The future looks bright for Google’s Pixel ecosystem in 2024. With the Pixel 8 series winding down, excitement starts ramping up for what Google has in store next. From new flagship phones and watches to possible updates across new form factors like foldables and tablets, there’s a lot to unpack about the rumored Pixel roadmap this year.
Google Pixel 8a
The Google Pixel 8a, the last of the Pixel 8 series set to launch in 2024, has big shoes to fill. Google’s A-series phones consistently offer flagship-level Pixel features like computational photography, AI capabilities, and long battery life at an affordable sub-$500 price point. With rivals like Samsung’s Galaxy A54 stepping up their game in the critical mid-range category, Google must continue pushing boundaries with the Pixel 8a. Famously, past A-series models have even bested their flagship counterparts when it comes to endurance. We expect the Pixel 8a to deliver the same winning formula, despite potential minor design changes: a nearly identical experience as the flagship at hundreds less. This could be Google’s secret weapon as anticipation builds for the delayed iPhone SE 4 in 2025.
Google Pixel 9 and 9 Pro
As is fall tradition, Google will introduce its latest flagship phones, likely called the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro. Powered by the newest Google Tensor G4 chip focused on AI capabilities, the Pixel 9 series will surely showcase advancements in computational photography, editing tools, speech processing, and natural language understanding. Rumors suggest up to three Pixel 9 models may surface this year with varying screen sizes. Beyond smarter software, users want to see the usual upgrades to camera hardware, display quality, and battery optimizations. Real-world efficiency and endurance remain pain points for previous Pixel generations. With the hardware now mature, it’s time for Google to pay more attention to the fundamentals.
Android 15 for Pixels: Tighter Integration Across Google’s Ecosystem
Android 15, which will debut first on Google Pixel phones in October 2024, may offer additional privacy protections against phishing attempts by apps, new battery health indicators akin to iPhones, and deeper integrations with Google’s AI ecosystem. We expect Google’s showcased AI models, Gemini Pro and Ultra, to make their way to more Pixel-exclusive features through Bard and the Google Assistant. Google will surely push monthly feature drops to Pixels all year as well. Android 15 signals Google’s continued fusion of hardware and software in close collaboration.
Google Pixel Watch 3: Gesture Controls and Health Upgrades
Rumblings about the Google Pixel Watch 3 remain faint for now. But early leaks reveal the potential for an innovative button-free design controlled entirely by gesture interactions. This would build on the health and safety features introduced with the Pixel Watch 2, which some viewed as encroaching on Fitbit’s territory. While the exact upgrades remain a mystery, we can likely expect the integration between the Pixel Watch and Fitbit to strengthen through proprietary health metrics and fitness tracking capabilities. Of course, users still want to see Google address ongoing complaints around the watch’s bulkiness and subpar battery performance compared to rivals.
Pixel Fold 2 and Tablet 2
The two latest additions to the Pixel family—the foldable Pixel Fold and the Pixel Tablet—both arrived in 2023 as Google’s foray into new form factors. A quick second-generation release in 2024 would signal Google’s commitment to these fledgling phone/tablet hybrid categories. However, both devices had a long gestation period full of rumors before launching just last year. With no hints yet of a Pixel Fold 2 or Pixel Tablet 2, fans may need to wait a bit longer. Then again, few predicted the surprise Pixel Watch 2 unveiling alongside the Pixel 8 series, so we can’t fully rule out updates next year. Especially with alleged leaks in December pointing to a possible foldable successor already in development.