Google announces Pixel Watch, AR glasses and other devices on I/O

For most of its existence, Google was seen as a software and services company. It’s the company millions of people rely on for search, emails, and documents.

But if today’s Google I/O presentation has anything to offer, Google real wants to make sure it is also known as a hardware company.

Admittedly, Google has been building its hardware portfolio for years, but that sometimes felt like an afterthought for the company – more products coming into the Google graveyard

That really changed when the company announced the Pixel 6 and unveiled its internal processor, the Google Tensor, promising a deeper commitment to hardware on the horizon.

Normally, it would be a big deal if Google announced one or two pieces of hardware at I/O; it is a developer conference after all. Instead, the company announced: six new devices today (or seven, depending on how you count) at an event traditionally not focused on hardware launches.

Here’s what Google had to show.

The Pixel Watch

The Pixel watch is real, folks. The quasi-mythical device has finally made an official appearance today, featuring a round design with curved glass edges and silicone bands. The curved glass is somewhat reminiscent of the Apple Watch, except that it is round. It also appears to be significantly smaller than most Wear OS devices.

Google says the Pixel Watch will have a refreshed, smoother version of Wear OS, with a revamped user interface. Continuing the Apple Watch similarities, you can navigate the UI with a haptic crown, but there’s also a side button.

Other features include tight Fitbit integration for tracking your health stats, including watch faces with at-a-glance information and Emergency SOS. The latter is a feature that can alert emergency services after a car accident or fall.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a lot of other details, as the watch won’t be launched until the fall. Don’t expect it to be cheap, though: Google says it will be a “premium-priced product” and the mobile version will likely be more expensive.

The Pixel 6A

google’s Pixel 6A continues the company’s trend of affordable mid-range devices at $449, but it’s a significant departure from previous A-series Pixel phones.

Google has usually prioritized camera performance on its A-series Pixels and opted for cheaper CPU components to save money. This time, Google is taking a hint from the iPhone SE, packing its cheapest phone with its flagship processor — the Google Tensor chip — and saving money on the camera instead.

The Pixel 6A seems to use the same 12MP Sony IMX363 primary camera chip that was on every Pixel, from the Pixel 3 to the Pixel 5A. You also still get an ultra-wide camera, which appears to be the same 12MP unit found on the Pixel 6.

While some will complain about the relatively flimsy camera, I’d say it’s a smart decision given that most of Google’s cameras come from computational photography. Since the 6A will have the same Google Tensor processor as the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, most daylight shots should yield similar results.

Aside from the camera, the device has 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Thanks to the Tensor chip, you also get support for functions such as Live Caption and Live Translate. Google also promises solid battery life, claiming that the 4410 mAh battery will give you 24+ hours of normal use, and that it can last “up to 72 hours” with its Extreme Battery Saver mode.

Pre-orders start at $449 on July 21, and the device will be available July 28.

The Pixel Buds Pro

Google finally has an answer to the AirPods Pro. The Pixel Buds Pro finally adding noise canceling to Google’s lineup of headphones.

Google says it built a custom 6-core chip to power the ANC, using something called “Silent Seal” to optimize ANC for everyone’s ears and improve isolation. Of course, there’s also a transparency mode if you want to hear your surroundings instead.

The headphones also offer a degree of dynamic EQ, adjusting the frequency response. This presumably follows the same loudness contours, showing that people need much more bass at low volumes than at high volumes, for example.

Dynamic EQ is a good idea in principle, but it often gets messed up, so I hope Google gets it right. On the plus side, Google is including 5-band EQ for the first time, so you should be able to tweak the tone to your liking anyway.

Other features include multipoint connectivity for fast switching between devices and enhanced beamforming microphones that use AI to suppress noise. But I’m most excited about Spatial Audio, which unfortunately won’t arrive until later in the year.

Aside from nice features, the Pixel Buds Pro also simply lasts longer; they are rated for 7 hours of playback with ANC on, or 11 hours with ANC off. In combination with the wireless charging case, you can watch up to 31 hours of battery life.

The Pixel Buds Pro will be available for pre-order starting July 21 for $199; orders start on July 28.

The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro

Yes, you read that right: Google announced the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro at today’s event, although it didn’t reveal much about them. But at least it gave us a good idea of ​​the devices:

The devices retain much of the design language of the Pixel 6 siblings, but this time the metal frame extends to the “visor” surrounding the cameras.

The phones in particular have the same number of cameras as their predecessors, so I wouldn’t expect many changes in the optics. That said, the devices will offer “the next generation of the Tensor SoC, which will bring even more heavy-duty AI breakthroughs.”

The company says the devices will launch in the fall and run on Android 13 — because of course they will.

I have to tell you, it feels weird to see a big company show off a device so far in advance, even if it’s just a handful of images. You’re going to bankrupt leakers, Google. Speaking of…

A Pixel tablet in 2023

In 2019, Google’s Rick Osterloh said the company would “focus solely on building laptops in the future,” in response to rumors that Google was giving up on tablets.

Google today announced a tablet. See:

The tablet doesn’t have a name yet. The only things we really know about it is that it’s powered by Google Tensor and it runs Android, rather than Chrome OS like the defunct Pixel Slate.

Google says it plans to make the tablet available in 2023.

That said, we’ve heard rumors that Google is working on a Nest Hub with a detachable displayand this tablet certainly has some Nest-esque design touches (particularly the white border around the screen).

There’s no concrete evidence that the rumor is related to this announcement, but I wonder if Google plans to build a dock for the tablet that will allow it to be used as a Nest Hub; that would explain the unusual look.

AR glasses

Google CEO Sundar Pichai closed the keynote address by showing off the technology Google has in store for a slightly distant future: AR glasses that look just like regular glasses.

Don’t call it Google Glass. The AR glasses, shown in prototype form, were apparently built with the primary purpose of offering live translation.

Pichai said Google still has a “long way to go” before the glasses are released to the public, but it’s still an important revelation. Since Google abandoned Glass and Cardboard, it seemed that the company had almost given up on extended reality experiences.

Closing out the show with this new prototype suggests that Google isn’t just making the hardware to compete with where the tech industry is today; it is also investing in the future.

The unveiling of the glasses could also be interpreted as a shot across the board for Apple, which is expected to announce its first XR glasses within a year or so.

Anyway, the message is clear: Google is serious about hardware right now.

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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