June 18, 2024

Google has made it abundantly clear, each in {hardware} and software program, that Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Professional should not the identical. Years in the past, Google would launch a Pixel gadget, plus an XL mannequin to go together with it. For essentially the most half, they had been very comparable experiences. Heck, even the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Professional from final yr nonetheless had quite a bit in widespread. This yr, Google got down to make it identified that should you purchase the Pixel 8, you’re going to be lacking fairly a number of issues versus the Professional mannequin.

On your comfort now we have detailed all the pieces that’s completely different between the 2 gadgets. The large ones relate to the digicam expertise, however as a result of these are Pixel telephones and are identified to have a number of the greatest cameras hooked up to a telephone available on the market, I do have considerations that Google isn’t being as client pleasant as they are often by limiting sure issues on the smaller Pixel 8. To my eyes, Google is taking an Apple method, after they could possibly be setting a special normal — a greater normal.

That is our Pixel 8 overview.

What’s Good


Show – Google did the proper factor for the smaller Pixel 8 and gave it a 120Hz refresh fee. That was completely needed contemplating the $699 beginning value. Past that, we even have this new 6.2-inch OLED panel that Google is looking Actua. I’m personally nicknaming it the Really show, as a result of it’s really fairly darn good. In truth, should you’re in search of extra of an authority on shows, DxOMark presently has it ranked 1st on the planet alongside the Pixel 8 Professional.

However what makes a show good? For me, what I’m seeing over final yr’s Pixel 7 is the elevated brightness, in addition to improved colours. Google says the Pixel 8 will get 42% brighter than the Pixel 7 with a prime measurement of 2000 nits in outside circumstances. Throughout my digicam testing periods, my essential takeaway was at all times that I can see the display clearly in all lighting circumstances, plus my outcomes at all times regarded good as a result of colours, distinction, and saturation had been at all times wanting spot on. In comparison with some panels, the place colours nearly seem muted, you don’t have that on the Pixel 8. It’s a vivid, colourful show that I take pleasure in . And once more, it has a excessive refresh fee, so it’s an computerized W over the Pixel 7 and I’d improve for that alone.

Digicam – Let me begin this by saying that this part could possibly be within the “What Might Be Higher” portion of this overview. Whereas the principle 50-megapixel digicam on this telephone shoots effective and finish outcomes are good, Google purposefully restricted this digicam and the software program that comes with it, and in my guide, that looks like an enormous intestine punch to shoppers who’re anticipating a wealthy digicam expertise from the Pixel lineup. What Google has executed ought to be labeled as dangerous. With that mentioned, let’s discuss it.

Pixel 8 comes with two rear shooters, a 50MP broad angle lens and a 12MP ultra-wide. The 50MP digicam is similar as what’s on the Pixel 8 Professional with the very same specs. It has OIS, EIS, f/1.68, and an 82° area of view. Nonetheless, Google in its knowledge determined it wanted methods to distinguish the Pixel 8 from the Pixel 8 Professional. So whereas the shooter is similar, the Pixel 8’s digicam is incapable of high-resolution images, restricted to only 12MP. Moreover, whereas Pixel 8 Professional house owners can take pleasure in a brand new lens choice characteristic and extra worth tweaking choices, the Pixel 8 doesn’t. Whereas I perceive why it was executed, I don’t agree with it and imagine it units a foul precedent.

As for outcomes, whereas good and I’ll let my samples communicate for themselves, Google’s purposeful limiting of the digicam’s efficiency will at all times remind me that these images may have been higher. For instance, one of many values accessible to Professional house owners and never out there on the Pixel 8 is actually focus. Not permitting house owners of a Pixel telephone to manually focus their digicam appears ridiculous to me. We’re nonetheless paying $699, which is some huge cash. I ought to be capable to manually focus a digicam, and whereas the auto focus works nice, it’s the precept I’m talking to. What the Pixel 8 will get decreased to is basically a degree and click on digicam. It’s nonetheless an excellent level and click on, however once more, hopefully I’ve gotten my level throughout.

In true Pixel trend, distinction and low mild pictures is the secret. Each are excellent on the Pixel 8, together with the power to take distinctive macro pictures. On the finish of day, each issues, these issues being that the Pixel 8 has a great digicam system and the truth that Google deliberately made it worse than the Pixel 8 Professional by way of software program in order to distinguish them, may be true. Under are some digicam samples.

Specs – For the $699 beginning value, Pixel 8 primarily has the entire spec goodies you would wish. It’s powered by a Tensor G3 chipset, comes with 8GB RAM, 128GB+ storage, IP68 score, WiFi 7, Face ID, under-display fingerprint reader, aluminum body, and Android 14. That’s the massive stuff. For the total spec sheet, look right here.

In comparison with the bigger and costlier Pixel 8 Professional, the specs sheet isn’t too far off. Might we are saying it’s $300 value of distinction? Relying on the way you worth digicam controls and variations in Gorilla Glass used, it’s onerous to say. There are minor variations that do add up, although. For instance, Pixel 8 Professional affords as much as 23W wi-fi charging, whereas Pixel 8 tops at 18W. Identical for its wired charging speeds, with 8 Professional getting 30W and Pixel 8 getting a max of 27W. Pixel 8 additionally doesn’t include Google’s new temperature sensor discovered on the Pixel 8 Professional, however to this point, I’ve seen nobody complain about that. I imagine Google obtained the essential stuff proper, such because the show, essential digicam, and software program help (extra on that beneath).

{Hardware} and Dimension – Earlier than Pixel 8 launched, I used to be very a lot wanting ahead to this gadget. Have in mind, the 2 telephones I’ve used nearly all of 2023 are the Galaxy S23 Extremely and Galaxy Z Fold 5. I used to be prepared for one thing smaller, extra simply pocketable and usable with a single hand. {Hardware} and dimension clever, the Pixel 8 is precisely what I used to be in search of. The flat show feels incredible, and as anticipated, the scale is ideal for one-handed utilization. In contrast to my Pixel 7 Professional, I’m not having quantity rocker points both, so already my life is much less tense. For many who completely reside that smaller gadget life, you’ll love the Pixel 8.

If I used to be in search of a draw back to the {hardware}, it will be the shiny glass on the bottom. Whereas the Pixel 8 Professional has a smooth matte bottom, the Pixel 8 is extraordinarily slippery, susceptible to each fingerprints and glare. As somebody who takes images of telephones usually, it’s a ache to take care of. As a median proprietor, coping with fingerprints usually is rarely enjoyable. Because of this my Pixel 8 has been dwelling inside a Totallee minimal case. Now I’ve no fingerprints to take care of and no concern of scratching the glass.

Battery – One of many downsides to smaller telephones is smaller batteries. Considerably surprisingly, although, Pixel 8 has been tremendous stable for me. Even with Life360 operating continuously within the background as I run errands, a continuing Pixel Watch 2 connection, and loads of TikTok (and YouTube viewing) all through my day, I used to be persistently pulling in 4+ hours of display on time and going to mattress with round 20-30% battery life. For my typical day, that’s actually good. My traditional day is 7am to about 11pm and with exception to my first day with the telephone the place I used to be setting all the pieces up and couldn’t put the telephone down, it’s been a really wholesome battery expertise.

Google has been including in lots of options for the battery-focused folks through the years. We’ve got Adaptive Charging which is designed to assist lengthen the life in case your battery, Battery Share for these seeking to cost different gadgets utilizing their telephone, in addition to a devoted Battery Diagnostics menu the place house owners can discover assist with overheating, draining, and charging points.

Software program – Pixel followers are fast to say software program as a motive why they decide to purchase Google’s smartphones. I resonate with that. I choose Google’s software program expertise versus Samsung’s One UI, and with the announcement that Google intends to help these new Pixel 8 gadgets with OS upgrades and safety patches for a whopping 7 years, it’s onerous to argue that Google isn’t in peak type within the software program division. With the seven years of help, these telephones ought to be operating effectively into 2030, as long as the {hardware} can stand up to practically a decade of utilization. To go together with the software program, Google introduced years of elements availability, simply to make folks really feel comfy.

As for the software program that launched on this gadget, that might be Android 14, coupled with fairly a number of AI-powered options which have been very good to make use of. In its advertising, Google highlights lots of camera-oriented AI goodies, resembling Greatest Take for getting the proper facial pose in your group pictures, Audio Magic Eraser for eradicating undesirable sounds from movies, in addition to Magic Editor which might take away undesirable objects and other people from images. We noticed lots of these items highlighted at previous Google I/O occasions and it’s actually fairly superior to see all of it now official and dealing on a smartphone. Having examined most of these items, they’re all candy. They’re the type of options that ought to persuade you to purchase a Pixel telephone over the competitors, particularly if Google doesn’t open them as much as different gadgets and retains them unique.

One other AI-powered characteristic I can’t appear to place down is the AI Wallpapers. What a blast. Utilizing classes with preselected key phrases, customers can create their very personal AI artwork to make use of as wallpapers. Whereas considerably restricted since you can not enter your individual key phrases, it’s nonetheless lots of enjoyable to make use of. Sadly, you can’t share your AI creations with others but.

I’ve additionally been completely having fun with the AI-powered summaries of net pages. I’m continuously a sufferer to catchy headlines, and with this Summarize characteristic, I can get the data I really need rapidly with out having to dig by way of the nonsense. I used it closely on Droid Life and contemplating that I’m conversant in what I’ve written, I’d say that the AI could be very sensible about deciding on which info to summarize for readers.

When Android 14 went public, I occurred to see a number of folks point out that it didn’t actually convey something too thrilling. I feel with the inclusion of all this AI-powered stuff, you’d be silly to not see that that is the course all of those corporations are going to move. It’s not about reinventing the platform anymore with enormous redesigns and tweaks. It’s about utilizing software program to boost experiences, permitting customizations, and ship a extra refined OS. Personally I’m a serious fan of this course, just because I used to be already a fan of the Pixel Expertise to start with. Now with it getting made higher with enhanced AI goodies and Materials You, it’s actually develop into the very best total expertise.

Pricing and Availability


I’m unsure how a lot it prices Google to supply a Pixel 8, however what I do know is that if this telephone price $599 as an alternative of $699, I’d look upon it way more favorably as a competitor to all the pieces else on the market. My first suggestion, solely primarily based on my expertise with this telephone, can be to inform folks to purchase the Pixel 8 Professional as an alternative. It has sufficient options to make me overlook how a lot I take pleasure in having a smaller telephone. Now, let’s say the Pixel 8 Professional is just out of your value vary. My second suggestion can be to attend to buy the Pixel 8 when it’s on sale. That could possibly be throughout Black Friday or another random deal.

$699 is an okay value, however it feels slightly excessive after we acknowledge the Professional versus non-Professional variations. If Google would merely open up these Professional digicam controls to the smaller gadget, perhaps I’d really feel in another way, however as a result of the corporate actually wished to set out and make these gadgets two separate issues, it’s onerous to abdomen the $699 value. Now, should you had been to ask me about Galaxy S23 at $799 (or upcoming Galaxy S24) versus this telephone, the Pixel 8 at $699 appears utterly cheap. You additionally get that 7 years of software program help. Then again, Samsung is way more beneficiant with its trade-in values. Irrespective of how we slice perceived worth, it’s going to probably come all the way down to what we as the patron choose.

Pixel 8 may be discovered in any respect main US carriers and retailers.

Purchase Pixel 8

Movies


Unboxing

The Verdict


As I point out within the Pricing part, my suggestion to Pixel followers can be to purchase the Pixel 8 Professional. If pricing is a matter, then the Pixel 8 is a superb different, due to 7 years of software program help, superior AI options, a very good digicam, beautiful show, and wonderful battery life. I really take pleasure in utilizing this telephone, however I do know what I’m lacking when in comparison with the Pixel 8 Professional. For me, these issues are too priceless to make use of Pixel 8 as a longterm day by day driver, particularly contemplating I’ve the liberty to make use of no matter telephone I would like. It’s unlucky that Google obtained away from the XL and non-XL idea that we had years in the past and as an alternative opted for this Professional and non-Professional mannequin, however right here we’re and there’s nothing we are able to do about it apart from try to tell shoppers what they’re lacking out on in the event that they go for the non-Professional model.

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