Google Pixel 9 and Fold 2 should make you better connected

Google's next generation of Pixel phones and tablets should deliver better connections

Google Pixel Fold
(Image credit: Google)

The next generation of Google mobile devices, including the Pixel 9 phone, the Pixel Tablet and the Pixel Fold 2, will be getting an upgrade that Android observers say is well overdue – and it should deliver much better connectivity as well as the ability for you to send messages when there's no normal mobile signal.

The upgrade is to the device's modems, which have been criticised since the days of the Pixel 6. That's because with the Tensor G2, Google decided to move to Samsung modems instead of the more commonly used Qualcomm one. In tests by PC Mag at the time, the Pixel's modem was significantly outperformed by the Qualcomm modem in the Samsung Galaxy S21.

According to Android Authority, the next bunch of Pixel hardware will be getting a new modem – and it'll be a significant improvement.

Why this upgrade could mean the end of Pixel modem woes

According to their source, "a Google insider", AA says that the new modem brings "some important upgrades including satellite connectivity" and much better, more reliable connectivity. While the modem issue isn't as much of an issue as it was in the Pixel 6, "it's still not perfect": AA notes that in a recent survey nearly 60% of Pixel 7 and 8 users said they'd encountered modem problems such as the modem crashing or difficulty in getting a strong signal compared to other devices.

With the Tensor G4 chipset that's coming to the Pixel 9 series and related hardware including the Pixel Tablet and the Pixel Fold 2, there's a new modem: the Samsung Modem 5400. It's expected to be faster and more energy efficient, and it has an upgraded software stack that should deliver better stability. 

There's also going to be support for 3GPP Rel. 17, which is designed for non-terrestrial networks – in other words, satellite communication. Android Authority says that the satellite link will enable you to text but not call, and in the US it'll be provided by T-Mobile in collaboration with SpaceX. 

The new satellite connectivity will bring a new "Satellite Gateway" app that'll offer an Emergency SOS feature to alert the emergency services if you get into trouble in a place where there's no mobile signal. These features are planned for the Pixel 9 and for the second-generation Google Pixel Fold.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (