for preorder and starts at $349 for the Wi-Fi-only model, while the LTE model starts at $399.
Google Pixel Buds
Google may not have launched a new pair of earbuds, but it brought some noteworthy updates to the current Pixel Buds Pro. In addition to new colors to match the Pixel 8 Pro, the buds are getting a suite of new features to enhance their capabilities.
Among them is Conversation Detection, a feature that will automatically pause your music and put your earbuds into transparency mode when it detects you're speaking to someone. Then, when the conversation stops, it'll resume your tunes without any input from you. Other features aim to improve call quality, latency, and hearing wellness.
You can pick up the Pixel Buds Pro now for $199.
Android 14, Pixel Feature Drop
Yes, after a rather long wait, Google is finally pushing the stable Android 14 update to Pixel devices. The update isn't a major overhaul or anything, but it brings a number of notable features, like more customization options for the lock screen, AI-generated wallpapers, new accessibility features, Ultra HDR support, and more.
But that's not all. In addition to Android 14, Google is also pushing the latest Pixel Feature Drop, which brings even more features to eligible devices. This includes a dual-screen interpreter mode for the Pixel Fold, an updated Google Camera UI that lets you easily toggle between photo and video modes, and a new notice that warns users if the device is charging slowly due to the cable or adapter.
The Pixel 4a 5G and newer are eligible for the Android 14 update, and it should arrive on devices starting Wednesday. You can check for the update by navigating to Settings > System > System update.
Google Assistant and Generative AI
One announcement we did not expect was that Google is bringing Bard to the Assistant. While we knew it would happen down the road, we didn't know when this would be ready, but it seems Google is making some headway after its showing at the Made by Google event.
Assistant with Bard aims to make it much more conversational and capable than before. It'll be able to summarize emails for you, tap into Google Maps for directions, follow complex queries, and even make recommendations based on visual cues. Of course, this is in addition to all the regular things Google Assistant can already do, but with Bard, it feels like a much more personal and fully featured AI. And we expect this will get even better with the Memory feature that was recently uncovered.
Assistant with Bard will be available on Android phones and iOS devices "in the coming months."
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.