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Google Pixel 8 launch event: the 7 biggest announcements

Google Pixel 8 launch event: the 7 biggest announcements


From the Pixel 8 to the Pixel Watch 2, here are all the biggest announcements from Google’s product launch event.

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Google’s latest Pixel launch event has come to an end. Even though some of the products Google revealed were leaked well in advance, the company still managed to throw in a couple of surprises.

Here are all the biggest announcements from the Made by Google event.

The Pixel 8 Pro gets a price bump and a temperature sensor

Bay blue Pixel 8 Pro showing front and back on a blue background.
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Google has officially announced the Pixel 8 Pro, and it comes with quite a few upgrades. That includes a Tensor G3 chipset, along with an updated rear camera array with a 50MP main sensor, a 48MP telephoto lens with 5x zoom, and a 48MP ultrawide camera. It will even have a new Zoom Enhance feature that can retroactively add detail to an image when you pinch to zoom in.

The Pixel 8 Pro also comes equipped with a temperature reader that Google says you can use to accurately measure the temperature of surfaces, objects, and — soon — maybe even your body. While the flagship device will retain the same 6.7-inch display as its predecessor, it will feature LTPO technology and a peak brightness of 2,400 nits.

All those features bump up the Pixel 8 Pro’s starting price to $999, making it $100 more expensive than the Pixel 7 Pro. It comes in black, porcelain, and light blue and is available to preorder today. Shipping is expected to start on October 12th.

A smaller but more powerful Pixel 8

A Pixel 8 face up on a table.
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

The new Pixel 8 is getting a performance boost thanks to the addition of Google’s G3 Tensor processor. With a 6.2-inch OLED display, the phone is slightly smaller than its predecessor. Although this display isn’t LTPO like the Pixel 8 Pro, it still offers an upgraded 120Hz refresh rate with a peak brightness of 2,000 nits.

Additionally, the Pixel 8 will feature a two-camera setup with an upgraded 50MP main camera and 12MP ultrawide camera. Both the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will also get access to the new AI-powered editing features within Google Photos, including Magic Editor and Best Take.

Despite the smaller display, the Pixel 8 is also getting a $100 price hike like the Pixel 8 Pro, bringing its starting price to $699 (or $799 if you purchase it from Verizon). The Pixel 8 will come in rose, black, or hazel, with preorders starting today and shipping expected to start on October 12th.

The Pixel Watch 2 gets more sensors and a better processor

Side view of the Pixel Watch 2
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Although the Pixel Watch 2 may not look all that different from the original Pixel Watch, it comes with a lot of improvements, such as the more efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 processor that allows for up to 24 hours of battery life even with always-on display turned on.

There are new sensors for skin temperature and continuous electrodermal activity that enable a new stress-detecting feature as well as a way to automatically record workout starts and stops for seven activities. The Pixel Watch 2 also has a new multi-path heart rate sensor that takes your heart rate in more ways and places.

You can preorder the Pixel Watch 2 today, which costs $349.99 for the GPS version and $399.99 for the LTE one. It will come in silver and blue, silver and white, gold and hazel, and all-black, with shipping expected to start on October 12th.

New colors and features for the Pixel Buds Pro

An image of the new blue and porcelain Pixel Buds Pro.
Image: Google

The Pixel Buds Pro are getting a couple of new colors to match the Pixel 8 lineup: light blue and porcelain. But new colors aren’t the only updates the buds are getting, as Google announced that it’s also rolling out conversation detection, which will automatically pause your audio and turn on transparency mode when it detects that you’re speaking.

Google is also trying to improve voice call quality with the addition of Bluetooth Super Wideband, which it says should make you sound “fuller and clearer.” The Buds Pro will also support Google’s Clear Calling feature that helps to reduce background noise on calls. Both features will be available in an upcoming firmware update.

The new blue and porcelain Pixel Buds Pro will cost $199.99 — the same price as the other colors in the lineup — and are available to preorder now.

The arrival of Android 14

android 14 header with three phone screenshots
Image: Google

Android 14 is finally here, offering improved passkey support, a new health tracking feature, and several customization updates. One neat personalization feature arriving with Android 14 is AI wallpaper generation, which you can use to create a new background by simply describing an image.

The latest version of Google’s operating system will be available to Pixel phones 4A 5G and newer first, while phones from other companies, including Samsung, Nothing, and OnePlus, will add support “later this year.”

Seven years of software updates for the Pixel 8

Model holds Pixel 8.
Image: Google

Alongside the launch of the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, Google has announced that it will offer seven years of “OS, security, and Feature Drop updates” for both phones. That means Pixel 8 users can expect to get updates until the year 2030. Google previously only offered up to five years of security updates and three years of Android updates on older Pixel models.

An AI-enhanced Google Assistant

Image: Google

Google is launching Assistant with Bard, an AI-enhanced version of the personal assistant that’s coming to Android and iOS “in the coming months.” The tool will integrate with Google’s apps like Gmail and Docs and will be able to help you do things like create a caption for a photo, create grocery lists, and find information in your email inbox.

Update October 4th, 1:56PM ET: Updated to clarify that the Pixel 8 starts at $799 when purchased from Verizon.