Get ready to read the word “Pixel” so much that the word loses all meaning: Google has announced three Pixel devices at its annual I/O developer conference.
After an interminable 90 minutes where AI was discussed in relation to every bit of Google software you could imagine in tedious detail (you’d have been smashed if you’d decided to take a drink every time someone said the word “responsible”), we finally got onto hardware. Three Pixel devices, all powered by the same Tensor G2 chip as the Pixel 7.
One of these was leaked on Amazon’s Japanese site earlier in the week. So you can read all about the Pixel Tablet here, just replacing anything slightly tentative as definite. As Amazon kindly informed us, it will indeed be coming on June 20, and you can buy additional charging speaker docks, if you want to turn your new tablet into a Nest Hub in any room of the house. It’ll set American buyers back $499 — which is around NZ$785.
More interesting is the Pixel Fold. Rumoured to be on the way for a long time, Samsung, Oppo and Motorola now have competition from the makers of Android itself.
It’ll be a Galaxy Z Fold 4-like phone that unfolds into a larger tablet. At just 6mm thin when unfolded, Google boasts that it’s the thinnest foldable out there, and the company claims the battery will go “beyond 24 hours”. How much further beyond remains to be seen, but given other foldables struggle in that department, it’s still a selling point.
Google also claims it beats its rivals for photography thanks to a triple camera array (a main 48MP lens and two 10.8MP sensors) with 5x optical zoom. Not that big a brag given camera performance isn’t the best on the current crop of foldables, but it’s still an advantage nonetheless.
What might be more interesting is the software, which Google says is optimised for the big screen on both the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet. Given Google makes Android, this is very much in the company’s gift, and we’re apparently looking an experience that offers “effortless” split-screen multitasking.
Over 50 Google apps have been optimised for the big screen, as well as big third-party names like Disney Plus, Netflix, Minecraft and Spotify. Obviously that still leaves millions of apps that might run appallingly, but hey: it’s a start.
There’s a ‘but’, of course — and it’s absolutely enormous. The whole thing costs US$1,799, or around NZ$2,828 — only a little shy of the NZ$2,849 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, which is a bit cheeky for a first-timer.
Finally, there’s the Pixel 7a. If you’ve ever read about a Pixel a-series phone, you know what to expect: a slightly cut-back version of the flagship handset with a cheaper price tag.
But actually, this latest version is barely distinguishable from the more expensive handset, with a 64MP camera, 90Hz display and wireless charging all being introduced. Yes, the premium glass has been replaced by something a bit more plasticky, but it feels like it’s worth the lower cost of entry: US$499 — or around NZ$785.
Of course, Kiwis have historically been overlooked by Google, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the same were true with all three of these. Get ready to search for import options, if you’re keen…