Google Announces Pixel 6a and Pixel 7 and Teases Pixel Watch and Tablet

Posted on May 11, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Google, Hardware, Mobile with 15 Comments

Google has just unveiled several new Pixel devices at its I/O 2022 conference, including the new Pixel 6a and the upcoming Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. The company has also teased a new Pixel Watch as well as a Pixel tablet, which the company sees as a companion device for Pixel phones.

First of all, the new Pixel 6a will feature the same Tensor processor and Titan M2 security chip found on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The design of the Pixel 6a is also quite similar with a metal frame and a visible camera bar on the back of the device housing dual rear cameras.

“The Pixel Camera is built to be versatile and adapt to your needs, and you’ll see some of those features and technologies on Pixel 6a — from Real Tone, which authentically represents all skin tones, to Night Sight, which makes low-light photography a breeze, to Magic Eraser in Google Photos, which makes distractions disappear,” Google explained today.

The company also promises all-day battery life on the Pixel 6a, with a new Extreme Battery Saver mode offering up to 72 hours of usage. The Pixel 6a will be available for pre-order starting at $449 on July 21, and Google promises five years of security updates. It will also be one of the first devices to receive Android 13 later this year.

The Pixel Buds Pro will also be available for pre-order on July 21, and they will cost $199. The premium wireless earbuds will offer IPX4 water resistance, active noise cancellation and multipoint connectivity, allowing users to automatically switch between previously paired Bluetooth devices.

Google promises up to 11 hours of listening time on the Pixel Buds Pro, or up to 7 hours with Active Noise Cancellation turned on. The Pixel Buds Pro also come with the Google Assistant built-in, which supports seamless hands-free commands. Moreover, the Pixel Buds Pro are getting spatial audio support later this year.

The Google Pixel Watch that leaked last month is now official, and it will be the first Wear OS watch designed from the ground up by Google. It will be available later this fall, and today’s reveal pretty much focused on the circular design, tactile crown, and customizable bands.

“With this watch, you’ll get the new Wear OS by Google experience and Fitbit’s industry-leading health and fitness tools — right on your wrist. Google Pixel Watch is a natural extension of the Pixel family, providing help whenever and wherever you need it,” Google said today.

We also had a brief look at the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones, also coming later this fall. “Our next version of Google Tensor will power these devices, which are built for those who want the latest technology and fastest performance,” the company said.

Last but not least, Google teased a brand new Pixel tablet which will be powered by Google Tensor and released in 2023. “Our tablet will blend into your day-to-day routine and help connect the moments you’re on the go with the moments you’re at home,” Google said today.

That’s a lot of new Pixel devices for one day, but the new Pixel Watch and Pixel tablets are probably the most interesting announcements. Android is the most popular mobile OS on smartphones, but Google and its partners never had much success with Google tablets and smartwatches. It’s too early to tell if the new Pixel Watch and tablet will finally shake things up, but it’s already encouraging to see Google becoming increasingly serious about its hardware efforts.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Google Announces Pixel 6a and Pixel 7 and Teases Pixel Watch and Tablet”

  1. Cavorter

    That is a LOT of bezel on that tablet...

    • Daishi

      Yeah, it’s got some real early Galaxy Tab energy. Maybe somewhere between an S3 and an S4.

    • wright_is

      I think the white bezels exaggerate the size of the bezels, but they do seem large, at first glance, compare to modern tablets.

  2. dftf

    $449USD likely means the phone will launch over-here in the UK at £399, I should think.

    With my current 3a at end-of-life clearly the 6a would be the next one on the Google side I could consider (as the 5a never-launched here; and the 4a is about halfway-through it's support-cycle). It is only slightly-bigger, which is nice; the 60Hz max doesn't bother me, and nor does the fact unlike the 6 and 6 Pro it reverts the main-camera back to the same one that has been used since the Pixel 2.

    However, there are some negatives for me. First I really don't understand the mid-range trend in Android devices of removing the headphone-socket. Second, I hope Google's Tensor chip is massively efficient as it only packs a 4,306mAh battery (according to ArsTechnica), and most mid-range Android phones now offer 5000mAh as-standard, with some even on 6000. And lastly there is no guaranteed water-proofing claim offered. (And as a fourth: I would assume that all hardware-related issues seen in the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will have been ironed-out in this design; though I'll likely await some initial feedback on the Pixel Community Forum, Reddit and YouTube reviews before considering it.)

    • wright_is

      With VAT added, I guess it will be close to £440-450. Don't forget once converted, you need to add UK VAT to the price as all US prices are quoted excluding sales taxes, and that is without import duties.

      Removing the headphone socket means saving money on the port & corresponding DAC, it also makes it easier to make the case dust and water resistant - which is actually at odds to the lack of information on its actual water resistance; I would assume at least IP64. With a USB-C to analogue converter you can still plug in normal headphones, but the trend is to Bluetooth devices.

      My current high end phone has a approx. 3,500mAh and the battery lasts a good 1.5 - 2 days. Given that Google explicitly talk up the extreme battery saving and 72 hour usage, I would assume the battery is big enough to get through a day between charges for the average user.

      • dftf

        All the articles I've seen so-far have said Google have confirmed £399 as the UK price.

        That should be the total-price (including VAT, our version of "sales-tax") as it is very-uncommon in the UK to advertise a price without VAT, unless a company only sells to other companies (such as building suppliers); then prices will often shown without the VAT, as companies are allowed to reclaim that.

        VAT is 20%, so that would mean £479, and doing a Google search I cannot find any article with that price, so £399 appears to be the correct one.

    • Markld

      My 3a was shy from being 3 years old by about a month when it fell in some water. I was hoping to get a 6a!!!

      Good Lord, it wouldn't have made it to the 6a launch.

      However, it was my favorite phone so far even after many years of owning ridiculously expensive 'better' phones. It worked every day, day in day out. Lasting a day after charging was never a problem. It took decent photos. Photography was fun with it.

      I end up getting a low budget middling Samsung complete with lol a phone jack(socket).

      Hope it works out for you.

  3. Stabitha.Christie

    Funny, six months ago Google had an ad making fun of Apple for dropping the headphone Jack and now here we are.

    • dftf

      I was about to say "did you mean six years ago", as Apple hasn't had a headphone-socket on any of its iPhones for quite a while now (the original iPhone SE (2016) appears to have been the last). Yet I did a Google and indeed they did do this in an ad last-year for the Pixel 5a device. How odd -- attack Apple for something which none of their phones have had for five years by that time!

      • jason_e

        5 years is about how far behind Google is with hardware compared to Apple and Samsung.

        • dftf

          With regards to which features are you thinking there?

          (And are you comparing like-for-like, such-as the Pixel "A" series to mid-range Samsung phones and the Apple iPhone SE (2022), and Google's non-"A" series to equivalent-priced Samsung and Apple devices?)

  4. Davor Radman

    I don't understand why they son't align phone names: 7a, 7 and 7pro.

    A model being a number behind makes it look like it's a year old phone.

    • dftf

      I'm not sure I understand what point you're making here, sorry.

      The iPhone 13 series are the current phones; the 13 doesn't refer to a year (such as 2013), so how is Pixel 7 any different?

  5. ianbetteridge

    Although I'm a huge iPad fan and user, I really hope they do a good job with the Pixel Tablet (if that's what they're going to call it). Most importantly, I hope they actually stick with tablets this time rather than doing what they have done in the past and backing out of the market.

    I've played with some of the alternatives – including the Samsung Tab S8 Ultra – and it is very good hardware. But as soon as you get out of the Samsung-provided apps, you are back in the world of software designed for phones that just blows the interface up and looks ridiculous. If Google is going to make Android successful in tablets they are really going to have to push developers to get behind it. Without that, even if the hardware is great, it will fail (again)