Everything You Need To Know About The Google Pixel 8
One of the most anticipated phone releases this year, the Google Pixel 8 and the 8 Pro aims to compete with the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. Because of that, there’s plenty of improvements to make this a phone fit for 2023.
It comes out the traps with a rake of new features and tech improvements (like a temperature sensor and the Tensor G3 chip) – but also a massive seven years of software updates. That shows they’re keen to lure phone users by being a long-term investment. Combined with upgrades to their already-strong camera performance, a solid battery life and easy syncing with other Google devices, it could be enough to tempt even the most loyal of Apple fans.
Here are what the Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro have to offer.
Google Pixels have always been one of the better phones for taking pictures; even without the accompanying smartphone, Google Photos is a popular photo library and editing tool. From this lofty height, the Pixel 8 keeps largely the same lens specs as Pixel 7, with small tweaks like more auto focus. Meanwhile the Pixel 8 Pro has a higher 48MP ultrawide lens, an extra 49MP telephoto lens, AI features, and manual controls that are ideal for advanced photo-takers.
But the best bits are the software improvements. For example, when you take a few group pics, you can pick everyone’s best faces, and merge them onto one photo so it’s everyone’s best shot. And Audio Magic Eraser picks out distracting sounds in the video so you can minimise or remove them. These features might come to more Google users later, but they’re only for those who buy a Pixel 8 for now.
At 4575mAH for the Pixel 8 and 5050mAh for the 8 Pro, there’s no major improvement in battery capacity on either phone, and it’s likely that any operating efficiencies will be balanced out by added features. But that won’t matter as Pixels generally last all day, and with seven years of software updates built in, you’d expect Google will have made sure that the battery life can go that distance too.
When it comes to charging features, it has the same Battery Share and wireless charging as previous models, and charging has become speedier. While wired charging for Pixels was previously advertised at 30W, it only really managed 22W in practice. However, the Pixel 8 now charges at 27W over a USB-C cable when using a 30W adapter, and the Pixel 8 Pro can go the whole way, with top speeds of 30W.
Design and display
The Pixel 8 has a 6.2in 120Hz OLED screen, making it slightly smaller than the Pixel 7 (at 6.3in). Meanwhile the Pixel 8 Pro is larger, with a 6.7in LTPO OLED screen. For using your screen in bright conditions, the 8s go twice as bright as Google’s previous model. The 8 is now on par with the iPhone 15, and the 8 Pro surpasses it, offering 2400 nits compared to the iPhone 15’s 2000.
As far as the exterior is concerned, both models are an updated version of the Pixel style, with a rectangle at the back keeping the lenses tidy. The Pixel 8 comes in Hazel grey, Obsidian black and Rose pink, while the 8 Pro comes in Bay blue, Obsidian black, and Porcelain cream.
The big shift in the Pixel 8’s ability is a temperature sensor that’s been added to the Pro model. It’s not yet approved for body temperature monitoring, so until that goes through the right process, Google are saying it’s useful for measuring the heat of food, drinks and surfaces – just select the material you’re measuring and hold it two inches away. We’re not quite convinced about that feature. But at least there are other key improvements, like face unlock can now be used for payments, speech recognition has been improved, and your phone will also be able to translate web pages, summarise articles, and read them out loud to you.
Behind the scenes, both phones are equipped with the new Tensor G3, and the Android 14 operating system. And as mentioned, you’ll get seven years of software updates – a notch up from the five years they promised with the Pixel 7, and significantly more than the three years of OS updates for the iPhone. When the principle of repairing rather than replacing is more environmentally friendly than using recycled material, these commitments to longevity make a real difference.
Price and availability
The Pixel 8 starts at £699, and the Pixel 8 Pro starts at £999. Both phones are available to now.
Switched On’s mobile phone insurance provides feature packed cover for real peace of mind with 24/7 online claims, immediate cover, unlimited claims, plus fast repairs and replacements being just a few of the benefits. Find out more here.