These Brand-new Google Devices Are Perfect for Travelers — and T+L Got a Sneak Peek at the Best Features
Google's new Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet became available for pre-order May 10, and the Pixel 7a is now available for purchase.
Google unveiled three new devices on May 10, including a foldable phone and the company’s first new tablet in several years. Rounding out the trio of travel-ready devices is a new, affordable phone that’s water and dust resistant — but still delivers exceptional photo quality.
All three of the new devices — Pixel Fold, Pixel 7a, and Pixel Tablet — promise to make travel easier, thanks to a combination of new hardware, including the company’s proprietary Tensor G2 chip, and Google’s suite of assistance features that are already on devices like the Pixel 7 Pro.
To learn more about the helpful travel features on the devices, T+L got a sneak preview of all three, including hands-on demos, with Google’s engineering teams. Here’s a closer look at how each new device could become a go-to tool for your next trip.
Leading the lineup is the Pixel Fold, the first-ever mobile device with a foldable screen developed in-house by Google. It has two screens that collapse into a super-thin and pocket-sized device that nevertheless delivers as much as 7.6 inches of screen real estate. The “all-day” battery “will last over 24 hours,” according to Google, and the Fold has both wired and wireless charging capability.
Also promising is the device’s dual-screen mode: certain apps will harness the power of Fold’s twin screens to offer additional functionality, such as camera tools in one panel with the viewfinder live in another. (Another party trick: the Pixel Fold allows for precise selfie-taking with the powerful 48 megapixel back camera, something a regular phone simply can’t do.) The two-screen device is also handy when using Google Translate, a program available on many devices: rather than passing one device back and forth during a conversation, people communicating through the Fold will each be able to see their end of a given exchange.
Like all Pixel devices, Fold has a killer camera, with AI-powered tools like Magic Eraser, which lets you crop distractions out of an image’s background. Real Tone is a built-in feature that helps “more accurately highlight diverse skin tones,” Google says. And an astrophotography mode helps make nighttime images pop. In fact, the hinged design of the Fold allows for the device itself to serve as a tripod, something that’s particularly handy when shooting the Milky Way or panoramas of the northern lights.
Pixel Fold became available for pre-order on May 10 and starts at $1,799.
Pixel Tablet is the company’s first in-house tablet to be announced since 2018. The newcomer is built first and foremost as a smart home hub, and even comes with a charging dock that doubles as a speaker. That said, this 10.95-inch device, which also has a G2 chip, may be one for your carry-on, thanks to stylus compatibility and a dock-friendly case with an infinitely positionable “ring stand.” (During the demo T+L attended, one Google engineer pointed out that this feature is super-handy for hanging the Tablet from an airline tray table hook, which, genius.)
Pixel Tablet offers up to 12 hours of video streaming, per Google, and also allows for split-screen multitasking on “more than 50 Google apps.” That includes, naturally, the brand’s own productivity tools like Docs and Sheets.
Pixel Tablet became available for pre-order on May 10 and starts at $499.
Rounding out the lineup of travel-friendly devices is the new Pixel 7a. Part of Google’s array of affordable yet feature-packed phones with the “a” designation, this newly launched version is the company’s “most durable A-Series phone yet,” according to a Google briefing document, with an IP67 rating against water and dust. During a hands-on moment, the device felt slightly thicker than a typical smartphone but not overly so; the sturdy smartphone weighs less than seven ounces, or 193 grams. Built from recycled materials, the 7a has a 6.1-inch screen and all-day battery life with wireless charging available.
Like its newly announced sibling devices, the 7a is powered by a G2 chip and has powerful photo tools. Among the standouts are Night Sight mode, which tunes up low-light images, and Photo Unblur, which uses AI processing to improve photos of, say, fast-moving kids. (Ironically, it’s the first A-Series device to get Long Exposure mode, which allows for artful shots that have intentional motion blur.)
Pixel 7a is available for purchase now and starts at $499.
In addition to the hardware features, all three of the new devices share common tools that make travel easier, including built-in Google Maps and the ability, for subscribers, to tap into Google One VPN for more secure web browsing. The new lineup of devices was announced as part of the search company’s annual developer conference, Google I/O 2023, which also included discussions about generative AI, Google Wallet, and other digital tools.
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