Google Pixel 8 Review: Introducing Google’s 2023 flagship smartphones – the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. These new models share a striking resemblance but bring substantial improvements. With refreshed designs, upgraded displays, a more potent Tensor G3 chip, enhanced camera systems, and an array of AI-driven features, they promise a remarkable smartphone experience.
Today, we’ll provide a concise overview of both devices, delving into design, displays, and performance. We’ll also offer a sneak peek at camera samples and compare them with previous Pixel phones and the new iPhone 15 Pro. Stay tuned for our in-depth review.
Google Pixel 8
Google unveiled its Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro at an event in New York City on October 4th, set to hit stores in select regions by October 12th. The latest models sport a sleeker design with curvier edges, a matte finish on the Pro, and flat screens. Both phones are powered by Google’s new Tensor G3 chipset, promising improved performance.
The camera and Assistant got substantial upgrades, introducing Night Sight Video and Video Boost technology for better HDR video. Additionally, Google teased the forthcoming Assistant with Bard, exclusive to some Pixel 8 users.
Google Pixel 8 Specs Overview
|Processor||Google Tensor G3|
|Operating System||Android 14|
|Front Camera||10.5 MP|
|Rear Camera||50+13 MP|
|Dimensions||150.5 * 70.8 * 8.9 mm|
|Colors||Rose, Hazel, Obsidian, Black, Bay|
|Display||OLED, 60-120 hertz|
Google Pixel 8 Price
The Google Pixel 8, priced at $699, gives you a choice between 128GB and 256GB of storage. You can pick from three elegant colors: Obsidian, Hazel, or Rose.
On the other hand, the iPhone 15 starts at $799 and offers versatile storage options: 128GB, 256GB, and a spacious 512GB. Apple’s iPhone 15 comes in five vibrant colors, including Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue, and classic Black.
Prices may vary in India, due to different taxes system.
Google Pixel 8 Design
The Pixel 8 phones might seem almost identical to the Pixel 7, but there are subtle yet significant changes that enhance the user experience. Both models feature more pronounced curves on the sides, making them easier to grip, and their rounded corners provide a more comfortable hold. The Pixel 8 is noticeably more compact than its predecessor.
These modifications result in a much-improved feel in hand, especially the smaller Pixel 8, which feels fantastic. Although the Pixel 8 Pro is a bit bulky due to its size, it’s far more comfortable than the Pixel 7 Pro.
Aesthetically, they closely resemble their predecessors, with the camera bar at the back evolving and growing. The design might appear somewhat generic compared to earlier models, reminiscent of older Galaxy phones. The flat display on the Pixel 8 Pro, while functionally superior, lacks the cool factor of the curved displays from previous iterations.
The Pixel 8 Pro introduces texture variations, with a matte glass back and a glossy frame, offering a high-quality feel. Both phones are IP68-rated for dust and water resistance. However, Google’s track record for hardware issues with Pixel devices is a concern. Let’s hope the Pixel 8 series fares better.
Google Pixel 8 Camera
The Pixel 8 series continues Google’s camera legacy with impressive specs. Comparing it to the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Galaxy S23 Ultra, the Pixel 8 Pro holds its own, often tying with the iPhone and sometimes outshining it. While video performance is slightly behind, Google’s upcoming Video Boost mode could change that.
The iPhone excels in color accuracy and detail, but the Pixel shines in dynamic range and low-light performance. Its 48-MP ultrawide camera is a standout, offering brighter results in low light. The Macro Focus mode is perfect for close-ups, and the selfie camera on the Pixel 8 Pro now has autofocus.
A notable feature is the 5X zoom on the Pixel 8 Pro, but it can’t be used in Portrait mode. Google could also improve the Cinematic Blur video feature, which is still limited to 1080p.
Portrait mode, once Google’s strength, now struggles with hair compared to rivals.
Despite some gripes, the Pixel’s cameras impress, thanks to smart editing tools and an intuitive camera app. The price has gone up, but watch for sales. Google’s commitment to seven years of software updates and repair support adds value.
Google Pixel 8 Display
The smaller Pixel 8 boasts a 6.2-inch OLED screen with a 2400 x 1080 resolution and a 20:9 aspect ratio. Its default refresh rate is 60Hz, but it can go up to 120Hz. The display offers a peak brightness of 1400 nits in HDR mode, and a whopping 2000 nits outdoors. It supports HDR and wide color, although it’s an 8-bit panel, known as the “Actual display.”
On the other hand, the Pixel 8 Pro sports a 6.7-inch OLED display with a 2992 x 1344 resolution and 20:9 aspect ratio. It defaults to 120Hz, but the resolution starts at 1080p and can be manually set to 1344p for its full potential. This screen shines with a peak brightness of 1600 nits in HDR mode and an incredible 2400 nits peak outdoors. Just like its sibling, it’s an 8-bit panel, known as the “Super Actua display.”
Both screens offer exceptional image quality and high brightness, with the Pixel 8 Pro standing out. While HDR content looks fantastic, it would be great if Google added Dolby Vision support. The refresh rate is responsive but could benefit from more adaptive modes for varying video content, which currently defaults to 60Hz.
Google Pixel 8 Software
Google’s Android updates have been quite punctual, typically arriving between August and October. In 2021, Android 12 debuted in October, coinciding with the Pixel 6 launch. Last year, Android 13, a smaller update, came in early August, allowing time for bug fixes.
This year, Google started the Android 14 developer previews in February and launched the beta program in mid-April. As anticipated, Android 14 was expected in September but pleasantly surprised us alongside the Pixel 8.
For current Pixel owners, expect the upgrade to roll out. If you’re eyeing the Pixel 8, you’ll be thrilled to know it comes with Google’s latest OS pre-installed and boasts an impressive seven years of full OS updates, setting a new standard.
The Pixel series remains dedicated to top-notch software, with a strong focus on AI. The notable addition is Assistant with Bard, although it’s not yet available for most users and will be in testing even when ready.
Google Pixel 8 Performance
The brand-new Pixel 8 series runs on Google’s cutting-edge Tensor G3 chip, leveraging Samsung’s advanced 4nm manufacturing process. This powerful chip boasts a nona-core architecture, combining a swift 3.0GHz Cortex-X3, four efficient 2.45GHz Cortex-A715 cores, and four balanced 2.15GHz Cortex-A510 cores. The graphics are handled by the robust Immortalis-G715 MP10 GPU.
In the memory department, the Pixel 8 offers 8GB of lightning-fast LPDDR5X RAM, while the Pixel 8 Pro takes it a step further with a generous 12GB. As for storage, you have multiple choices, with options of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and even a massive 1TB UFS 3.1 on the Pixel 8 Pro. The Pixel 8, on the other hand, provides 128GB and 256GB variants. Do note that storage availability may vary by region, with some, like India, offering solely the 128GB configuration – a choice that may seem limited in today’s world of data-hungry applications, especially for a flagship like the Pixel 8 Pro.
Google Pixel 8 vs iPhone, Which is better?
The competition between Google Pixel 8 and iPhone 15 is fierce, and consumers are often torn between these two cutting-edge smartphones. Google Pixel 8 excels in its Android ecosystem, boasting the latest Android updates and offering a seamless, intuitive user experience. Its camera capabilities are remarkable, harnessing the power of Google’s computational photography for stunning shots. On the other hand, iPhone 15, with its robust iOS platform, offers unmatched performance and a thriving app ecosystem. The device is synonymous with reliability, performance, and a design that’s a class apart. Choosing between them boils down to personal preferences. If you prioritize the Android experience and exceptional camera features, Google Pixel 8 might be your ideal choice. In contrast, iPhone 15 is the go-to option for those seeking top-tier performance and a seamless iOS ecosystem. The “better” choice depends on your operating system preference and specific needs.
Google Pixel 8 Good and Bad
Enjoy easy manual camera controls for perfect shots. Get excited about a whopping seven years of future OS upgrades. Experience the power of AI photo editing, though some might find it a tad unsettling. Now, make payments with Face Unlock – it’s super convenient. Plus, relish the comfortable design of this large phone. And remember, seven years of OS upgrades are guaranteed. Discover AI photo editing tools that are both helpful and slightly disconcerting. Use Face Unlock for secure payments. Enjoy the ergonomic proportions of this spacious phone.
The Tensor G3 temperature sensor sometimes acts a bit gimmicky, running hot on occasion. It’s frustrating that despite sharing the same processor, it misses out on some of the exclusive Pro-only features.