Google is set to launch its new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones tomorrow and they could prove to be two of the best Android phones ever made. If Google has successfully blended the Pixel’s usually-excellent cameras in with premium design, better battery life, and smarter AI features, we could get two phones to make Samsung look over its shoulder.
We know this because there have been extensive leaks that show the design and features of the phones – and Google itself has even confirmed the existence of the Pixel 8 models, posting images of them online.
Though there are rumours of a price increase from 2022’s Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, leaks show that Google is leaning hard into its software, pushing many clever AI features that could improve the Pixel’s camera and general usefulness in day-to-day life.
Here are five reasons the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, which will launch at a flashy New York event on 4 October alongside the Pixel Watch 2, could beat the Pixel 7 – a phone that we still really love.
Google has posted images of the new phones online – presumably to try and curb the barrage of unofficial Pixel leaks the company can never seem to stop – so we know for sure that they look quite similar to the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro
That means the cameras on the back of each phone are contained within a metal ‘camera bar’ design that we are quite fond of, not least because it’s flat across and means the phone won’t rock when poked at on a table, unlike many phones with asymmetrical camera bumps.
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Google has shown off the smaller regular Pixel 8 in a soft pink colour (above) not too dissimilar to the pastel pink of the new iPhone 15, while the Pixel 8 Pro is seen in a cream colour it’s rumoured is called ‘Porcelain’, with the Pros also said to be a frosted matt glass finish – something we much prefer to the glossy glass common on smartphones.
Elsewhere you can expect the Pixel 8’s screen size to shrink slightly from the Pixel 7’s, from 6.3 inches to 6.1 inches, which is good news for fans of the smaller phones we see less and less of these days. Then again if larger phones are your bag, the Pixel 8 Pro is reportedly toting a large 6.7-inch screen.
Both displays are said to be 120Hz displays, a nice boost for the smaller phone, but the 8 Pro may have a so-called ‘Super Actua’ screen rather than a plain-old ‘Actua’ screen on the Pixel 8. Whatever ‘Actua’ means – it’s reportedly to do with peak brightness specs.
The screens are also rumoured to be flat, getting rid of the curved edges we saw on the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro.
Ever since the first Pixel in 2016, Google has produced phones with incredible camera quality. The Pixel 8 phones should be no different, said to each sport a flashy 50Mp main camera sensor. Leaks suggest the Pro will have a better ultra-wide camera though, which along with the added 5x telephoto lens will give phone photographers more reason to opt for the pricier model.
Where the Pixel also pulls ahead of the smartphone pack is with its artificial intelligence (AI) smarts, which are often in the camera. A leaked video on 91Mobiles shows an ad spot for the phones that sees lighting in photos and videos being improved and certain audio being erased from videos much like Pixels already let you erase people with the Magic Eraser feature.
There’s also a creepy new feature shown that lets you take several photos of a group of people and then pick the best facial expressions from each one to make sure everyone is looking their best, while another clip shows items being erased, people moved around in photos, and a scene made to look like dusk rather than broad daylight.
It means the Pixel 8 could be a powerful editing tool for photographers, even if the end results are far from what the actual scene was.
Seven years of good luck
One thing that’s certain is the Pixel 8 phones will be among the first to run Google’s latest Android 14 software. We’ve grown to love Android on Pixels as it’s an uncluttered, minimalist look and feel that’s much easier to use than older Android versions of years gone by.
A very pleasing rumour, if true, is that Google may be extending its software support of the Pixel 8 to a massive seven years – currently its Pixels only get three Android version updates, alongside five years of software security updates.
Seven years support of any kind would beat Samsung’s five and lead the way for Android phones.
The last way the Pixel 8 could beat the Pixel 7 is on price – but not in a good way. 9to5Google reported recently that all these new features are going to up the price of the Pixel from last year, with the Pixel 8 set to cost $699 in the US, and the Pixel 9 Pro £999 – that’s $100 more than before.
If the UK pricing mirrors the US as it did last year, it will mean the Pixel 8 is £699 and the 8 Pro £999. That would make the regular Pixel 8 £100 cheaper than the regular iPhone 15 and the Pixel 8 Pro the same price as the iPhone 15 Pro.
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