Google Pixel in 2024: What to expect

Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones
(Image credit: Google)

Every year, Google never fails to astound us with its Pixel phones. Boasting exceptional camera hardware paired with incredibly smart processing, it's no surprise that Google Pixel phones consistently dominate our recommendations for the best camera phones.

In 2023, Google rolled out its most impressive lineup of devices to date. Looking ahead to 2024, the burning question is: How will Google manage to surpass its own benchmarks from the previous year?

Google Pixel 9 & Pixel 9 Pro

Google Pixel 8 Pro (Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

The latest batch of Pixels only making its debut in October 2023, leaving us with scant information about next year's models. What seems certain is the arrival of at least two variants: the Google Pixel 9 and Google Pixel 9 Pro. Judging by the historical release pattern, I would anticipate the announcement of these phones around October 2024.

We are almost certain to witness the launch of Google's Tensor 4 chip this year. For every fresh phone, there's an upgraded piece of silicon, and the Tensor 3 chip in the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro marked a notable jump from its predecessor. Google Tensor's forte lies in AI intelligence, as it continues to trail Qualcomm and Apple in benchmarks when it comes to raw processing power. Here's hoping Google can flip this around with any new Tensor Silicon.

Price

Both variations of the Pixel 8 saw $100 price increases this year, with the Google Pixel 8 cost going up to $699, and the Google Pixel 8 Pro seeing a similar price increase to $999. These price increases have caused a bit of a stir among Pixel fans, as a big selling point of Google's phones was a significantly cheaper price point than Apple and Samsung's comparative devices. 

I think it is unlikely that we will see another price rise this year, with prices staying the same, however, Google is not immune to rising inflation and material costs. But considering both the Pixel 8 models have been discounted almost constantly since launch, and any pre-orders had a free Pixel Watch 2 or Pixel Buds Pro thrown in, the logic behind the 2023 price rise is now somewhat questionable. As a side note, as the Pixel line grows in popularity, I wouldn't be surprised going forward if Google's pre-order bonuses do start to disappear.

Google Pixel 8 & Pixel 8 Pro: camera features

Initially renowned for their groundbreaking cameras and processing power, Google's Pixel phones have continually set the bar high in photography. The Pixel 8 series introduced a slew of new processing features such as enhanced video capabilities, improved digital zoom, magic eraser, video portrait blur, motion photos, and better precision in capturing diverse skin tones. The expectation is for Google to persist in this trajectory, leveraging even more AI wizardry in their forthcoming devices.

This year has seen an explosion in AI-driven photography and editing within top apps. Given Google's deep-seated commitment to artificial intelligence, it has finally yielded results with its Gemini AI model. With AI's integral role in Tensor processors, Google seems more on the verge than ever of leveraging Gemini to finally provide the AI photography revolution it has been teasing for so long.

While no solid rumors yet hint at new camera hardware, examining other phone manufacturers offers hints—a periscope zoom lens could potentially grace the Pixel 8 Pro. Despite Google's AI sorcery, optical zoom reigns superior to digital zoom. Could we witness a 10x or greater optical telephoto lens in the Pixel 8 Pro?

Google Pixel 8a

Google Pixel 7a (Image credit: Bobby Hellard / Digital Camera World)

The Google Pixel 7a was an excellent mid-range phone and is a firm favorite on our list of best budget camera phones. And with Google generally releasing an 'a' device each year, too, we would expect 2024 to be the same.

Google tends to announce its 'a' phones in the first half of the year, usually around May at Google I/O, hitting the shelves a few weeks later. The price has also crept up over the last year by $50, but as a "budget" Pixel phone, it is hopefully now at its upper ceiling. Last year's Pixel 7a models saw some pre-order Pixel Bud bonuses, and I would expect this to continue with Google trying to entice more people into its wider device ecosystem with a bargain.

Looks-wise, following the trend of previous Google 'a' phones, the Pixel 7a might well take a lot of inspiration from the Pixel 8 with the camera bar changing metal with a cut-out glass camera "pill". 

The 7a will almost certainly use the newer Tensor 3 found in the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. This is Google's key selling point for its phones, as it enables the majority of the cool camera, editing, AI, and voice features that are one of the main reasons for choosing a Pixel over another device.

Last year's devices saw a big camera hardware upgrade, although this year the focus might be on bringing more of the AI features that have so far been exclusive to the Pixel 8 Pro down to lower-end Pixel devices.

Google Pixel Fold 2

Google Pixel Fold (Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

2023 finally saw the release of the long-awaited Google Pixel Fold, joining the small selection of folding devices that are available outside of China. Samsung continues to have amazing success with its fold phones and dominates the market, but Google is definitely going to want a bigger piece of the action.

Google's Pixel phones are infamous for their amazing cameras, and the Pixel Fold did not disappoint with our reviewer calling it the best camera foldable on the market. We would expect that a Google Fold 2 would borrow a lot from the Pixel 8 Pro, both with new camera sensors, but also with an increased focus on computational photography and editing.

A Google Fold 2 will most likely feature the Google Tensor 3 chip, although could potentially debut the Tensor 4 chip if Google wants to create a bit more buzz around the Pixel Fold 2 than the soft interest the original model received.

If it comes with Tensor 3, it's not clear if we should expect any new editing tricks for the Fold 2 that have not yet been revealed for the Pixel 8 Pro, although with Google's new Gemini AI model and plenty of time for a likely spring/summer reveal of the Google Pixel Fold 2, there is lots of time for Google to add even more AI magic to its flagship 8 Pro that will trickle into the Fold 2 on release.

Google Pixel Tablet 2

Google Pixel Tablet (Image credit: Bobby Hellard / Digital Camera World)

Google's ride in the tablet market has been pretty turbulent. After declaring it was out of the tablet game only completely just a few years ago, it still came as a bit of a surprise when Google announced the Google Pixel Tablet.

When it finally came, the Pixel Tablet wasn't really the iPad killer that a lot of people had been hoping for. Instead, the Pixel Tablet is more like a hybrid between an iPad and a Google Nest Hub Max. The tablet is a smart speaker, but you can pick up the screen and walk around with it. 

It is a very neat idea, but for photo editing and productivity, it doesn't really cut it. Google's renowned cameras are also nothing special. However, the tablet did come with Google's Tensor G2 processor, so if Google were to release a Pixel Tablet 2, you would expect the silicon to be upgraded to the Tensor 3 chipset, enabling all the AI editing powers from the Pixel 8 Pro, but on a much larger screen, which might give the Pixel Tablet a lot more purpose for photographers.

For more on all things Google, you can check out our guides to the best Google Pixel phone, the best phone camera, and the best budget phone camera.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.