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Google Pixel 9 smartphones to feature new Samsung modem with satellite connectivity: What to expect

Google's upcoming Pixel 9 series, Pixel Fold 2, and a new 5G Pixel Tablet are set to feature an upgraded Samsung modem with satellite connectivity, enhancing cellular performance and introducing emergency satellite-based services.

By: HT TECH
Updated on: Apr 16 2024, 07:58 IST
Google's new Samsung modem promises enhanced cellular connectivity and emergency satellite services for Pixel devices. (Google )

Google's next-generation Pixel devices are set to receive a significant upgrade with a new Samsung modem that includes satellite connectivity. This advancement aims to enhance cellular connectivity and offer emergency satellite-based services on the go.

Pixel 9 Series and More to Sport Upgraded Modem

Recent reports suggest that Google's Pixel 9 series, including the Pixel Fold 2 and a new 5G-enabled Pixel Tablet, will feature an updated Samsung modem. This change follows Google's shift from Qualcomm's modems to Samsung's, aligning with the Tensor base that powers their devices, reported 9to5google.

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While the current modem has been sufficient, it sometimes struggles with low connectivity and isn't as power-efficient as desired. The upcoming modem, named Tensor G4 5400, promises improvements in these areas, offering enhanced performance and reliability.

Satellite Connectivity for Emergency Services

The most notable feature of the new modem is its support for 3GPP Rel. 17 5G spec, which enables satellite connectivity. Although the existing Pixel modems technically support satellite, this functionality hasn't been utilized yet. With this update, users can access satellite services through an integrated "Satellite Gateway" app, primarily via the Emergency SOS feature.

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In emergency situations, the app will prompt users with essential questions to identify the situation, allowing them to notify contacts and send messages to emergency services. This enhanced emergency feature aims to improve user safety and provide critical assistance when needed.

Pixel Fold 2 and Potential Satellite SOS Feature

Code references suggest that the Pixel Fold 2 might require unfolding to activate the satellite SOS feature fully. Google has been actively developing the "Satellite SOS" functionality, but it's not live yet. The new modem and accompanying features are expected to roll out soon, offering users enhanced connectivity and safety capabilities.

Future Prospects and Expectations

While the new modem represents a significant step forward for Google's Pixel devices, further improvements are anticipated with the shift to a TSMC-produced Tensor chip in 2025. As Google continues to innovate, users can look forward to more advanced features and capabilities in future Pixel generations.

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First Published Date: 15 Apr, 18:35 IST
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