Google Pixel 7A lands with 90Hz adaptive refresh rate, wireless charging and potent camera module

The long-anticipated Google Pixel 7A smartphone has now been officially introduced at the I/O 2023 annual developer conference’s keynote event. Keeping in mind the competitive landscape with strong contenders such as Galaxy A54 5G and OnePlus 11R. Google had to offer something compelling and that’s what they’ve done with the new value-oriented Pixel smartphone.

The device is hard to distinguish from the Pixel 7 that was released last fall with its aluminum camera island and metallic side rails. Only if one notices closely, the camera bump on this one is a bit thinner. Most importantly the new release is quite a few levels increment over the Pixel 6A and that too at a $100 lower price bracket. Along with this Google also announced the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet at the event, so quite a lot to look forward to for prospective buyers.

Designer: Google

For starter, the Pixel 7A has a 90Hz refresh rate screen option for a smoother user experience. A very common complaint that Pixel 6A users and critics shouted out loud since it is a basic feature nowadays. The device also comes with wireless charging capability and face unlock feature that should lure more buyers into the Google ecosystem.

Another added perk is the presence of Tensor G2 processor that also powers the guts of the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro flagship costing $599 and $899 (unlocked version) respectively. That means the Pixel 7A will have same software trickery up its sleeve like voice-to-text, image Real Tone processing and Photo Unblur features.

The phone gets IP67 water and dust resistance rating and the 6.1-inch 1080p OLED display gets Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. This size is just right for small-handed people as compared to the 6.3-inch Pixel 7. The camera setup on the smartphone is impressive as predicted with a 64MP primary sensor and a 13MP ultrawide shooter. Pixel devices are known for their camera prowess and 7A ups the ante with a higher resolution than the Pixel 7. The front-facing camera is also better with 13MP resolution.

The 128GB storage and 8GB of RAM could have got any other variant in 256GB configuration but we aren’t complaining. Google bringing many premium features at a lesser price tag of $499 to its devices is a clear sign it wants to compete for the bigger chunk of the market.

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Google Pixel Tablet tries to redefine tablets with a homier design

Perhaps save for the Apple iPad Pro and its equivalent Samsung Galaxy Tab S, there are still some people who are not yet sold on what a tablet is for. Some simply see it as a larger phone, which has become less relevant these days thanks to larger phones and foldables. Others treat them like the next step from laptops, at least those that are powerful enough or can run the apps they need. Most, however, probably still can’t find a purpose or even a need for a tablet in their lives, so Google is trying to provide yet another possible answer. With its new Pixel Tablet, it’s practically saying that devices are meant to stay at home to keep you company and keep you connected to other people without ever having to step outside.

Designer: Google

If you were looking for the next step in the evolution of tablets, especially in design, you might come off very disappointed with the new Google Pixel Tablet. Compared to the likes of the iPad Pro or the Microsoft Surface Pro, the 11-inch Google tablet seems almost nondescript and might even look too plain. It meets Google’s intended purpose for the tablet, though, which is to never leave home and to almost stay attached to its speaker stand.

Together, the Pixel Tablet and its Charging Speaker Dock do make a minimalist couple that would actually look at home in your, er, home. If the basic design language of muted colors and fabrics seems familiar, it’s because it’s the same language that the Google Nest family of smart home devices speaks. In fact, the Pixel Tablet and the Nest Hub Max look almost too identical, except for the fact that you can detach the Pixel Tablet when you want to watch a video more comfortably.

Therein lies the purpose of the Pixel Tablet, which despite its name, is really meant more to be a Smart Home Display with a detachable display. You can use it to control your smart appliances, whether via touch or voice, and you can use it to chat with others on a screen larger than your phone. But when you want to sit back and binge or play games, you simply detach the tablet and carry on.

In any other context, especially outdoors, the Pixel Tablet would look almost boring, though thankfully, it isn’t as plain inside as you might expect. When it comes to hardware specs, Google didn’t really hold back in giving the Pixel Tablet much-needed power. The screen is a bright 2560×1600 LCD panel, and the entire party is run by a Tensor G2 processor, accompanied by 8GB of RAM. The Charging Speaker Dock has a 43.5mm full-range speaker inside and can charge the tablet through pogo pins at a maximum 15W rate.

The Google Pixel Tablet is now available for pre-order for $499, and it fully launched on 20. You can’t buy the tablet alone, but, amusingly, you can buy just the dock for $120 in case you need extras around the house. While the Pixel Tablet’s design and purpose might sound underwhelming compared to the competition, it definitely has some muscle to make it useful for more than just home use. Perhaps more importantly, its arrival comes with Google’s commitment to really push for developers to make Android apps work better on larger screens, a commitment that will hopefully last beyond the lifetime of this device.

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Google Pixel Fold’s first real renders reveal a remarkably thin hinge

Although Google has not yet officially confirmed the release of its foldable smartphone, there have been numerous leaks and rumors about the Google foldable phone, supposedly called the Pixel Fold, which could look something like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold series.

Google is almost certainly going to launch the Pixel 7a at Google I/O 2023 on May 10. There are no two ways about it. According to recent reports, the search engine giant could also release its foldable smartphone at the event with June as the likely launch date.

Designer: Google

Mock-up renders of the Pixel Fold have been polluting the internet for quite some time now. But it’s only now that the first images of what appear to be official renders of the Pixel Fold have been shared on Twitter by reliable leakster Evan Blass.

These almost real render images of the much-anticipated Google Pixel Fold provide us with a clearer idea of what the device may look like. The images show both the folded and unfolded forms of the phone, suggesting that the Pixel Fold could have a remarkably thin hinge with a small gap between the two halves.

In comparison to the other foldable devices currently available, the Pixel Fold appears to be very slim. Further, Evan’s tweet reveals the Pixel Fold is 5.5 inches tall and measures half and inch thick when folded; when unfolded the phone is only 0.2 inches thick. Featuring a 9.5MP front camera with an 84-degree field of view, the phone would have an additional 8MP camera on the inside.

While these images are not official, Evans is known for his accurate leaks, making it highly likely that the Pixel Fold will look similar to what we see in these renders. It is expected with IPX8 water resistance in Obsidian or Porcelain for almost $1,799.

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Pixel Fold renders dream up Google’s next big thing

Google seems to be gearing up to expand its Pixel brand, starting with the shiny new Pixel Watch launched last month. The company also already confirmed that it will be launching its first Pixel-branded tablet next year, and it seems to be taking a rather different course from typical slates like the Apple iPads and the majority of Android tablets. One thing it hasn’t confirmed yet at this point is a foldable device that many are sure is happening next year as well. While nothing is official yet, these beautiful renders and bits of information do paint an almost complete picture of what is being called the Pixel Fold, suggesting that it’s going to be just as divisive as any other foldable phone in the market.

Designer: Jon Presser (Front Page Tech)

Almost everyone is expected to launch a foldable phone these days, including Apple, which is highly unlikely at this point. The reality is that, despite all the buzz and hype, foldables are still seen as an eccentric luxury, a very expensive experiment in what the future of mobile could be. Ironically, that’s exactly the perfect chance for Google to step in with its own take on a foldable Android device, only to announce its retirement a year or two later.

Whether it happens sooner rather than later, these renders, all based on leaked information, represent a close possibility of what the Pixel Fold could look like. Admittedly, it looks very classy and professional, especially with its sparkling chrome edges and reflective glass back. When folded, the external screen looks big enough to be a regular-sized “phablet” or giant phone. Unfolded, however, it means that it would be more square than a typical tablet. There is also no gap near the hinge when the phone is folded, unlike the Galaxy Z Fold series, which isn’t exactly that novel considering that the OPPO Find N and the Huawei Mate Xs 2 have already pulled it off.

While all of the above sound good and expected for such a device, there are a few details that could give would-be buyers pause for thought. The extra large camera bump on the back runs horizontally like the Pixel 7’s, but it is a discrete island rather than a visor. The Pixel 7’s camera design wouldn’t have worked anyway since it would have gotten in the way of the hinge. It’s a rather thick bump, for that matter, and it could make the device wobble when unfolded and laid on a desk. Either way, it looks a bit awkward and very unlike the Pixel 7’s signature design.

The internal screen also has quite some bezel around it, which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s far wider than what we’re used to these days, even on foldable phones. On the other hand, it possibly leaves enough room for a front camera without resorting to cutouts and under-display gimmicks. According to the leakster, the Pixel Fold is going to be quite heavy in hand, which doesn’t really sound reassuring for this kind of device. That said, that heft could also give it a bit of a premium feel that’s associated with materials like metal rather than cheap plastic.

The biggest deal-breaker, however, might be its rumored $1,800 price tag, a very steep figure at a time when manufacturers like Samsung are trying to make the device category more palatable. Pixel phones do have that mark of being more expensive than comparable phones, so that’s not exactly surprising. It doesn’t inspire confidence, however, given how Google tends to provide or sell products with much buzz only to pull the rug from under people’s feet when they least expect it.

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Pixel 7 Pro signature design element is apparently its biggest durability flaw

Google doesn’t really have a good track record when it comes to hardware, especially when you consider that it occasionally cancels products for one reason or another. Its hardware products aren’t exactly the most aesthetically pleasing in the market, either, save for a few times it did actually hit gold. Last year’s Pixel 6 was one such example, earning praise and sales for its fresh and quirky new design. The Pixel 7 refines that formula to make the phone look a little more mature and professional without losing its personality. Unfortunately, you always run the risk of tripping when you change something, which seems to be the case with this year’s Pixel 7 Pro, whose sleeker design might have caused it to become less durable than its predecessor.

Designer: Google

The biggest change from the Pixel 6 to the Pixel 7 is the design of the “visor” bump that house the phone’s cameras, which now visually and structurally blends into the mid-frame. This means that the raised portion is no longer covered by glass or uses a different material but exposes its metallic surface to the world. This gives that camera bump a more stylish appearance and a textured feel, but, as YouTuber JerryRigEvertyhing discovered, also makes it more vulnerable to wear and tear.

It’s natural for exposed metal to get a few scuffs over time, but the Pixel 7 Pro durability test showed that it takes very little for keys and coins in your pocket to leave their mark on the smartphone’s camera bump. For some people, these scratches might give the phone a bit more character, like the unique patinas that develop on leather. But when these appear within two years or less, it might cause a bit more concern, especially since this is the part of the phone that will rub against surfaces the most.

A bit more worrying, however, is the actual durability of the phone against bending, like when you accidentally sit on it or place something heavy on it. The good news is that the phone won’t break easily in that scenario. The bad news is that it’s likely to create a gap at the side where metal meets plastic along the intersection of the mid-frame and the camera bump. This small bit of plastic is necessary for radio waves to pass through the phone’s metal body, but its new placement creates a structural vulnerability. Once that gap appears, the phone’s waterproofing flies out the window.

The Pixel 7 Pro is admittedly eye-catching, and its design upgrade proves the phone’s maturity. Unfortunately, that didn’t come without its unforeseen costs, though none of them are deal-breakers, to be honest. Hopefully, Google will continue to carry this new signature design with the Pixel 8 next year and address these concerns along the way. After all, the last thing we need is yet another generation of smartphones whose broken parts will pile up in landfills yet again.

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Pixel Watch iFixit teardown reveals its beauty is only skin deep for now

Google finally launched the first smartwatch under its own Pixel brand, and the reception of the wearable device has been a bit mixed. Its unique dome-like display definitely gives it a unique visual personality, but the jury is still out when whether that’s actually a strength or a liability. Even with years of references and lessons from other manufacturers, the Pixel Watch seems to have all the makings of a first-gen device, especially once you start to open it up. As iFixit discovered, the smartwatch’s simple yet attractive design doesn’t extend inside, and the device could be a nightmare for both owners and technicians that need to simply repair a cracked screen or a loose crown.

Designer: Google

Unlike almost all Wear OS smartwatches today, the Pixel Watch does away with the visible external bezels with a very curved glass that covers the screen. It’s almost like the Apple Watch, except that it comes in a circular shape. Like the Apple Watch again, the Pixel Watch utilizes a digital crown, but the similarities end there. The crown has been noted to look a bit cheap, and at least one reviewer has experienced the domed screen cracking for no apparent reason.

These flaws on their own wouldn’t be too disastrous if it were easy to fix the Pixel Watch, which isn’t the case yet for this first attempt. To its credit, the back is easily removable with some heat and prying, and iFixit a mysterious adhesive that could be good news for repairs in the future. The screen can also be pried off with the same techniques, but it cannot be disconnected unless you really dig inside.

The small, squishy battery needs to be removed first, which needs a bit of heat that could be a disaster waiting to happen. There is a maze of screws and components that you need to get out of the way first before you can even disconnect the display cable. Even after all that, it is nearly impossible to remove the crown and buttons without risking irreparable internal damage. Considering these mechanical parts are likely to fail at some point, that’s not a reassuring scenario.

To be fair, this is Google’s first smartwatch, so there’s still ample room for improvement on all fronts. It’s not a great first step, though, especially considering how late it is already in the game. Perhaps more worrying is that this is a company that is notorious for suddenly canceling products and services, even those that many people have heavily invested in already. It’s going to be a tense waiting game to see if future Pixel Watches will be able to rise to the challenge or be unceremoniously put to pasture after one or two tries only.

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Pixel Watch unofficial unboxing reveals an interesting design with a few caveats

Google’s first-ever smartwatch is about to be officially announced in a few days, but the Pixel Watch has, of course, already been leaked to death at this point. Google itself has shown off the smartwatch’s appearance here and there, but it hasn’t completely revealed its design from all sides and angles. Fortunately, we can look to unofficial information and sources for those details, allowing us to form a complete picture of the Pixel Watch. Unless Google makes a shocking U-turn, we might finally have everything there is to know about the Pixel Watch, at least from a design perspective, thanks to this super early unboxing of the device. But while the smartwatch’s somewhat unique design does pique our interest, it also raises a few questions about its usability and longevity.

Designer: Google

After years of speculation and wishful thinking, Google finally confirmed back in May that it was indeed planning to launch its first smartwatch under its own Pixel brand. It also gave a preview of that smartwatch’s design, which was admittedly like no other smartwatch on the market. There are still a few specific details missing, but the unique aesthetic of the Pixel Watch has been cemented in people’s consciousness by now. Apparently, someone on Reddit got their hands on one this early, and they generously shared images of what the wearable device would look like.

Unlike any other smartwatch or traditional watch so far, the Pixel Watch’s design can be likened more to a smooth and glossy pebble than a timepiece. It has a nearly domed top glass and an equally curved bottom, which would most likely make it wobble on top of any surface unless the bands are attached. It’s almost like a cross between an Apple Watch, which has a similarly curved display, and the typical round bodies of Wear OS smartwatches.


The design is admittedly novel and attractive, giving the Pixel Watch a unique visual identity that will help it stand out from the rest of the smartwatch market. It barely has any bezel, at least not that we can see, but it might just be a visual trick. There are already a few misgivings about how the display’s real bezels are underneath that domed glass, meaning that the actual active portion of the screen is quite smaller than the watch itself, leaving a sizable border around the edges.

Many smartwatches do have very visible and sometimes large bezels anyway, so that shouldn’t matter in theory. There are, however, some people that consider this design almost deceptive and definitely wasteful since you don’t have full access to the entire surface of the watch. Whether that “hidden” bezel has any practical function, we’ll have to wait and see.

The Pixel Watch has a seamless design where the body blends smoothly into the straps. This beautiful aesthetic, however, is only made possible by using a proprietary strap connector, not unlike what Apple does with the Apple Watch. Not only does this mean that you’ll be unable to use standard watch straps, it also means you’ll always be at the mercy of the few manufacturers that will make compatible straps. Once these companies, including Google, stop making such straps, you’ll be out of luck. The Pixel Watch is set to debut on October 6th at 10 AM ET.

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Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro design aims for a smoother and more sophisticated look

Smartphones have started to sound and even look similar, not only from their specs but also from their designs. That’s why many manufacturers are now trying to stand out from the crowd with a new design almost every year. Some are tasteful and elegant, while others can be obnoxious and over the top. Some, on the other hand, have tried to go against the flow and stick a design until it gets long in the tooth. After many generations, Google finally decided to give its Pixel phone a fresh new face last year with some amount of success. Rather than switch to a different design after that, the Android maker has instead opted to refine a winning formula, making it look a bit more grown-up rather than a passing teenage fad.

Designer: Google

There might be some people who disagree with the aesthetic of last year’s Pixel 6 siblings, but few will argue that it at least had some lasting impact. It was so unlike any other smartphone on the market, and the shape of its visor-like camera bump, paired with its dual-tone color scheme, made it look novel, quirky, and youthful. Just like the Material You design language of Android 12 from last year, it carried some character that would appeal to people who see their smartphones as a form of personal expression.

Wow factors rarely last forever, though, and the Pixel 6’s design might even look too playful for some people. Rather than throw it away, Google is maturing the easily distinguishable design instead, making the Pixel 7 look more mature and well thought out. The differences are subtle yet telling, retaining the Pixel’s new visual identity while also giving it a more sophisticated character compared to the youthful Pixel 6.

The camera bar, for example, not only protrudes less but also blends visually and structurally with the frame. It now shares the same color as the mid-frame rather than just a black paint job. As for colors, the back of the Pixel now has a single color, and the camera bump provides not only visual but also a chromatic that makes that side of the phone look more active. The cameras themselves are also displayed better, huddled into groups rather than standing isolated from each other.

There are still parts of the design that remain the same, particularly when comparing the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro. The former, for example, retains its flat display, while the Pixel 7 Pro sticks to its curved edges. In both cases, the two still bear hallmarks of a slightly older design convention that uses rounded edges to supposedly make the phone comfortable to hold. Not everyone’s a fan, though, but it at least fits perfectly with the Pixel 7’s design.

It’s definitely refreshing to see that Google hasn’t given up on a design that gives its phone a distinctive appearance. Even better, it is actually improving that design to make it look more elegant while still retaining its quirky nature. Of course, a phone is more than just its looks, and we’ll have to see next month whether the combination of design and hardware will put the Pixel 7 at the top this year.

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Google Pixel Headphones concept shows what the Android answer to the AirPods Max could be

Although there are some undeniable similarities between this Google Pixel Headphones concept and the AirPods Max, this one comes with a solid cushioned headband, touch-sensitive ear-cups, and a USB-C port to charge the device.

It’s common knowledge that Apple usually takes its sweet time with tech, launching new features long after they’re tried and tested successes (widgets, multitasking, and most recently, lock screen customization), although it seems like Google’s been playing catch-up with hardware of late. The company that was usually on point with hardware, launching a smartwatch before Apple (through its subsidiary Motorola) and even beating Apple to the smart speaker market with the Google Nest, hasn’t launched smart headphones yet. Google’s Pixel phone releases plateaued off over 2019-20, only picking up in 2021 with the Pixel 6, and the Pixel Buds also finally got a refresh after ages; but Google doesn’t have a horse in the smart headphone race… yet. Envisioned and designed by Yousef Hussain, the Google Pixel Headphones are the company’s answer to Apple’s AirPods Max. Designed to pair perfectly with Google’s smartphones and work seamlessly with its voice AI, the Pixel headphones are a clean pair of cans that help you get the most ‘helpful’ audio experience Android has to offer. Who knows, maybe it has a Tensor chip in it too??

Without really any speculation (given that this is a concept), let’s really break down the Pixel Headphones’ design. It’s classic, understated, and feels a lot like the designer borrowed cues from the AirPods Max and the Chromecast. The headrest is slim, but padded, and the earcups have a weave fabric overlay with the letters L and R embroidered inside the cups to tell you how to wear the phones. Metal sliders give you precise height adjustment, although the earcups don’t fold frontwards like the AirPods Max, and there’s no awkward charging case/handbag with this too.

Instead, the Pixel Headphones charge via USB-C, located on the base of the right earcup. A single button on top of the left earcup handles power, while the headphones are entirely operable using touch-sensitive controls on both cups. How one would really account for accidental touches (or having other people randomly touching them and pausing music playback) remains to be determined, but then again… this is a conceptual device, after all.

Other details include the five rather delightful color combinations (that match with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro color schemes), and what feel like microphone arrays around the rim of each cup (given the few slits there are on them). It’s safe to assume that these cans have at least ANC if not a transparency mode. The slits also make me wonder if they’re semi-open-back headphones, which would make passive noise cancelation/isolation rather impossible.

The Pixel Headphones are a rather neat way of showing ‘what could have been’ if Google had taken its hardware game more seriously instead of wasting time designing its hundredth chatting and messaging app. There seems to be little method to the company’s madness, although as someone who’s used Android products all his life, I see very little impetus to switch over to Apple’s walled garden. Something like these Pixel Headphones would convince me to stick to my Android way of life all the more!

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