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Google Pixel 9: news, rumored price, release date, and more

Front and rear profile of leaked Google Pixel 9 renders.
OnLeaks / 91Mobiles

The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are Google’s latest and most powerful devices, but it won’t be that way for long. Rumors of the Google Pixel 8a mean this pair of flagships will be supplanted as the latest Google phones fairly soon — but they’ll be able to hold on to the title of “most powerful” for a little while longer. The Google Pixel 9 range, while definitely on the way, isn’t due to arrive any time soon.

But when it does, it’s sure to be a pair of blockbusters. Leaks for the Pixel 9 family are a little thin on the ground at the moment, but it seems as if Google is planning on making some big changes this time around. If leaks are correct, we expect a new look and some exciting new AI features that go beyond what we’ve seen before.

Here’s everything we know about the upcoming Google Pixel 9, Pixel 9 Pro, and Pixel 9 Pro XL!

Google Pixel 9: release date

Made by Google logo at an event venue.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel 8 range debuted in September 2023 and was released in October, so it’s fair to assume Google will do the same again at a Made by Google event later this fall.

Google has remained very consistent with its October launches for mainline Pixel smartphones, so there’s no reason to assume anything is changing this year. It’s always possible for things to shift, but at least right now, October 2024 seems like a safe bet for when you can buy a Pixel 9 smartphone.

Google Pixel 9: price

A person holding the Google Pixel 8 Pro.
Google Pixel 8 Pro Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Pricing is a bit more of an unknown. Last year’s Pixels increased their prices by $100 — meaning $699 for the Pixel 8 and $999 for the Pixel 8 Pro. Our initial reaction is Google would be unlikely to do the same two years on the trot.

However, if Google incorporates heavy AI elements into its new phones, that could push the phones’ prices up again. We’ll have to wait and see if this is true, though, as there have been no rumors about this so far.

There’s something else to consider, and that’s the reintroduction of the XL model this year. Google may release three versions of the Pixel 9 in 2024, including the Pixel 9 Pro XL on top of the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro. There are a lot of variables that could impact Pixel 9 pricing this year, so we’ll have to wait for additional information before speculating too much in this regard.

Google Pixel 9: design

A render of the Google Pixel 9 smartphone in black.
Google Pixel 9 OnLeaks / 91Mobiles

It’s been a couple of years since Google updated the Pixel’s design, so the Pixel 9 is ripe for a refresh. It seems Google agrees, as leaked renders of the Pixel 9 family have revealed some drastic design changes.

We’ll start with the regular Google Pixel 9 — and there’s a lot to unpack here. The first and possibly the most obvious change is the new camera visor. Rather than a bar that stretches across the back of the phone, the Pixel 9’s camera visor ends before the phone’s sides, with rounded edges that bend gracefully around the camera lenses. Just like the Pixel 8, it looks like the Pixel 9 is sticking with two rear cameras.

Google — like Samsung and Apple — has also embraced flat sides. The Pixel 9 has abandoned curved sides in favor of flat ones, and it’s likely to be a significant change — and a positive one, too. As far as the phone’s size is concerned, 91Mobiles reports that it’ll have a 6.03-inch display with dimensions of 152.8mm x 71.9mm x 8.5mm.

Leaked Google Pixel 9 Pro render.
Google Pixel 9 Pro OnLeaks / 91Mobiles

Next, we have the Google Pixel 9 Pro. It looks very similar to the regular Pixel 9, save for a few key differences — namely the cameras. Instead of two rear cameras, the Pixel 9 Pro will have three. If it’s anything like the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, we can expect both upcoming phones to have primary and ultrawide cameras, while only the Pixel 9 Pro gets a telephoto camera.

The dimensions of the Pixel 9 Pro are expected to be very similar to the regular Pixel 9, though the Pro model will have a slightly larger 6.1-inch display. The renders don’t do a good job of showing this, but this likely means smaller bezels on the Pixel 9 Pro and larger ones on the base Pixel 9.

Something else that’s on the Pixel 9 Pro, but not the Pixel 9 is what appears to be a temperature sensor below the LED flash. Google introduced the temperature sensor on the Pixel 8 Pro last year, and considering its limited functionality and little fanfare from Google, it’s interesting to see it returning for another year. These renders were originally believed to be the regular Pixel 9, but it’s since been corrected to clarify that this is actually the Pixel 9 Pro.

Leaked render of Google Pixel 9 Pro XL by OnLeaks and MySmartPrice.
Google Pixel 9 Pro XL OnLeaks x MySmartPrice

But wait — we’re not done yet. In addition to the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro, Google will apparently release another Pixel alongside them. The phone above was previously thought to be the Pixel 9 Pro, but now, it’s known to be the Pixel 9 Pro XL.

The Pixel 9 Pro XL shares the three cameras and temperature sensor of the Pixel 9 Pro. However, it has a significantly larger 6.5-inch display.

Assuming reports of a Pixel 9 trio are accurate, this would mark the first time Google has used its “XL” branding since the Google Pixel 4 XL launched in 2019. It’s an interesting change, to say the least, and it could pave the way forward for Google to kill off the Pixel A-Series in the next year or so.

Google Pixel 9: specs

Tensor chip inside Pixel 6a.
Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

Unfortunately, we haven’t heard anything about RAM numbers for the Pixel 9 series, but there have been some rumors about the status of the Google Tensor G4 — the next generation of Pixel processors. It was initially hoped the G4 would be built on a 3nm process, but that hasn’t come to fruition. It has been confirmed that the new Tensor will be based on the 4nm Samsung Exynos 2400 and will not be a custom chip designed entirely by Google.

Still, it’s not a bitter pill to swallow, as the Exynos 2400 appears to be a solid chip. It’s the same processor powering the Samsung Galaxy S24 range in most countries other than the U.S., and Samsung has been testing a new packaging method that may reduce heat levels in the chip, hopefully boosting its performance and efficiency.

Google Pixel 9: software and updates

The Android 15 logo on a smartphone.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

It’s traditional that the new flagship Pixels launch with a new version of Android, so we fully expect the Pixel 9 to debut alongside Android 15. But what might we be expecting outside of a fresh new version of Android? Quite a bit, it turns out.

The first new software trick potentially planned for the Pixel 9 is “Adaptive Touch.” Seemingly based on the “screen protector mode” feature introduced on the Pixel 8, Adaptive Touch will change your touchscreen’s sensitivity depending on the outside environment. So if it’s cold, it might ratchet up the touch sensitivity to account for you wearing gloves, or if it detects water on the screen, it’ll adapt the sensitivity level to stop accidental touches from droplets. It’s not the first time we’ve seen something like this, as the OnePlus 12 has something similar called Aqua Touch.

But the bigger deal is going to be the AI smarts included in the device. It’s no secret Google has been playing with AI for a while now, and many are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Gemini on smartphones. The announcement that the Pixel 8 would not be getting Gemini Nano on board due to hardware limitations has led many to assume the Pixel 9 will be the phone range that gets Google’s new AI, and whispers say this could be in the form of a Gemini Nano-powered assistant called “Pixie.” This would mean the Pixel 9 would need a boost in RAM numbers to handle the AI, though, so a lot will depend on the spec leaks in the coming months.

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