Overnight, Google officially launched its latest Pixel 7 phone range along with the all-new Google Pixel Watch. These will be joined by a Pixel tablet, due out next year, and form a comprehensive ecosystem of phones, wearables, buds and tables. Here’s what you need to know.
Google Pixel Watch
The Pixel Watch is designed to take the health and fitness tracking features from Fitbit, which Google acquired, and combine it with the smarts and convenience of Google apps and the Google Assistant.
The watch has a more conventional circular shape rather than the square design of the Apple Watch Series 8, and features a touch screen and rotating Digital Crown. The scratch-resistant 3D domed glass blends in to the aluminum body, and it is water resistant up to 50 meters.
There has already been some feedback about the Pixel Watch’s large bezels that surround the screen and take up too much space, where the screen should otherwise be able to stretch all the way out to the edges. Still, the 1.2 inch AMOLED screen is quite bright for daytime viewing, with a 1000 nit rating. The display is also capable of an ‘always on’ mode, which is similar to the Apple Watch 8 and Samsung Watch5.
The Pixel Watch is only available in one size, 41mm, and there are three colors to choose from including Matte Black, Champaign Gold and Polished Silver. You can also mix and match your band style and colour.
In the box you get the Google Pixel Watch, Active band in large and small sizes, USB-C magnetic charging cable and Quickstart guide.
As expected, the Pixel Watch will help you get things done with with Google Assistant, Maps, Wallet, Calendar and Gmail all supported.
There’s also a 4G LTE option, meaning that you can stay connected, even when you leave your phone at home.
And thanks to the the deep integration with Fitbit, there are 40 exercise modes to track workouts and all-day activities including steps, distance with built-in GPS and Active Zone Minutes, to help you push harder.
Google Pixel Watch starts at $549 (Bluetooth/ Wi-Fi) and is available at the Google Store, Officeworks and Harvey Norman. The 4G LTE version is available for $649 at the Google Store and Telstra. Accessory bands start from $69. Pre-order the Pixel Watch from today or pick-up in store from October 13.
Google Pixel 7 Pro
The new Google Pixel 7 Pro sits at the top of the range, and offers a genuinely impressive alternative to Apple, Samsung and other Android phones.
The Pixel 7 Pro builds on the positive reputation from the Pixel 6 Pro. This year, the Pixel 7 Pro comes with a smooth 120Hz, 6.7 inch OLED screen, and a sleek design made from 100% recycled and polished aluminum.
Colour choices include Snow, Obsidian and a new Hazel colour.
Also new is Googles latest Tensor G2 chip. Like Apple, which also makes its own smartphone processor, the Tensor G2 is designed to provide high-powered artificial intelligence as well as being power efficient to maximize battery life.
Google explains that with the Tensor G2: “…we’ve improved almost every major subsystem in the chip, and we’ve designed them to work really well together to handle the nuanced and complex nature of our software and machine learning. So your smartphone is even smarter, especially when it comes to understanding speech and language.”
The helps drive new translation features including Live Translate, where you can interpret face-to-face conversations in 48 languages, chat in real time and translate menus with your camera.
Texting is also easier now with the help of Assistant Voice Typing, which turns your speech into text and automatically suggests emojis that are relevant to your messages. Emojis can now also be searched for with your voice.
The new Adaptive Battery feature should be able to last over 24 hours, with fast charging up to 50% capacity in around 30 minutes.
Google is touting the Pixel 7 Pro as the “best photo taking experience yet”. Standout photography features include:
Super Res Zoom – this allows you to take clear photos up to 30x from its 5x telephoto lens without the need for a tripod. Google says that the system is designed to achieve an optical quality similar a 10x telephoto lens, giving you the flexibility to creatively frame your shot at multiple magnifications while maintaining high image quality. Super Res Zoom can also take a 2x picture using bonafide super resolution techniques.
Night Sight – Using Machine Language and the new Tensor G2 chip, night photos are sharper and can be captured in half the time. Google says that updates to HDR+ with Bracketing help reduce noise and reduce motion blur.
Photo Unblur – this harnesses the machine learning power of the Tensor G2 chip to take the blur out of photos captured on the Pixel 7 but it supports older photos too.
Real Tone – Improved from its previous iteration, this captures realistic skin tones, especially with darker skin. Google says that it has created over 10,000 new portraits on Pixel 7 to improve Real Tone with help of partners around the world.
Macro Zoom – Like the iPhone 14 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Pixel 7 Pro has a Macro Focus mode for capturing ultra-close ups. Google says that the upgraded ultrawide lens is 21% wider than Pixel 7’s, and it also has autofocus, which powers Macro Focus. The Pixel 7 Pro can focus on a subject as close as three centimeters away, making small objects look life-size.
Guided Frame – This helps people who are blind or low-vision take selfies with confidence. The system provides “…a combination of audio cues with high-contrast animations and haptic feedback to help capture a selfie.”
Cinematic Blur – like the iPhone’s art-focused Cinematic Mode, this helps create a soft background behind the subjects that you are filming. The Pixel 7 Pro can record videos at 4K in 60 frames per second on all cameras, even the front, and uses Speech Enhancement to isolate the person speaking. There’s also advances in active video stabilization, and 10-bit HDR 10 video recording is supported.
Google Pixel 7
Google’s Pixel 7 is reminiscent of the Pixel 6, only a little more compact. It features a 6.3 inch, 90Hz display with punch hole camera cutout, a matte aluminum enclosure made from 100% recycled content, and durable Gorilla Glass Victus front and back. Colours include Snow, Obsidian and brand new Lemongrass.
The Pixel 7 also sports Google’s powerful and efficient Tensor G2 chip, along with 8GB of RAM and a dual-camera system. The camera system supports most of the features found in the Pixel 7 Pro including Real Tone, Guided Frame, Photo Unblur and improved low-light shots thanks to ‘HDR+ with Bracketing’. There’s also the new 2x photo mode, Cinematic Blur and has both wide and ultrawide lenses. What it doesn’t get is the advanced and 21% wider ultrawide lens, the new Macro Focus mode as well as the 5x Zoom that maxes out to 30x using Super Zoom technology.
Prices, on sale dates and availability
The Pixel 7 is $999, with the Pixel 7 Pro starting at $1,299. We feel that both Pixel 7 models offer great value with an impressive selection of features and cutting-edge technologies. Both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will be on sale starting October 13 and available at the Google Store, JB HI-FI, Telstra, Vodafone, Officeworks and Harvey Norman, plus coming to Optus soon. Google says that: “…you can also order cases Made by Google or from a wide assortment of Made for Google partners, all available at both the Google Store and our retail channels.”