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’ve got all the specs (and prices). The Engadget team even got to briefly test 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 three-lens camera system on the back. This year that includes an upgraded telephoto camera with the same Quad Bayer PD technology as the main 50-megapixel sensor. It has a 5x optical zoom, and the high-resolution sensors mean you can pull a 10x zoom cropped picture at 12.5-megapixels.

The Pixel Watch – rumored for years – is finally launching next week. It will last up to 24 hours with its always-on display, and it can be fast-charged to 50 percent in only 30 minutes. Can Google make WearOS a compelling smartwatch option? Stay tuned.

It was a long morning of announcements from Google. We’ve pulled together the biggest stories below.

– Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

  • Boston Dynamics and other industry heavyweights pledge not to build war robots

  • Researchers discover star being consumed by its smaller, deader neighbor

  • The Pixel Tablet will attach to a speaker base to double as a smart display

  • Google’s Tensor G2 chip gives a modest speed boost to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro

  • Google Pixel 7 camera app adds Cinematic Blur

  • Google's Guided Frame helps visually impaired users shoot better pictures

  • Google's latest Pixel devices feature more recycled materials than ever


Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro hands-on

Slicker design, same great pricing.

It’s the second generation of Google Pixel phones powered by its in-house Tensor chips. Next-gen chips come with a next-gen design, with new aluminum camera bars across 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 chassis. 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, but we already noticed a smoother zoom experience and more detailed shots.

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Now TikTok is copying Instagram with Photo Mode

Very retro.

We’re all used to seeing Instagram copy 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 photos in a post, along with captions of up to 2,200 characters.

The new photo posts, which can also feature music, will appear in users’ For You page alongside videos. Social networks are all converging. If you didn’t notice, in the last six weeks alone Instagram,TikTok and Snapchat have come up with their own take on French upstart BeReal (Instagram’s hasn’t formally launched yet). Twitter introduced a TikTok-style feed for full-screen videos. And YouTube Shorts, itself a TikTok clone, added TikTok-style voice-overs.

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Watch the first trailer for the new CG 'Super Mario Bros.' movie

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

TMA
Nintendo

Yes, we got our first peek at the incoming Mario movie. The clip shows Bowser (played by Jack Black) terrorizing a penguin kingdom in his quest for an invincibility star. Mario (Chris Pratt) soon makes an abrupt entrance to the Mushroom Kingdom, while his brother Luigi (Charlie Day) appears briefly, too. Super Mario Bros. is expected to premiere April 7th, 2023.

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Google Pixel Watch hands-on

Its first smartwatch.

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Engadget

Finally, it’s here. The Pixel Watch, priced at $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 is only available in one size, 41mm, but many straps knowingly tread the styles of its Apple rival. On that note, it’s about the same size as the small Apple Watch. The device feels like a polished pebble, thankfully covered in a custom 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which gives some assurance it’ll survive a fall or scrape. Read on for our early impressions.

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Judge in Twitter v. Elon Musk postpones trial to October 28th

A new trial could be scheduled in November.

The Twitter v. Elon Musk trial is now on hold as the two sides hammer out a deal for Musk to complete his buyout of the social media company. On Thursday, Judge Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, chancellor of Delaware’s Chancery Court, stayed the trial until October 28th, following a motion from Musk's lawyers to call off the trial. However, if the two sides cannot close by the end of the month, a trial could be back on.

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Apple iPhone 14 Plus review

It’s an iPhone, but bigger.

If you want an iPhone with a big screen and better battery life without forking over a ton of money for a Pro Max model, the new iPhone 14 Plus is exactly what you've been waiting for. Like the standard model, the iPhone 14 Plus features two rear cameras and an A15 bionic chip, but with a larger 6.7-inch screen. It has the kind of prodigious battery life most handsets can only dream about.

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