After weeks of rumors and leaks, Google's Pixel 8 was officially revealed on Wednesday during the company's Made by Google event. The phone brings upgrades up and down the spec sheet, along with a design that's slightly more compact than before. The 6.2-inch screen is smaller than the display on last year's Pixel 7 (which in turn was smaller than the Pixel 6 before that). However, the newest Pixel has the same 1,080 x 2,400 screen resolution. Google's Actua OLED technology promises vivid color and details, at up to 1400 nits of brightness. That's 40 percent brighter than last year's Google flagship.
Last year's Pixel 7 had a 90Hz screen, while Pixel 8 has a dynamic display with 60 to 120Hz refresh rates. Alongside a smaller display, this year's Pixel 8 comes with a larger battery (minimum 4,485mAh), which together, should lead to improved battery life. It'll also pack fast charging, which can top-up up to a 50-percent charge in around 30 minutes.
The look of the hardware hasn't hugely changed. There's still the blocky camera bar, but the edges and lines have been softened a little, with a polished glass back. Last year's Pixel 7 had a matte finish, while the Pixel 7 Pro had a shiny look. This year, that's been swapped: The front and back of the device will have some defense from scratches and cracks with Corning's Gorilla Glass Victus.
The biggest upgrades are related to the rear camera. The Pixel 8 has the same primary sensor as the Pixel 8 Pro, with an upgraded 50-megapixel octa PD camera and f/1.68 aperture. It'll be capable of 2x optical zoom, as well as up to 8x of digital zoom (what Google calls Super Res Zoom). The Pixel 8's ultrawide camera will have built-in lens correction, as ultrawide cameras can often distort and stretch images at the edges. Google claims that you'll see faster autofocus across the whole camera experience, especially in low light. Those cameras will be bolstered by Google's best smartphone talent, camera software features. This includes the Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, Night Sight, Top Shot and more.
Google's new Tensor G3 should speed up those tools. Google claims the machine learning model on Pixel 8 is 10 times more complex than Pixel 6's Tensor chip. The new silicon will also help power features like Call Screen and Audio Magic Eraser, which can be used to erase distracting sounds from your videos.
The Pixel 8 is available to pre-order today and comes in three color options: Obsidian (black), Rose (a soft pink) and Hazel (a light green), with prices starting at $699. It will go on sale on October 12.
Check out our early impressions of both the new Pixel phones right here.
Google Pixel 8
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