Google teases future hardware: the Pixel 7, Pixel Tablet and AR Goggles

Google teases future hardware: the Pixel 7, Pixel Tablet and AR Goggles

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Google I/O today featured a million different hardware announcements, some of which were just two-minute product teases, presumably to prevent product leaks. The first is the Pixel 7, Google’s flagship smartphone that will launch later this year.

Google called the work it did with the Pixel 6 and Google Tensor SoC “a hardware foundation we’ll build on for years to come,” and the Pixel 7 is the next step on this roadmap. It will have a similar design and next-generation Google SoC. The camera bar is now polished aluminum instead of glass, which should help some of the light glare issues on the solid glass panel on the current camera bar. The Pixel 7 Pro has three cameras on the back and the Pixel 6 has two cameras on the back. Google promises that the pro will “set a completely new standard” for camera performance.

That is it. That’s how fast these plagues were. Next one!

A full recording of the phones.
enlarge A full recording of the phones.

The Pixel Tablet

The Pixel tablet, coming in 2023.
enlarge The Pixel tablet, coming in 2023.

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Google is getting very, very serious about Android tablets again. To go along with the tablet-focused Android 12L, Google has committed to launching more than 20 Android tablet apps for various Google services. It also announced a Pixel tablet! It will be the first Google Android tablet in seven years when it comes out in “2023”.

We got a spin on the device, with a widescreen design and fairly thin bezels. The back has four mysterious pogo pin connectors, probably for the rumored smart display functionality. The only other information you can get from the 30 second presentation was that the sides looked thick. Google showed the USB-C port on the bottom and there was a significant amount of space around it – usually devices aren’t much thicker than a USB-C port opening.

A side view of the Pixel tablet, it looks rather beefy considering the space around the USB-C port.
enlarge A side view of the Pixel tablet, it looks rather beefy considering the space around the USB-C port.

Ron Amadeo

That was all Google said about the Pixel Tablet. It’s been six long years since Google’s last Android tablet, the Pixel C, arrived in 2015. Even that device began as a Chrome OS product and had Android scooped it up as a last resort. The last Android tablet before Android was the 2014 Nexus 9† Neither Android tablet was well received, so Google pulled out of the tablet market for three years† In 2018, it launched the Chrome OS-powered Pixel Slate and then dropped out of the market for: three more years whenever that device not well done† Is the third time a charm?

A prototype of AR glasses

Google's prototype of AR glasses.
enlarge Google’s prototype of AR glasses.

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Next: AR Glasses?! Yes, Google was talking about AR glasses and showed a video. We must emphasize that this is not really “a product announcement” and was only introduced by CEO Sundar Pichai as “a new prototype that we have been working on”. It also doesn’t look like it’s a smartphone-replacing, multi-function device. Google showed glasses that seemed to nothing but do translations and doesn’t seem to have “apps” that have other functionality. Pichai’s introduction was focused: “Let’s see what happens when we bring our translation and transcription advances into your field of view in one of the first prototypes we tested.”

The AR device looked like mostly standard thick-rimmed glasses. In the demo, the device only listened to a spoken language and translated text would appear on the screen. The limited functionality probably helps keep the whole thing in a normal looking package.

Google did its best to prove that the AR glasses worked in real life. We just received a canned video of normal glasses with overlapping text describing the potential interface to users. Hopefully it’s not in the same vein as the original google glass concept video, which Google never came close to producing. Again, this was not a product announcement, just a glimpse of a prototype.

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