In the fast-paced world of mobile technology, Google is all set to make waves once again with its upcoming Pixel 8 phone lineup. Following hot on the heels of Apple’s iPhone 15 series, Google is gearing up to introduce the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro in a much-anticipated event slated for October 4 in New York. This event will not only showcase the new Pixel phones but also put the spotlight on the Pixel Watch 2, promising an exciting day for tech enthusiasts.
Google’s anticipation for this fall launch is palpable, as evident from their post on Threads: “Big fall launches are stressful, but Pixel helps these Best Phones Forever stay cool as cucumbers. The w8 is almost over.” The countdown to “Made By Google” on October 4th has begun, and Google is making sure fans are ready.
Unlike some tech companies that keep their cards close to their chest, Google has been quite open about their upcoming devices. Through a series of videos, Google has provided a tantalizing “sneak peek” at the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and the Pixel Watch 2. This tradition of releasing a next-gen Pixel phone every fall has been ongoing since 2016. The Pixel 7 series, launched last year, received praise from critics, with both the Pixel 7 Pro and the more affordable Pixel 7A securing spots on CNET’s list of the best phones for 2023.
However, Google’s hype cycle is always packed with leaks and rumors leading up to its product events, and the Pixel 8 lineup is no exception. Until the official launch, let’s delve into what we already know about Google’s upcoming flagship devices.
Pixel 8 Software: Seven Years of Updates?
One of the standout features of Pixel phones, aside from their camera prowess, is Google’s sophisticated software. According to leaked specifications compiled by 91Mobiles, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are rumored to offer a remarkable seven years of software and security update support. If this proves true, it would be a substantial improvement over the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro models, which received a promise of five years of security patches and three years of major Android updates.
This level of support would bring Google’s Pixel line much closer to Apple’s iPhone line, known for its extended software support. For example, both the iPhone X (2010) and iPhone 8 (2017) have received software updates from their launch years through 2023, with continued security updates, even if they won’t receive the iOS 17 update this year. In comparison, Samsung’s latest Galaxy S23 phones and the OnePlus 11 guarantee five years of support, while Fair phone, a sustainable smartphone manufacturer, plans to support its newest model, the Fair phone 5, with eight years of security patches.
Pixel 8 Camera Hardware: Ultrawide Camera Upgrade
The Pixel 7 series earned a reputation for its photography prowess, with the introduction of a telephoto lens in the camera setup. This year, reports from Android Authority suggest that the upgrade focus will shift to the ultrawide camera and an improved main camera sensor.
According to the reports, only the Pixel 8 Pro will receive an upgraded ultrawide camera, featuring a 64-megapixel Sony IMX 787 sensor. This represents a significant improvement over the older Sony 12-megapixel IMX 386 sensor. The larger sensor size promises higher quality ultrawide shots by allowing more light to reach the sensor.
Another noteworthy upgrade is the rumored use of Samsung’s Isocell GN2 sensor for both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. Samsung’s claims for this sensor include enhanced light processing, the ability to capture fast-moving subjects effortlessly, and support for shooting 8K video.
Pixel 8: Higher Price Tags?
Pixel enthusiasts in the United States may need to prepare for higher price tags on this year’s Google lineup, as per reports from 9to5Google, citing a retail source. If these reports are accurate, both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will see a price increase of $100 compared to their predecessors. This adjustment would place the starting price of the Pixel 8 at $700, while the top-tier Pixel 8 Pro may start at $1,000.
Prominent leaker Kamila Wojciechowska also hinted at a price hike for the Pixel, suggesting a price of $699, while the Pixel 8 Pro may retain its current starting price of $899. Rumors of price hikes are also circulating in the EU market.
Pixel 8 Camera Software: AI-Powered Enhancements
A recent promotional video showcasing the Pixel 8’s AI capabilities was leaked by Wojciechowska, courtesy of 91Mobiles. This leak provides a glimpse into how Google intends to incorporate more AI features into its flagship smartphones. Earlier this year, the company announced that “Magic Editor” would be available on “select” Pixel phones.
Magic Editor represents an advanced iteration of the Magic Eraser feature, allowing users to edit their photos to their liking. In a demonstration, the feature seamlessly combines three pictures of a family on a carousel into one shot where everyone is smiling and looking at the camera simultaneously. The leaked video also highlights other camera features, including the highly anticipated Night Sight for low-light videos and “Video Boost.”
Pixel 8 Pro: Thermometer Feature
A notable change that may find its way to the Pixel 8 Pro is a new thermometer feature, as per a video leak from 91Mobiles, in collaboration with Wojciechowski. While the video has been taken offline, copies can still be found on the internet. This feature is rumored to be a contactless thermometer capable of monitoring skin temperature, aiding users in determining if they may be running a fever.
If this leak holds true, it wouldn’t be the first instance of smartphones offering such a health feature. We’ve seen it previously on devices like the Honor 4 Play Pro, which featured an IR sensor, as well as in paid apps for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3. However, this would be the first time such a feature is integrated into the Pixel lineup.
Pixel 8 Design: Subtle Tweaks Expected
Following Google’s design overhaul of its Pixel lineup in 2021, the changes expected in the Pixel 8 series design are anticipated to be more subtle. Leaker On Leaks has shared renders on Twitter, suggesting that the Pixel 8 will abandon its curved display in favor of a flat one.
Remember the horizontal camera bar? That is expected to remain, but this year, all cameras on the Pro model might be encased within a single glass panel, departing from the design of the Pixel 7 Pro, which featured a combination of a pill and a circle for the camera setup. There also seems to be an additional sensor, which could potentially be related to the previously mentioned thermometer feature.
Another potential design change, proposed by display analyst Ross Young, involves a smaller display for the standard Pixel 8. Young speculates that the Pixel 8 will feature a 6.16-inch display, down from the 6.32-inch display on the Pixel 7, while the Pixel 8 Pro is expected to retain the same display size as its predecessor.
As the excitement builds for the upcoming Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro launch event on October 4, these rumored features and design changes only add to the anticipation. While much is still speculative, Google’s track record of delivering innovative and high-quality devices ensures that tech enthusiasts worldwide will be keeping a close eye on the unveiling of these new flagships. Stay tuned for further updates as we approach the official launch date!