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Google Pixel 9 rumors: Expected release date and what we want to see
Update: November 17, 2023 (04:13 PM ET): We have updated our Google Pixel 9 rumor hub with a rumor suggesting the series could support Qi2 charging.
The Google Pixel 8 only just got here and yet we’re already hearing rumors about what’s next from Google in 2024. Let’s jump right in and discuss everything we know about the Pixel 9.
Google Pixel 9: At a glance
- When might it come out? The Pixel 9 series is expected to arrive in October of 2024.
- What new features could it have? It's too new to say for sure, but you can likely expect minor changes to the SoC and other components.
- How much might it cost? The Pixel 9 and 9 Pro are expected to cost around $799 and $999, respectively. The smaller Pro variant will likely slot in between these two price points.
Will there be a Google Pixel 9?
The Google Pixel series is currently in its 8th generation, and Google’s commitment to its smartphone lineup is evident. There’s no indication that this will change in the near future. Furthermore, we’re already beginning to hear early rumors about the Pixel 9, further solidifying this commitment.
Android Authority exclusively reported a leaked roadmap, suggesting the release of three models in 2024. Alongside the anticipated Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro, the roadmap indicates the existence of a second, slimmer Pro model. This option caters to individuals who prefer a smaller display while still desiring the same Pro-level specifications.
What is the most likely Google Pixel 9 release date?
- Google Pixel 8 — October 4, 2023
- Google Pixel 7 — October 13, 2022
- Google Pixel 6 — October 25, 2021
- Google Pixel 5 — October 15, 2020
The Google Pixel line has always arrived in October, historically in the middle of the month or a little later. Following this pattern, it’s all but guaranteed the Pixel 9 will arrive in October of 2024.
What specs and features could the Google Pixel 9 have?
Although the Pixel 9 is still very far off, we’re already learning a bit about it. According to our sources, the Tensor G4 will continue Google’s tradition of utilizing Samsung Exynos chips as the basis for its design. This might be a bit disappointing to some. After all, rumors were suggesting that Google would eventually create its own Tensor SoC, codenamed Redondo, entirely from scratch and based on a TSMC processor node.
According to The Information, Google had initially planned to launch the custom chip in time for the Pixel 9, but it missed its internal deadlines. Consequently, it’s now too late to include it in the Pixel 9. Google will continue developing the custom chip for testing purposes. You can also expect its successor to debut with the Pixel 10 series in 2025. Regarding the Pixel 9, the Tensor G4 will now be based on a chip codenamed Zuma Pro. For those who may not be aware, Google refers to the Pixel 8’s Tensor G3 as Zuma.
The new chip is expected to offer a more modest upgrade than what they initially planned, similar to how the Tensor G2 provided only a modest improvement over the original Tensor. While the Tensor G4 is likely to introduce some useful enhancements and features, it’s unfortunate that Google wasn’t able to provide its fully custom chip as originally intended.
Aside from the SoC, we also have some insights into the screen sizes Google plans to use. We expect the standard Pixel 9 to feature a 6.17-inch display. In contrast, the Pixel 9 Pro will come in at around 6.7 inches. Finally, the new, smaller Pro model mentioned earlier — codenamed Caiman — is expected to sport a 6.3-inch display.
However, Ross Young on X (formerly Twitter) claims the display sizes for the Pixel 9, 9 Pro, 9a, and the Fold 2 will all be bigger than this year’s models. Young did not elaborate on how much bigger the screens would be. We don’t know a whole lot more about the Pixel 9 yet, but we can certainly make a few educated guesses.
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 had identical camera hardware. The only real difference was the camera’s software improvements. The same trend continued with the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro, sharing a similar camera setup but with a few enhancements for the Pixel 7 Pro, such as a 126-degree ultrawide camera with macro focus, 5x optical zoom, and 30x Super Res Zoom. Given this pattern, it’s highly likely that the base Pixel 8 and Pixel 9 will also share the same camera configurations.
The Pixel 8 series made the switch to the Samsung Isocell GN2, a 50MP shooter with several improvements including 35% more light processing, the possibility of 8K/30fps video capture, and staggered HDR. It’s very likely the Pixel 9 series will retain this main camera. It’s less clear if the aging ultrawide lens will also see an upgrade on the base Pixel 9. The Pixel 9 Pro series is even harder to predict. Google often makes at least a few changes to its Pro lineup every year, so odds are we’ll see improvement to either the ultrawide lens, telephoto lens, or both.
Lastly, it wouldn’t be surprising if Google decided to upgrade the selfie camera hardware in the Pixel 9 and 9 Pro series. This is because the Pixel 8 family kept the same Samsung 3J1 (11 MP) sensor as the Pixel 7 family, which suggests that it’s time for an upgrade in 2024.
It’s too early to speculate on battery, storage sizes, or other details. However, the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has announced that the Qi2 wireless charging standard has completed certification testing, and there is a strong chance the Pixel 9 series would support it. That’s because a senior Google Hardware engineer is a board member of WPC and is “currently leading the investigation and design of next-generation wireless charging platforms for future Pixel products.”
We’ll be sure to update this guide as more leaks and rumors hit.
What might the Google Pixel 9 price be?
- Pixel 8 and 8 Pro — $699/$999
- Pixel 7 and 7 Pro — $599/$899
- Pixel 7 and 7 Pro — $599/$899
- Pixel 5 — $699
Google has established itself as the cheaper alternative to pricey flagships from Samsung, Apple, and others. Unfortunately, these days may be coming to an end following the price increases for the Pixel 8 series.
We can’t see Google jacking prices even higher than this a year later, so $699 and $999 are pretty likely here too. As for the rumored smaller Pixel 9 Pro? For now, all we can do is guess. We wouldn’t be too surprised if Google slots it between the two models, though.
Should you wait for the Google Pixel 9?
With the Pixel 9 still a year away, the decision to wait for it depends on your current smartphone and preferences. If you already own a relatively new phone, especially one from the last two years, it might make sense to wait until 2024. This is especially true if you have an interest in the possibility of a smaller Pixel Pro variant.
What if you have an aging handset that needs an upgrade? There’s really no reason to wait. The jump from the Pixel 8 ($699 at Amazon) to the Pixel 9 is relatively minor, though the Pixel 8 Pro ($999 at Amazon) was a big leap from previous Pro Pixels. If the Pixel 8 doesn’t pique your interest, alternatives like the Galaxy S23 ($799 at Amazon) or Galaxy S23 Ultra ($1199.99 at Samsung) could also be worth exploring.
Google Pixel 9: What we want to see
There’s no doubt that the Pixel 9 will bring improvements to the mix. That said, it seems like every year we hope for a few obvious upgrades that Google tends to gloss over. For years this was battery life, though Google finally started slowly turning this around ever since the Pixel 5. So what would we like to see improved upon with the Pixel 9? Below are just three things on our wish list.
Faster charging options
Google is significantly behind the times when it comes to wire-based charging speeds. The Pixel 7 only offers 20W speeds, while the Pixel 7 Pro has 27W charging speeds. To put this into perspective, Samsung is also considered one of the worst at wired charging speeds, and yet it still managed to deliver 25W to the Galaxy S23 and 45W to the S23 Ultra.
The good news is the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro finally address this. The bad news is Google is taking it far enough. The Pixel 8 has 24W charging, while the Pixel 8 Pro has 27W charging. In a world where devices Redmi Note 12 Explorer can charge up to 210W, this seems insulting low.
To be fair, most of the fastest charging phones aren’t sold in the States due to differences in regulation and power standards. Still, the OnePlus 11 is available stateside and can charge at a brisk 80W.
We aren’t saying Google needs to go to extremes here, even offering 45W charging for the Pixel 9 Pro series would be a welcome change. Even better, we’d love to see Google make 45W the base speed for the Pixel 9 and aim just a little higher for the Pro.
There are no rumors to suggest Google will make such a move, but we can certainly hold out hope. Now that rumors suggest the Galaxy S24 will greatly improve its speeds, it’s possible Google could follow suit.
Better thermals and heat dissipation
There’s a lot to love about Google’s Tensor SoC. For starters, it packs a lot of machine learning intelligence under the hood. On the downside, it’s also known for heating issues. We don’t mean just a little hot either. I have experienced moments when my phone became uncomfortably hot to hold. Typically this was during long game sessions. I’ve also run into occasional issues where it alerts me my phone needs to cool down.
Higher storage capacities
This is a smaller point, but the base Pixel could use more storage. The Pixel 8 offers only 128GB and 256GB storage options, while the Pro includes a 512GB and a 1TB variant. Here’s to hoping the Pixel 9 at least gives us a 512GB model.