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Pixel 9, 9 Pro and 9 Pro XL: new features, price, release date

Similar to Samsung and Xiaomi, Google is also moving to a three-model strategy for its core range. Its next-generation smartphones include the Pixel 9, Pixel 9 Pro, and Pixel 9 Pro XL. A major design evolution is expected, but performance, photo, screen and autonomy enhancements are also on the menu.

Pixel 9 Pro XL

While they may not be the most successful smartphones on the mobile market, the Pixels are always closely scrutinized by the industry, as they can set trends for devices in the Android ecosystem. Year after year, Google has managed to improve the hardware of its Pixels to go beyond just improving the software and offer truly complete, high-end products. One of the main new features this year is the introduction of a third model to strengthen the offering and cover more user needs. Thus, we have Pixel 9, Pixel 9 Pro and Pixel 9 Pro XL.

When is Pixel 9? 

Google is making a big change to its usual schedule for this generation, as the company typically unveils new models in October. Surprisingly, however, Google announced in June that it will be held at 7:00 am on August 13, 2024. (Time in Paris). I don't know if Pixel 9 will be available earlier this year, or whether it is a presentation presented in marketing from the October habit. Google typically opens up preorders for its devices shortly after they become official, then launches them about a week later.

Perhaps this is Google's way of steering clear of Apple's headwinds, which will launch the iPhone 16 in September with Apple Intelligence support. According to a teaser released by the Mountain View firm, the Pixel 9 will also rely on artificial intelligence to stand out from the crowd, and waiting until the iPhone launch will be a solution to avoid distracting everyone's attention. As for the mid-range Pixel 9a model, we will probably have to wait until spring 2025. 

How much does pixel 9 cost?

It's too early to talk about the price of the Pixel 9. Google has obviously not yet communicated any information on this matter, and resellers, who are usually the source of leaks, have not yet received this information, so to get an idea of the price you will be charged, check the price at the time of the previous generation's release.

The Pixel 8 is priced at 799 euros with 128 GB of internal memory and 859 euros with 256 GB of internal memory. At the same time, the Pixel 8 Pro was priced at 1099 euros (128 GB), 1159 $ (256 GB) and 1299 $ (512 GB). In the 8S pixel, a fairly spectacular price increased compared to Pixel 7. Therefore, Google can be expected to weaken the price of this generation.

Therefore, Pixel 9 can start for 799 euros. The entry ticket for the Pixel 9 Pro XL, which is in fact the successor to the Pixel 8 Pro, will be $1,099, unless Google decides to drop the 128GB storage version to focus on more premium and more expensive configurations. The Pixel 9 Pro will fall somewhere in between, but will probably be closer to the Pixel 9 Pro XL. It seems likely that the price will be around 999 $.

Pixel 9 Pro XL

Design: A radically updated photo block

For generations, Google has deviated from the design standards followed by other smartphone brands to differentiate its Pixel. Their greatest originality is definitely a block of photography, and is composed of a horizontal bar, a unique design of the industry. Using Pixel 9 Mountain View, it is a characteristic of the photograph of the sensor placed horizontally, but it is a completely new block photo. The latter abandons straight lines and angular corners in favor of a much more rounded shape. Moreover, it no longer stretches from one side of the camera to the other, leaving a small amount of space on each side. The optics remain on the left of this element, while the LED flash is positioned on the right.

Google started this change with the Pixel 8, which had much rounder corners than the Pixel 7, and this trend becomes even more pronounced with the Pixel 9, where the edges aren't curved at all but are completely flat... This is a trend among premium smartphones, already seen on the iPhone and Galaxy S.

The dimensions of the Pixel 9 are said to reach 152.8 x 71.9 x 8.5 mm, which is a little longer and wider than the Pixel 8, but also slightly thinner. However, including the photo block, the thickness will be 12mm. The Pixel 9 Pro (the latest product) may adopt the exact same format or a slightly larger size. As for the Pixel 9 Pro XL, the leak reveals dimensions of 162.7 x 76.6 x 8.5 mm, barely larger than the Pixel 8 Pro, but a few mm more in terms of sophistication.

For the rest, we find the front camera in the central punch, a fingerprint reader under the screen, IP68 certification for water and dust resistance, an aluminum chassis and a glass rear fa├žade. Pixel 9 can be used with JADE (green), obsidian (black), peony (bright pink), and porcelain (white). 

Pixel 9 Pro and 9 Pro XL can be used in hazel (gray), obsidian (black), porcelain (white), and roses (pink salmon). As for this last color, user @hanibioud posted the original Pixel 9 video preview. 

Pixel 9 Pro XL

Screens: Two or three different sizes?

The Pixel 9 has the same 6.2-inch screen size as the Pixel 8. As for the Pixel 9 Pro, sources differ. Some say it will have the same screen size as the Pixel 9, something Apple could do with the iPhone Pro, for example. Some believe it could be a bit larger with a 6.34-inch panel. Even though the two phones are the same size, they could have thinner bezels like the Pixel 9 Pro to save display space. The Pixel 9 Pro XL's screen diagonal is 6.7 inches, the same as the previous Pixel 8 Pro.

All three models will have OLED panels, with a Full HD+ (1080p) resolution on the Pixel 9 and a QHD+ (1440p) resolution on the Pixel 9 Pro XL. The Pixel 9 Pro's image quality remains a question mark: It's set to inherit most of the tech specs from the Pixel 9 Pro XL, but Google may decide that QHD+ isn't necessary on such a compact phone.

The refresh rate will rise to 120 Hz. It is hoped that it will become adaptive from 1 to 120 Hz depending on the content displayed on the standard model, a function reserved for the Pro configuration on the eighth generation. The Pixel 8\'s display was extremely bright, enabling comfortable use in direct sunlight, and the Pixel 9 should do at least as well. 

Performance: Google does everything on IA

You shouldn't expect a big increase in net power. Although it integrates a new high-speed modem to improve connection performance, the Pixel 9 series SoC is not revolutionary. The Tensor G4 chip is again stamped at 4nm by Samsung and customized by Google. The Pixel 8s was already lagging behind its high-end competitors, so it's unlikely the Pixel 9s will be able to catch up, especially with most manufacturers planning to move to 3nm for their flagship products. But Google has never been interested in performance measured by benchmarks, preferring software optimizations and, more recently, the use of artificial intelligence to stand out from the crowd.

This is a place where Google is likely to impress us. Apple attacked Apple Intelligence violently. This provides a very useful AI function for applications and systems in cooperation with local language models. With Gemini, we know that Google is able to develop a very effective application. But now we need small IA -based options to improve our experience in a more transparent way. 

Speaking of RAM, Google needs to reconsider its copy: Deep learning and machine learning features are resource-intensive, so the new Pixel will have features to meet those needs. The Pixel 9 is said to have 12GB of RAM, while the two Pro models will each have 16GB of RAM.

Autonomy: No big changes? 

The Pixel 9's battery capacity hasn't been revealed, which should be close to the performance of the previous generation (4575 mAh for the Pixel 8 and 5050 mAh for the Pixel 8 Pro). In our testing of both products, we rated the battery life as pretty average compared to what competitors offer, and while the Tensor G4 modem should consume less power, the artificial intelligence could put a strain on the battery. Barring a big (and pleasant) surprise, we don't expect any significant improvements in durability for the Pixel 9.

Camera: The compact Pixel finally has a tele lens

The Pixel line has always been known for its excellent photography backdrop, not thanks to its cutting-edge hardware, but thanks to the best software processing in the mobile industry. With the Pixel 8s, Google added an improved photo sensor to the software, which explains some of the price increases for the various models. Mountain View doesn't plan on making any major changes to its hardware this year. The three models should see the return of the Samsung \ MP ISOCELL GNK main module, as well as 48 megapixels.

Pixel 9 Pro and Pixel 9 PRO XL will benefit from the Third Optics telephoto lens: 48-megapixel which allows the X5 optical zoom if Google does not make any modification. The 30x digital zoom on the Pixel 8 Pro was very impressive, but we can only hope that AI will improve this even further. It's not yet clear whether the previous generation's 10.5MP front camera will be used here. 

Google's big advantage in photography this year has been artificial intelligence, and while the Pixel is already ahead of the competition in this regard, especially in the Google Photos app, now it's time to push the envelope. For example, Gemini, the Google Assistant replacement, is expected to let users retouch photos with just a voice command, without having to dig into the editing settings themselves.

New features in Android 15

Currently, Google promises to provide Android updates and security patches for smartphones for seven years. The Pixel 8 generation was the first to take advantage of this, with the Pixel 9 following suit. Software support like this will help extend the lifespan of the device. 

The Pixel 9 will ship with Android 15, the next major version of the mobile operating system. Several beta versions have already been rolled out, and the stable version is expected to be released within the next few weeks. New features include the ability to display widgets on the lock screen, a Private Space folder to hide sensitive apps, a status bar with redesigned icons, improved battery health monitoring, adaptive screen saving, a new interface for managing Bluetooth connections, better management of regular notifications from the same app, the Locate My Device function that works even when the smartphone is switched off, satellite messaging in emergencies, and much more.

As always, all three smartphones will also receive exclusive features. This year they are mainly linked to artificial intelligence.