The Pixel 8 Pro has better cameras and a brighter screen to go with a starting price of $999. Meanwhile, the standard Pixel 8 has a slightly smaller 6.2-inch display compared to its predecessor. Both phones share Google’s new Tensor G3 chipset, as well as Android 14 out of the box and a promise of seven years of OS upgrades, and are available for preorders starting today.
You can follow along with all the latest news from the Pixel 8 launch event below or jump straight to the biggest announcements.
- Google’s seven-year Pixel update promise is historic — or meaningless
- Google’s Pixel 8 launch was a parade of AI
- Google Pixel 8 launch event: the 7 biggest announcements
- Google’s new Pixel 8 is a little bit smaller and a little bit smarter
- Google Photos’ new AI tools are as complicated and messy as a memory
- Android 14 is now available for Pixel phones
- The Pixel Watch 2 adds new sensors, longer battery life, and better accuracy
- The Pixel 8 Pro has better cameras, a brighter screen, and a lot of new AI tricks
Oct 13Google is so leaky, you can even see which Pixel features *didn’t* make the cut.
Did you know the Pixel Watch 2 was going to have UWB? Or that the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro would have higher clockspeeds? How about 8K video recording and 480fps slow-mo?
Kamila Wojciechowska and Mishaal Rahman, two of the foremost Android code sleuths, found all of the above and more. Every company’s phones tend to leak these days, but Google is batting some kind of record.
Oct 7Google’s Pixel phones are doing better these days.
IDC VP Francisco Jeronimo posted this week that Google has sold 37.9 million Pixel phones globally since 2016. 9to5Google did some math concluding that the company sold about 10 million of them in the last 12 months — an improvement over its 2019 best of 7.2 million.
The Pixel 8 Pro has an infrared temperature sensor. Why does the Pixel 8 Pro have a temperature sensor?Read Article >
For an unusual feature on a $1,000 flagship phone, Google really isn’t saying much about it. The Pixel 8 Pro announcement mentions it almost in passing:
One of the first known photo fakes, a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, was made just decades after the dawn of photography itself. Since then, photographers have found themselves in endless arguments about what truly constitutes a photo — what’s real, what’s fake, and when is editing too much? Now, as we head into an era where AI-powered tools are everywhere and easily accessible, the discussion is going to be messier than ever. And with the Pixel 8, Google has turned the question of “what is a photo” right on its head.Read Article >
Google has been leading smartphone photography down this path for many years now. The company pioneered the concept of computational photography, where smartphone cameras do a huge amount of behind-the-scenes processing to spit out a photo that contains more detail than the camera sensor can detect in a single snap. Most modern smartphones use a system like Google’s HDR Plus technology to take a burst of images and combine them into one computationally-created picture, merging highlights, shadows, details, and other data to deliver a more pristine photo. It’s accepted practice at this point, but it also means that a baseline smartphone photo is already more than just “a photo” — it’s many of them, with their best parts combined.
- The Android statues are alive and well — here’s Upside Down Cake.
Google deserted desserts publicly in 2019, but it never stopped the codenames — a pineapple upside down cake was an easter egg in a developer video this May. And each new version number still gets a lawn statue, which Google has needed to repair and relocate from time to time.
Dave Burke, who posted the tweet, is Google’s longtime head of Android engineering. (via 9to5Google)
I can’t believe Google finally did it. I’m still in disbelief. An Android phone with seven years of updates — not security patches, but real OS and feature updates? It’s unheard of. It’s historic.Read Article >
It’s the opposite of what we’ve come to expect from Google over the past decade and change — so many great smartphone features sadly left locked away because of Android fragmentation, so many products buried in the Google graveyard. With “seven years of OS upgrades, security updates, feature drops, and AI innovations,” will the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro finally break the cycle?
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Google’s latest products are filled with AI. There’s Magic Editor, a photo editing tool powered by generative AI; there’s Conversation Detection, an audio transparency feature powered by AI; there are improved heart rate algorithms, which, yes, are also powered by AI.Read Article >
Seven years of OS updates? Sounds like a great way to get more AI features from Google. New photography features? All AI. Tensor processor? Designed for AI, baby! “As always, our focus is on making AI more helpful for everyone, in a way that’s both bold and responsible,” Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh said in an introduction that, by my count, included the word “AI” over a dozen times. Over the course of the hour-long launch, Google’s presenters referenced AI over 50 times.
- Hands-on with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
Allison Johnson has our first impressions of Google’s new flagships, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, with their new Tensor G3 chipsets, Android 14, seven years of updates, and, as we heard during the Made by Google event on Wednesday, all of the AI you can fit in a phone.
- Hands-on with Google’s new Pixel Watch 2.
Victoria Song walks you through everything that’s new about the Pixel Watch 2, like its new sensors and promise of longer battery life. The wearable was fully revealed earlier today during Google’s big Pixel 8 event along with the new phones, Android 14, and lots of AI-powered features.
- Android 14 has a few new features for businesses, too.
Enterprise IT teams have a few new options for workers with devices running Android 14, as Google’s blog post mentions a default screen lock PIN that has increased from four to six, the ability for admins to allow only approved credential managers to store login info, the ability to block potentially insecure 2G connections, and logs for ultra wideband.
Now that the new OS has launched along with the Pixel 8 family of devices, Android 14 can make it easier to select certain profiles for certain apps, switch between profiles, and save work-related screenshots directly to the work profile only.
- Here are the Android 14 update notes for Pixel devices.
Google is rolling out Android 14 to Pixel 4A 5G devices and up. You can view the full list of fixes coming this month to all supported Pixel devices from the link below.Google Pixel Update - October 2023 - Google Pixel Community
In addition to officially rolling out Android 14, Google introduced the Pixel Watch 2 and a new lineup of phones during its Made by Google Event on Wednesday. The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro start at $699 and $999, respectively, and will be available on October 12th.Read Article >
On the spec front, both phones sport Google’s new Tensor G3 chip, which is an upgrade over the G2 chip that marked Google’s Pixel 7 lineup. Each also comes with a 120Hz max refresh rate and seven years of software support and security updates. The Pro 8 touts a maximum of 1TB of storage as well, along with a new sensor for measuring the temperature of beverages, surfaces, and — perhaps one day — maybe even people.
Last year’s Pixel 7 phones were an iterative spec bump and nice refinement in the design department (as polarizing as their looks remained), but part of what made those phones special was how much they offered for fairly competitive prices.Read Article >
Now, Google has announced the $699 Pixel 8 and $999 Pixel 8 Pro (which are $100 price increases over last year’s phones), each due to arrive on October 12th, and once again, they look a lot like a slow burn of subtle hardware improvements — albeit in a slick new light-blue color option on the Pro. But the showstopper feature of the new Pixels may be Google’s software support, as it’s claiming the new phones will see seven whole years of OS and security updates — rivaling Apple’s reign as the longest-lasting phones.
- Those clearer voice calls for your Pixel Buds Pro? You’ll need a Pixel 8 to get ‘em.
Bluetooth Super Wideband is only for Pixel 8 and newer — it’s in the fine print.
During an onstage presentation at today’s Pixel 8 Pro launch, Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh showed off how the smartphone is able to retroactively add detail to a photograph when you pinch to zoom in. “So the kind of zoom enhancement you used to see in science fiction? It’s right in the phone in your hand,” Osterloh said after introducing the feature, which Google is calling “Zoom Enhance.”Read Article >
Osterloh is referring, of course, to the countless sci-fi movies and police procedural shows that have shown characters zooming impossibly far into photos to reveal clues and details that simply could not have been present in the original image. Often, these scenes hinge on “enhancing” unbelievably small reflections, inevitably revealing the identity of a murder suspect.
During the Made by Google event, where it debuted new Pixel 8 and Pixel Watch 2 hardware, Google also announced it’s launching Assistant with Bard, which leverages generative AI to provide personalized assistance to users. The company says the new AI-enhanced assistant can do things like help plan your next trip, find details in your email inbox, and even create a grocery list.Read Article >
Just like Bard on the web, Assistant with Bard will integrate with some of the company’s existing apps, such as Gmail and Docs, to help you find and summarize information. Additionally, you can interact with the tool through text, voice, or images, and it will still retain some of Assistant’s key features that allow you to do things like send a text message.
Google’s latest Pixel launch event has come to an end. Even though some of the products Google revealed were leaked well in advance, the company still managed to throw in a couple of surprises.Read Article >
Here are all the biggest announcements from the Made by Google event.
- You can now see Google’s entire official spec sheets for the new Pixels.
Wi-Fi 7 is limited to the US, CA, UK, EU, and AU for now.
For both phones, the “Beyond 24-hour battery life” claim is tested “across a mix of talk, data, standby, and use of other features. Average battery life during testing was approximately 31 hours.”Pixel phone hardware tech specs
Oct 4Big claps for seven years of OS updates.
Big, big, big round of applause as Osterloh says support for the Pixel 8 will continue until 2030. We’re wrapping up at the Made By Google event now. Allison and I are about to go run and get some hands-on time with all these new gadgets!
- Google Recorder AI summaries look intriguing.
I have a Pixel 6A that’s almost solely for Google Recorder, an incredible tool for journalists due to great real-time transcription. AI summaries... would they be useful? Exclusive to the Pro, apparently.