Google I/O sees debut of Pixel 6a, Pixel Watch, Pixel Buds Pro

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 11
Google has announced a number of new products and software at its annual I/O conference, including the long-rumored Pixel 6a, the Pixel Watch, a pair of Pixel Buds Pro with Active Noise Cancellation, and new versions of Android and Wear OS.

Google Pixel Watch
Google Pixel Watch


After months of rumors about a first-party Google smartwatch, the company has officially released the Pixel Watch. The device is essentially the Android version of the Apple Watch, with swappable bands, heart rate monitoring, and a sleek rounded case with a rotating crown. Unlike Apple's wearable, it sports a circular design.

The device largely serves as a showcase for Google's new Wear OS 3 operating system. The new update brings more Fitbit activity tracking integration, as well as improved navigation and performance, support for third-party app widgets, and broader customization for smartwatch manufacturers.

The Google Pixel Watch will come in Black, Gray, and Gold color ways. It will debut in the fall.

Pixel 6a

Pixel 6a
Pixel 6a


Alongside the Pixel Watch, Google has also unveiled its latest midrange smartphone, the Pixel 6a. The 6.2-inch device uses the same Tensor chip and general aesthetic as the flagship Pixel 6, but retains a 12-megapixel camera instead of the Pixel 6's high-end 50-megapixel setup.

Along with its new design and improved processor, the device also sports an under-display fingerprint sensor, faster mmWave 5G support, and no headphone jack.

The Pixel 6a will ship running Android 13, the latest iteration of Google's smartphone operating system. Android 13 brings incremental changes to the platform, including an expansion of Google's Material Design philosophy and improved media playback controls.

Additionally, Android 13 also introduces support for Google's answer to spatial audio, additional privacy features to lock down user data, and quicker Bluetooth pairing for connected headphones.

The Pixel 6a will be available to preorder on July 21. It will retail for $449.

Pixel Buds Pro & More

Pixel Buds Pro
Pixel Buds Pro


Google also unveiled new Pixel Buds Pro earbuds that bring active noise cancellation to the company's lineup of headphones. Like Apple's AirPods Pro, the device also sports a transparency mode that allows users to hear what's going on around them.

The company says the Pixel Buds Pro will last 11 hours on a charge, or seven hours with ANC enabled. They'll also support connectivity and automatic audio switching with a range of Android products.

They will retail for $199 and become available for preorder on July 21.

Additionally, Google also gave a sneak peek at a new Pixel tablet coming in 2023 and a pair of AR glasses -- though it offered very few details about the latter device.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    Cesar Battistini MazieroCesar Battistini Maziero Posts: 246unconfirmed, member
    That's what I call a border. The round shape is already inefficient, with this huge bezel....
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 15
    dk49dk49 Posts: 204member
    Google basically looked at the Apple Watch and asked, "how can we copy it's design without being obvious?" And their answer was "oh let's just make a round Apple watch"!
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 15
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,460member
    dk49 said:
    Google basically looked at the Apple Watch and asked, "how can we copy it's design without being obvious?" And their answer was "oh let's just make a round Apple watch"!
    They know the Pixel devices are simply reference models for other manufacturers who use Android, and they don't make their money off hardware, so it's not surprising they spend as little as possible on hardware design.
    williamlondondewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 15
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,912member
    Why even buy into this knockoff ecosystem?

    At least their watch isn’t a knockoff as far as design goes. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,241member
    Always sad to see how other companies are still playing the “make it the same but give it a twist” game when it comes to designing their devices. You can see apple’s design solutions through all of the accessories. Why can’t a company as big as google actually differentiate and offer something new.
    Gabywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 15
    danoxdanox Posts: 848member
    auxio said:
    dk49 said:
    Google basically looked at the Apple Watch and asked, "how can we copy it's design without being obvious?" And their answer was "oh let's just make a round Apple watch"!
    They know the Pixel devices are simply reference models for other manufacturers who use Android, and they don't make their money off hardware, so it's not surprising they spend as little as possible on hardware design.
    Excuse……
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,364member
    Always sad to see how other companies are still playing the “make it the same but give it a twist” game when it comes to designing their devices. You can see apple’s design solutions through all of the accessories. Why can’t a company as big as google actually differentiate and offer something new.
    Which one of these things resembles an Apple product? Serious. If anything Sony is stealing Pixel Bud in-ear look for Link Buds. Up until now Google's product was distinctive when worn.

    Beyond Apple and Google design which you referenced, some features are exclusive to Google products, just as some features are exclusive to Apple products. Neither company can currently match the other feature for feature. 

     
    edited May 11
  • Reply 8 of 15
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,651member
    I actually half-watched the conference address with all this stuff.  Our work team Android half had an online watch party and invited the whole team so I joined.  One of the claims made on stage was that the Pixel 6a had unprecedented power for the price point.  (My words but the message I heard / as it was received by me.)  lots of platitudes about industry leading ML power in their own Tensor chip.  Which got me wondering how it compared to the A15 since the current gen iPhone SE, which is a similar price point, uses that.   Google kindly pointed me to several articles that claimed ML benchmarks peg the A15 at 2-3 times the speed of the Tensor.  

    Not as industry leading as they wanted it to be.  
    Gabywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,460member
    gatorguy said:
    Always sad to see how other companies are still playing the “make it the same but give it a twist” game when it comes to designing their devices. You can see apple’s design solutions through all of the accessories. Why can’t a company as big as google actually differentiate and offer something new.
    Which one of these things resembles an Apple product? Serious.
    Everyone I've shown that pin and tuck watch band to immediately said it looks like Apple's:



    Despite the fact that they added an extra hole, if you look at the details like the indented curvature and the way it follows the outline of watch face, it's a very similar design.  I'd be willing to bet that the material is also the same.  There are a lot of ways to design a watch band.
    dk49watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,364member
    auxio said:
    gatorguy said:
    Always sad to see how other companies are still playing the “make it the same but give it a twist” game when it comes to designing their devices. You can see apple’s design solutions through all of the accessories. Why can’t a company as big as google actually differentiate and offer something new.
    Which one of these things resembles an Apple product? Serious.
    Everyone I've shown that pin and tuck watch band to immediately said it looks like Apple's:



    Despite the fact that they added an extra hole, if you look at the details like the indented curvature and the way it follows the outline of watch face, it's a very similar design.  I'd be willing to bet that the material is also the same.  There are a lot of ways to design a watch band.
    The Pixel's band is actually sourced from the Fitbit Sense lineup, now a division of Google, with a slight design change to distinguish the Pixels from Fitbit's, and a bulbous round edge band in keeping with the bulbous round edge face on the Pixel Watch. Note that Apple made their band flatter before rounding the edges, again in keep[ing with the flatter yet still round-edged face on the watch. Form and function.slide 0
    edited May 12 grandact73
  • Reply 11 of 15
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 414member
    Round watches are more elegant and less geeky. Maybe Apple can offer two form factors. 
    Camera group on Pixel phones looks better than iPhones. Cleaner design. 
  • Reply 12 of 15
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,347member
    Google announces a new initiative to resurrect Android on tablets starting with Android 12L and Play Store changes. Then they announce a tablet that won’t be available until 2023? And people are supposed to take them seriously? Especially with their long history of starting, then abandoning new products/services? What a joke.

    Round watch? Enough said. The epitome of form over function. Make a watch that looks like traditional watches while sacrificing screen real estate and usability.

    Ecosystem? Google is missing one huge piece. They don’t have a desktop OS (Windows or macOS). They have a mobile OS (Android), an even less useful wannabe OS (Chrome) and yet another mobile/embedded OS (Fuchsia). And they think by adding some interoperability (like Android Apps on Chromebooks) somehow makes for a viable desktop platform. They’re stuck making their products work with Windows or macOS but can never have the deep integration possible when you control the entire “ecosystem”. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 15
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,364member


    Round watch? Enough said. The epitome of form over function. Make a watch that looks like traditional watches while sacrificing screen real estate and usability.
    They already have more squared-off watches selling from their Fitbit division.  No reason to have ALL Google-offered versions squared. A large number of watch wearers prefer round over square, and I'd guess a round Apple Watch in addition to their current square would be well-received. 
    edited May 12 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 15
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,460member
    gatorguy said:
    auxio said:
    gatorguy said:
    Always sad to see how other companies are still playing the “make it the same but give it a twist” game when it comes to designing their devices. You can see apple’s design solutions through all of the accessories. Why can’t a company as big as google actually differentiate and offer something new.
    Which one of these things resembles an Apple product? Serious.
    Everyone I've shown that pin and tuck watch band to immediately said it looks like Apple's:

    ...

    Despite the fact that they added an extra hole, if you look at the details like the indented curvature and the way it follows the outline of watch face, it's a very similar design.  I'd be willing to bet that the material is also the same.  There are a lot of ways to design a watch band.
    The Pixel's band is actually sourced from the Fitbit Sense lineup, now a division of Google, with a slight design change to distinguish the Pixels from Fitbit's, and a bulbous round edge band in keeping with the bulbous round edge face on the Pixel Watch. Note that Apple made their band flatter before rounding the edges, again in keep[ing with the flatter yet still round-edged face on the watch. Form and function.
    And how is all that related to the original topic (resembling Apple's watch)?

    The fact of the matter is that they could have gone in dozens of different directions with the band design (whether it was Fitbit or Google is irrelevant since the latest incarnation is Google's product).  However, that would have cost more to design because they would have had to iterate on the different designs, field test them, hire people with previous watch design experience, materials experts, etc.  Copying Apple's fundamental design and changing a couple small details to avoid any lawsuits is much cheaper.
    edited May 12 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 15
    musomuso Posts: 30member
    lol everybody's copying Apple's keynotes these days.  
    watto_cobra
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