What to expect from Google in 2022: Pixel 6a, Pixel Watch and more

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Google’s hardware and software divisions both had very busy years, but rumours suggest 2022 could be even busier.

We might not have ticked over into 2022 quite yet, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a general idea of what we might see from the search engine giant next year.

From phones, both affordable and pricey, to one of the most anticipated pieces of tech – here is everything we expect to see from Google in 2022.

Pixel 6a

Google’s next mid-range option is expected to arrive in 2022, with some early renders suggesting that it’ll take plenty of design inspiration from the Pixel 6 series. Expect to see the notable visor cover the camera sensors and the same two-tone colour finish brought across.

It’ll likely have a smaller display than the regular 6, with rumours suggesting a 6.2-inch panel. The previous ‘A’ devices have packed OLED tech, so we should expect that too.

Perhaps the biggest expected feature is the inclusion of the Tensor chipset – that’s the same SoC as the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. This would allow the more affordable phone to pack the same AI skills as its sibling, including features like the Magic Eraser.

Let’s just hope the Pixel 6a arrives in the UK, unlike the MIA Pixel 5a.

Pixel Watch

There have been rumours and leaks about the mythical first smartwatch from Google for years, but reports are feverishly suggesting the Pixel Watch will finally arrive in 2022.

Leaked renders show a very thin, very round smartwatch that looks quite unlike most of the competition. Whether it actually arrives in this form remains to be seen.

Whatever it looks like, the watch will be a showcase for Wear OS 3 – the software, built in partnership with Samsung, that is currently available only on the Galaxy Watch 4.

Android 12 L and Android 13

Android 12 L is a special version of Android 12 for larger displays, like tablets. Google has already announced the software is coming, and it looks like it’ll arrive in a feature drop in early 2022.

Android has felt hamstrung on tablets for a while now, so this could really be the update to change that.

Visual improvements include a redesigned notification panel, better multitasking and improved app compatibility.

Expect to hear a lot more about Android 12 L early in 2022. We’d also expect Google to unveil Android 13 during its traditional I/O dev conference, which will likely include many of these L improvements.

The next-gen Tensor chip

Google announced its first in-house SoC (system-on-chip) in 2021 and we’d expect the follow-up to arrive in 2022. Reports have already appeared that mention the forthcoming custom-made chipset has the codename ‘Cloudripper’.

Expect Tensor 2 to be announced in the middle portion of the year, with a debut likely later in 2022 around the same time Google reveals its next round of Pixel flagships.

Google’s Tensor SoC

Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro

Little is known about Google’s next round of flagship phones, but we can make an educated guess that they’ll arrive towards the latter part of 2022.

If Google sticks to the same blueprint as this year, then we’ll get an affordable Pixel 7 that eschews some of the fancier features of the pricier Pro model.

We should once again expect a focus on camera performance (hopefully with a stronger focus on video), the latest Tensor chipset and Android 13.

We’d also like faster charging, better stamina and a 120Hz panel on the cheaper version.

Trusted Take – What I want most from Google?

While many on the Trusted Reviews team long for the Pixel Watch, what I really want to see from Google is a phone in the same ilk as the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Galaxy S21 Ultra – that is to say, a truly top-tier Pixel Ultra smartphone. No worrying about price, no sacrifices and plenty of Google goodness. Just give it to me, Google.

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