Yes, I’m back on IFLSG. Let’s not make a big deal out of it. I took an (unpaid) sabbatical from a (n unpaid) blog but I’m freaking back to loving smart gadgets.
Great timing too, because today we have Google’s Pixel event to talk about. Important to note, Google took several jabs at Apple throughout this event. Notable ones include how their watches are basically a lot prettier, and how they introduced several features a long time ago (like car-crash detection, and lock-screen customisation).
Rick Osterloh (Google SVP) started today’s event with a brief talk on Artificial Intelligence, Android, and the new Google Tensor (G2), which is 60% faster than previous chips that have gone into Pixel phones.
The term “fluidity” was mentioned, which I love, because you’re not limited to only Apple’s Ecosystem to encounter that seamless culture (which I prefer, but still).
In today’s event, Google’s featuring their predicted lineup of products – watches, phones, and tablets. There seems to be a theme in today’s event though… “personal” devices, “fluidity”, and “continuity”.
Google Pixel Watch
First we have the Google Pixel Watch, available in several colours, and over 20 band styles. Starting from $349.99, this price includes 6 months of Fitbit Premium, and 3 months of YouTube Music Premium.
The Pixel Watch features premium stainless steel finish, optional cellular connectivity (with 4G LTE), scratch proof & splash proof, and multiple watch faces. Circling back to their “fluidity” theme, the Pixel Watch screen adapts to the watch’s circular pattern, allowing for content to dynamically adjust.
If you’re not familiar with this line of watches, there’s a lot more you can do than just tell the time (it’s 2022, telling the time is the least useful feature of smart watches). Navigate your commutes using Google Maps on the Pixel Watch; add cards digitally to the Google Wallet and use your watch at checkouts; Google Assistant is as helpful as always by being able to respond to texts, navigate, play music, and more. Of course, receive all your phone notifications (and even respond to emails and calendar events directly from your wrist).
Since Google now owns Fitbit, you can take a sigh of relief knowing all your fitness needs are covered. There are 1,000 different workouts, “more-accurate” health tracking, ECG (this is a lifesaver, btw), sleep tracking, Emergency SOS, and more.
Continuing with their “continuity” theme, you can expect your watch to work with your other Google devices. Control all of your Pixel devices, “Find-My” your devices, and more.
Prices start at $349.99 for bluetooth/Wi-Fi, and $399.99 for the former + 4G LTE.
Things to note:
– You’ll likely need a Fitbit Account (or their premium membership) for some of the Fitbit features.
– The watch is water resistant, not waterproof.
– Google Pay, ECG, Emergency SOS may not be available in every country, so keep that in mind if you’re purchasing this from outside the US. Also, “fall detection” won’t be launched until winter.
As expected, 2 new phones! The Pixel 7 will have a 6.3 inch display (with 72 hours of battery life when using the Extreme Battery Saver mode), whereas the Pixel 7 Pro will feature a 6.7 inch display.
Let’s go one by one.
The Google Pixel 7 is IP68 water resistant (again, not waterproof), made with 100% recycled aluminum, and is 25% brighter (even in sunlight – this is a huge deal).
As mentioned earlier, the phone will feature a G2 processor, which makes the phone faster and more secure.
Other notable features include the ability to filter out noice (with active “clear calling” – so your phone will cover up the outside-world noises so you can concentrate on your call), and real time Live Translate with compatibility with up to 48 languages.
Pixel’s known for its camera, and they delivered. The dual rear camera captures 4K, and even offers Cinematic Blur now, which will focus on your subjects and blur the rest. Zoom up to 8x the distance with high quality imaging, sharpen blurry images, and even use Magic eraser to remove unwanted objects from the image (hello????). The front facing camera, on the other hand, allows for wider shots to capture more (all in 4K as well).
Moving on to what most of you are here for, the Pixel 7 Pro.
Available in your pro colours of Obsidian (black), Snow (white), and Hazel (grey?), this is the most powerful Pro phone Google has ever released. With a 10-120Hz display (basically, better than your best iPhone) and a 6.7″ screen, the Pro phone features a triple back-camera. As far as the hardware itself, it’s also made from recycled aluminum, with IP68 water resistance, 25% brighter screen, G2 processor, etc.
But let’s talk about why you’re truly here – the camera. We have 3 here – a 12MP ultrawide lens, a 50MP wide lens, and a 48MP telephoto lens (with up to 30x zoom! gamechanger!). Some of the images with the highest level of zoom are absolutely insane.
The Pixel 7 Pro features macro focus (basically higher quality on even the tiniest of details), Cinematic Blur, and other similar features from the Pixel 7. But what I love with the Pro is Nearby Share, which lets you use your phone to unlock your car, and share photos and files by simply pointing your phone.
There are a few other gamechangers/details with both Pixel phones.
– Have you heard of Otter.Ai? It’s a transcription service (you can transcribe your Zoom calls and such with it). Google’s fighting back with their own transcription feature, coming soon.
– Both phones feature G2. What does this mean? Faster. Better. 60% faster machine learning, lower power consumption on video recording, gaming, streaming, and it will even help your Google assistant provide faster and better results.
– You’re probably already familiar with Pixel Call Assist (that blocks spammers, etc). Google has spoken more about their Direct My Call feature – that helps you navigate through automated systems a lot more efficiently (by showing you what options you have, and letting you select them immediately)
– And lastly, my favourite feature. Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will include built-in VPN services, at no extra cost (this normally is part of their Google premium one plan [$9.99/month] which also includes 2TB of cloud storage).
This was a lengthy post – with a lot that went unmentioned (notably: the Google Tablet that won’t be released till next year). But what a great event this was. If you’ve followed IFLSG, you know that I’m an Apple Fanboy; but the Google Pixel is the only phone that would come close to convincing me to switch teams.