Before the Samsung Galaxy S24 went all in on Galaxy AI, the Pixel 8 Pro was quietly making strides with artificial intelligence integrated into its Magic Editor, which seamlessly modifies photos and videos without too much human intervention.
Yes, the temperature sensor may still feel a bit superfluous, but the Pixel 8 Pro is still one of the best Android phones you can buy. So how is Google planning to up it with the next generation — the Pixel 9 Pro? Here’s what we know so far.
Google Pixel 9 Pro: Price and release date
Barring an unexpected change of schedule, the Pixel 9 Pro is set to debut in October 2024. Cheaper A-series handsets aside, the Pixel has only failed to appear in October once since the line debuted in 2016 — and that was in the heat of the coronavirus pandemic when the Pixel 5 instead emerged at the end of September 2020.
Price is harder to gauge. Last year, both Pixel handsets went up by $100, pushing the Pixel 8 Pro to a starting price of $999. Taking it into four figures is something that psychologically makes phones seem a lot more expensive to your average consumer, so we’d expect Google to avoid that this year — but we’re not expecting a price cut either.
Google Pixel 9 Pro: Design
By far the most exciting rumor about the Pixel 9 Pro’s design dates back to the end of 2022 when an insider revealed Google’s roadmap for the next few years. In the leak — which correctly predicted many announcements in the intervening months, including the arrival of the Pixel Fold — it was suggested that there would be two Pixel 9 Pro handsets.
One would match the 6.7-inch screen of the current model, while the other would be a more compact 6.3 inches. If true, that would mimic Apple’s Pro strategy with a regular iPhone 15 Pro and a larger iPhone 15 Pro Max.
However, that’s somewhat contradicted by the first design render we’ve seen, which claimed that the Pixel 9 Pro would have a 6.5-inch screen size. While that doesn’t rule out a second Pro model, the question is whether it would be bigger or smaller.
Regardless, there’s one clear design change you can see in the renders accompanying this piece: The distinctive camera bar has been reduced, no longer stretching from edge to edge and now contained within a vertical pill on the back.
Google Pixel 9 Pro: Specifications
In terms of specifications, we’re largely in the dark. Yes, it will almost certainly pack the Tensor G4 chipset, but what that will mean in terms of speed is currently unknown. You’re best tempering your expectations, however, as sources speaking to Android Authority have said it will “most likely be a smaller upgrade than initially planned.”
But speed isn’t everything. The Pixel series was ahead of the curve in adopting artificial intelligence with its Magic Editor, and it sounds like Google won’t be resting on its laurels with the Pixel 9.
According to a report in The Information, Google is working on a powerful new AI assistant called Pixie that could “evolve into a far more personalized version of the Google Assistant.” It could, for example, perform “complex and multimodal tasks” like “suggesting directions to the closest store where someone can buy a product they have photographed.”
Along with the renders of the phone and its new-look camera array, MySmartPrice included one tidbit about the camera specs: “The large sensor on the camera island suggests that Google will likely equip the device with support for variable aperture.”
Finally, we’d expect the Pixel 9 Pro to be the first phone to benefit from Android 15. It’s far too early to know what to expect from that (though one rumor suggests we could see lock screen widgets returning), but we’ll likely get an early look this summer at Google I/O.
Google Pixel 9 Pro: Outlook
It’s early days for Pixel 9 Pro leaks, but it seems like Google could have some solid enhancements on the way even if the rumored smaller Pixel 9 Pro doesn’t materialize.
In particular, with Samsung pushing artificial intelligence hard, it will be interesting to see how revolutionary Google’s Pixie AI assistant turns out to be. We’ll find out in ten months’ time.