Technology

Google unveils new flagship Pixel phones and its first smartwatch, which has Fitbit built in

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Pixel Watch.
Google

Google on Thursday announced the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones and its first watch, the Pixel Watch. The devices were first teased during Google’s developer event in May, but the company used an event in New York City to provide more detail about each new product, such as what’s new, how much they’ll cost and when you can buy them.

The Pixel is gaining momentum, but it still has just a fraction of the phone market. During Alphabet’s earnings call for the first quarter, CEO Sundar Pichai said the Pixel Series 6 is the “fastest-selling Pixel ever” and said the company set an all-time quarterly sales record. The company hopes that it can carry that momentum with the new Pixel 7.

Pixel 7 Pro.
Google

Google makes most of its money from advertising and doesn’t report revenue directly from its hardware products. The company reports an “other” revenue segment, which includes hardware, Play Store, and non-advertising YouTube revenue. In the second quarter of this year, the company said it brought in “other” revenue of $6.55 billion for the quarter, down slightly from $6.62 billion the prior year. Conversely, Apple made $50.5 billion in iPhone revenue during its second quarter.

The Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel Watch launch Oct. 13.

Here’s what you need to know about them.

The Pixel Watch has Fitbit built in

Pixel Watch.
Google

The Pixel Watch will embed health tracking features from Fitbit, which Google acquired for about $2.1 billion.

You can use Fitbit on the watch to track workouts, how well you slept, steps taken and more. If you’ve already used a Fitbit, it will sync right up with the existing app you already have on your phone. The Pixel Watch also comes with a six-month Fitbit premium membership. The service includes access to more than 200 workouts, offers information on how sleep and heart rate trends have changed over time and more.

But, like the Apple Watch, it has smartwatch features, too. It runs the company’s Wear OS software, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store. And it ties seamlessly into Google’s products such as Wallet, Gmail, Calendar and Google Home. The Pixel Watch only works with Android phones.

Google says the Pixel Watch can last up to 24 hours on a single charge, which is six hours longer than the Apple Watch Series 8.

The Pixel Watch starts at $349.99 for Bluetooth and WiFi and $399.99 for 4G LTE. Like Apple’s Series 8, it has Emergency SOS. The company says it will add fall detection later this year.

Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro

Pixel 7 all colors.
Google

The $599 Pixel 7 and $899 Pixel 7 Pro are the first phones to run on Google’s new Tensor G2 chip. It shows Google is continuing to build its own chips instead of using a chip from Qualcomm, which it ditched last year when it launched the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The Tensor processor helps enable features that Google said it couldn’t provide otherwise, such as increased camera functions, on-device translation and more.

Google said the Pixel 7 has a 6.3-inch screen that’s 25% brighter than last year’s model for improved visibility outdoors. It’ll be offered with 128GB and 256GB of storage, which is plenty for most people, though folks who need more space to save big files such as videos should consider the Pixel 7 Pro, which ships with up to 512GB of storage.

Google’s Pixels have been known to have some of the best cameras on the market in past years. We don’t know how the Pixel 7 will match up just yet, but Google says it’s made improvements.

Google bumped the resolution of the back camera up to 50 megapixels, which should offer sharper images than last year’s phones. And, despite the cheaper price, the Pixel 7 has the same front-facing, main and ultrawide sensors as the more expensive model, but doesn’t have the added zoom lens on the back.

Pixel 7 Pro colors.
Google

The Pixel 7 Pro has a few other high-end trimmings. It has more memory, which should make apps and multitasking feel faster, and has a better display with a sharper resolution and higher peak brightness outdoors. It also has a higher refresh rate, just like the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which means scrolling through websites or playing games will look smoother.

You can order the new phones and watch beginning Thursday ahead of their Oct. 13 release.

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