During its Made by Google event on Wednesday, Google introduced its latest flagship phone: the Pixel 8 Pro. Priced at $999, it comes with a $100 increase over its predecessor, but Google has incorporated several improved photo and video capabilities, a new temperature sensor, and an impressive seven-year software support package to justify the higher cost.
Available in three attractive colors—Bay, Porcelain, and Obsidian—the Pixel 8 Pro maintains a design that closely resembles last year’s model, featuring a prominent camera bar on the rear and polished metal sides. However, Google has made subtle refinements, such as introducing a matte texture to the Gorilla Glass Victus 2 rear panel. The phone’s display is flatter and has less curved edges compared to its predecessor. Additionally, it retains its IP68 rating, ensuring dust and water resistance, enabling it to withstand submersion in up to 5.5 feet of water for 30 minutes.
The Pixel 8 Pro boasts a 6.7-inch Super Actua display, built on an LTPO OLED panel with a variable 120Hz refresh rate, offering a peak brightness of 2,400 nits. Google emphasizes its Super Actua branding, highlighting the screen’s precise color calibration and realistic rendering. In contrast to the standard Pixel 8, the Pro model features a new 10.5-megapixel selfie camera equipped with dual-phase detection autofocus. Additionally, Google has enhanced the facial recognition algorithm and hardware for more accurate face unlock capabilities.
The most significant advancement in the Pixel 8 Pro lies in its cameras, which include upgraded sensors (a 50MP primary, 48MP ultra-wide, and 48MP telephoto with 5x optical zoom), along with various improvements in photo and video capabilities. For the first time on a Pixel device, users can now utilize Google’s Night Sight Mode for video recording. The introduction of the Best Take feature allows users to select the best expressions from a series of images to ensure everyone in the photo is smiling. Leveraging AI, the Pixel’s Magic Editor can make precise adjustments to elements like lighting and framing in photos. Additionally, the new Audio Magic Eraser tool empowers users to eliminate distracting sounds and noise from their video clips.
An Exciting Feature for Photography Enthusiasts is the Inclusion of Pro Camera Controls, Allowing You to Fine-Tune Settings Like Shutter Speed, ISO, and White Balance. You Can Even Capture Images at the Full 50 Megapixels in JPEG, RAW, or RAW+JPEG Modes. For Further Enhancement of Video Clips, the New Video Boost Feature Sends Recordings to the Cloud, Enabling Google’s Advanced Computational Algorithms to Improve Your Footage. However, Keep in Mind that This Process May Take Several Hours.
Under the Hood, the Pixel 8 Pro Is Equipped with Google’s Tensor G3 Chip, 12GB of RAM, and Storage Options of Up to 1TB. The G3 Chip’s Enhanced Performance Supports New Features Such as Improved Spam Filtering for Pixel’s Call Screener, the Audio Magic Eraser, and Enhanced Image Processing. Google Is Also Focusing on Enhancing the Pixel 8’s User Experience with New Software, Including the Ability to Read Aloud and Translate Websites, a Proofreading Tool in Gboard, Multilingual Assistant Voice Typing, and an Accessibility-Enhancing Magnifier App.
Additionally, the higher-priced Pixel 8 Pro is the sole model equipped with a temperature sensor positioned within the camera bar. Initially, it serves as a tool to gauge the temperature of nearby objects. Nevertheless, Google is actively engaged in discussions with the FDA, with plans to enable its use as a thermometer for measuring human body temperature in the future. Similar to the standard Pixel 8, Google is extending the software support for the Pixel 8 Pro, encompassing both regular security updates and Android OS upgrades, to a remarkable seven-year period. This commitment is set to surpass the longevity offered by most Android smartphones, with the exception of the Fairphone 5.
The Pixel 8 Pro’s starting price is $999, and it will be available for purchase on October 12, with pre-orders commencing today.