Despite several further leaks official announcement, Google still managed to leave behind a number of surprises for the launch of its new Pixel-branded products. The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro were launched alongside the new Pixel Watch 2 and Pixel Buds. While the highlight of this year was obviously the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into many of Google’s native apps and services, it’s also good to see how useful Google has managed to make AI for the average user. I am sure other Android smartphone brands will follow Google’s footsteps and create their own features based on AI and machine learning in the coming months.
That said, the new phones aren’t just about AI. Unlike Apple, Google has upgraded the look and feel of its devices this year. Gone are the square corners and curved-edge displays of previous models. Google’s new pixel 8 And pixel 8 pro It now has a more rounded shape which feels surprisingly comfortable to hold and also familiar, as it immediately reminded me of the original google pixel And pixel xl,
The design has clearly evolved from much older models but the visor-like camera module of recent Google Pixel smartphones has been retained. The camera module on both phones is still thick and easily collects dust. Another design element that will seem new to the new generation of Pixel adopters is the smooth matte finish of the rear glass panel on the Pixel 8 Pro. It brings back memories of much loved people pixel 3xl Which also had a similar (but rougher) matte glass rear panel.
Both smartphones also retain their IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.
Inside, Google has gone with a new Tensor G3 SoC, which is built on a 4nm manufacturing process and should offer better efficiency than the G2. pixel 7 pro, However, I’m more curious to know how Google has handled thermals this year given the Pixel 7 Pro it got hot When stressed.
This new processor, although not big in raw performance, is big in AI capabilities. Google told that on machine learning model pixel 8 And pixel 8 pro Are 10 times more complex than the older Pixel 6 (with Tensor) models. And, it will need all of its AI processing capabilities to crunch and enable all the fancy new features Google includes in its new phones.
This includes everything from clearer phone calls to faster photo retouching, better video recording (something that was much needed) and even new tools like the Magic Audio Eraser that removes distracting sounds (or noisy people) from video recordings. Let’s remove it. The processor also helps with the new secure Face Unlock feature that uses a regular selfie camera for surprisingly secure (Class 3) biometric authentication.
Unlike previous models, it can also be used to authorize banking transactions. Google still left the optical fingerprint reader behind which leads me to believe it may not work all the time or in all circumstances (more on that in the review). But this really seems to be a first step toward developing something similar to Apple’s Face ID, without all the extra hardware involved.
For those who are confused and curious about what you’ll get when you unbox your shiny new Pixel 8 or 8 Pro. Here’s a short list of features that are currently available and those that have not yet appeared on our review units.
- magic editor
- magic audio eraser
- ai wallpaper
- face unlock
- pro camera control
- Object Temperature Sensor (App)
- take the best
- video boost
- night vision video
- body temperature measurement
Talking about the camera, Google has upgraded the primary and selfie cameras (because face unlock) but it seems that the ultra-wide has been retained pixel 7, The Pixel 8 Pro has received a hefty camera upgrade with higher-resolution sensors on all three rear-facing cameras.
It also has a new 50-megapixel primary camera, a new 48-megapixel telephoto camera with 5X optical zoom, and a second 48-megapixel ultra-wide camera, which replaces the Pixel 7 Pro’s 12-megapixel camera. Like the Pixel 8, the selfie camera has also been changed (for face unlock) although it doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade in terms of resolution. There is also a new temperature sensor next to the Pixel 8 Pro’s cameras that can be used to measure the surface temperature of objects.
The batteries have also received a minor upgrade. The Pixel 8 Pro gets a 50mAh battery compared to the Pixel 7 Pro, bringing it to 5,050mAh. The Pixel 8 gets a big boost from the Pixel 7’s 4,355mAh battery, to a larger 4,575mAh unit. Charging speed has also increased from 20W to 27W wired charging on the Pixel 8, and from 23W to 30W on the Pixel 8 Pro. Thankfully, Google has retained wireless charging on both devices.
As you can tell from the new AI-related upgrades and hardware performance upgrades, it’s easy to forget that Pixel devices have always been first in line to receive the latest software updates. The new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are no different and come with Android 14 and all its Pixel customizations. Google also announced that it will provide seven years of OS, security, and juicy Pixel drops, which is a big commitment from Google. But will that battery last that long? Well, it looks like Google has spares the situation Also covered for the same period.
While all the above features and commitments seem to be raising the bar for both Android and even iOS-powered smartphones, Google has also raised the bar in terms of pricing this year. Pixel 8 price starts at Rs. 75,999 and Pixel 8 Pro is priced at Rs. Rs 1,06,999, these are actually the most expensive smartphones from Google to reach India. The Pixel 8 Pro has me a little more worried as it is the only 128GB variant priced in India.
Stay tuned to our detailed reviews to find out if they’re worth their price tag or you should upgrade to something else this festive season.