Google announced several new gadgets at its I/O Developer Conference on Wednesday, including its highly anticipated Pixel Watch, a new budget phone and Pixel 6a headphones. He also teased his Pixel 7 flagship phone, which will be released this fall, and said he was working on a new tablet.
Hardware isn’t a key part of Google’s business, but that seems to be changing as it continues to release new products. Google generated $61.24 billion in ad revenue last quarter, while its “other revenue” segment, which includes hardware sales, apps and non-advertising revenue, generated $8.16 billion. But that was up from $6.67 billion in the year-ago quarter, and CEO Sundar Pichai said the Pixel smartphone hit an all-time sales record despite supply constraints.
Here is what Google announced.
The Google Pixel Watch offers similar functionality to the Apple Watch and sports a sleek, sleek look that might appeal to customers who use Android instead of the iPhone, which it doesn’t work with.
It will incorporate technology from Fitbit, allowing it to build on years of research and development from the fitness startup acquired last year. Fitbit technology will allow users to track their sleep, heart rate, and workouts.
The watch runs Google’s Wear OS software which allows users to check messages and download music. Users can also get directions with Google Maps or connect it to their smart home devices, so they can, for example, change the temperature on their thermostat or make sure the lights are off.
The company did not provide pricing, other than telling reporters on a call that it will be a high-priced product. It will be available in the fall.
Previously, other companies such as LG, Samsung, Huawei, and Fossil made watches using Google’s software.
Google also announced its range of new phones.
Google will launch its latest budget Pixel phone this summer. The Pixel 6a has essentially the same design as the Pixel 6, but will be slightly smaller and cost $449.
Google has promised an all-day battery that can last up to 72 hours in Extreme Battery Saver mode, which it says is a first for Pixel phones.
It also uses Google Tensor, so the budget phone will have the same power as the more expensive Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
The Pixel 6a will also receive five years of security updates and comes in three colors: Chalk, Charcoal, and Sage.
Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro
Google has unveiled the new Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro flagship phones. They will use the next generation of the The Google Tensor chip will ship with Android 13. The company didn’t provide pricing, but the Pixel 6 had been targeted at the mid-range market with a starting price of $599, while the 6 Pro started at $899.
The Pixel 6 has become the best-selling Pixel of all time. In the first six months of its launch, the 6 sold more units than the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 in their first six months combined. The company wants to build on this momentum, which could help Google take more share from other Android makers, such as Samsung.
Google also teased a new Android tablet that will launch in 2023 and will also run on a Tensor chip. The company didn’t provide further pricing details, but said it would be a premium product.
The company hasn’t launched a tablet since the Pixel Slate in 2018. However, some users have complained that the tablet looks more like a laptop. Prior to this release, Google struggled to use Android as a tablet operating system. Rick Osterloh, head of hardware at Google said in 2019 that its hardware team would focus on building laptops in the future, but that the company remained “long-term committed to working with our partners on tablets for all market segments”.
Pixel Buds Pro
Google also announced its new Pixel Buds Pro listeners. The Pixel Buds Pro will be available for pre-order on July 21 and hit shelves July 28 for $199.
The Buds Pro finally offer active noise cancellation, which helps block out background noise and means they’ll compete more directly with Apple’s AirPods Pro. The headphones are equipped with beamforming mics, voice accelerometer, and wind-blocking mesh covers to enable clearer calls. They will also support spatial audio, which makes music sound like it’s coming from all around you. This is a feature also offered by Apple’s AirPods.
The Pixel Buds, available in four colors (Coral, Lemongrass, Fog and Charcoal), have seven hours of listening time with noise cancellation or 11 hours without.