Google Pixel 8

California: Alphabet’s Google on Wednesday launched Pixel 8 smartphones and a new smartwatch that integrates its artificial intelligence technology more deeply into the company’s key consumer gadgets. The upgrades to the Pixel phones – popular with photography enthusiasts and consumers who prefer the stock Android experience – could make them more attractive to shoppers planning their holiday season purchases.

Google beefed up the Pixel lineup with its latest mobile processor, Tensor G3, which brings several machine learning and generative AI models natively on the device.

It would help users accomplish new AI features for photography, summarizing web pages, and blocking out spam calls, executives said at a Made by Google event on Thursday.

The higher-end Pixel 8 Pro also gets a temperature sensor and Google said it had filed an application with the FDA to enable the Thermometer App to take body temperature.

Pixel 8 starts at $699 and Pixel 8 Pro at $999 – $100 pricier than the previous generation models. They will be available from Oct. 12.

“Google was clearly focused on driving the mobile AI message in today’s event and having AI on the device/client will be a big topic for the industry going forward,” said IDC analyst Ryan Reith.

“If supported by strong marketing, Google could drive higher market share with this lineup, specifically in the U.S.”

Google also announced plans to add generative artificial intelligence capabilities to its virtual assistant, allowing it to do things like help people plan a trip or catch up on emails and then ask follow-up questions.

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The company launched Google Watch 2, an upgrade over the first smartwatch launched in October last year, starting at $349. It gets a digital crown and advanced health-tracking features powered by AI.