Google Pixel 9 and 9 Pro Rumors: Pixel XL, New Design, Tensor G4 – "google" – Google News

Google’s new $499 Pixel 8A phone joined the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro which all offer solid performance, generous software support and innovative AI-based features. But the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro launched in October 2023, so we’re already looking ahead to later in the year when we may see the Pixel 9 series. 

Rumors are still quite patchy, but there are some key bits of information we’ve been able to glean about the upcoming range, especially after Google’s I/O keynote focused so heavily on AI and made no mention whatsoever of hardware. 

We’ll be updating this story over the next several months as the Pixel 9 launch gets closer, so keep checking back.

Read more: Why I Need Apple to Make a Foldable iPhone

Watch this: What Google Gemini AI on the iPhone Could Look Like

Fall 2024 launch

Google usually releases its new Pixel devices in October, as was the case with the Pixel 8 series and Pixel 7 series. There are currently no rumors to suggest Google is looking to radically alter its product release timeline, so it seems likely we’ll be seeing the Pixel 9 series later in the year. 

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The Pixel 8 series’ 2023 launch happened in the month of October. We’d expect a similar date for the Pixel 9.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

In the meantime, Google I/O takes place in May, and it’s possible we’ll see a teaser for the upcoming range, and possibly an announcement of the more affordable Pixel 8A.

Three (or four) Pixel 9 models

A rumor that’s persisted since Android Authority published it back in late 2022 is that there’ll be three models of the Pixel 9 phone, rather than the usual two. It’s expected that we’ll still see a base Pixel 9, but there may now be two versions of the flagship Pro range: a large model and a smaller one. 

Read more: Top Phones to Expect in 2024

The smaller version will reportedly be similar in size to the base model but will include the higher-performance cameras typically seen only with the larger size. The 9 Pro XL (as it’s rumored to be named) would feature the same higher-end specs but with a larger display. 

This more closely mirrors Apple’s strategy, which typically includes the base iPhone models, along with two Pro phones in different sizes with beefed-up cameras. 

It is also possible that there will be a fourth model — an update to the original Pixel Fold, launched in June 2023. We expected to hear more about the Pixel Fold 2 (rumored to be called the Pixel 9 Pro Fold) at Google I/O, but the company talked only about AI updates, with new folding hardware being conspicuous by its absence. While Google may announce the new Fold at an even later in June it feels more likely the company would want to announce a cohesive lineup of new devices in one go later in the year. 

iPhone-like design

Speaking of the iPhone, it’s possible the Pixel 9 range will get design changes that echo some of the iPhone 15’s aesthetics. Renders apparently acquired by notable tipster OnLeaks and published by MySmartPrice show a Pixel 9 with flat, metal sides and a flat back panel that look similar to those seen on the most recent iPhones.

Read more: Inside Google’s Secret Camera Lab That’s Like an Ikea for Pixel Testing

The other big physical change shown in the leaks is to the camera bar on the back. Previously, this was one solid bar that stretched the whole width of the phone, connecting to the edges on both sides. The renders suggest the camera bar will instead become an oval island that stands alone in the middle. 

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A render purportedly of the Pixel 9.

MySmartPrice/@OnLeaks

While the rumors haven’t been specific about what size displays we may see, most signs suggest the base Pixel 9 will remain around 6.1 inches, with the 9 Pro coming in at a similar size. The 9 Pro XL would be larger, measuring around 6.8 inches, in line with the sizing of the current Pixel 8 Pro.

Similar cameras

Full camera specs have yet to leak, so there’s little for photographers like me to get excited about just yet. However the rumors regarding a third size for the Pixel 9 family suggest that this will allow Google to bring the same triple-camera setup — including telephoto zoom — to the smaller Pixel 9 Pro. Currently, that’s available only on the larger Pixel 8 Pro handset. 

That’s good news for those of you who prefer a smaller phone but still want the best features. Though whether Google takes a page from Apple’s book by adding exclusive features to its largest phone remains to be seen. (The iPhone 15 Pro Max, for example, has a 5x optical zoom option that isn’t available on the smaller iPhone 15 Pro.) 

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The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro have decent, but not top-end, performance.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

New Tensor processor

It’s pretty much a given that Google will unveil the latest generation of its homegrown processor, likely to be called the Tensor G4. Google’s Tensor processors aren’t top of the class in terms of raw power, but the company boasts they’re particularly tuned for on-device AI. We expect that’ll once again be the case for Google’s next Tensor chip. 

Android 15 at launch

Google always uses the Pixel line to show off the latest that Android has to offer, so it’s safe to assume the Pixel 9 series will launch with the latest Android 15 on board. Android 15 is set to be officially unveiled at Google I/O in May, but the early developer previews show new settings for improved privacy and camera control.

One major new feature may be the addition of satellite messaging, according to Android Authority, helping the Pixel line compete with Apple’s Emergency SOS features that also use satellite messaging. 

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The Pixel 8 line launched with Android 14 on board. The Pixel 9 will almost certainly launch with Android 15.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Beyond that, it’s safe to assume there’ll be increased focus on generative AI features. We also hope to see Google continue to offer at least seven years of software support as it did with the Pixel 8. If it does, the Pixel 9 series will still be safe to use in 2031. 

Higher prices

There aren’t any rumors about potential prices for the Pixel 9 series yet, but leaks via WinFuture suggest the upcoming Pixel 8A will be more expensive than its predecessor, at least in Europe. The Pixel 7A launched at 509 Euros (around $542), but the Pixel 8A could cost 569 Euros ($606), according to the report — a significant year-on-year increase. A price increase for the Pixel 8A doesn’t necessarily mean a more expensive Pixel 9 range, but it does suggest Google isn’t shy about upping its prices.

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