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Pixel 9 hands-on video just appeared 6 weeks too early

Published Jul 2nd, 2024 9:44AM EDT
Google Pixel 8 Software
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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For some reason, Google moved up this year’s Pixel launch event by about two months. Instead of mid-October, we’ll get the Pixel 9 phones in mid-August. I can think of several reasons the move makes sense. For starters, Android 15 should be available in August, so why not have it debut alongside four new Pixel 9 phones? Also, Samsung will hold its big Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Flip 6 event on July 10th, several weeks earlier than expected. Google will reportedly include a Pixel 9 Pro Fold phone in this year’s Pixel 9 lineup. It would probably want that phone in stores as soon as possible to compete with Samsung’s foldables.

Then there’s always the iPhone 16 threat. Apple Intelligence will supposedly drive a big upgrade cycle this year, so Google might want to give you a chance to buy a Pixel 9 before you get an iPhone.

What hasn’t changed, and probably won’t for some time to come, is the lack of secrecy around the newest Pixels. Thanks to various leaks this year, we already know everything about the upcoming phones. And now we have a full hands-on video demo of an unreleased Pixel model that precedes its actual launch by several weeks. The pink Pixel 9 appeared in a short video on social media, confirming Google’s big design change for this year’s Pixels.

We’ve known for months that the Pixel 9 lineup will feature four models. The Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro will have the same size and overall design with one big difference. The Pro will feature an extra camera on the back.

The Pixel 9 Pro XL will have a larger display but otherwise look identical to the smaller Pro. Then there’s the brand new Pixel Fold 2 device, which will be injected into the Pixel 9 series along with a new name: Pixel 9 Pro Fold.

The design leaks also showed that Google will make a big change to the camera module on the back. Instead of a camera bar extending from side to side, we now have a slightly smaller camera module that no longer connects to the sides. It’s more of an island, although the cameras are still placed horizontally inside that camera bar.

Otherwise, the Pixel 9 models will look a lot like the iPhone and many other Android phones. The handsets will feature flat edges and curved corners.

Fast-forward to early July, and a developer in Algeria got his hands on a pink Pixel 9. The color is certainly a nice surprise, one that hasn’t necessarily leaked before. It shows that Google is ready to offer buyers additional fun colors to explore.

Not much is known about the Pixel 9 in the video other than that it has 256GB of storage. That indicates the user could turn on the handset and use it. The developers promised to answer more questions, including detailing the Pixel 9’s in-display fingerprint sensor. This further proves the handset is booting up properly.

We saw previous Pixel generations leak similarly, with some people providing thorough hands-on reviews of the handsets. Others found unreleased Pixel units available for sale online. Google bricked some of those devices via updates over the air, which rendered them useless.

It’s unclear how this user got their hands on the pink Pixel 9 phone in the short clip. I would’t be surprised to learn we’re looking at a prototype device that’s in testing in the wild. However, the device lacks any markings that would indicate that were the case.

Whether we’re about to get a thorough review of the Pixel 9 phone or not, I’m also certain we’ll see all the other Pixel 9 models leak ahead of the August 13th Google event.

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.