Google Tensor was a show of confidence in the future of Pixel hardware, but it also held back the lineup. That’s set to hopefully change in a few years, but in the meantime, the wait will be tough for Pixel releases.
This issue of 9to5Google Weekender is part of the rebooted 9to5Google newsletter that highlights the top Google stories with added commentary and other tidbits. Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox early!
The Pixel 6, Google’s first Tensor-powered device, was a game changer for the company’s hardware efforts. It has led to considerable growth for the lineup, with a report just this week detailing that Pixel saw a further 67% growth in 2023, especially in the country of Japan.
But it wasn’t without problems.
Tensor has led to two problems with Pixel phones. For one thing, the software has been a bit messy since the transition. Countless updates have been delayed since Tensor took over, and we’ve encountered messy issues, like when an update decimated Pixel 6 connectivity. This hasn’t happened in previous times.
Probably more problematic, however, was the hardware effect. The gap between Tensor and Qualcomm and MediaTek chips is real and has an impact. Pixel phones can’t compete on battery life, tend to get very hot, and don’t stand up to the same standard of connectivity, although Google has made great strides with the Tensor G2.
As a report reported this week, there’s a good chance Google will fix much of this in time. The company is expected to launch Tensor G5 in 2025 as the first fully customized chip. That would come in Pixel 10 and would also be the first Tensor made by TSMC. This move alone is promising, as TSMC has proven time and time again that it has an edge on Samsung’s processes. TSMC-made chips are generally more efficient, faster, and overall just plain better, where as Samsung-made chips, like the Exynos line, have struggled far longer than Tensor has been around.
The future of Google Tensor, with that in mind, is pretty bright. There are no guarantees, but the Google-made parts of Tensor are the best, so there is hope.
But, while we wait, that puts existing Pixels in a tough spot. As I pointed out in my recent Google Pixel Fold review, it’s not terribly difficult to accept or address Tensor’s shortcomings in current Pixels. You get an objectively worse chip, but you also get it at a much lower price than competing devices. But just as the Fold is a tough sell at the same price point as Samsung’s foldables, regular Pixels seeing a price hike would also make Tensor a harder pill to swallow.
In fact, Google can’t, or at least shouldn’t, raise the price of its current pixels until this new chip is installed. It doesn’t necessarily have to, and there is nothing Truly also indicating what is happening. But with the Pixel 7a bumping up the base cost of the Pixel lineup, it stands to reason there could be hikes elsewhere as well. And, even without it, keeping the price the same also limits what Google can do to improve its devices unless it’s willing to cut its margins even further.
Now, of course, it’s entirely possible that Samsung could act together and make this issue a moot point. Tensor G3 and/or G4 may end up solving many of these problems. Samsung has made improvements, after all. And Tensor G3 also appears to be a solid upgrade.
I don’t think anyone is really going to miss out on buying a Pixel 8 or Pixel 9 with a Samsung-made Tensor chip inside; Google can’t claim the same premium as anyone else.
The good news? Every current Pixel phone will be able to hang around until the Tensor G5 debuts. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will stop receiving updates at the end of 2026, a full year after the release of the first device equipped with Google’s Tensor G5.
This week’s top stories
Meta Thread is here
On Wednesday evening, Meta launched its Threads platform, a new social network that is effectively a clone of Twitter. The platform integrates with Instagram and has exploded in number of users. Within 24 hours, it had well over 20 million users, and as of Friday, it was over 70 million. When you are reading this, the platform is very likely to have over 100 million users.
You can follow 9to5Google and the rest of the 9to5 network on Threads below.
Samsung opens reservations for Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5
Samsung has fully confirmed a July 26 launch event for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5, along with other devices. Starting this week, pre-orders are open, so you can make sure you get a device on day one, and you can get $50 credit with that too.
Other top stories
From the rest of 9to5
9to5Mac: The 15-inch MacBook Air helped me realize how much I missed the 12-inch MacBook
9to5Toys: Challenge yourself with Nintendo’s adorable new pastel Joy-Con controllers for Switch
electrek: Tesla adds cash discount on Model 3/Y through referral program to boost sales
FTC: We use automatic income earning affiliate links. Moreover.
#Google #Tensor #bright #future #puts #Provisional #Pixels #tough #spot
Image Source : 9to5google.com