The Morning After: Testing Google’s new Pixel 7 phones and its first smartwatch

Google started teasing its Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones, the Pixel Watch, and even the Pixel Tablet months ago. Finally we have all the specs (and prices). The Engadget team even got a quick test of everything but the tablet – which is coming out next year.

The Pixel 7 Pro is probably the more exciting of the two phones, thanks to its triple-lens camera system on the back. This includes an upgraded telephoto camera this year, using the same Quad Bayer PD technology as the main 50-megapixel sensor. It has 5x optical zoom, and the high-resolution sensors mean you can pull a 12.5-megapixel image cropped at 10x zoom.

The Pixel Watch – which has been rumored for years – is finally launching next week. It lasts up to 24 hours with its always-on display and can be quickly charged to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. Can Google Make WearOS a Compelling Smartwatch Option? Stay tuned.

It’s been a long morning of announcements from Google. We’ve compiled the biggest stories below.

– Mat Smith

The Biggest Stories You May Have Missed

Smoother design, same great prices.

It’s the second generation of Google Pixel phones powered by the in-house Tensor chips. Next-gen chips feature a next-gen design with new aluminum camera bars on both the Pixel 7 ($599) and Pixel 7 Pro ($899). The finishes of the two phones vary slightly, with the Pixel 7 getting a brushed aluminum look while the Pixel 7 Pro has a shiny, polished body. Engadget’s Sam Rutherford prefers the matte finish. The Pixel 7 has a 6.3-inch 90Hz OLED screen, making it a tiny bit smaller than the outgoing Pixel 6. You’ll have to wait a little longer for our full verdict on the new camera array, though we’ve already noticed a smoother zoom experience and more detailed shots.

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Very retro.

We are all used to Instagram copying TikTok. Now, in a new twist, TikTok is copying Instagram with a new feature called Photo Mode. The update allows TikTok users to share multiple still images in one post along with captions of up to 2,200 characters.

The new photo posts, which may also include music, will appear alongside videos on users’ For You pages. Social networks are all growing together. If you haven’t noticed, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat have been developing their own version of French upstart BeReal in the last six weeks alone (Instagram isn’t officially launched yet). Twitter introduced a TikTok-style feed for full-screen videos. And YouTube Shorts, itself a TikTok clone, added TikTok-style voiceovers.

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Chris Pratt, Jack Black and Anya Taylor-Joy star in the CG blockbuster.

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Nintendo

Yes, we got our first look at the upcoming Mario movie. The clip features Bowser (played by Jack Black) terrorizing a penguin kingdom in his quest for an invincible star. Mario (Chris Pratt) soon makes an abrupt entrance into the Mushroom Kingdom, while his brother Luigi (Charlie Day) also makes a brief appearance. Super Mario Bros. is expected to premiere on April 7, 2023.

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His first smartwatch.

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Engadget

It’s finally here. The Pixel Watch costs $349. And Engadget’s Cherlynn Low says it’s “one of the most beautiful smartwatches” she’s ever seen. (Though I’m not sure I agree.) The device only comes in one size, 41mm, but many straps deliberately follow the styles of its Apple rival. In that sense, it’s about the same size as the little Apple Watch. The device feels like a polished pebble, thankfully covered in a custom 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 that gives some assurance that it will survive a drop or scratch. Read on for our first impressions.

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A new attempt could be scheduled for November.

Twitter’s trial of Elon Musk is now on hold as both sides negotiate a deal to allow Musk to complete his takeover of the social media company. On Thursday, Delaware Chancery Court chancellor Judge Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick stayed the trial until Oct. 28 after Musk’s attorneys requested that the trial be called off. However, if the two sides cannot close by the end of the month, a trial could resume.

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It’s an iPhone, but bigger.

If you want an iPhone with a big screen and better battery life without shelling out big bucks for a Pro Max model, the new iPhone 14 Plus is what you’ve been waiting for. Like the standard model, the iPhone 14 Plus has dual rear cameras and an A15 Bionic chip, but with a larger 6.7-inch screen. It has the kind of amazing battery life that most phones can only dream of.

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Russell Falcon

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