Google announced the release date and pricing for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones and Pixel Watch 2 during its Made By Google keynote today. Generative AI natural language capabilities were also announced for Assistant with Bard.
Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will be available on October 12. The Pixel 8 starts at $699. The Pixel 8 Pro starts at $999.
Google’s second-generation Pixel Watch will be available for purchase on October 12 for $349.99 for Bluetooth/Wi-Fi or $399 for 4G LTE.
Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro specs and machine learning features
The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro (Figure A) will ship with the Android 14 operating system. Google extended support for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro to seven years. The Pixel 8 will have 8GB of RAM, while the Pixel 8 Pro will have 12GB.
Pixel 8 features the 6.2″ Actua display for 42% greater brightness compared to the Pixel 7. Pixel 8 Pro uses the 6.7″ Super Actua display for maximum brightness and realism.
Pixel 8 Pro includes a new temperature sensor. For now, the temperature sensor is useful for checking if a surface is hot enough to start cooking; Google has submitted a request to the FDA to allow its certification for use in body temperature monitoring as well.
Machine learning features enabled by Google Tensor G3 chip
Both versions of the Pixel 8 run on the Google Tensor G3 chipset, which enables Pixel 8 AI experiences using the following:
- ARM CPU.
- An improved GPU.
- A new image signal processor.
- New image graphics signal processing.
- The TPU, the device’s AI processor.
Google Tensor G3 runs twice as many machine learning models on the device compared to the Pixel 6. Google Tensor G3 can run machine learning models simultaneously, enabling new camera capabilities. Pixel 8 can send voice-to-text messages in multiple languages at the same time and read web pages out loud. Google Speech enables Call Assist, which eliminates background noise, helps you navigate phone groups, or detects unwanted calls. The Tensor chip enables improvements in video quality, including low-light video performance.
SEE: Google’s Vertex AI platform enables a variety of uses for the PaLM large language model (TechRepublic)
Google Pixel 8 Pro can run more generative AI processes on the device compared to Pixel 7; This helps with image editing when using Magic Eraser, which can trim unwanted elements from photos. An upcoming update to Recorder will have on-device generative AI on the Pixel 8 Pro for recording summaries that summarize highlights.
In the coming months, the large language model on the Pixel 8 Pro device will provide smart responses on Gboard. The Pixel 8 Pro will have a custom generative AI image model on the device, which will enable Zoom Enhance, a generative feature that creates details in distant images when you zoom. All of these features are enabled by Tensor G3 and will ship with the Pixel 8 Pro or comes with a feature available in December on the Pixel 8 Pro.
The Titan M2 security chip provides security enhancements by storing and verifying security keys. The chip’s hardware is also designed to be tamper-resistant.
Improvements in the Google Pixel Buds
Pixel Buds, the earbuds that pair with Google Pixel phones, are receiving improvements that will begin rolling out as software updates today.
- Bluetooth Super Wideband on Pixel Buds Pro for Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will improve clarity during calls and improve Clear Calling, which dampens background noise.
- Conversation Detection will automatically pause audio content when someone is speaking.
- Google Pixel Buds Pro feature reduced latency with Bluetooth for gaming.
Countries where you can buy the Pixel 8/Pro
Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will be available in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and USA.
Pixel 8 Competitors
The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro compete in the smartphone space primarily with the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Apple’s iPhone 15.
Google Pixel Watch 2 is powered by a Quad Core CPU and has improved battery life: 24 hours of battery life and a 12-hour charge in 30 minutes. Pixel Watch 2 runs on Wear OS 4.
The Google Pixel Watch 2 has a variety of health tracking features (Figure B), which includes a multi-path heart rate sensor, a skin temperature sensor and an electrodermal activity sensor, which detects stress and drives stress management techniques.
The Google Pixel Watch 2 has a low-profile design similar to the first-generation Pixel Watch, with a recycled aluminum casing, Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park noted during the Made by Google presentation.
Park also highlighted the generative AI features in the Fitbit app; He will be able to answer questions in natural language about the activities recorded by the application and generate graphs that show relevant data. The generative AI capabilities will reach trusted testers in the Fitbit Lab program early next year, with priority access for Pixel phone owners.
Countries where you can buy the Pixel Watch 2
Google Pixel Watch 2 will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States.
The two main alternatives to the Google Pixel Watch 2 are the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6.
Generative AI added to Google Assistant
Sissie Hsiao, vice president and general manager of Google Assistant and Bard, announced that Google Assistant will receive a generative AI enhancement. Google Assistant with Bard can interpret and respond to text, voice, or images. She can scan emails for the most important information and answer natural language questions about the emails. Hsiao demonstrated asking Google Assistant with Bard to create a social media post based on an image.
Google Assistant with Bard will soon be in beta testing with select users and will be generally available on Android or iOS mobile devices in the coming months.
Editor’s note: This article was updated after first publication.