It seems like just yesterday that Google introduced its latest smartphones, the Pixel 7, 7 Pro, and Pixel 7a. But already, the company is following that up with a new selection of devices, including the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro.
Powered by the new Google Tensor G3 and offering an impressive up to seven years of software updates including Android OS, security, and Feature Drops, they boast softer silhouettes, metal finishes, and the inclusion of recycled materials.
The Pixel 8 has contoured edges and is slightly smaller than the Pixel 7. It comes equipped with a 6.2-inch Actua display that Google says is also 42% brighter than the display in the Pixel 7. With a satin metal finish and polished glass back, it comes in Rose, Hazel, or Obsidian.
With a larger 6.7-inch Super Actua display, the Pixel 8 Pro’s screen is also Google’s brightest to date so you can view it even in direct sunlight. It has a matte glass back with a polished aluminum frame and comes in Porcelain, Bay, and Obsidian.
A unique feature with this phone is a temperature sensor on the back lets you quickly scan an object to get its temperature. Use it to check if your pan is hot enough to start cooking, for example, or if the milk in your baby’s bottle is at the right temperature. Google has submitted an application to the FDA for the Pixel’s Thermometer app to take your temperature and save it to Fitbit.
Both phones boast upgrades cameras and camera-related features. The Pixel 8 Pro’s main camera can capture better photos and videos in low-light settings. The bigger ultrawide lens delivers better Macro Focus while the telephoto lens captures 56% more light and takes 10x photos at optical quality. The front-facing camera now has autofocus for the best selfies on a Pixel phone.
Pixel 8 has the same updated main camera, plus a new ultrawide lens that enables Macro Focus.
The camera app has an intuitive, redesigned interface, letting you quickly find and capture content in your favourite photo and video modes. Pixel 8 Pro adds access to Pro Controls for settings like shutter speed, ISO, 50 MP photos throughout the zoom range, and more.
Some cool new features in the cameras are especially notable. Best Take uses an on-device algorithm to blend multiple images together that look similar so you can get the best photo of a set. No one’s eyes will be closed in a group shot, for example, or the silly face your kid was making won’t ruin the family photo.
Magic Editor in Google Photos is a new experimental editing experience that uses generative AI to help you bring your photos in line with the essence of the moment you were trying to capture. You can reposition and resize subjects or use presets to make the background pop with a few taps.
There’s also now Audio Magic Eraser that lets you easily reduce distracting sounds in your video, like howling winds, cars zooming by, or noisy crowds. This first-of-its-kind computational audio capability uses advanced machine learning models to sort sounds into distinct layers so you can control their levels.
Later this year, Pixel 8 Pro will get Video Boost, which pairs Tensor G3 with data centers to apply processing to your videos to adjust colour, lighting, stabilization and graininess. Video Boost also enables Night Sight Video on Pixel for better low-light smartphone video quality.
Thanks to Google AI, there are also new web surfing features. You can ask Google Assistant, for example, to summarize a webpage so you can distill it down to just the key points. It can also read text aloud from a webpage, even translate text. It has been improved to better understand the nuances of human speech as well, so don’t worry if you pause, say “um,” or stutter or fumble while speaking a command. Given this, you can also use the feature to compose messages using just your voice.
With improved AI, Call Screen now helps you receive 50% fewer spam calls on average. It will silently answer calls from unknown numbers with a more natural-sounding voice to engage the caller. It’s also smart enough to separate the calls you want from the calls you don’t. Soon, Call Screen will suggest contextual replies for you to tap to quickly respond to simple calls, like appointment confirmations, without having to answer the phone.
Google Tensor G3 works with the Titan M2 security chip to protect personal information and make your Pixel more resilient to sophisticated attacks, says the company. And now, Face Unlock on Pixel 8 meets the highest Android biometric class, allowing you to access compatible banking and payment apps like Google Wallet.
The Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro are available for pre-order now and will go on sale on October 12. The Pixel 8 starts at $949 and the Pixel 8 Pro at US$1,349. A purchase of the Pixel 8 Pro will also come with a free Pixel Watch 2, the latest version of Google’s smartwatch that was also announced today, or a pair of Pixel Buds Pro. The offer runs through October 16, 2023.