Google Pixel 8 launch event: all the news

Google has launched the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and Pixel Watch 2 following a steady stream of leaks — plus Google’s own teasers — that left little to the imagination.

The Pixel 8 Pro has better cameras and a brighter screen to go with a starting price of $999. Meanwhile, the standard Pixel 8 has a slightly smaller 6.17-inch display compared to its predecessor. Both phones share Google’s new Tensor G3 chipset, as well as Android 14 out of the box and a promise of seven years of OS upgrades, and are available for preorders starting today.

The Pixel Watch 2 has some design changes, too, and is available for preorder starting at $349. There’s a new crown and updated sensor array, plus some features carried over from the Fitbit Sense 2.

You can follow along with all the latest news from the Pixel 8 launch event below and watch the livestream here.

Highlights

  • Those clearer voice calls for your Pixel Buds Pro? You’ll need a Pixel 8 to get ‘em.

    Bluetooth Super Wideband is only for Pixel 8 and newer — it’s in the fine print.

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

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

  • During an onstage presentation at today’s Pixel 8 Pro launch, Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh showed off how the smartphone is able to retroactively add detail to a photograph when you pinch to zoom in. “So the kind of zoom enhancement you used to see in science fiction? It’s right in the phone in your hand,” Osterloh said after introducing the feature, which Google is calling “Zoom Enhance.”

    Osterloh is referring, of course, to the countless sci-fi movies and police procedural shows that have shown characters zooming impossibly far into photos to reveal clues and details that simply could not have been present in the original image. Often, these scenes hinge on “enhancing” unbelievably small reflections, inevitably revealing the identity of a murder suspect.

    Read Article >

  • Assistant with Bard

    Assistant with Bard

    During the Made by Google event, where it debuted new Pixel 8 and Pixel Watch 2 hardware, Google also announced it’s launching Assistant with Bard, which leverages generative AI to provide personalized assistance to users. The company says the new AI-enhanced assistant can do things like help plan your next trip, find details in your email inbox, and even create a grocery list.

    Just like Bard on the web, Assistant with Bard will integrate with some of the company’s existing apps, such as Gmail and Docs, to help you find and summarize information. Additionally, you can interact with the tool through text, voice, or images, and it will still retain some of Assistant’s key features that allow you to do things like send a text message.

    Read Article >

  • Close-up of the Pixel 8’s rear camera bar.

    Close-up of the Pixel 8’s rear camera bar.

    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.

    Read Article >

  • You can now see Google’s entire official spec sheets for the new Pixels.

    Wi-Fi 7 is limited to the US, CA, UK, EU, and AU for now.

    For both phones, the “Beyond 24-hour battery life” claim is tested “across a mix of talk, data, standby, and use of other features. Average battery life during testing was approximately 31 hours.”

    Here’s Google’s spec comparison page, too.

  • Have yourself a final bento box.

  • Google Recorder AI summaries look intriguing.

    I have a Pixel 6A that’s almost solely for Google Recorder, an incredible tool for journalists due to great real-time transcription. AI summaries… would they be useful? Exclusive to the Pro, apparently.

  • Wait for the feature drops.

    A lot of the cool stuff we’re seeing here today isn’t coming at launch. You’ll have to wait for future updates coming in December.

  • Yep, there’s a new feature called Zoom Enhance on the Pixel 8 Pro. It uses on-device processing to let you zoom in on parts of your photos and recreates fine detail. Like in the movies! It’s available in December via Feature Drop.

    Pixel 8 Pro will run some AI models on-device.

    The phone can run up to 150x more computations than the largest model on Pixel 7. Magic Eraser looks like it gets a big improvement from this on-device processing, too. It’s available right away, says Rick.

    See all our Google Pixel event live coverage

  • Osterloh, take us home.

    After all that Assistant with Bard barrage, Rick Osterloh is back onstage to give us a highlight reel of everything coming to Pixel. He’s showing off a demo of the Pixel phones creating summaries of long articles. He’s also saying the Pixel phones are the first to run foundation models directly on the device.

  • You can get a free Pixel Watch 2 if you preorder the Pixel 8 Pro.

    You can get a free Pixel Watch 2 if you preorder the Pixel 8 Pro.

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    Google announced the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro on Wednesday during its Made by Google Event, introducing it alongside the new Pixel Watch 2. Both phones will be available on October 12th starting at $699 and $999, respectively, with preorders beginning today, October 4th.

    Powered by the new Google Tensor G3, both phones should offer improved performance, audio, and voice quality. The chip also allows for new AI capabilities, like Audio Magic Eraser, which removes distracting sounds from videos. In addition, both phones now feature a max refresh rate of 120Hz and the promise of seven years of software support and Android updates. The Pro model, meanwhile, offers improved cameras and additional bells and whistles, like the ability to measure the temperature of objects.

    Read Article >

  • Assistant with Bard is “coming soon.”

    It’s coming to select testers first, then they’ll be expanding availability in the next few months. Also, it wrote a social caption for a cute puppy photo.

    Bard in the house.

    Google is shouting out its AI chatbot while we’re talking about Google Assistant. Sissie Hsiao is introducing Assistant with Bard, which will offer more generative capabilities. It can find your important emails and pull together information from different apps.

    I don’t know that I love how Video Boost looks.

    This demo of Video Boost shows how it’s supposed to make low-light scenarios much brighter. Except, to my eye, it looks kind of artificial. I lived in Tokyo for seven years, and the muddy contrast between the neon lights and dark alleys… doesn’t really feel like what I just saw. In my opinion.

  • The same as processing 1,800 photos.

    Video Boost will offload some complex video AI processing to the cloud so it can edit every frame. That’s a whole lot of data to handle from a 4K video clip. It enables more robust HDR for video as well as Night Sight Video. It’s coming via a feature drop in December.

    See all our Google Pixel event live coverage

  • Shots fired at the iPhone.

    In introducing Video Boost, Google’s just straight-up showing comparisons to the iPhone footage. Somebody in Cupertino is probably not loving that, but the folks in here are loving the extra spiciness.

    Google just casually replacing faces over here.

    Here’s a side-by-side crop of the before / after with the new Best Take feature. Would I use this? I have to admit I would; pretty hard to get the kids to sit still for a photo, and they did make those faces, after all!

  • Pixel 8 Pro gets a little extra.

    There’s a new main 50-megapixel main camera sensor, an upgraded telephoto camera, and autofocus on the selfie camera. You’ll also get access to manual camera settings in the native camera app. You hear that, Apple?

    See all our Google Pixel event live coverage

    The Google Pixel Watch 2 in its three case colors and finishes (left to right) : polished silver, matte black, and champagne gold.

    The Google Pixel Watch 2 in its three case colors and finishes (left to right) : polished silver, matte black, and champagne gold.

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    Google’s Pixel Watch has been with us for a full year now, and the surprise hit smartwatch now gets the honor of having its own iterative update. While the original Pixel Watch was a good first crack at a wearable from Google, the Pixel Watch 2 is poised to improve on it with more Fitbit-inspired health and wellness features and a claim of improved battery life.

    Google announced the Pixel Watch 2 alongside the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro at its fall Made by Google event in New York, and the new $349.99 wearable is slated to arrive soon on October 12th. Just like its predecessor, it’s being offered as a base model with Wi-Fi or with the option of a cellular LTE connection for an additional $50 (plus the usual subscription fee from your carrier of choice).

    Read Article >

  • Remember Magic Editor?

    It was announced at I/O. It’s Google Photos’ new generative AI photo editor. We saw a demo showing object removal and fully moving one element in the scene and putting it somewhere else. Oh, and you can mess with the lighting and sky. It looks intense.

    See all our Google Pixel event live coverage

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