The Google Pixel 8 is the latest iteration of Google’s smartphone series, and it brings a mix of familiar qualities and some noteworthy improvements. Here’s a detailed review of the Google Pixel 8, covering various aspects of the device:
Price and Availability
The Pixel 8 starts at $699 (or £699) for the base model with 128GB of storage, with a 256GB variant available for $759 (or £759). This pricing positions the Pixel 8 as a direct competitor to flagship smartphones from Apple and other manufacturers.
- Processor: The Pixel 8 is powered by the Google Tensor G3 chipset, providing enhanced AI capabilities and processing power.
- RAM: It comes with 8GB of RAM.
- Storage: The base model offers 128GB of storage, with a higher-capacity 256GB option.
- Battery: The Pixel 8 features a 4,575mAh battery, which is larger than its predecessor, providing improved battery life.
- Display: The Pixel 8 boasts an ‘Actua’ display with a 120Hz refresh rate and impressive brightness levels, reaching up to 2,000 nits in HDR mode.
- Camera: The camera setup includes a 50MP main sensor with a wider aperture and a 12MP ultrawide camera with autofocus. AI enhancements are present to improve photo and video editing.
- Software: It runs on Google’s Android OS and comes with a pledge of seven years of software and security updates.
- Notable features include ‘Best Take,’ which enhances group photos by selecting the best expressions from similar shots. The ‘Magic Editor’ is a standout feature, providing an AI-enhanced photo editing suite for advanced editing.
- Some features like Night Sight Video and Video Boost are absent on the Pixel 8, which is a limitation compared to the Pixel 8 Pro.
- The Pixel 8 retains the optical fingerprint sensor seen in previous Pixel models, lacking ultrasonic alternatives present in competitors.
- The camera setup is quite similar to the Pixel 7, but with some subtle improvements, notably in terms of image quality and noise reduction.
- The Tensor G3 chipset plays a role in enhancing photo quality.
- The absence of a telephoto lens is compensated by the inclusion of macro focus and Super Res Zoom.
- However, there are some software limitations and quirks, such as issues with lens switching and zoom in Portrait Mode.
- The Pixel 8 features a more compact form factor compared to its predecessor.
- It is available in three color options: Hazel, Obsidian, and Rose.
- The matte aluminum finish and design make it stand out, especially compared to the glossier Pixel 8 Pro.
- The ‘Actua’ display is one of the notable improvements, offering higher brightness levels and a 120Hz refresh rate.
- The display size is slightly smaller than the Pixel 7 but boasts a sharper quality and improved screen-to-body ratio.
- The Pixel 8’s battery capacity has been increased to 4,575mAh, offering longer-lasting battery life.
- Wired charging rates remain the same, and it supports fast charging, reaching 50% charge in about 30 minutes. However, wireless charging rates have decreased.
- The Tensor G3 chipset provides improved efficiency and AI capabilities, but gaming performance doesn’t see a significant boost.
- Gaming on the Pixel 8 is satisfactory but may not match the performance of some competing flagship devices.
- Thermals have improved compared to the Pixel 7.
Verdict: The Google Pixel 8 offers an excellent smartphone experience, particularly for those who value AI features and software enhancements. It excels in photography and editing capabilities. Its display is impressive, and the device provides a satisfying overall experience, with a more compact and ergonomic design compared to the Pixel 7.
However, it may not be the best choice for those who prioritize gaming performance or prefer larger smartphones. The absence of certain features compared to the Pixel 8 Pro, such as Night Sight Video and Video Boost, could be a drawback for some users.
In conclusion, the Pixel 8 delivers strong value, especially if Google fulfills its promise of seven years of software updates. It competes well in its price range, but potential buyers should consider their specific priorities and needs.
- Apple iPhone 14: If you’re open to switching to iOS, the iPhone 14 is available at a similar price point and offers a comparable experience.
- Google Pixel 7: The Pixel 7 is a still-solid choice, especially if you want to save some money and can live with slightly fewer software features and shorter support.
Ultimately, the choice between these devices depends on your specific preferences and priorities when it comes to smartphones.