Google Pixel 9 Phones May Add Emergency Satellite Messaging

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Key Takeaways

  • A leak suggests the Pixel 9 series will get emergency satellite messaging.
  • A new modem will reportedly enable the feature.
  • The hardware may also improve overall connectivity.

Google may offer emergency satellite messaging on the Pixel 9 series, according to a leak.

A source for Android Authority claimed the new Pixel phones will include a new Samsung modem, the 5400, that will enable satellite access.

As on the iPhone, Pixel users would have to align the phone with a satellite and send a text to emergency services.  Owners would answer a few pre-supplied questions to speed up the response.

T-Mobile will reportedly provide initial service in the US thanks to SpaceX’s Starlink network. The next Pixel Fold will support satellite connections as well, app code suggested.

The satellite update will reportedly come as part of an upgraded Tensor G4 chip powering the Pixel 9 series, the new Fold,  and an upcoming 5G tablet codenamed “Clementine.”

We’ve asked Google for comment and will let you know if we hear back.

An addition like this wouldn’t be surprising. The iPhone line has had Emergency SOS satellite messaging since the iPhone 14 series, and there have been multiple instances where the feature helped rescue people in trouble. Google could both match Apple and claim an edge over rivals like Samsung.

The Pixel 9 and Fold 2 lineups are expected to offer more than just satellite support and the Tensor G4. Google is believed to be overhauling the range to include a regular-sized Pro model, rebranding the large handset as the Pro XL. There might also be a touchscreen that better handles wet fingers, as well as support for the Apple MagSafe-inspired Qi2 wireless charging standard.

While it’s not clear if Google will upgrade any of the cameras, the company has historically prioritized photography.

Google faces a challenging market. While the Pixel line has enjoyed some gains in recent years, particularly in countries like Japan, it’s dealing with stiff competition from Samsung, Xiaomi, Transsion, and other established heavyweights. Satellite access could provide an edge that helps Google stand out.