2023 was a big year for Google’s Pixel line-up. Not only did all the usual products get their annual upgrade, we also saw the launch of brand things — like the foldable Pixel Fold and the Pixel Tablet. Not to mention the fact that the likes of the Pixel 8 and Pixel Watch 2 got upgrades in some much-needed areas like battery life.
But 2023 is in the past, and it’s time to check out what 2024 could have to offer. While the rumors are pretty scant at this early stage, and it’s unclear whether some products will be making an appearance, we still have some idea of what Google has in store for us over the next 12 months.
From the Pixel 9 to the possibility of a Pixel Fold 2, here’s what we can expect from the Google Pixel range in 2024.
Google Pixel 8a
Before anything else arrives, Google needs to release the final installment of the Pixel 8 lineup — the mid-range Google Pixel 8a. While flagship Pixels have a history of being inconsistent, the A-series phones are often one of the highlights of the year.
There’s stiff competition in the mid-range market, especially with how on point Samsung has been with the likes of the Galaxy A54. But with the iPhone SE 4 now not expected to arrive until 2025, Google has the opportunity to dig down and further cement itself as one of the leaders of the cheaper phone segment.
We’ve already heard some rumors about the phone, suggesting that there will be few design changes compared to last year. The phone should also come with the Tensor G3 chipset that debuted in the Pixel 8 and all the AI-centric features that this affords. But, like the Pixel 8, you shouldn’t be expecting the Pixel 8a to win any benchmarking contests. Like any Pixel the 8a should be one of the first Android phones to receive updates, and we’re hoping it gets the same 7 year support as its elder siblings.
The Pixel A series is also notable for offering some of the best features of the flagship, including great photography and often even better battery life. Though you shouldn’t expect the same premium flourishes as the flagship, which often leads to bigger bezels, plastic frames and an obvious lack of optical zoom. But so long as Google continues to keep the price under $500, that’s not such a dealbreaker.
Google Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro
There’s little doubt that Google won’t continue releasing two flagship Pixels towards the end of the year — presumably October. But one leak has suggested we may actually end up with 3 Pixel 9 devices: the standard Pixel 9 and two Pixel 9 Pro variants.
Apparently these two variants will share all the same performance and camera improvements, but will come in two different sizes. One with a traditional 6.7-inch display and another with a 6.3-inch screen. Of course a separate rumor claims that we’ll get the usual pair of phones, though both could feature larger screens. It wasn’t specified how much larger they might get, though.
Whatever happens, we can expect the entire Pixel 9 series to come with a Tensor G4 chipset. We don’t expect this to be a particularly powerful chip, though it would be nice if Google managed to boost the efficiency by a noticeable degree. Instead this is what’s going to power the Pixel 9’s AI features which will likely have a heavy focus on photo quality and additional editing skills.
We also expect that Google will be leaning heavily on its own AI models. It’s been confirmed that Gemini Pro and Ultra will be integrated into Google Bard later this year, which will be accessible through Google Assistant. So far these features have only been confirmed to improve existing Pixel AI features, but we’d offer pretty good odds that new and more powerful features are coming.
Beyond AI we should also expect to see general improvements to the Pixel 9 camera and display, while we hope Google can avoid the usual battery life pitfalls that plagued the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series.
Android 15: What’s coming to Pixel in 2024
It wouldn’t be a Google Pixel without Android, and the road to the release of Android 15 should be starting pretty quickly. In fact, the first Android 15 developer preview is likely to launch fairly soon (Android 14 arrived in February).
As for the public, we probably won’t get our first proper look at the software until Google I/O in May. Odds are that, at the very latest, the first public beta will arrive that day — though we may see it arrive in April as was the case with Android 14.
The stable release will arrive sometime in the Fall. Normally this happens towards the end of Summer, though Android 14’s release was delayed until early October — just over a week before the Pixel 8 launch event.
We can see either situation happening this year, and if it’s the latter it could mean Google is adopting a more Apple-like approach to Android releases. Typically the latest version of iOS rolls out to the general public shortly before the launch of the next iPhone.
Naturally Pixel owners will be the first in line to get any and all Android updates — beta or otherwise. The Pixel 9 and 9 Pro will no doubt come with the new software right out of the box, plus a few exclusive features to sweeten the pot. As ever we expect the Pixel to get the lion’s share of Android updates, thanks to Google’s monthly feature drops.
At this point we don’t know a great deal about what Android 15 will include, though it’s suspected the upgrade will feature new protections against phishing scams and other generally “deceptive behavior” from your apps. Another possibility is some kind of battery health indicator, similar to the one found on iPhones, to help you keep tabs on how much capacity your phone's battery may have lost during ita lifetime.
No doubt there will be plenty of other additions coming to the software, but we’ll just have to wait to find out more.
Google Pixel Watch 3
We haven’t heard much about the Pixel Watch 3, but if the last two years are anything to go by we should probably expect to see one arrive alongside the Pixel 9 in October. We may get a glimpse at I/O in May, but there’s no guarantee that will happen again. As for what the watch might improve, that’s anyone’s guess right now.
One rumor we have heard is that the Pixel Watch 3 may go completely button-free. A Google patent suggests that you may be able to control the watch using gestures, but not the wand-waving kind. Instead it focuses on swiping, pressing and squeezing the watch casing. Imagine if the Pixel Watch 3 can get all the benefits of a rotating bezel, without actually relying on moving parts that could break?
We can certainly expect to see improved health and safety features, at least if the Pixel Watch 2 is anything to go by, and that likely means the lines between the Pixel Watch and a Fitbit will get even blurrier. We just hope Google gets round to fixing basic design features, like slimming down the chunky bezels and ideally offering a smaller sized watchface for people that don’t have huge hands.
Will we see the Pixel Fold 2 or Pixel Tablet 2?
The biggest question we have for the Pixel range in 2024 is whether we’ll see follow-ups to the Google Pixel Fold and Google Pixel Tablet. Both were the first entry in their product line, and so far we haven’t heard anything about possible follow-ups — beyond the fact Google doesn’t want either of them to be “one and done” products.
It’s also worth noting that the Pixel Tablet was first announced back at Google I/O 2022, and didn't actually go on sale for another 13 months. The Pixel Fold had also been rumored for a few years now, but didn’t materialize until last summer. Which doesn’t bode well for the prospect of getting a second generation device during 2024.
Then again we could have said the same thing about the Pixel Watch 2 this time last year. There was some speculation that Google would skip the annual upgrade cycle with its smartwatch, only for the second generation smartwatch to appear alongside the Pixel 8 series. And at least one leak from December 2022 suggests Google could have a second foldable being prepped for a 2024 launch.
But until we start hearing rumors, it might be worth tempering your expectations.
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Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.
I would love to see them bring out a pixel flip, using updated fold tech and latest cameras.Reply