Google poised for new push into hardware market

Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones promise improved camera features and more intelligent voice functions

Google is set for a new push into the hardware market with a range of fresh Pixel-branded products, including two new phones and a smart watch.

The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones promise improved camera features and more intelligent voice functions, with Google relying on the second generation of its chip, Tensor G2, to deliver many of the updated features. The Titan security chip has also been upgraded, with Google claiming the phone is the most secure yet.

The 6.7 inch Pixel 7 Pro, which starts at €899, has a triple camera system on the rear of the device, with a 50 megapixel wide angle lens that also facilitates macro photography, and a 48-megapixel telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom. It also features a 120Hz display. The 6.3 inch Pixel 7 (€649) does not have the telephoto lens or support macro photography, and has a 90Hz display,

Blur fix

Adding to last year’s magic eraser feature on the camera app, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro will now have the ability to fix blurred photos in your gallery, regardless of what device was used to capture the original. Both phones will also feature the Cinematic Blur mode that brings background blur and depth of field to videos.


Google says the battery life will last more than 24 hours, with the extreme battery saver mode extending that to up to 72 hours. Both phones also support fast charging, powering up to 50 per cent in under 30 minutes.

The handsets will also have accessibility features that use audio prompts aimed at guiding people who have vision difficulties to take selfies.

Transcription features

Google’s artificial intelligence and machine learning work has also been implemented throughout the new phones. The Recorder app will have the ability to label different speakers in transcriptions, and audio messages will also be transcribed automatically in the messaging app.

The company is facing fierce competition in the smartphone market, with Apple and Samsung vying for consumers’ wallets. But figures from Canalys show Google shipped three million phones in the first half of this year, a 131 per cent increase on the same period a year earlier.

The tech giant also unveiled its first Pixel-branded smartwatch, using Fitbit health sensors and workout services, Google Wallet contactless payments and turn-by-turn directions through Google Maps. The stainless-steel watch mimics a more traditional look, with a round face, and will offer an LTE version. However, the watch will be exclusive to Android users and will not support Apple’s iPhones.

The watch will come with a 24-hour battery life, and is set to go on sale on October 13th. A Pixel tablet is also on the way, although it will not be available until next year, Google said.

Earlier this week, Google unveiled the Nest wifi Pro, an update to its broadband mesh kit that adds support for the 6GHz band.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist