Now that we’ve seen the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, it’s time to turn our attention toward what’s coming next. While grabbing this year’s Google flagships is a good option, the excitement of the upcoming Pixel 9 is more exciting. The Google Pixel 9 is just around the corner. With Google’s knack for leaks, catching a glimpse of it in action might be sooner than expected. Let’s dive into everything we’ve gathered about the upcoming Pixel 9.
Google Pixel 9 release date
Google has consistently chosen the first week of October for unveiling its new Pixel hardware, and there’s no hint of a shift in this pattern. The Made By Google 2024 event is likely to take place in early October, with the devices hitting store shelves about a week after the official announcement. However, if you’re eager for new hardware or looking for a more budget-friendly option, keep an eye out for the earlier release of the Pixel 8a, expected to arrive earlier in the year.
Pixel 9 design
According to Ross Young, the upcoming Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro are expected to feature larger screens compared to their predecessors. This information comes despite the positive reception of the Pixel 8’s slim design this year. However, it remains to be seen whether this prediction holds true. The exact dimensions of the devices are yet to be confirmed.
Google plans to prioritize AI-powered processing and software innovations over raw hardware for its camera phones. In the Pixel 8 series, Google made slight changes to the sensor lineup. However, they upgraded without disclosing specific details about the new hardware. Most reports suggest that the latest main camera is likely the ISOCELL GNV from Samsung.
The Pixel 9 lineup will have potential new hardware improvements. The Pixel 8 is still awaiting the rollout of all its new features, including Video Boost.
A possible zoom lens
Now that Google has increased the price of the Pixel 8, bringing it closer to premium phones, we believe its next version should match up with its closest competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S24, especially in terms of the number of camera lenses. The Galaxy S23 has a 3x optical zoom lens along with a main and ultrawide lens, while the Pixel 8 only has the latter two.
Even though Google claims its Super Res digital zoom is as good as a dedicated lens, adding one would help distinguish the mainline Pixel from the A-series devices. It’s possible that the Pixel 9 Pro could offer better optical zoom with a 5x telephoto lens, giving a reason to choose the pricier model.
Google Pixel 9 specs
It’s highly likely that the upcoming Google smartphones, including the Pixel 9, will run on the Tensor G4. Originally designed to be Google’s first custom in-house chipset, recent reports indicate a delay in those plans until 2025, possibly with the Pixel 10. The Tensor G4, identified by its “Zuma Pro” codename, is expected to provide a modest improvement over the Tensor G3.
Contrary to initial expectations of using TSMC’s 3nm node, the G4 will continue to be a modified Samsung Exynos chipset, maintaining its connection with Samsung’s foundry, as observed in previous iterations. We don’t have information about how big the battery is or how fast it charges, but we do know that a key Google hardware expert is part of the Wireless Power Consortium. This hints that the Pixel 9 will likely use the Qi2 wireless charging standard.
For those who prioritize raw performance, it might be worth waiting to see if the Pixel 10 introduces the long-rumored fully custom in-house chip. Historically, Google’s hardware has not matched the powerhouse performance of competitors like Apple or Samsung, but there’s potential for a change in 2025 if the current schedule holds true.
Faster Charging with Qi2 wireless
Google hasn’t made its phones charge faster for a long time, especially when other companies are regularly releasing devices with much higher charging speeds. The official maximum of 30 watts isn’t very fast, and it’s unclear if the newest Pixels actually charge at that speed. It would be great to see an increase to at least 65 watts, which is what Samsung seems to be planning for the Galaxy S24 series. If Google adopts Qi2 wireless charging, it would also bring them in line with Apple’s support for MagSafe-style accessories.
Google Pixel 9 price
Following the $100 price hikes for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, it’s likely that the Pixel 9 series will maintain these prices for at least one more generation. This can also be observed with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7. However, given the uncertainties related to global inflation, there is a risk of seeing higher prices year-over-year. It’s reasonable to estimate that the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro will be priced around $700 and $1,000, respectively. These figures align with the recent pricing trends for Google’s flagship smartphones.
The Pixel 9 series is set for expansion. Besides the standard Pixel 9 (no specific codename) and the Pixel 9 Pro (“komodo”), Google aims to launch a smaller Pixel 9 Pro version. Anticipating a 6.3″ display, this model, codenamed “caiman,” is expected to be effectively the size of the current Pixel 7. Despite its compact size, it aims to offer all the features that usually lead users to choose the larger model. This strategy mirrors Apple’s approach. And Google is aiming to replicate the success seen with phones like the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro will be the first phones launching with Android 15 straight out of the box. This is a similar pattern to how the Pixel 8 series introduced Android 14. And it’s too early to predict the specifics of the next major Android upgrade. The developer previews begin in February 2024 before the official launch event. Google is likely to reserve the most exciting features as exclusives for its hardware.
The Pixel 9 series is expected to follow the pattern of the Pixel 8 and enjoy seven years of OS updates. It will also ensure support until 2031. This could offer excellent value in terms of smartphone longevity.
Google Pixel 9 colors
Google usually offers fun colors for both the regular Pixel and Pixel Pro. Last year, the Pixel 8 came in a pretty Rose color, and the Pixel 8 Pro had a stunning Bay blue.
It would also be great to see Google bring out a purple or even a bold red color, maybe for the Pixel 9 Pro. Something unique and different from the usual black and white options would add a fun touch to the lineup.
Google has a track record of introducing unexpected features with new Pixel launches, so there’s always room for surprises. In the Pixel 8 Pro, they introduced a novelty temperature sensor. While potentially a gimmick, it adds a unique touch not found in other smartphones.
For the Pixel 9, it’s possible that Google might enhance the base model’s storage capacity. Currently available in 128GB or 256GB, they could potentially increase it to 512GB. This will especially be true if there are advanced camera upgrades.
A dark mode
Many phones claim to have a dark mode, but it’s often not as dark as we’d want. Unfortunately, Pixel phones, in particular, are not great when it comes to this. We hope Google can provide a real “lights out” dark mode where the background is pitch black instead of the dark grey they’ve been using for a long time. This would not only improve battery life but will be great for people who are sensitive to display flickering.
Option to Reduce Flickering
As display brightness levels increase every year, many companies are turning to OLED displays that use Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) instead of traditional dimming methods. Unfortunately, some people are quite sensitive to the flickering caused by this technology. While there are some tricks, the ideal solution is for manufacturers to provide a flicker-reduction option. Companies like Motorola already use this feature on phones. And we know Google has the capability to implement it as well.
In terms of other surprises, possibilities are wide open. Google might bring back features like Active Edge. This would allow users to squeeze the phone to activate Google Assistant. Another potential move is the revival of Soli for hands-free gestures, like the Pixel 4. The Pixel series is known for innovatively surprising its users. And there’s no reason to doubt that this trend will continue with the Google Pixel 9.