Everything We Know About the Google Pixel 9

<strong>The Pixel 8 in blush (left) and the Pixel 8 Pro in bay (right).</strong> - Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo
The Pixel 8 in blush (left) and the Pixel 8 Pro in bay (right). - Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

This guide was updated on April 19, 2024, to reflect the latest “real-life” leaks of the Pixel 9 and upcoming satellite connectivity available on Android.

The ninth-generation Google Pixel has yet to debut, but we have already heard conflicting reports. Will it have a periscopic telephoto lens? Will the Pixel 8 Pro’s errant temperature sensor stick around its successor? Will we have three Pixels instead of two? And, more importantly, is Google planning to “yassify” the Pixel 9 Pro?

Expect to hear something more substantial closer to Google I/O, which will take place on May 14 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. At that time, the company will likely reveal the hardware it’s launching in the fall. But for now, we have leaks and lots of gossip. Here’s what the rumors say.

When to expect the Pixel 9?

Google typically launches its new Pixel generation in October. It’s par for the course this year, too. We expect to see the Pixel 9, Pixel 9 Pro, and maybe even the Pixel 9 Pro XL sometime after Samsung debuts new Galaxy foldables and Apple updates to the iPhone 16. Over the past eight years, Google’s Pixels have been a part of the fanfare of major phone releases before the holiday shopping season.

What will the Pixel 9 look like?

Based on highly alleged renderings surfaced by MySmartPrice, a website known to leak Android handsets, the next-gen Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro will have flatter edges and a deeper curve around the edges. The images currently floating around suggest the Pixel 9 will almost mirror the rounded aesthetic of the Galaxy S24 series or the iPhone 15 Pro.

The backside-facing camera module of the Pixel 9 may get reconfigured, though it will be less of a change than what the Pixel Fold 2 might look like. The consensus is that the Pixel design will become rounder and more reliant on the circular aesthetic than the rectangular one it’s leaned into since the Pixel 6.

As of April 2024, a set of too-good-not-to-be-true “real-life” images of the Pixel 9 Pro seemingly confirms all of this—again, we’ll know nothing until Google reveals more. Leaker Rozetked shared the images through the popular Google News Telegram channel. The photos show a Pixel device that’s decidedly iPhone-ish from the front side—its corners are barely distinguishable from the iPhone 14 Pro Max, used as a comparison device in the photos. But there’s also boot information on the screen of the supposed Pixel 9 device indicating it has 16GB of memory and is identified as “caiman,” a nickname that’s been circulating the rumor mill for about two years.

Are three Pixel devices better than two?

The latest leak percolating through the speculative airwaves is that the Google Pixel 9 may come in three variants. What would those sizes be, you ask? It would be the Pixel 9, Pixel 9 Pro, and the Pixel 9 Pro XL.

You’re probably wondering, “So, XL, that means extra large, right?” This one will probably be the larger version of the regular Pixel 9 Pro with an extra camera offering, a la the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which features additional telephoto capabilities and a wider camera aperture. It’s not purported to be very big. The Pixel 9 Pro XL may only top out at 6.5 inches, making it a smaller display compared to Samsung’s Ultra variant.

At the very least, we may have a smaller Pixel 9 en route and an even smaller Pixel 9 Pro. And for that, I’m thankful. OnLeaks, the originator of the 5K renders of the three Pixel devices making the rounds, alleges we’re getting a 6.1-inch display with three cameras on the Pixel 9 Pro and a 6.03-inch display on the Pixel 9—smaller than the Pixel 8's 6.1-inch display we have now.

What are the Pixel 9’s specs?

The exact specifications of Google’s next smartphones, beyond supposed screen sizes, have yet to be determined. However, we can safely assume that the Tensor G3 CPU is next up for the Pixel 9 series.

The Pixel 9 Pro and Pro XL will likely have a more significant camera bump, as all the new renders and “real-life photos” of the Pixel 9 allege. The same thing happened to Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra and the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The optical zoom offering needs a lens that can facilitate, and Google can only rely on the algorithms of Super Zoom for so long.

Will the Pixel 9 get satellite connectivity?

Android users want to be as protected out in the wild as their iPhone brethren. The feature that lets you call for help via satellite has already appeared in the beta version of Android 15. Full screenshots show what the interface looks like as it directs you toward the path with the strongest satellite connection.

What’s a little annoying is the idea that this ability may be offered first through a carrier like T-Mobile before it’s available to all users. Apple’s version of satellite connectivity is carrier agnostic since the company developed its own dispatch system. There’s also talk about the latest Google Maps beta harboring strings of code that indicate the ability to share your location via satellite.

We’ll be updating this page with more rumors and anything that gets confirmed leading up to the eventual launch of the Pixel 9.

Want more of Gizmodo’s consumer electronics picks? Check out our guides to the best laptops, best TVs, and best headphones. If you want to learn about the next big thing, see our guide to everything we know about the iPhone 16.

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