Google Pixel 8 event preview - what to expect at today's launch

Two Google Pixel 8 phones at angles in a shot
(Image credit: Future/Google)

Today (October 4) is the day Google will fully reveal the Google Pixel 8, Google Pixel 8 Pro and Google Pixel Watch 2. Our Google event live blog is now up and running, so check it out for all of the latest announcements and analysis from the event as it happens.

While Google I/O 2023 went beyond software and showed us the Pixel Fold, Pixel 7a and Pixel Tablet, Google isn’t done with hardware for the year. And we expect the new Pixel phones to be positioned as potential iPhone 15 and Galaxy S23 challengers, relying on AI-powered computing and smart software to give them the edge over some of the best phones you can buy today. 

With that in mind, here's what you need to know about the upcoming Google Pixel 8 event.

How to watch the Google Pixel 8 event

  • Taking place on October 4
  • Live stream on YouTube
  • Make sure to follow the TechRadar live blog

Kicking off on October 4 at 7am PT / 10am ET /  3pm BST (12am on October 5 for Australian viewers). For more specifics take a look at our guide on how to watch the Pixel 8 launch

The easiest and arguably best way to watch the event will be on YouTube via the Made by Google channel

For people active on social media, Google will be posting updates on its Instagram, TikTok, Threads and Facebook accounts. But we also encourage you to check out the TechRadar TikTok and Instagram pages for our takes on the event, as well as to follow our US Editor in Chief Lance Ulanoff, who’ll likely be offering his expert insights on Twitter/X.

For the most expert and comprehensive coverage of the Google Pixel 8 launch, you'll want to follow TechRadar's live blog Google event live blog. We're at the event in New York to bring you all the news as it happens, so keep it bookmarked for all the big stories. 

What to expect at the Google Pixel 8 event?

  • Full reveal of the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro
  • A comprehensive look at the Pixel Watch 2 
  • Expect plenty of AI-powered features 
  • Maybe some Pixel Buds Pro updates 
  • No new Chromebooks

Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro

Google has officially said it will reveal the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro at its October 4 event, and has already touted improvements to cameras and AI-powered features. 

We can also expect some minor design changes; the images on the Google Store thus far show small tweaks in the visual language first established with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, only with what looks like more curved sides. 

Google Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 and Pixel Watch 2 from back in porcelain and rose

(Image credit: Google)

However, there’s still plenty we don’t know about the phones, such as performance metrics, camera specs, and exactly what Google has done to improve the cameras over the versions on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. With rumors of a price hike in store for the new Pixels, we’re keen to see what Google can bring to the table to justify a more expensive set of phones over their predecessors.

With Apple and Samsung both releasing very impressive flagships this year - see our iPhone 15 Pro Max review and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review for proof - Google will have its work cut out with its Pixels. But we expect it to lean heavily into AI-powered features that the latter two phones can't offer yet.

Google Pixel Watch 2

The Google Pixel Watch 2 has also been confirmed to get a full reveal on October 4. Google hasn’t spilled many details on its second Pixel wearable, but overall the smartwatch will have a very similar design to its predecessor (which you can read about in our Google Pixel Watch review). We do expect it to come with more powerful specs and an expanded feature set that leans heavily on Fitbit integration and smart processing.

Google Pixel Watch 2 close up from the front

(Image credit: Google)

Going by Google’s website, it looks like pairing the Pixel Watch 2 with the new Pixel phones will be the key to getting the most out of the smartwatch, likely with it tapping into the smart processing offered by the new Pixel phones' Tensor chip, which is built around an AI processing pipeline.

Potential Google Pixel Buds Pro update

There have been some murmurs of potential new Pixel Buds Pro. But a lack of concrete details and hints from Google means we don’t expect to see any new earbuds from it on October 4. However, it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of imagination to predict some software upgrades, likely facilitated through use with the Pixel 8 phones.

Google Pixel Buds Pro on silver backgorund

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Furthermore, there were some rumblings around Google releasing new Chromebooks. But as it stands that looks unlikely for the Made by Google event. If Google is working on new Chromebooks, they could be held for a more computing-focused event or simply launched through a store update and press announcement.

Overall, the Pixel phones will surely be the main focus of the next Made by Google event. And with competition to secure top spot on our best Android phones lists, Google will need to bring its A-game on October 4.

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Managing Editor, Mobile Computing

Roland Moore-Colyer is Managing Editor at TechRadar with a focus on phones and tablets, but a general interest in all things tech, especially those with a good story behind them. He can also be found writing about games, computers, and cars when the occasion arrives, and supports with the day-to-day running of TechRadar. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face and a nose for food markets.