Google’s trio of new products include a folding phone and an iPad rival

A foldable phone, a tablet with a party trick and an affordable handset with a powerful camera.

Google I/O is the search giant’s annual developer’s conference, and while most of the event is heavily geared towards coding and application development, the opening keynote also gives the firm the opportunity to show off new features and products.

The Google I/O 2023 keynote event, on May 10, was no exception, with two new smartphones and an iPad-rivalling tablet revealed towards the end of a two-hour presentation.

Here’s the lowdown on those Google goodies:

Pixel Tablet, Pixel Fold and Pixel 7aCredit: Google
Google’s new devices are its latest push into enhancing its hardware ecosystem

Google Pixel Fold

Google finally goes foldable

Google Pixel FoldCredit: Google
Google’s first foldable puts the focus on software

Specs

Dimensions (folded): 5.5in (139.7mm) (h) x 3.1in (79.5mm) (w) x 0.5in (12.1mm) (d)
Dimensions (unfolded): 5.5in (139.7mm) (h) x 6.2in (158.7mm) (w) x 0.2in (5.8mm) (d)
Weight: 10oz (283g)
Front screen: 5.8in (147mm), 2092 x 1080 OLED at 408 PPI
Folding screen: 7.6in (192.3mm), 2208 x 1840 OLED at 380 PPI
Rear cameras: 48MP + 10.8MP + 10.8MP
Front camera: 9.5MP
Internal camera: 8MP
Chipset: Tensor G2
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256 / 512GB
Battery: 4821mAh
Colours: Porcelain; Obsidian

The Pixel Fold is the most eye-catching of Google’s new product announcements, with the foldable phone boasting the slimmest design on the market and carrying an eye-watering price tag.

Foldable phones have been around for several years, with Samsung being the major player in the space. Oppo, Motorola and Huawei also have foldable options on the market. The benefit they provide is the ability to fold out from a smartphone size to a compact tablet size, instantly putting a plus-seven inch screen in the palm of your hand.

Google hasn’t reinvented the foldable phone with the Pixel Fold, but it has put the focus here more on the software rather than the hardware. It’s developed seamless transitions between the front, smartphone-style screen (5.8in, or 147mm), and the larger foldable screen (7.6in, or 192.3mm), allowing you to start watching a video on one screen and then as you fold or unfold, to move the player to the other screen.

You can also easily play two apps side by side on the larger screen, and the phone comes well equipped with cameras, with four on the back, one on the front and another above the larger screen.

For those looking for the ultimate smartphone experience from Google, the Pixel Fold delivers on paper at least – we’ll put it through our review process in the coming months – but the caveat is its price.

The Google Pixel Fold price starts at £1,749 for the 256GB of storage model. If you’d like 512GB of storage you’ll need to part with £1,869. Pre-orders are open now, and the handset will begin shipping in June.

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Google Pixel Fold

RRP: £1,749

Google Pixel Fold
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Google Pixel 7a

Better than the iPhone SE?

Google Pixel 7aCredit: Google
The 7a is the same price as the iPhone SE, but offers more on paper

Specs

Dimensions: 6in (152mm) (h) x 2.8in (72.9mm) (w) x 0.4in (9mm) (d)
Weight: 7oz (193.5g)
Screen: 6.1in (155mm), 1080 x 2400 OLED at 429 PPI
Rear cameras: 64MP + 13MP
Front camera: 13MP
Chipset: Tensor G2
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 4385mAh
Colours: Coral; Sea; Charcoal; Snow

If the Pixel Fold is not really what you’re looking for, at the other end of the spectrum is the Google Pixel 7a. The successor to last year’s Pixel 6a, Google’s A-series takes some of the key features from the firm’s premium handsets and packs them into the more affordable package.

The result is a phone that features the same power as the flagship 7 series, with Google’s Tensor G2 chip running alongside 8GB of RAM, which will be able to handle almost everything you throw at it with ease.

Over the 6a, the Pixel 7a gains wireless charging and face unlock, but wired charging and the fingerprint scanner remain as well. It also benefits from upgraded cameras, which Google claims is the best setup of any phone in its price class.

The Google Pixel 7a price is £449 , and it’s available to buy now in four colours; sea, charcoal, snow and coral (the latter of which is exclusive to Google’s own store).

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Google Pixel 7a

RRP: £449

Google Pixel 7a

It means the Pixel 7a is the same price as Apple’s entry level iPhone SE, giving the handset a direct rival. With a larger, higher resolution display, a stronger camera lineup, more power and a bigger battery, the 7a is, at least on paper, looking like the better buy if you’re not wedded to Apple’s ecosystem.

Google Pixel Tablet

Google’s iPad rival doubles as a smart display for your home

Google Pixel TabletCredit: Google
An impressive looking tablet, and that’s before we talk about the dock

Specs

Dimensions: 6.7in (169mm) (h) x 10.2in (258mm) (w) x 0.3in (8.1mm) (d)
Weight: 17.39oz (493g)
Screen: 10.95in (278mm), 2560 x 1600 LCD at 276 PPI
Rear cameras: 8MP
Front camera: 8MP
Chipset: Tensor G2
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Colours: Porcelain; Hazel

It’s been years since Google launched a tablet, with its defunct Nexus line nothing but a distant memory from 2013. Fast forward 10 years since the last tablet to bear the firm’s name, and Google has a brand new offering for us.

The Pixel Tablet features a generous 11in (280mm) display, four speakers, premium aluminium frame, flagship power with a Tensor G2 chip and 8GB of RAM, and a long-lasting battery (so says Google, we’ll put it to the test later this year).

That’s all well and good, but what sets the Pixel Tablet apart from the iPads and Amazon Fire Tablets of the world is the bundled speaker doc it comes with. This allows you to instantly transform the tablet into a smart display.

The tablet magnetises to the dock, which features a charger and a speaker, allowing you to call upon Google’s voice assistant to play music, stream a movie or TV show, control your smart home and answer whatever burning question you may have.

A centralised, front-facing camera on the longer edge of the tablet also sets you up nicely for video calls, when held in the hand or placed on the dock.

The Pixel Tablet price starts at £599 (including the speaker dock), and pre-orders are already open, with shipping set to start in June.

Featured product

Google Pixel Tablet

RRP: £599

Google Pixel Tablet

There are cheaper iPads than the Pixel Tablet available, but Google’s slate costs less than Apple’s premium iPad Air and iPad Pro ranges, making it a serious consideration for anyone looking for a high-end tablet.

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John McCann

Written by John McCann he/him

Updated:

John McCann is the Editor-in-Chief of Tech for Saga Exceptional. John has been a technology journalist for more than a decade, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He’s interviewed CEOs from some of the world’s biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4.

He’s reported on pretty much every area of consumer technology, from laptops, tablets, smartwatches and smartphones to smart speakers, video doorbells, vacuum cleaners, electric cars, headphones and more. During his time in journalism, John has written for TechRadar, T3, What Laptop, Windows 8 magazine and Gizmodo UK, and he’s appeared in the Evening Standard and Metro newspapers.

Outside of work, John is a passionate Watford FC and Green Bay Packers fan, enjoys a Sunday afternoon watching the F1, loves a top quality burger or pizza for dinner and is addicted to travel. He’s also a Guinness World Record Holder and appeared in the Olympic Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 games, dressed as one of The Beatles from the Sgt. Pepper’s album cover. He’s even got the pictures to prove it!

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