Google Pixel 8 & Pixel 8 Pro Review
The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro have arrived, and they’re making waves in the smartphone market. Google’s latest offerings come with a host of upgrades, from enhanced displays to robust processors, all wrapped up in a sleek design. But what sets these phones apart from their predecessors and the competition? Is the Pixel 8 Pro worth the extra cost over the Pixel 8? In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into every nook and cranny of these devices, from their stunning displays to their camera capabilities and everything in between. Whether you’re a Pixel loyalist or new to Google’s smartphone lineup, this review aims to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
|6.2-inch OLED||6.7-inch OLED|
|1080 x 2340 pixels||1440 x 3200 pixels|
|Google Tensor 3||Google Tensor 3|
|128GB 256GB||128GB 256GB 512GB|
|50MP, 12MP||50MP, 48MP, 48MP|
|Android 13||Android 13|
|Live Translate, Night Sight, Magic Eraser||Live Translate, Night Sight, Magic Eraser, Magic Editor, Advanced Video Capabilities|
|5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2||5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Water and Dust Resistant, Gorilla Glass||Water and Dust Resistant, Gorilla Glass|
|Starting at £699||Starting at £999|
When it comes to the display, the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk. Both models boast a significant upgrade from their predecessors. The Pixel 8, although smaller in size compared to the Pixel 7, offers a display that’s brighter and more vibrant. The transition from a 90Hz screen to a 120Hz refresh rate is a game-changer, offering a buttery-smooth user experience that’s not enabled by default but is well worth activating.
The Pixel 8 Pro takes it up a notch with even more advanced features, making it a visual treat for anyone who values screen quality. Both phones offer flat displays this year, a shift from the curved screens of the past. While this could have made the phone less comfortable to hold, it actually enhances the grip, especially when your hand wraps more around the back than the display.
The pixel density has slightly increased, making for crisper and more detailed visuals. Whether you’re scrolling through social media, watching videos, or playing games, the display is designed to deliver an immersive experience. And let’s not forget the brightness levels, which have been amped up to 2,000 nits, making outdoor visibility a non-issue.
Battery life is often the unsung hero of our digital lives, and with the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, you’re looking at a day’s worth of juice—though with some caveats. The Pixel 8 offers decent battery longevity, capable of getting you through a typical day, but don’t expect it to go into overtime. If you’re a heavy user, you might find yourself reaching for the charger before the day is done.
The Pixel 8 Pro, on the other hand, offers a bit more stamina, thanks to its larger battery capacity. It’s designed to handle more demanding tasks without breaking a sweat, making it a reliable companion for those long days out and about. Both models come with fast-charging capabilities, so even if you do find yourself running low, a quick top-up can get you back in action in no time.
While neither phone is breaking any records in the battery department, they offer a reliable, day-long performance that most users will find sufficient.
In the age of cloud storage, one might argue that onboard storage is becoming less critical. However, when it comes to performance and accessibility, nothing beats having ample space right on your device. The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro offer a range of storage options to suit various needs. Whether you’re a casual user who mainly uses their phone for social media and photos or a power user who needs space for a plethora of apps and files, there’s a Pixel 8 model for you.
Both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro come with generous storage capacities, starting at a baseline that should be more than enough for the average user. And for those who need even more room, higher storage options are available, ensuring you won’t have to play the “what to delete” game anytime soon. It’s worth noting that neither model supports expandable storage via a microSD card, so choosing the right storage capacity upfront is crucial.
The phones also leverage their ample storage for features like the Magic Editor in the camera app, allowing you to edit photos and videos without worrying about space. So, how much digital room do you really need? With the Pixel 8 series, you’ve got options to ensure you’re well-equipped for whatever comes your way.
In a world where our smartphones hold some of our most sensitive information, security isn’t just a feature; it’s a necessity. The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro take this seriously, offering multiple layers of security to keep your data safe. One of the standout features is the return of Face Unlock, which has been significantly improved thanks to the new Google Tensor 3 processor. It’s now reliable enough to be used for banking apps and payments, adding an extra layer of convenience without compromising on security.
Both models also come with a fingerprint sensor, offering an alternative means of authentication. While Face Unlock might struggle in low-light conditions, the fingerprint sensor serves as a reliable backup. The phones also come with the latest Android security patches and Google’s promise of timely updates, ensuring that you’re protected against emerging threats.
But it’s not just about keeping unauthorized users out; it’s also about safeguarding your data from malware and phishing attacks. The Pixel 8 series comes with built-in security features that scan for threats in real-time, offering you peace of mind as you navigate the digital world.
Build Quality and Design:
When it comes to build quality and design, the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro strike a harmonious balance between form and function. At first glance, the design language is a subtle evolution from the Pixel 7 series, maintaining that distinctive camera bar across the back. But it’s not just about looks; the phones are built to last. Durability tests reveal that the Pixel 8 Pro, for instance, is impressively rigid, showing barely any flex at all, a marked improvement over its predecessor.
The phones come in a range of colours, each with a gloss finish, adding a touch of elegance to the robust build. The Pixel 8 is designed to be a better fit for all hand sizes, moving away from the ‘large and extra-large’ options of the past to a more universally comfortable ‘medium to large’ size. The Pixel 8 Pro continues to cater to those who prefer a more substantial device.
The materials used are premium, and the construction is solid, giving you the confidence that these devices are built to withstand the rigours of daily life. And it’s not just about the exteriors; internal improvements have also been made, enhancing the overall structural integrity of the devices.
Processor and Performance:
When it comes to performance, the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are no slouches. Both phones are powered by Google’s own Tensor 3 processor, which promises not just speed but also efficiency. The result? A device that’s quick to respond, whether you’re launching apps, playing graphics-intensive games, or multitasking. The Tensor 3 chip also brings improvements to AI and machine learning tasks, making features like voice recognition and image processing faster and more accurate.
The Pixel 8 Pro takes it a step further with additional RAM, making it an ideal choice for power users who demand the best performance from their devices. Both phones handle everyday tasks with ease, but the Pro version offers that extra oomph for more demanding applications.
It’s not just about raw power, though. The Pixel 8 series also excels in thermal management, ensuring that the phones don’t get uncomfortably hot even during extended use. This is particularly important for those who use their phones for gaming or other resource-intensive tasks.
If performance is a key factor in your decision-making process, you’ll find plenty to love in the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. These phones are built to deliver a smooth, responsive experience that should meet or exceed your expectations.
The camera has always been a strong suit for Google’s Pixel phones, and the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are no exceptions. Both phones come equipped with advanced camera systems that promise to take your photography to the next level. The Pixel 8 offers a versatile camera setup that handles a variety of scenarios well, from capturing detailed landscapes to snapping quick selfies. The Night Sight feature continues to impress, allowing for stunning low-light photography without the need for a flash.
The Pixel 8 Pro takes it a step further with additional lenses and features, making it a photographer’s dream. One of the standout features is the Magic Editor, which allows you to edit photos directly in the camera app, offering a range of options from basic adjustments to more advanced edits. The Pro model also excels in video capture, offering 4K resolution and advanced stabilization features that make it ideal for vlogging or capturing special moments.
Both phones leverage the power of Google’s Tensor 3 processor to offer real-time image processing, ensuring that your photos look their best the moment you take them. Whether you’re an amateur photographer or someone who demands professional-quality shots, the Pixel 8 series offers a camera experience that’s hard to beat.
The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro offer a software experience that’s as close to pure Android as you can get, and that’s a good thing. Both phones run on the latest version of Android, offering a clean, bloat-free experience that’s both intuitive and feature-rich. Google has also promised timely updates, ensuring that you’ll always have the latest features and security patches.
One of the standout elements of the software experience is the integration of Google services. From Google Assistant to Google Photos, everything is seamlessly integrated, making for a cohesive user experience. The new Live Translate feature is particularly impressive, offering real-time translation across apps, which could be a game-changer for those who frequently communicate in multiple languages.
The phones also offer a range of customization options, allowing you to make the device truly your own. From choosing your own app icons to setting up routines with Google Assistant, the Pixel 8 series offers a level of personalization that’s hard to find in other devices.
If you’re a fan of Android or just someone who values a clean, straightforward software experience, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are hard to beat. They offer a user-friendly interface coupled with powerful features, making for a software experience that’s both enjoyable and functional.
Connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi, and More
In today’s interconnected world, staying connected is more important than ever, and the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro have you covered on that front. Both phones come with 5G support, ensuring that you can take advantage of the fastest mobile networks available. But it’s not just about speed; the phones also offer a stable and reliable connection, thanks to their advanced antennas and network optimization features.
Wi-Fi 6 is also on board, offering faster and more reliable home and office connections. This is particularly useful for those who rely on cloud services or frequently transfer large files. Bluetooth 5.2 ensures a stable connection with a range of devices, from headphones to smart home gadgets.
The phones also come equipped with the latest USB-C technology, offering fast data transfer and charging capabilities. And for those who still use wired headphones, the good news is that both models come with a 3.5mm headphone jack, a feature that’s becoming increasingly rare in modern smartphones.
So, whether you’re streaming content, transferring files, or simply browsing the web, the Pixel 8 series offers a range of connectivity options to keep you plugged in. With the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, you’re getting devices that aim to keep you connected, no matter where you are.
When investing in a new smartphone, durability is often a top concern, and the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro don’t disappoint. Both phones have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they can withstand the wear and tear of daily life. The Pixel 8 Pro, in particular, has been put through its paces in durability tests and has come out with flying colours, showing minimal flex and an impressive resistance to bending.
Both models feature Corning Gorilla Glass on the front and back, offering a level of scratch and impact resistance that should give you peace of mind. The phones are also rated for water and dust resistance, meaning they can handle a splash or a quick dip without any issues.
The build materials are not just durable but also eco-friendly. Google has made a conscious effort to use recycled aluminium in the phone’s construction, aligning with a growing trend towards sustainability in tech products.
So, are you someone who’s a bit clumsy with their tech, or perhaps you’re just looking for a phone that can stand up to the rigours of an active lifestyle? Either way, the Pixel 8 series offers a level of durability that should put your mind at ease. With these phones, you’re not just investing in a device; you’re investing in peace of mind.
While the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro excel in the fundamentals, it’s the special features that truly set them apart. One such standout is the Live Translate feature, which offers real-time translation across multiple apps, making it an invaluable tool for travellers or anyone who frequently communicates in different languages.
Another unique feature is Magic Eraser, which allows you to remove unwanted objects from your photos with just a few taps. This feature leverages Google’s advanced AI capabilities to offer a level of editing that was previously only possible with specialized software.
For those who are into gaming, the Pixel 8 series comes with a Game Dashboard, offering quick access to utilities like screen recording and Do Not Disturb mode, without having to leave your game.
The Pixel 8 Pro takes it up a notch with its advanced video capabilities, including 4K recording and advanced stabilization features, making it an excellent choice for aspiring videographers or vloggers.
So, are you someone who loves to explore every nook and cranny of your device, discovering features that make your life easier or just more fun? If so, the Pixel 8 series has a treasure trove of special features waiting for you to explore. With these phones, it’s not just about doing the basics well; it’s about offering those extra touches that make your experience truly special.
When it comes to pricing, the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro offer options that cater to different budgets, but they’re not exactly what you’d call cheap. The Pixel 8 starts at a price point that places it firmly in the upper-mid-range category at £699. For that, you get a phone with solid performance, a versatile camera, and a range of features that make it a compelling choice for many users.
The Pixel 8 Pro, on the other hand, is priced to compete with other flagship phones on the market a £999. With its advanced camera system, larger battery, and additional features, it offers a premium experience that justifies its higher price tag. However, it’s worth noting that the Pro model comes in various configurations, and opting for more storage or additional features can quickly drive up the cost.
So, what’s the bottom line? If you’re looking for a phone that offers a balanced mix of features and performance, the Pixel 8 offers good value for the price. But if you’re willing to splurge for the best of what Google has to offer, the Pixel 8 Pro is a premium device that aims to justify its higher cost. Either way, it’s essential to consider what features are most important to you and how much you’re willing to pay for them. With the Pixel 8 series, you have options, but make sure to choose wisely.
As we wrap up this comprehensive review, it’s clear that the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are formidable contenders in the smartphone market. Both devices offer a well-rounded experience, from their robust performance and versatile cameras to their user-friendly software and range of special features. The Pixel 8 serves as an excellent choice for those looking for a balanced mix of features without breaking the bank, while the Pixel 8 Pro aims to provide a premium experience, justifying its higher price tag with advanced capabilities.
However, no phone is perfect. While the Pixel 8 series excels in many areas, there are aspects like battery life and storage where it meets but doesn’t necessarily exceed expectations. The absence of expandable storage could be a deal-breaker for some, and the battery life, although reliable, may not impress power users.
If you’re in the market for a new smartphone that offers a clean software experience, impressive camera capabilities, and a range of features that cater to different needs, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are worth considering. But as with any significant purchase, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons to determine which device offers the best value for your specific needs. With the Pixel 8 series, you’re not just choosing a phone; you’re choosing an experience. Is it the right one for you? Only you can decide.