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Exclusive: Here’s Google’s entire 2024-2025 roadmap for Pixel phones

Now that 2023's done and dusted, what does Google have up its sleeve in 2024 and 2025?

Published onMay 8, 2024

Google Pixel 8a vs Pixel 8 Pro
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Updated, May 8, 2024 (05:00 AM ET): We’ve updated this article to reflect on the accuracy of this source’s Google Pixel roadmap, and to include details about the launch of the Pixel 8a.

Original article, December 22, 2022 (01:09 PM ET): Google’s Pixel smartphones have matured in recent years and are now regularly among the best smartphones around. Now that we’ve seen what Google has accomplished in 2023, what lies beyond? Thanks to an anonymous but trustworthy source, Android Authority can exclusively reveal the major shifts Google will likely take with the Pixel series in 2024 and 2025.

Although we have vetted this information thoroughly, please note that this roadmap is not set in stone. Our source said certain aspects of the plan are definite, but others are up in the air. We will acknowledge the likelihood of each detail as we walk you through the Google Pixel roadmap.

The Pixel series in 2024: More Pro, less A?

Google Pixel 8a dual camera close
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Aside from the launch of the Pixel Fold and an earlier launch for the Pixel 7a, 2023 didn’t look too different from 2022. However, in 2024, Google has primarily stuck to its script, launching a mid-range phone in the middle of the year.

Google Pixel 8a

Although our source initially suggested that Google is considering moving away from annual launches of A series phones, the company officially unveiled the Pixel 8a on May 8, 2024. The phone keeps the Pixel 7a’s $499 base price but includes the Pixel 8 series’ Tensor G3 chipset, a 120Hz display, several AI features thanks to Gemini Nano support, and a seven-year software update promise — the best in its price range.

Notably, the launch of the Pixel 8a this year doesn’t suggest that Google has completely disregarded the two-year release schedule. Google could still launch Pixel A phones biennially (every two years) going forward, bringing them more in line with the iPhone SE series. However, we’ll have to wait until 2025 to see if this becomes a reality.

Pixel 9 series

Later this year, presumably in the fall, Google will launch the Pixel 9 series. However, according to our source, this series will have three devices for the first time.

The first will be the vanilla Google Pixel 9, which would likely be the same size and general format as the Pixel 8 (which, remember, is slightly smaller than the Pixel 7). There would also be the expected Pixel 9 Pro — codenamed “komodo” — with a screen size in the 6.7-inch realm. Then, there would be a second Pro-level model that is codenamed “caiman.” This phone would have all the Pro-level features of the 6.7-inch model but cram it down into a 6.3-inch design.

The Pixel 9 series could have a third phone: a smaller Pro-level model.

Our source likened this strategy to Apple’s iPhone launches. The Pixel 9 would be like an iPhone 15, while the 6.3-inch “caiman” would be akin to an iPhone 15 Pro. The 6.7-inch “komodo” would be more in line with an iPhone 15 Pro Max.

When we inquired as to how likely this is, our source emphatically stated that this is definitely happening. Google wants to mimic Apple’s successful sizing strategy, which means it needs a Pro-level phone that isn’t as large as the Pixel 7 Pro. Pricing, naming, and availability are all up in the air, but the goal of three phones is set in stone.

All three of these phones should see the debut of Tensor G4, which we were told has the “redondo” codename.

Future foldable

Finally, there is a plan for a follow-up foldable in 2024. However, not much is known about this at the moment. Google is likely waiting to see the consumer response to its first foldable before getting too specific about the follow-up plans.

The Pixel series in 2025: Two potential strategies

Google Pixel 7 Pro Lemongrass back
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Pushing into 2025, our source says Google is looking at several choices for its Pixel roadmap. The success or failure of its 2023 and 2024 plans will influence this decision.

First, Google is toying with the idea of having a flip-style foldable phone to compete with the Galaxy Z Flip series. If it goes this route, the fall 2025 launch of the main Pixel series would include the flip-style foldable, a non-folding vanilla model (we presume it’ll be the base Pixel 10), and then two Pro-level iterations with one being smaller and the other being larger.

Google is considering a clamshell foldable for 2025, but it has an alternate strategy in place too.

However, if Google abandons the flip-style device, it would move ahead with four non-folding phones. That would be a vanilla model in small and large sizes and a pro model in small and large sizes. Once again, this would directly line up with Apple’s current strategy for iPhones.

Finally, the fate of any Pixel Fold successors in 2025 is still dependent on its market reception.

The Google Pixel series in 2023

Now that 2023 is done and dusted, we can evaluate just how accurate our source’s information was and how Google deviated from these leaked launch plans.

Pixel Fold and Pixel 7a

Google Pixel Fold half closed on palm 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Our source leaked this information in 2022, months before the biggest leaks started landing for the Pixel series. The source confirmed that two Pixel phones — codenamed “lynx” and “felix” — would launch during or around Google I/O. These two phones have since become official, with “lynx” referring to the Pixel 7a and “felix” to the Pixel Fold. As expected, both phones landed on May 10, 2023, during the Google I/O event.

The big Google news in 2023 was the launch of the first foldable Pixel.

Our source said that Google would keep the same pricing for the Pixel 7a, which would have meant a US retail price of $449 to match the Pixel 6a. However, our source was incorrect on this detail, as the Pixel 7a’s confirmed price is $499. Do note that the pricing of devices is the easiest thing a company can change at the last minute.

Meanwhile, we were told the Pixel Fold would land at a price of $1,799. This turned out to be 100% accurate, as that is the starting price for the 256GB model of the Google-branded foldable.

Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro

Google Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 held in hand
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Come October 2023, the Google Pixel 8 series launched, just as our source told us. At the time of this leak in December 2022, our source confirmed that Google would stick to the general guidelines of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 when it comes to specs and design. Now that we’ve seen official images of both phones and actually used them, we know this was true.

Interestingly, our source told us in December 2023 that Google was planning on shrinking the Pixel 8 (codenamed “shiba”). They claimed it would have a smaller display and overall smaller form factor. On the flip side, “husky” — aka the Pixel 8 Pro — would have the same display and general measurements as the Pixel 7 Pro. Today, we know these claims are accurate, with the Pixel 8 being slightly smaller than the Pixel 7 and a Pixel 8 Pro with the same general dimensions as the Pixel 7 Pro.

However, one detail our source did not tell us is that the Pixel 8 Pro has a flat display, a first for a Pro-level Pixel. It’s possible the source did not know this information or Google made the change sometime after December 2022.

Finally, we were told the codename for the silicon debuting with the Pixel 8 series would be “zuma.” As expected, Google marketed it as the Tensor G3.

Google Pixel roadmap leak: Our thoughts

Google logo loading
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The information we received from this source makes a lot of sense to us, and Google’s official 2023 launch details have largely matched up. Pretty much every company is chasing Apple’s non-foldable smartphone success and strategy and Samsung’s foldable success. To find out that Google is using both companies as templates for its own future products is anything but surprising.

The question we have, though, is whether Google will be too late to the party. We’ve since reviewed the Pixel Fold and felt it an excellent debut. Still, the first shot at a flip-style phone not landing until 2024 seems too slow. Remember that Samsung sells more Galaxy Z Flip phones than Galaxy Z Fold phones at a ratio of 3:1. Google should be going after the flip market sooner rather than later.

Likewise, Google’s attempt to match Apple’s approach of having more palm-friendly pro-level phones should happen earlier rather than later. By then, Apple’s strategy may have changed. After all, the “Mini” iPhone series wasn’t a big success. Industry scuttlebutt suggests the possibility that the iPhone 15 Plus will probably be the weakest seller. If Google wants to chase Apple, it needs to be faster than this.

Regardless, we are very excited about this news. A more compact Pixel 9 Pro sounds perfect to us, and the Pixel Fold seems like a hit so far. Moving the A series to a biennial schedule also makes a lot of sense.

For now, we’ll just need to wait and see how Google’s final Pixel roadmap pans out compared to the information we have.

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