Pixel 8 and Other Google Products We're Still Waiting For in 2023
The Pixel 8 and Pixel Watch 2 are coming on Oct. 4, but we haven't heard about the company's mixed reality plans in a while.
Lisa EadiciccoSenior Editor
Lisa Eadicicco is a senior editor for CNET covering mobile devices. She has been writing about technology for almost a decade. Prior to joining CNET, Lisa served as a senior tech correspondent at Insider covering Apple and the broader consumer tech industry. She was also previously a tech columnist for Time Magazine and got her start as a staff writer for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide.
Google's Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel Watch 2 are right around the corner. The company teased these new products on its Google Store page, saying that they're arriving on Oct. 4, although it hasn't released any other details.
Google has already had a busy year when it comes to product launches, from the Pixel Fold to the Pixel Tablet and Android 14, all of which were announced at Google I/O in May. The Pixel 8 lineup and Pixel Watch 2 are the last major devices we're expecting from Google this year, but there are some other product lines and projects that we haven't heard about in a while. That includes its mixed reality partnership with Samsung and Qualcomm.
While Google largely laid out the vision for its approach to new products at I/O, its fall Pixel event is where we get a closer look at how the company is executing on that approach through fresh hardware. Here's a look at what we'll be watching for based on rumors and the company's previous product launches.
Watch this: Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 7A: How Do the Specs Stack Up?
Pixel 8 and 8 Pro
Google typically releases new flagship Pixel phones in the fall, and that's true yet again this year. We won't know what's in store for Google's Pixel 8 and 8 Pro until it announces those devices.
However, Google's updates have been very camera-centric in recent years, with the Pixel 7 lineup gaining improved zoom and the Pixel 7 Pro receiving a new macro photography mode. With the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, which were the first Pixels to run on Google's Tensor chips, we saw new features like Magic Eraser, Face Unblur and Real Tone. With that in mind, it wouldn't be surprising to see Google push the camera even further on the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, although we won't know exactly what that looks like just yet. Both phones will also likely have a new Tensor processor, too.
Leaks and reports claim to provide a clue about what to expect from Google's next pair of Pixels. Leaker Kuba Wojciechowski, who shared a video with the blog 91mobiles claiming to show the Pixel 8 Pro. The video suggests the phone will have a thermometer for measuring body temperature. WinFuture reports the new phones will run on Android 14 and have 12GB of RAM. Well-known gadget leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer also partnered with blogs MySmartPrice and SmartPrix to publish what are said to be renderings of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
Pixel Watch 2
Google hasn't said much about the Pixel Watch 2, aside from that it's coming on Oct. 4.
Based on Google's current direction for the Pixel Watch, we can probably expect to see the same round design on its sequel. The latest version of Wear OS will also likely make an appearance. I'm also hoping to see longer battery life and a few extra health and fitness-tracking features, such as auto-workout detection.
Blog 91Mobiles, which cites leaker Kamila Wojciechowska, suggests that may indeed be the case. The report claims the Pixel Watch 2 will have a new heart rate sensor that's more accurate, stress tracking and new safety features.
"We're working towards a new generation of computing enabled by immersive experiences across brand new form factors that will further elevate what you can do with Google," Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google's senior vice president of platforms and ecosystems, said on stage at Samsung's event.
Neither company has revealed details about the partnership yet, meaning it's still unclear what types of products will result from the collaboration or what the software will look like. TM Roh, the head of Samsung's mobile division, described the announcement as a "declarative" moment showing the company's commitment to building an XR ecosystem when speaking with CNET in February.
But Sameer Samat, Google's vice president of product management for Android, said during I/O 2023 that the company will share more about its "immersive XR" partnership later this year.
New Pixel Buds A-Series
It's been a while since Google released a new pair of Pixel Buds. If the company does have a new pair of wireless earbuds in its 2023 roadmap, there's a chance we could hear about them soon enough. Google's $99 Pixel Buds A-Series are particularly due for a refresh since the company hasn't released a new version since June 2021, aside from new coloroptions. Amazon launched a budget-friendly version of its Echo Buds in May that are competitively priced at just $50, giving Google more rivalry in the market for cheaper wireless earbuds space. While we haven't heard many rumors yet, we're hoping Google addresses some of our criticisms of the current Pixel BudsA-Series, such as their lack of volume touch controls.
If the rumors prove accurate and Google maintains its previous product launch patterns, we'll learn about Google's answer to the iPhone 15, Galaxy S23 and Apple Watch Series 9 on Oct. 4. Google has stood out in the past for its competitive prices and focus on practical features, like useful call screening and photo editing tools. We'll soon find out if Google will maintain that approach with the Pixel 8 series.