As we approach the awaited Made by Google event organized for October 4th, the tech world is abuzz with leaks and rumors encompassing Google’s next smartphones, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. These gadgets are anticipated to build upon the strengths of their predecessors while addressing some of the preceding era’s shortcomings.
Design, Display, and Materials
The official teaser from Google has given us our first glimpse of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro’s composition. Notable composition changes include more rounded corners on the phone’s screens, aligning them more with competitors like the Galaxy S23+. Google seems to have doubled the radius of the screen’s curves, increasing the aesthetics.
In terms of materials, Google has chosen to stick with classic glass and aluminum for both models. The Pixel 8 Pro appears to promote a matte finish, keeping brushed aluminum for the camera bar and frame, while the standard Pixel 8 maintains its matte aluminum back with glossy glass.
The camera bar, a distinctive attribute of Google’s recent phones, has also been slightly revised. The lenses, especially on the Pixel 8 Pro, are now closer together. Notably, a new addition to the Pro model is a thermometer sensor, which offers intriguing possibilities.
Both phones have seen size adjustments. The quality Pixel 8 is a bit smaller than its predecessor, having a 6.17-inch screen. Additionally, the Pixel 8 Pro keeps its 6.7-inch display but now with a flat-screen, moving away from the curved edges of recent iterations.
Display technology has also received an update, with Google introducing “Super Actua” displays, focusing on better brightness levels in direct sunlight. Leaked specs indicate brightness levels of 1,400 nits for the Pixel 8 and 1,600 nits for the Pixel 8 Pro when used outdoors. While the Pixel 8 retains its 1080p display with a 120Hz refresh rate, the Pixel 8 Pro offers a 1440p LTPO OLED panel capable of scaling down to 1Hz, enhancing versatility.
Color options for the Pixel 8 include Obsidian, Hazel, and Rose, while the Pixel 8 Pro offers Obsidian, Porcelain, and Bay, catering to varying preferences.
The Powerhouse Processors and Software Updates
Google’s third-age custom chipset, the Google Tensor G3, named Zuma, is now in testing for the Pixel 8 series. Rumored to be based on Samsung’s Exynos 2300 processor, made on a 3nm node, it promises better organization and performance. The inclusion of 12GB of RAM for the Pro model, coupled with Wi-Fi 7 support, ensures a seamless user experience.
Storage options include 128GB or 256GB for the Pixel 8 and expanded choices for the Pixel 8 Pro, ranging from 128GB to 1TB (U.S. exclusive). However, both phones use UFS 3.1 storage, not the newer UFS 4.0, which is seen in valuable Samsung smartphones.
One standout attribute of the Pixel 8 Pro is the built-in thermometer, capable of monitoring skin temperature, a health-oriented addition exclusive to the Pro model.
Camera Tech and Software Enhancements
Google’s Pixel phones have earned acclaim for their camera capabilities, and the Pixel 8 series aims to raise the bar. While previous iterations often retained camera sensors for extended periods, the Pixel 8 lineup revealed set for a change. Support for staggered HDR, code-named Husky and Shinx, hints at a fresh approach to HDR photography. Hardware-focused changes suggest Google is revamping camera tech. The Pixel 8 Pro employs a 50MP Samsung ISOCELL GN2 main sensor, a 64MP IMX787 ultrawide, and a 58MP telephoto sensor. Notably, the arrangement of these sensors has evolved, providing each sensor with more space.
The key sensor, GN2, offers improved low-light show and 8K30 video recording capacity. The ultrawide sensor quadruples its performance, addressing a common complaint about previous models.
The smaller Pixel 8 also sees an upgrade with the same main GN2 sensor but retains the IMX386 ultrawide sensor. This update addresses one of the shortcomings of the previous generation’s smaller model.
Google is set to enhance Night Sight capabilities, enabling better low-light photography and expanding Night Sight to Super Res Zoom shots. Video capacity is also expected to improve, and an attribute known as Video Unblur might make its debut.
Android 14 and Extended Software Support
Google has a track record of releasing its most recent Android upgrades between August and October. With Android 14, the Pixel 8 series is expected to be the first Android device to run the new OS, delivering exciting attributes and improvements.
Google is allegedly seeking to compete with Apple in terms of software support, potentially offering seven years of updates, although this may translate differently than seven OS upgrades. This extended support should place Google at the forefront of Android devices.
The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are set to go up for booking on October 4th, aligning with the Made by Google event. The phones are anticipated to deck store shelves shortly after, likely in the middle of October.
Unfortunately, the attractive pricing seen with the Pixel 6 is not likely to continue. The Pixel 8 is rumored to start at $700, while the Pixel 8 Pro might be priced at either $1,000 or $900, depending on the source. European pricing suggests even higher figures, with the Pixel 8 Pro potentially starting at €1,004.65.
With the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, Google aims to build upon the strengths of its previous models while addressing their limitations. These smartphones promise exciting design changes, modern display technology, powerful processors, camera enhancements, extended software support, and more. While pricing may see an increase, Google’s commitment to delivering a top-tier Android experience remains unchanged. As we count down the days to the official launch, the Pixel 8 series is shaping up to be a significant addition to the smartphone landscape.