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Google unveils new phones and watches priced below Apple

Alphabet-owned Google said Thursday that its new Pixel phones will offer improved voice and camera features, and will bring back facial recognition for unlocking the device.

More affordable than the mobile market’s dominant duo, the company’s Pixel 7 and 7 Pro devices retail for $599 and $899, respectively, and introduce the second generation of Google’s in-house Tensor chips. . The 6.7-inch Pro version adds a zoom camera and has a better display and more memory than the 6.3-inch Pixel 7.

Each year, Google’s Pixel phones serve as showcases for the company’s latest Android software and artificial intelligence-based services, such as Google Assistant. These demonstrate how Google wants its device manufacturing partners to get the most out of Google’s operating system. Google continues to develop its own hardware, but it has so far sold in small numbers as insurance against the failure of Samsung, the only reliable Apple rival in the US.

Atlanta-based mobile industry analyst Carolina Milanesi said: “You also need a clean experience to show off your AI.”

Google AI is showing up in upgraded language processing capabilities in modern software. The recorder app for voice memos can now automatically label different speakers in the transcription. Transcription has also been added to voice messages in the new Pixels messaging app.

According to Canalys data, the Pixel lineup only accounted for 2% of the North American market in the second quarter, while Apple’s iPhone accounted for 52%. Still, Google said it is the fastest-growing smartphone developer right now, commenting ahead of its launch event in New York on Thursday.

The event also showcased the $349 Pixel Watch. It’s the company’s first smartwatch to bear the Pixel name, and it’s cheaper than the latest-gen Apple Watch, which starts at $399. The company says it will be equipped with sensors and workout services. There are models with and without cellular connectivity, and Google promises up to 24 hours of battery life on the well-rounded devices. Along with the new phone, it will be available on October 13th.

Bloomberg Intelligence view

As Google expands into various categories such as wearables, security systems and smart speakers, it may aggressively diversify its supply chain. Hardware accounts for about $10 billion, or 4% of Alphabet’s revenue, and could grow even faster if the company ventures into his AR/VR and robotics.

— BI Analysts Mandeep Singh and Ashley Kim

Google’s other smartphone upgrades this year promise 72 hours of battery life in low power mode, up from 48 hours last year. His top-of-the-range Pixel 7 Pro has his three rear cameras, including a 50-megapixel wide-angle lens capable of macro photography and a 48-megapixel telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom. You can shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second. The standard model benefits from the same macro camera, but misses the zoom. It also features his 90Hz screen, which is slower than the Pro’s 120Hz display.

After removing the biometric option from the Pixel line in 2020 with 5th generation models, both phones are back with facial recognition, matching most high-end phones on the market. Last year’s iPhone 13 introduced a cinematic blur mode that allows you to combine depth of field and background blur in your video.

Questions about the long-term viability of the pixel line have been circulating for years and could intensify as all tech companies, including Google, look at how to control costs and streamline operations. A successful smartphone business requires significant up-front and marketing investments.

IDC’s Francisco Jeronimo said ahead of the launch event, “If Google doesn’t get serious about its hardware business, I think this product will miss the opportunity to expand its phone business in important markets like North America and Europe. increase.

Also at Thursday’s event, Google hinted at the new Pixel Tablet, which was first announced at the company’s I/O developer conference in May. Like the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, the tablet will be powered by Google’s Tensor G2 chip, said Rose Yao, vice president of product management. It’s made from “100% recycled aluminum” and features a charging speaker dock that attaches magnetically to the back of the device. When you dock your Pixel Tablet, it essentially acts as a Nest Hub, letting you control your smart home with your Google Assistant.

Google hasn’t announced pricing information or a specific release date, but has only announced that the tablet will arrive by 2023.

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Google unveils new phones and watches priced below Apple

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