In a recent Google event, the tech giant unveiled the highly anticipated Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, alongside the Pixel Watch. While the event might not have been a surprise, considering the leaks leading up to it, there’s still a lot to be excited about regarding Google’s latest offerings.
Design and Display Pixel 8
The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro continue the recognizable Pixel design language, featuring the visor on the back. However, this year, Google has made some noticeable design updates by rounding off the edges, giving the phones a more rounded appearance. The new color options include Hazel, Rose, and Obsidian for the Pixel 8, while the Pixel 8 Pro offers Obsidian, Porcelain, and a vibrant blue color called Bay. The blue variant, in particular, stands out with its matte finish, adding a touch of elegance to the design.
Both phones boast thinner bezels and significantly brighter displays, with the Pixel 8 reaching up to 2,000 nits peak brightness and the 8 Pro going even further at 2,400 nits. Additionally, the smaller Pixel 8 now features a 120Hz display, enhancing the overall viewing experience. While the LTPO technology is exclusive to the Pro model, both displays promise impressive visuals both indoors and outdoors.
Performance and Hardware
One of the significant updates with the new Pixel phones is the introduction of the Tensor G3 chip. Google has paired this third-generation custom silicon with 8GB of RAM for the Pixel 8 and a generous 12GB of RAM for the Pixel 8 Pro. While Google didn’t delve into extensive details regarding raw performance improvements during the event, it’s clear that the focus is on enhancing AI-related tasks. The Pixel series has always been about software, and this remains true with the Tensor G3, which empowers the devices with advanced AI capabilities.
The Pixel series continues to excel in the software department, offering unique and intelligent features that set it apart. The Google Assistant now includes a feature that allows users to ask it to summarize webpages in Chrome, providing a concise three or four-point summary. Speech-to-text has also seen improvements, offering faster and more accurate transcription. The front-facing camera now contributes to enhanced security features, such as face unlock and app authentication. Another intriguing addition is the “fix-it” feature, which proofreads messages for grammar and content before sending them.
The most striking software innovation showcased is the call screen voice. The updated version boasts a more natural and human-like voice, making interactions with the virtual assistant feel more engaging. Additionally, it recognizes context during calls, enabling users to respond appropriately based on the conversation.
Google’s Pixel phones have consistently impressed with their camera capabilities, and the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are no exceptions. Both models feature a 50-megapixel main camera system, with the Pixel 8 also including a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens. However, the Pixel 8 Pro takes it up a notch with a 48-megapixel ultra-wide and a 48-megapixel 5x telephoto lens. The camera app has been revamped, with separate photo and video modes for intuitive navigation.
One standout feature is the Magic Editor, which allows users to select subjects and manipulate photos with ease. This includes moving subjects within the frame, altering backgrounds, and making various adjustments to create stunning images. Another feature called Best Take helps capture perfect group photos by allowing users to choose the best facial expressions from multiple shots and combine them into one ideal image.
Unique Features and Pricing
Google has introduced some unique and intriguing features with the Pixel 8 series. One such feature is Video Boost, available exclusively on the Pixel 8 Pro. It involves uploading videos to the cloud for overnight processing, resulting in improved HDR, color grading, and overall video quality.
In terms of pricing, the Pixel 8 starts at $699, while the Pixel 8 Pro starts at $999. While the prices have increased compared to the previous generation, Google has justified this by offering significant upgrades, including a 120Hz display, brighter screens, the Tensor G3 chip, and an impressive camera system.
One area where Google truly shines is in its commitment to long-term software support. The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will receive seven years of OS security and feature drop updates. This level of support sets a new industry standard, ensuring that these devices will remain up-to-date and secure well into the future.
Accompanying the Pixel phones, Google also introduced the Pixel Watch 2. While it retains its sleek pebble design, it has received significant internal upgrades, including a quad-core processor that promises improved speed and potentially extended battery life. The watch also introduces features like safety checks, skin temperature monitoring, auto workout detection, and enhanced heart rate monitoring.
The Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, along with the Pixel Watch 2, bring exciting new features and improvements to the Pixel lineup. While the design remains recognizable, the phones have received substantial updates in terms of display, performance, camera capabilities, and software enhancements. The introduction of the Tensor G3 chip demonstrates Google’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of AI-related tasks. With seven years of support for OS security and feature drops, these devices are well-equipped to remain relevant and reliable for years to come. Google continues to impress with its software innovations, making the Pixel series a standout in the competitive smartphone market.