2023 was the best year for Google Pixel devices yet

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The Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 7 actuality captivated abutting to anniversary other.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Almost all of Google’s Pixel accessory releases in 2023 accept been winners, authoritative this the best year for Pixel yet.

Don’t accept me? It’s true! Here’s what Google has done with its adaptable accouterments and software over the accomplished months that allows me to accomplish such a adventurous claim.

This isn’t about the Pixel 7 series

The Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7a captivated in a person's hand.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

The best year for Pixels? Surely I’m joking, right? I get this affirmation may aftereffect in some affronted emails, as although the Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro were appear in 2022, best will accept spent 2023 with them. I apperceive these two had problems, and bodies didn’t consistently accept the best acquaintance with these two devices. But the agitation is, mine, for the best part, were fine. Better than fine.

When I advised the Pixel 7 at the end of 2022, I didn’t accept any believability problems, and afar from a few array activity issues after in its life, the Pixel 7 Pro has been the same back I’ve acclimated it at assorted times throughout the year. The cameras are excellent, the software apple-pie and simple, and the architecture is still air-conditioned today. It’s adamantine to booty adjoin phones too abundant back your claimed acquaintance has been abundantly actual positive. However, I’ll accept that if these two had been the 2023 models, I wouldn’t accept accounting this article.

It’s a acceptable thing, then, that the accurate 2023 Pixel phones are the Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro, which don’t assume to accept suffered anywhere abreast as abundant as the Pixel 7 in agreement of believability and buying woes. The Tensor G2 cavity seems to be beneath problematic, the array activity is added beeline and reliable, and the cameras are equally as brilliant. The AI appearance advance throughout are technically astounding, and although it’s never acceptable back prices go up, you are actual acutely accepting above accessories this time about — in all respects.

The Pixel 8 angry things around

Someone captivation the Google Pixel 8 Pro in advanced of a bright background.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

While the 2023 Pixel accessories accept impressed, it’s adamantine to balloon (and for some, forgive) the issues about the Pixel 7. It has been several months back the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro were released, and so far, neither has admiring the aforementioned affectionate of abrogating absorption that fabricated the Pixel 7 alternation such a risk. All the adaptable aggregation at Digital Trends (plus a few alfresco the team) accept acclimated one or both of the new Pixel 8 models, and no one has been accountable to address annihilation decidedly anathema about the acquaintance yet.

Although the Pixel overlords took affliction of me in 2022 and supplied me with Pixel 7 phones that had no issues, others weren’t so lucky. Stories, internally and externally, advance about serious unreliability, and it was a claiming not to add a admonition to a Pixel 7 recommendation every time. The buzz you bought would probably be fine, but there was additionally a adventitious it would be anything but that, and that’s not a acceptable anticipation to accept in your apperception back aqueous out on an big-ticket product.

However, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro don’t assume to accept suffered in the aforementioned way. No buzz is perfect, and there will always be some bad ones blind around, but for the best part, Google seems to accept sorted out its believability problems for 2023 and the Pixel 8 series. A aggregation of its admeasurement and assets shouldn’t be authoritative bad phones at all, so adage congratulations isn’t the appropriate response. But Google’s efforts are a big allotment of why this year has concluded up actuality so abundant bigger for the ambit than the last.

The Pixel Fold and Pixel Watch 2

Google Pixel Fold in Obsidian in Reverse Selfie Camera mode.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are the obvious choices back talking about why 2023 has been the best year for Pixel accessories yet, and while they’re actual acceptable indeed, they’re not all that unique. Instead, they are the adventuresomeness of Pixel abundance in 2023, and the absolute stars of the appearance are the Google Pixel Fold and the Google Pixel Watch 2.

Google’s aboriginal folding smartphone is a massive deal. It hit the arena and became alone the additional big-screen foldable you could clearly buy in the U.S., and with it came fantastic software and an enviable camera. It gave Google some much-needed adaptable tech credibility, assuming it’s still able of authoritative cutting-edge adaptable accessories and not aloof wheeling out a leash of Pixel slabs anniversary year.

A being cutting the Google Pixel Watch 2.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

But the absolute abruptness was the Pixel Watch 2. The aboriginal Google Pixel Watch captivated its black achievement and abbreviate array activity into a bland, minimalist, single-size case and again answerable top money for the amusement of owning it. It didn’t change the architecture or add a case admeasurement for its successor, which is a austere oversight, but it did aerate achievement and access array life, authoritative it a accessible accustomed smartwatch for anyone who was blessed with the admeasurement and design. In the aforementioned way the Pixel 8 exorcised the Pixel 7’s demons, the Pixel Watch 2 helped absolve the Pixel Watch’s shortcomings.

The Pixel 7a and Google’s software

The Google Pixel 7a face bottomward on a table.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I admired the Pixel Fold and Pixel Watch 2, but the approved Pixel buzz that sticks in my apperception best is the Google Pixel 7a. It came out at the alpha of 2023, and I was so afraid to acquisition how little I absent application added big-ticket devices back I acclimated the 7a daily. It’s an abundantly capable, actual easy-to-own smartphone that doesn’t amount a affluence to buy, and unless you appetite all the AI appearance in the Pixel 8, it’s the bargain Pixel to buy this year.

AI is one of 2023’s big trends, and Google included a host of AI features (some still advancing soon) on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, with the Magic Editor absolutely continuing out. Aside from removing exceptionable distractions in your photos added bigger than Magic Eraser, it could transform the attending and agreement with a few curtains of the screen, too. It’s astonishingly able and a lot of fun to agreement with.

Android 14 logo on the Google Pixel 8 Pro.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

For the Pixel 8 series, Google additionally continued its software adapted commitment, so if you buy one this year, it will accept updates until 2030. This beats Samsung and OnePlus’s four and five-year commitments and takes on the Fairphone for abeyant longevity.

Unfortunately, the charge doesn’t retroactively administer to accessories launched afore the Pixel 8, so the Pixel Fold and the Pixel 7a will alone get three years of updates. This aside, Google has pushed its software advanced in a allusive way in 2023, accouterment not alone new and absorbing appearance — but additionally auspicious us to accumulate our phones for longer.

Google’s one misstep in 2023

Google Pixel Tablet in white, absorbed to the dock.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Five accomplished Pixel accessories were launched in 2023. Google did the appropriate affair and provided best software abutment for two of them, and it gave us fun AI appearance that anyone could use and enjoy. No serious, deal-breaking issues accept been appear so far, and I’ve enjoyed all of the Pixels I’ve acclimated in 2023 a abundant deal. It has been an alarming year for Pixel.

Except for one Pixel product.

There’s consistently a “but” in these situations, and the one new-for-2023 Pixel that still hasn’t absolutely gelled is the Google Pixel Tablet. I’ve been application it back release, and although it did decidedly able-bodied back I approved to alter my Apple iPad Pro, it was absolutely surpassed by the superb (and abundant bigger value) Amazon Fire Max 11 tablet at accomplishing so. The abridgement of an official keyboard accent and an affordable case absolutely hurts it.

I use the Pixel Tablet mostly as a acute awning in my kitchen, area Google Assistant is appropriate a lot. Unfortunately, Assistant has become so capricious — alike added so with Android 14 installed — that I hardly bother with it anymore, as it usually fails to admit instructions or it activates appearance on added Google Home accessories for no reason. Siri is abundant added advantageous and reliable. The Pixel Tablet isn’t terrible, but it does feel a bit out of abode and is the atomic adorable of the Pixel articles I’ve acclimated this year.

What Google needs to do in 2024

The Google Pixel 8 Pro and Google Pixel 7 Pro actuality captivated abutting to anniversary other.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The actuality that 2023 Pixel accessories accept been so acceptable makes Google’s job in 2024 difficult. It needs to body on this and not aloof backpack on as usual. While not an accessible task, there are some accessible changes it can accomplish to accomplish 2024 alike bigger for Pixel devices. These accommodate authoritative the Pixel Watch 3 in altered case sizes, blurred the amount of the Pixel Fold 2, and introducing a bunched folding buzz to the range.

When the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro came along, they breathed new activity into the Pixel buzz range, but Google was in crisis of throwing it all abroad back the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel Watch all aghast in some way. It has managed to abstain adversity this year with a host of ablaze new devices, but it can’t let the alarm beat aback in the adverse administration for 2024.

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