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After a long wait, the Google Pixel will return to India

Alphabet’s Google unveiled a host of other tools and hardware – including a new smartwatch and the Pixel 6a phone – at its annual I/O 2022 event

This photo provided by Google shows the Pixel 6A phone. Google on Wednesday, took a big step toward pushing its Pixel product line-up down a road already paved by Apple and its array of trendsetting phones, tablets and watches. (AP)

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Google’s flagship Pixel smartphone series has found many takers in India. But the last Pixel phone to be launched in the Indian market was the Pixel 4a, way back in 2020. Since then, Google has launched the Pixel 5 and Pixel 6 series, but none of them made it to India.

That might finally change in the coming months. At last night’s I/O event, Google unveiled the Pixel 6a phone, which will pack all the must-have features of the premium Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones – including its in-house Tensor chip – but at a much lower price of $449 (approximately 34,844).

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According to the company, the Pixel 6a borrows many of the same design elements from Pixel 6 — including the iconic camera bar — along with a metal frame that is durable by design. There’s also the updated Material You design UX that lets users personalize the look and feel of their phones. The Pixel 6a will come in three colors: Chalk, Charcoal and Sage.

A tweet from Google India’s official Twitter handle also confirmed that the phone will eventually come to India. “We’re so thrilled to announce that the Pixel 6a is coming to India later this year.” The tweet said that further details on the phone’s availability will be out soon.

Elsewhere, (and this includes Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States) the Pixel 6a will be available for pre-order, starting July 21 and on shelves on July 28.

This photo provided by Google shows the Pixel Watch.
This photo provided by Google shows the Pixel Watch. (AP)

There were other exciting announcements from the event that are relevant in the Indian context. Google Translate will now support 24 new languages, including 8 spoken in India: Assamese, Bhojpuri, Mizo, Dogri, Konkani, Maithili, Meiteilon (Manipuri), and Sanskrit. Writing on Google’s Keyword blog, Isaac Caswell, a senior software engineer at Google Translate, said that over 300 million people speak these newly added languages — like Mizo, used by around 800,000 people in the far northeast of India.

On the hardware front, Google also unveiled the Pixel Watch and the Pixel Buds Pro. Google Pixel Watch, as compared to the Apple Watch, has a circular screen, mimicking most classic wristwatches. The device was primarily developed by Fitbit, which Google acquired in January 2021, and includes Fitbit-based health tracking integration, a Bloomberg report said. It will run on the Wear OS. An AFP report says there will be a version of the Pixel Watch that syncs to Android-powered smartphones and one that has its own wireless internet connectivity.

While the Pixel Watch is expected to be available later this year, along with a new premium Pixel 7 smartphone series, there were no details on how much it will cost. The Pixel Buds Pro, meanwhile, will be available for pre-order from 2 July for $199.

Next year will also see Google release a tablet. Apple sells tablets from about 7-inches to 13-inches in size, while Samsung makes a large 15-inch device. Google had stopped designing new tablets in 2019 to focus on laptops, the Bloomberg report adds.

Also read: Google Pixel Buds A review: A good fit for tech enthusiasts

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