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Google Pixel 9 design and Pixel 9 Pro XL details just leaked

Published Mar 27th, 2024 12:01PM EDT
Google Pixel 8 Display
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Remember that Pixel 9 design leak from mid-January that said Google will give the smaller Pixel three rear cameras? It was wrong, as it turns out that phone wasn’t the Pixel 9. Instead, a new report suggests that Google will launch three Pixel 9 phone versions this year, as if choosing the right Pixel wasn’t confusing enough

A Pixel 9 Pro XL will seemingly join the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro. The name is a bit of a mouthful, and maybe Google will go for Ultra or Ultimate. Then again, the “XL” conveys the message that the handset is larger than the other two Pixel 9 models.

The point is that the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro leaks from January showed us the Pixel 9 Pro and Pixel 9 Pro XL, not the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro.

Fast-forward to late March, and we have another Pixel 9 leak from the same source. It will hopefully turn out to be accurate this time. The new Pixel 9 looks just like the “Pixel 9” renders from January, with a big difference: The rear camera is only a dual-lens camera system.

Posted online by 91Mobiles and OnLeaks, the Pixel 9 renders tell us the base 2024 Google phone will be almost identical to the Pixel 9 Pro, except for the camera.

As for the new Pixel 9 leaks, the report indicates the Pixel 9 will feature a 6.03-inch display, which is slightly smaller than the Pixel 9 Pro’s 6.1-inch screen. 

If this strategy sounds familiar, that’s because Apple has used it for years. Apple offered buyers a non-Pro and a Pro version of the same-size iPhone. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are the newest same-size iPhones in Apple’s lineup. Until recently, the number of cameras on the back was the biggest design difference between the two. 

The same-sized iPhones used to offer almost identical features until the iPhone 14 Pro series added a chip differentiation between the two. Apple’s Pro models now use new A-series chips, while regular iPhones have previous-generation chipsets. Also, the Pro iPhones usually feature more RAM than the standard models.

This year, the iPhone 16 will reportedly be slightly smaller than the iPhone 16 Pro. That’s going to be a first for Apple. The Pro will also supposedly have a thinner bezel, just like the iPhone 15 Pro has thinner bezels than the iPhone 15. That’s what rumors say, at least.

I’m bringing up the iPhone because Google has followed Apple’s iPhone design and strategy closely for years. It’s not a bad thing, and it could help Google sell even more Pixel phones in the coming years. 

What I’m also getting at is that we might see some other differences between the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro. I hope they won’t be significant and the Pixel 9 will be as good and future-proofed as the Pixel 9 Pros. I think of Google’s inevitable promise that the Pixel 9 phones will rock 7 years of Android updates. 

Google Pixel 8 Pro
Google Pixel 8 Pro will support on-device AI via Gemini Nano. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

We’ve already seen with the Pixel 8 series that Google can’t match AI features between the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. The latter supports on-device Gemini AI, while the former doesn’t. And we haven’t even gotten to the Android 15 update for the two handsets.

I expect all Pixel 9 phones to feature the same Tensor G4 chip. But we could be looking at RAM differences between the handsets again. All of that is speculation for now. We’ll get plenty of specs leaks by mid-October when Google will unveil the handsets. These leaks should also clarify Google’s launch plans for the Pixel 9 series.

There’s one other thing that’s worth keeping in mind. The Pixel 8a phone will drop at I/O 2024 in May. It’ll be almost identical to the Pixel 8. If these new Pixel 9 rumors are accurate, I can’t help but wonder whether there’s any point in making a Pixel 9a phone next year, especially if the Pixel 9 is relatively affordable compared to its main competitors.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.