Google Pixel 8
The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are expected to be among the top Android phones in 2023, but no official announcement exists. According to leaks and rumors, both phones are expected to be released in the latter half of 2023. Although it was anticipated that they would be previewed at Google I/O 2023, along with the unveiling of the Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet, this did not happen. The Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro were first hinted at during I/O 2022, but these phones remain a mystery unless you keep up with the rumors.
With the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, Google applied what it had learned from its first-generation Tensor-powered devices to offer a well-rounded package at an affordable price that undercut its competitors. Now that these phones have established themselves as leaders in the smartphone market, it’s time to look ahead to what’s in store for the Pixel series. Despite our fondness for last year’s flagships, there is always room for improvement. Pixel 8 is in early development so we can tell you some information about the phone.
Design and Display of Pixel 8
This year’s phones have two code names: Husky and Shiba. According to a source, it is being said that the Shiba codename of Pixel 8 would have a 1080p display of resolution of 2268 x 1080p while the other Husky codename of Pixel 8 Pro would have a near 1440p display with a resolution of 2822 x 1344p. Both are lower than the current Pixel 7 models, indicating some minor but welcome improvements to Google’s design capabilities.
The Pixel 8 is likely to resemble the Pixel 7. The upcoming Pixel 8 would include a built-in camera block 12 mm thick, similar to the Pixel 7 but a much thinner design dimension-wise of nearly 150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9 mm. This is smaller than the Pixel 7’s 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7 mm dimensions. The screen is slightly smaller at 6.17″ compared to the Pixel 7’s 6.3″ panel, close to Samsung’s smallest Galaxy S23.
The corners of the phone screens appear to be more rounded, similar to a Galaxy S23+, rather than the squared-off corners of the S23 Ultra. This design change seems to be confirmed by detailed display rumors, with Google doubling the radius of its curves. It is said that Pixel 8 will have a 1400 nits brightness while the Pro version will have a 1600 nits level of brightness, which means it will be all right under the sun. Additionally, it appears that the Pixel 8 will have a 120Hz display, possibly to distinguish it from the Pixel 7a and its 90Hz panel.
Google has also given the Pro a flat 6.7″ display that matches the panel on its smaller devices. Let me be the first to say: thank you, Google.
As expected, Google is not making any drastic changes here. These renders from well-known leaker OnLeaks show a device that looks like a slightly modified Pixel 7 Pro with three basic changes pointing to a minor upgrade.
These renders also show the same dual-camera setup on the back in a familiar visor-style camera array. Interestingly, it appears that Google will switch to a polished metal frame instead of a brushed one, aligning the Pixel.
Regarding specifications, we know that Google Tensor G3 is currently being tested. Codenamed Zuma, it is rumored that Google’s third-generation custom chipset is based on the unannounced Samsung Exynos 2300 processor. The processor is made on a Samsung node of 3 nm. While Tensor G2 has a 5 nm design, so with a 3 nm processor, there will be a significant improvement. It is expected to be paired with 12GB of RAM on the Pro model, as seen in the fast boot screen in July’s prototype leak.
According to the same databases, Google has also received early samples of the 3rd generation Tensor, codenamed “zuma”. This just goes to show how SoC design is a complicated process, often spanning years.
— kamila 🏳️⚧️ 🌸 (@Za_Raczke) September 16, 2022
We also expect the Google Pixel 8 lineup to feature an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. It is still an under-display fingerprint sensor but should be faster than the Pixel 7’s optical sensor. We are optimistic that the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor will be significantly quicker than its predecessors, but we doubt it will keep pace with the one on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
The flagship Pixel 8 Pro is almost certain to come with a built-in thermometer shown in a leaked video in mid-May. The feature is a contactless thermometer that monitors your skin temperature to help you determine if you are unwell. The Honor company had introduced this feature in the past, which we are currently reporting to see in the new Pixel, making the phone more expensive.
You can see the feature in action below, as these clips also give us our first look at the new design of the Pixel 8 Pro. It is largely like the Pixel 7 Pro. The most noticeable change is the latest camera bar. Unlike previous models, the camera lenses are more spread across the device, giving each sensor some extra space and potentially helping prevent the shattering issue we have seen on last year’s phone. On the Pixel 7 Pro, two cameras were grouped with the third camera separately.
Finally, on a disappointing note, the Pixel 8 series will miss out on one of the most anticipated advancements in wireless charging in years. Qi2 promises to bring MagSafe-style pucks and pads to Android phones, but it is unlikely to be included on this year’s phones. The Pixel 8 recently passed through Qi certification, and its listing shows the same Qi 1.2.4 version number alongside 12W power limits.
Though still unlikely, the Pixel 8 Pro may get this feature – only time will tell. You will likely rely on third-party cases to take advantage of magnetic pucks. At least we are getting a minor boost in charging speed.
If you are discussing the Pixel series, you cannot ignore the camera. Google built its successor to the Nexus program on impressive photo capabilities, combining excellent hardware with cutting-edge software and AI-powered photo processing. The previous Pixel phones had the same sensor till Pixel 5 camera changed the whole lineup.
The GN1 sensor, currently used on the Pixel 7 and its predecessor, the Pixel 6, does not support it at the hardware level. This suggests that Google is planning to revamp its camera technology for the Pixel 8. While it is not uncommon for other manufacturers to switch to a new sensor after two generations, it does indicate a new, hardware-focused approach for the company.
In June, Wojciechowska provided more information on the cameras in the Pixel 8 series, giving us a complete overview of all the sensors in Google’s next phones. The Pixel 8 Pro uses a 50MP Samsung ISOCELL GN2 main sensor, along with an ultrawide 64MP IMX787 (which, as keen readers may note, is the same main sensor as in the Pixel 7a) and a telephoto 58MP GM5 sensor. The camera array also includes a microphone, flash, an upgraded time-of-flight sensor for improved autofocus, and the thermometer mentioned at the beginning of this guide.
Long story short, courtesy of Google we got a clean, unobfuscated version of Google Camera Go, that includes references that seemingly confirm that flagship Pixels in 2023 – Husky and Shiba – will support staggered HDR. pic.twitter.com/YdaWTlGznN
— kamila 🏳️⚧️ 🌸 (@Za_Raczke) December 19, 2022
The GN2 is an upgraded version of the GN1 found in the Pixel 7 series and should capture more light while improving shutter speed performance in low-light conditions. It can also record 8K30 video, although Wojciechowska says it is not currently being tested on the Pixel 8 due to poor thermal performance. The ultrawide sensor is also new and has quadrupled its performance (presumably to allow for pixel binning when taking wide shots). It is larger and wider than the current IMX386 used in the Pixel 7 Pro, representing a significant year-over-year upgrade.
However, the telephoto sensor, as does the 11MP front-facing camera, remains unchanged. The smaller Pixel 8 is also getting an upgrade to the same main GN2 sensor but will retain the IMX386 ultrawide first used on the Pixel 6. At least it’s wider than last year’s lens, which was one of our main complaints about the smaller Pixel 7.
Google has already improved so much in night sight, but it is already working on further improvement, majorly on the software level. Specific code changes made with the Pixel 8 series in mind in the latest version of Google Camera suggest better low-light photography when using Super Res Zoom. On the Pixel 7, Google’s impressive digital zoom tool only works in good lighting – using it at night is risky. But with the Pixel 8, the company plans to extend Night Sight to Super Res Zoom shots, capturing a better image through computational magic.
Google may bring some of its Photo Unblur magic to videos with a new tool called Video Unblur. This tool aims to do what Photo Unblur does on the Pixel 7 series, cleaning up old footage and making everything more visible.
Software and Features
The first phones to ship with Android 14 will likely be the Pixel 8 series. It’s a tradition for Google to release a phone around October or August. In 2021, Android 12 arrived in October, in time for the Pixel 6 launch. Last year, Android 13, a smaller update, was released in the first week of August.
Google began its Android 14 developer previews in February of this year, with a beta program launching mid-April. The timeline for this year looks similar, with an official launch planned for August. This should allow the first stable build of Android 14 to be released well before the Pixel 8 series launches, making Google’s next pair of phones the first Android devices to launch running this year’s upgrade.
With every flagship, Google also features exclusive features to their phones; this upcoming phone already has many. One rumor suggests that Google could be looking to match Samsung’s DEX feature, one of our favorite productivity tools on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The Pixel 8 series might support DisplayPort Alternate mode, with full support for video output via USB-C. By this, you can easily mirror the display on a PC or display to work.
Release Date and Pricing
The release date and price for the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 are still unknown, but we can make some educated guesses based on previous Pixel releases. The pricing of Pixel also has a huge plus point to attract users to buy them with many features. While the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro are priced similarly to other top-tier flagships, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 offer some of the best value on the market. At a price of just $600, the phone gives a tough time or competes with other phones at a much higher level. Whether Google can maintain that pricing for another generation is unclear, but we hope it can. The Pixel 7a costs $50 more than the Pixel 6a at $500, suggesting that all Pixel products may see a price increase in 2023.
An October release date for the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro seems likely, as Google has established a pattern of announcing new devices early in the month and launching them a week or two later. If past Pixel release dates are any indication, the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will be available in stores in mid-to-late October.
However, this does not rule out the possibility of an early reveal. Last year, we first looked at the Pixel 7 series during Google I/O. This year, Google debuted its new Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet during I/O, but there is still a chance that we may see the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro before the official announcement.
The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro may seem far from launch, but it won’t be long before news, rumors, and leaks emerge. In the meantime, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro remain excellent devices, especially considering their frequent discounts. If you can’t wait for a new generation of Pixel, both devices are great options. You can even dress up your smartphone to look like Google’s next-gen models with the official Pixel 8 wallpapers. Lets see what Google brings to the table with the release and how many of these rumors become true.