For better or worse, Google doesn’t seem to do events the way other tech companies do. While others produce flashy close-up teasers and publish mysterious invitations that aim for cryptic but usually miss the mark, Google does things like sharing full details on giant Twitter threads.

So while its October event invite was pretty vague about what to expect, the company subsequently published videos about the Pixel 8 and Pixel Watch 2 on its own YouTube platform, as it was clearly just too excited to keep them under wraps (or, less charitably: the iPhone 15 was soaking up all the headlines and Google would like some attention too, please).

Anyway, if you were slightly tempted to stay up for the 3AM NZST event, you have one less reason to. Ireland’s Three website has opened a pre-order page that confirms the phone will be available to purchase on October 4, but delivered by October 12. In other words, it looks like Google is going with the standard one-week pre-order window.

But not everyone got the memo, with the handset seemingly getting out early. As these pictures from Vietnam prove.

It looks like it’s going to be an interesting phone. While the rumoured temperature sensor on the Pro model seems a bit weird, it does look like Google will be introducing some other interesting features — like the ability to remove distracting background audio from videos and easily swap faces over multiple shots to get the perfect (if fictional) picture. 

We wouldn’t bet on it being easily accessible from New Zealand, though. In the past, Pixels have only been available for those with the budgets and patience to import. Hopefully Google will change the habit of a lifetime and make its latest handset available directly to Kiwis, but it’s probably not worth holding your breath. We’ll find out next week.

Alan Martin
Alan is an experienced and versatile writer with the unique distinction of having written for both The New Statesman and Nuts. The list of publications Alan has written for doesn't stop there. His work has also been published in: Wired, CNET, Gizmodo UK, ShortList, NME, TechRadar, The i, The Independent, The Evening Standard, City Metric, Macworld, Pocket Gamer, Expert Reviews, Coach, The Inquirer, Rock Paper Shotgun, Tom's Guide, T3, PC Pro, IT Pro, Ideal Home, Livingetc, Stuff, Business Insider, theBit, Wareable, and Trusted Reviews. Alan now covers a range of subjects for ReviewsFire, with a focus on news - his unique style of covering technology news is a key part of ReviewsFire's success.

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