Skip to main content

Filed under:

Google Pixel 8 launch event: all the news

Share this story

Google has launched the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and Pixel Watch 2 following a steady stream of leaks — plus Google’s own teasers — that left little to the imagination.

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.

The Pixel Watch 2 has some design changes, too, and is available for preorder starting at $349. There’s a new crown and updated sensor array, plus some features carried over from the Fitbit Sense 2.

You can follow along with all the latest news from the Pixel 8 launch event below or jump straight to the biggest announcements.

  • Wait for the feature drops.

    A lot of the cool stuff we’re seeing here today isn’t coming at launch. You’ll have to wait for future updates coming in December.

  • Enhance.

    Yep, there’s a new feature called Zoom Enhance on the Pixel 8 Pro. It uses on-device processing to let you zoom in on parts of your photos and recreates fine detail. Like in the movies! It’s available in December via Feature Drop.

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
  • Pixel 8 Pro will run some AI models on-device.

    The phone can run up to 150x more computations than the largest model on Pixel 7. Magic Eraser looks like it gets a big improvement from this on-device processing, too. It’s available right away, says Rick.

    See all our Google Pixel event live coverage

  • Osterloh, take us home.

    After all that Assistant with Bard barrage, Rick Osterloh is back onstage to give us a highlight reel of everything coming to Pixel. He’s showing off a demo of the Pixel phones creating summaries of long articles. He’s also saying the Pixel phones are the first to run foundation models directly on the device.

  • Where to preorder the Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro

    You can get a free Pixel Watch 2 if you preorder the Pixel 8 Pro.
    You can get a free Pixel Watch 2 if you preorder the Pixel 8 Pro.
    Image: Google

    Google announced the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro on Wednesday during its Made by Google Event, introducing it alongside the new Pixel Watch 2. Both phones will be available on October 12th starting at $699 and $999, respectively, with preorders beginning today, October 4th.

    Powered by the new Google Tensor G3, both phones should offer improved performance, audio, and voice quality. The chip also allows for new AI capabilities, like Audio Magic Eraser, which removes distracting sounds from videos. In addition, both phones now feature a max refresh rate of 120Hz and the promise of seven years of software support and Android updates. The Pro model, meanwhile, offers improved cameras and additional bells and whistles, like the ability to measure the temperature of objects.

    Read Article >
  • Assistant with Bard is “coming soon.”

    It’s coming to select testers first, then they’ll be expanding availability in the next few months. Also, it wrote a social caption for a cute puppy photo.

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
  • Bard in the house.

    Google is shouting out its AI chatbot while we’re talking about Google Assistant. Sissie Hsiao is introducing Assistant with Bard, which will offer more generative capabilities. It can find your important emails and pull together information from different apps.

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
  • I don’t know that I love how Video Boost looks.

    This demo of Video Boost shows how it’s supposed to make low-light scenarios much brighter. Except, to my eye, it looks kind of artificial. I lived in Tokyo for seven years, and the muddy contrast between the neon lights and dark alleys... doesn’t really feel like what I just saw. In my opinion.

  • The same as processing 1,800 photos.

    Video Boost will offload some complex video AI processing to the cloud so it can edit every frame. That’s a whole lot of data to handle from a 4K video clip. It enables more robust HDR for video as well as Night Sight Video. It’s coming via a feature drop in December.

    See all our Google Pixel event live coverage

  • Shots fired at the iPhone.

    In introducing Video Boost, Google’s just straight-up showing comparisons to the iPhone footage. Somebody in Cupertino is probably not loving that, but the folks in here are loving the extra spiciness.

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
  • Google just casually replacing faces over here.

    Here’s a side-by-side crop of the before / after with the new Best Take feature. Would I use this? I have to admit I would; pretty hard to get the kids to sit still for a photo, and they did make those faces, after all!

  • Pixel 8 Pro gets a little extra.

    There’s a new main 50-megapixel main camera sensor, an upgraded telephoto camera, and autofocus on the selfie camera. You’ll also get access to manual camera settings in the native camera app. You hear that, Apple?

    See all our Google Pixel event live coverage

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
  • Where to preorder the Google Pixel Watch 2

    The Google Pixel Watch 2 in its three case colors and finishes (left to right) : polished silver, matte black, and champagne gold.
    The Pixel Watch 2 comes in polished silver, matte black, and champagne gold.
    Image: Google

    Google’s Pixel Watch has been with us for a full year now, and the surprise hit smartwatch now gets the honor of having its own iterative update. While the original Pixel Watch was a good first crack at a wearable from Google, the Pixel Watch 2 is poised to improve on it with more Fitbit-inspired health and wellness features and a claim of improved battery life.

    Google announced the Pixel Watch 2 alongside the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro at its fall Made by Google event in New York, and the new $349.99 wearable is slated to arrive soon on October 12th. Just like its predecessor, it’s being offered as a base model with Wi-Fi or with the option of a cellular LTE connection for an additional $50 (plus the usual subscription fee from your carrier of choice).

    Read Article >
  • Remember Magic Editor?

    It was announced at I/O. It’s Google Photos’ new generative AI photo editor. We saw a demo showing object removal and fully moving one element in the scene and putting it somewhere else. Oh, and you can mess with the lighting and sky. It looks intense.

    See all our Google Pixel event live coverage

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
  • “I have endured a lifetime of OTHER people ruining my group shots.”

    This video demonstrating the Best Take feature speaks to the vain among us. The main character of this vid keeps haranguing his friends for being “photo ruiners.” As someone who always blinks in the group photo, I, once again, am feeling attacked during this keynote.

    But what was that pot-shot at the lactose intolerant among us?

  • Group photos are hard.

    Best Take is a new Google Photos feature that lets you choose the expressions you want on the faces in your photos when you take a series of photos. Parents are stoked.

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
  • New “camera magic” on the Pixel 8.

    We’re getting better quality from the 2x optical crop zoom mode and improvements to low-light video, like faster autofocus. Audio Magic Eraser uses machine learning to identify different sounds and in videos and separate them so you can minimize the ones you don’t want. Also, adorable baby video alert!

    See all our Google Pixel event live coverage

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
  • Call screening is coming to the Pixel Watch 2, too.

    If you’ve got a Tensor-equipped Pixel and Pixel Watch, you’ll also be able to screen calls from your watch. Hanging up on robocalls got a lot of claps from the room, and it’s great that we, as humans, can all agree that we want to tell the robocallers to get lost in as many ways as possible.

    The feature will come via a feature drop later this year.

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
  • What will Google’s Tensor G3 CPU do for you? Here’s the bento:

  • Multilingual phone?!

    Google’s Monika Gupta mentioned how the Pixel phones can now tell what language you’re speaking and switch back and forth between multiple languages. Big if true! I’ve had a lot of trouble when dictating Konglish (a mix of Korean and English) with friends and family. For immigrant kids or multilingual folks, it’ll be such a boon whenever a company truly nails this.

  • Tensor G3 is about AI all the way down.

    Monika says it runs more ML models and more complex models, which brings AI enhancements to just about every part of the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. It’ll read webpages out loud for you with a “more natural” voice and can read them in different languages. Call Screen is getting an upgrade, and the virtual assistant speaks more naturally.

    See all our Google Pixel event live coverage

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
  • Android 14’s AI-generated wallpapers might be its coolest new feature

    android 14 header with three phone screenshots
    Generative AI wallpapers are one of many new customizable options in Android 14.
    Image: Google

    Google’s launching the new Pixel 8 and 8 Pro today, and alongside the new smartphones comes the public release of Android 14, which has lots of new features — including a rad new AI wallpaper generator. Originally revealed at Google’s I/O developer event in May, which showcases the latest Android OS and features, the new AI wallpapers feature lets you easily generate a new background on your Pixel device using Google’s text-to-image diffusion model.

    You start by selecting a category, like classic art, and then manipulate the text fields to render different results. In one Google example, you could select the Dreamscape category, then describe a structure, a material, and a color, and end up with something like “A house made of plants in indigo,” which yields several images of greenery-covered structures with a front door and a slightly purple tinge.

    Read Article >
  • Temperature sensor?

    Pixel 8 Pro has one, for some reason. Google is applying to the FDA to let you use it to read body temperature. It’s giving real mid-2020 product map vibes.

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
  • Repairability, you say.

    We got some lip service toward repairability for the Pixel 8 and Google’s partnership with iFixit. And yet, this wasn’t addressed for the Pixel Watch 2 at all. Google recently confirmed to me that they have zero repair options for the Pixel Watch so this... hm. Hmmm, I say.

  • Screen upgrades are up.

    The new screens are called “Actua” displays, and the 8 Pro gets a “Super Actua” display that’s the brightest on a Pixel yet. It has 1-120Hz refresh rates and a peak brightness of 2,400 nits, which is hella bright.

    See all our Google Pixel event live coverage

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge