Google’s line of devices could end up having a particularly big moment in 2023. The company usually announces new pixel products throughout the year. However, this year Google is rumored to be launching its first foldable phone, which would directly compete with Samsung’s proven lineup. Galaxy Z-Fold devices.
Google also introduced its own ChatGPT rival, Bard, which he opened to the public in March. It wouldn’t be surprising to see new developments for Bard and hear about Google’s other AI ambitions at its I/O conference in May.
Both potential announcements would further signal that the tech giants are considering the future of the smartphone and the apps that run on these devices in 2023. Samsung And Motorola, for example, the two introduced new concept devices earlier this year with sliding and rollable screens, which could one day succeed today’s foldables. And Microsoft has its own revamped version of Bing that uses AI to deliver more direct and conversational answers, giving Google stronger competition in the search space it has dominated for years.
Here’s a look at what we expect from Google this year, based on rumors, reports, and the company’s typical product launch schedule. We’ll be updating this story regularly as new leaks and reports surface.
If history repeats itself, Google will release a cheaper version of the Pixel 7 known as Pixel 7A in spring or summer. Google introduced the Pixel 6A at Google I/O last year before going on sale in July. This means that we could be weeks away from discovering the Pixel 7A, if Google decides to announce it again at its annual developer conference this year.
We won’t know anything for sure until Google launches the Pixel 7A, but some leaks and reports have provided clues as to what it might include. Developer Kuba Wojciechowskiwho claims to have found details possibly referring to the Pixel 7A in the Android codebase, suggests that the Pixel 7A may have a display with a higher 90Hz refresh rate and wireless charging.
That might not sound too exciting, but it’s notable because both of these features are missing from the 6A. By bringing them to the Pixel 7A, Google would further close the gap between its premium and budget phones.
Another alleged leak from the Vietnamese website Zing News suggests the Pixel 7A will have a 6.1-inch display just like the 6A and a design that resembles the Pixel 7.
If the Pixel 7A follows in the footsteps of the Pixel 6A, we can expect it to have the same Tensor G2 processor as the Pixel 7, but a camera that’s a step up.
Aside from Apple, Google is one of the only major phone makers that hasn’t released a foldable phone or discussed plans to do so. But that could change in the near future. Reports of 9to5Google And WinFuture suggest that Google’s first foldable Pixel device could arrive as soon as June.
The phone could eschew the tall, thin design of the Samsung Z Fold series in favor of a shorter, wider form factor with a look similar to the Oppo Find N or Microsoft Surface Duo, according to reports and leaks from 9to5Google and YouTube personality Dave2D. Code in the beta for Android 13, which Wojciechowski says it found out, also suggests the Pixel Fold would have a camera with primary, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses.
Google is notorious for price rivals like Apple and Samsung with its regular Pixel phones. If Google releases a foldable phone, I hope it takes a similar approach. Samsung currently dominates foldable phones with 62% of the market in the first half of 2022, according to Search for counterpoint, so it will be interesting to see if Google can offer Samsung any worthwhile competition.
Sales of foldable phones are growing, but they still represent only a fraction of the larger smartphone market. Global shipments are expected to increase 52% year-over-year in 2023, according to Counterpoint, reaching 22.7 million units. But considering that 304 million smartphones would have been shipped in Q4 2022 based on Counterpoint results, 22.7 million in an entire year seems like a drop in the bucket.
Pixel 8 and 8 Pro
Google typically releases new flagship Pixel phones in the fall, and we expect the company to follow the same pattern in 2023. We won’t know what’s in store for Google’s Pixel 8 and 8 Pro until it’s released. will not have announced these devices.
However, Google’s updates have been very camera-focused in recent years, with the Pixel 7 lineup getting an improved zoom and the Pixel 7 Pro getting 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 pushing the camera even further on the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, although we don’t yet know exactly what that looks like. Both phones will also likely have a new Tensor processor.
Leaks have been rare so far, but there have been a few reports claiming to provide details about Google’s next pair of Pixels. WinFuture reports that the new phones will run on Android 14, which is expected to be the next major version of Android, and will have 12GB of RAM. Steve Hemmerstoffer, a well-known gadget leaker, has also linked up with blogs MySmartPrice And SmartPrice to post what are said to be renders of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
Android 14 is currently available in a preview mode for developers, with the final ready-to-use version expected to arrive in the fall. Google releases new Android features and Pixel-specific features throughout the year, but its annual version upgrades usually deliver sweeping platform-wide improvements.
Android 13for example, introduced more color options for Google’s Material You interface, end-to-end encryption for RCS group chats in Messages, and more privacy protections, such as the ability to grant Apps access to a limited selection of photos instead of your entire library.
From what we know of Android 14 so far, it looks like Google will continue to build on these themes with improvements related to energy efficiency, privacy, and accessibility. We’ll probably find out more at Google’s I/O Developer Conference in May.
Google is taking a new approach to tablets with its next Pixel tabletwhich will have a speaker charging station that turns it into a Nest Hub when docked.
The company hasn’t revealed much about its upcoming tablet, but it did provide some details at its latest Pixel event in October. Along with its speaker dock, we’ve also learned that the tablet will have a porcelain-inspired nano-ceramic coating and will run on the Tensor G2 processor found in the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro.
Google said it plans to launch the tablet in 2023, although it didn’t provide details. We expect to hear more at Google I/O or in the fall, when the company typically holds its Pixel product launch event.
More AI in Google Search and elsewhere
Following the success of ChatGPT, generative AI has been everywhere in 2023 – and that includes Google’s products. The company has already showcased its AI-powered search chatbot Bard and announced new AI features for Gmail and Google Docs to generate drafts and rewrite emails.
But we expect AI to be a dominant trend at Google I/O this year, especially as it seeks to keep pace with Microsoft and other rivals. Google would have issued a code red in December after the launch of ChatGPT, according to The New York Timesit would therefore not be surprising to see Google take advantage of its conference to assert its authority in AI.
AI has already been a big topic at Google I/O. Last year, for example, Google discussed automation improvements like machine translation and transcription for video, as well as search updates that better handle questions that combine text and images. With full attention Bing from Microsoft garnered through its incorporation of AI, Google will likely make AI and search a centerpiece of its I/O presentation.
Pixel Watch 2
Google hasn’t discussed plans for the future Pixel Watches, and there haven’t been many leaks or rumors about Google’s smartwatch sequel. But since Google’s Pixel phones follow a yearly cadence — much like 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.
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, which we hope to hear more about on Google I/O, will also likely make an appearance. I’m also hoping to see longer battery life and some additional health and fitness tracking features, such as automatic workout detection.