Google’s Pixel 9 gets its first render, looks a lot like an iPhone


If Google sticks to the usual cadence of device releases, the Google Pixel 9 will come out in around nine months. That’s a long way away, but still not so far away that it can’t be leaked: the ever-reliable Steve Hemmerstoffer, aka OnLeaks, has a set of Pixel 9 Pro renders up over at MySmartPrice. Usually, these renders are based on the CAD files that accessory designers need before they can begin making products, so while all the major components should be correct down to the millimeter, the materials, colors, and some small details may be speculative.

There are a lot of differences in these renders. First, the renders show a flat metal band around the sides, making it look a lot like an iPhone. Samsung also adopted this design for the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus, so everyone seems to want to look just like their biggest rival. This allows the front and back of the phone to be completely flat slabs of glass, instead of the rounded glass back of the Pixel 8. The screen is also completely flat again.

Check out the new camera bar design.
Enlarge / Check out the new camera bar design.

The other major visible difference is the camera bar, which used to stretch from side to side across the back of the phone, but now is a floating bar that isn’t connected to the sides. That makes the camera bar closer to the Pixel Fold design. The Pixel Fold camera bar was a rounded rectangle, but this is a full-on pill shape, which, in these renders, follows the shape of the camera glass cover. Besides the camera lenses, the bar has an LED flash and a second mystery sensor circle. On the Pixel 8, the circle under the LED is a temperature sensor. I feel like the temperature sensor has been either panned or forgotten about, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see it cut, but the realities of the smartphone development cycle might make it too early for that.

The report at MySmartPrice lists a “6.5-inch” display, but I don’t think that’s accurate. The listed dimensions, 162.7×76.6×8.5 mm, are basically identical to the current phone, 162.6×76.5×8.8 mm, so the screen can’t be smaller without a major bezel size increase that isn’t in the render. The report likely measures between the rounded corners of the display and gets “6.5 inches,” while the industry standard is to create imaginary square corners and measure between those. That measuring style would give you the usual 6.8 inches.

The base-model Pixel 9, with three cameras?!

The base-model Pixel 9, with three cameras?!

OnLeaks also has a set of renders for the base-model Pixel 9, which is over at 91mobiles. As usual, this is mostly the same as the Pro design in a smaller size with a few expensive items cut. Usually, the cameras get cut down on these cheaper models, either in amount, quality, or both. We don’t know about the individual camera components, but this render surprisingly shows three rear cameras, just like the big Pro model. The Pixel 8 base model only has two rear cameras. There’s also a mystery sensor below the LED flash, while the Pixel 8 has no extra sensor. The phone is bigger, too, clocking in at 152.8×71.9×8.5mm, while the Pixel 8 is 150.5×70.8×8.9 mm.

If we can speculate for a minute, a beefier base-model Pixel 9 would make more sense in Google’s device lineup. The mid-range A-series Pixel line was majorly leveled up with the 2023 release of the Pixel 7a, and we wrote that it made the base-model Pixel 8 feel obsolete. Both phones have flagship Google Tensor G2 chips, 90 Hz displays, and similar-sized batteries, but the 7a was $100 cheaper, basically killing any market for the base model Pixel 8. If Google is going to make the A series that good, it would be better to have the Pixel 9 be a “mini-Pro” model, if that makes sense: all the same features and specs as the Pixel 9 Pro, but in a smaller body. Google has to do something to separate the base model from the A series, and the better camera array suggests Google is going down this path. This is how the iPhone works, after all.

It feels incredibly early to already be talking about the Pixel 9, but this is the second time rumors of the phone have hit our desk. The first report was of a “Pixie” AI assistant Google is working on, which will supposedly be exclusive to the Pixel line.





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