Google announced several new gadgets at I/O, but we haven't yet seen the Pixel 8 or new Pixel Buds.
Google announced a ton of new gadgets and services at its I/O developers conference, from the Pixel Fold to the Pixel Tablet, Android 14 and more AI features for its search engine. But if Google's history is anything to judge by, there are likely still more devices to come later this year.
The most significant product we didn't hear about at Google I/O was the expected Pixel 8 lineup, which would serve as Google's answer to the rumored iPhone 15 and Samsung's Galaxy S23 family. We also didn't hear much about the Pixel Watch at I/O, although the company typically introduces its new mobile products in the fall timeframe. There's also a chance Google could say more about the mixed reality platform it's developing in 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 later this year based on rumors and the company's previous product launches.
Google typically releases new flagship Pixel phones in the fall, and we're expecting the company to follow that same pattern in 2023. 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 have been scarce so far, but there have been a few reports claiming to provide details about Google's next pair of Pixels. The most recent comes from 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.
Google hasn't discussed plans for future Pixel Watches, nor have there been many leaks or rumors about what's next for Google's smartwatch. But since Google's Pixel phones follow a yearly cadence -- as do the Pixel Watch's biggest competitors like the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch -- it wouldn't be surprising to see the Pixel Watch follow suit. Blog 9to5Google also reports that Google is indeed planning to announce a new Pixel Watch in the fall alongside the Pixel 8 lineup.
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.
Google, Samsung and Qualcomm have teamed up on a new mixed reality platform, as Samsung announced in February. However, we haven't heard much about it since then.
"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. The announcement also comes as Apple is expected to reveal its first mixed reality headset during its Worldwide Developers Conference, which starts on June 5.
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 in the fall. 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 color options. Amazon just launched a new budget-friendly version of its Echo Buds 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 Buds A-Series, such as their lack of volume touch controls.
Google's Fitbit brand also typically releases new products in the late summer or early fall. One of the major updates we're expecting this year is the Fitbit Charge 6, considering the Fitbit Charge 5 launched in 2021. Fitbit's next main fitness tracker will look nearly identical to the Charge 5, according to 9to5Google. It also wouldn't be surprising to see the Charge 6 inherit some features from the Sense 2, such as Google Wallet support and the ability to continuously monitor for signs of stress throughout the day.
If the rumors prove accurate and Google maintains its previous product launch patterns, the fall could be a major moment for the company's wearables division. As the fall gets closer, we'll also get a better sense of how Google's new devices compare to those from Samsung and Apple. Samsung usually releases new foldable phones and wearables in the August time frame, while Apple typically debuts new iPhones and Apple Watches in September.