December 7, 2023

The smartphone enterprise is in a chronic hunch due to the economic system, and smartphone patrons aren’t precisely spending high greenback on costly Android telephones like they’re on costly iPhone 15 Execs. That’s what Google has to take care of this 12 months whereas making an attempt to benefit from the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Professional telephones.

It’s additionally unlucky that Google selected to extend the Pixel costs this explicit 12 months, particularly contemplating that Apple saved the iPhone pricing the identical. Apple even dropped costs in Europe. To not point out that the extra reasonably priced Pixel 7a can provide patrons an excellent Pixel expertise. Then there’s the Pixel 6a, which you’ll be able to nonetheless discover in shops for a good higher cut price.

However there may be one massive motive to purchase an costly cellphone from Google this fall, one which I, a longtime iPhone consumer, am enthusiastic about. Along with thrilling new AI options, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Professional include seven years of OS, safety, and Characteristic Drop updates. No Android vendor can match that, with Samsung’s four-year OS upgrades being the second-best choice.

That type of software program help is what I’ve been having fun with on my iPhones. An iPhone will final for years, because of Apple’s continued help. So long as a {hardware} element in a more recent machine isn’t concerned in a brand new iOS function, you’ll get the identical iOS expertise as everybody else. And contemplating the highly effective specs flagships can provide in 2023, it makes loads of sense to need to maintain these gadgets round for longer. That’s very true if you happen to’re not trying to purchase flagships each few years.

There’s additionally the sustainability angle right here. The longer you should use a cellphone, the higher for the surroundings. You would possibly want a battery swap if you happen to plan on utilizing the Pixel 8 or 8 Professional for seven years. However that might be it, assuming nothing contained in the cellphone fails, otherwise you don’t injury it.

Pixel 8 Professional and Pixel 8 side-by-side. Picture supply: Google by way of YouTube

How a lot do the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Professional price?

The brand new Pixel telephones are barely costlier this 12 months, and that’s most likely the primary consideration when shopping for a brand new handset.

The 128GB Pixel 8 begins at $699 ($100 greater than the Pixel 7), with the 256GB mannequin priced at $759. The handset can even embody a free pair of Pixel Buds Professional earphones, which retail for $199. You may also preorder the Pixel 8 at Greatest Purchase.

The Pixel 8 Professional will get the identical value hikes. It begins at $999 for the 128GB model, and $60 extra double your storage to 256GB. A 512GB mannequin will retail for $1,179 ($20 cheaper than the identical improve for the Pixel 7 Professional). Preordering the Pixel 8 Professional will rating you a good higher perk, a free Pixel Watch 2, which begins at $349. Just like the Pixel 8, the Pixel 8 Professional is offered to preorder from Greatest Purchase as nicely.

The brand new telephones can be obtainable to preorder on Wednesday and can ship to patrons on October twelfth. You get three shade decisions for every mannequin: Obsidian, Porcelain, and Bay Blue for the Pixel 8 Professional, and Obsidian, Hazel, and Rose for the Pixel 8.

What you get on your cash

Seven years of updates isn’t the one thrilling function of the costlier Pixel 8 telephones. They could usually seem like the Pixel 7 telephones, however the brand new Pixels have a number of design tweaks and pack higher {hardware}, together with the specs and digicam.

The Pixel 8 and eight Professional function glass sandwich designs like nearly all their opponents. The rear panel options the identical distinctive horizontal digicam lens that Google used for a number of Pixel fashions prior to now. The digicam sits in an aluminum enclosure that protects the dual-lens system (Pixel 8) or triple-lens digicam (Pixel 8 Professional).

A person wearing a Pixel Watch 2 and using a Pixel  8 phone.
An individual carrying a Pixel Watch 2 and utilizing a Pixel 8 cellphone. Picture supply: Google by way of Twitter/X

On the entrance, we’ve a hole-punch show with a 120Hz adaptative refresh price. The Pixel 8 Professional encompasses a 6.7-inch display screen, whereas the Pixel 7 packs a 6.2-inch 120Hz show. However not like the Professional, the common mannequin can drop the refresh price solely to 60Hz as a substitute of 1Hz. The Professional additionally has a temperature sensor embedded in that rear-facing digicam module.

Powering the telephones is Google’s new Tensor G3 chip paired with 8GB/12GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 128GB/256GB/512GB UFS 3.1 storage. Nevertheless, the 12GB RAM and 512GB storage tiers are unique to the Professional mannequin.

The construct high quality and CPU/RAM/storage mixture must also make sure the Pixel 8 telephones get to outlive a number of years of use, and benefit from these seven years of updates.

The digicam techniques additionally get upgrades. The Pixel 8 Professional encompasses a 50-megapixel major digicam, a 48-megapixel ultrawide lens, and a 48-megapixel telephoto (zoom) lens. On the entrance, there’s a ten.5-megapixel selfie shooter.

The Pixel 8 options the identical 50-megapixel vast and 10.5-megapixel entrance cameras however solely packs a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens. Although the latter helps Macro Focs mode this 12 months.

A person taking photos with the Pixel 8 cameras.
An individual taking photographs with the Pixel 8 cameras. Picture supply: Google by way of Twitter/X

Relating to battery life, the Pixel 8 and eight Professional function 4,575 mAh and 5,050 mAh battery packs, respectively. Charging speeds go as much as 27W and 30W, with 18W wi-fi charging additionally supported.

Different options embody Wi-Fi 7 help, Bluetooth 5.3, dual-SIM connectivity, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 display screen cowl, an under-display fingerprint sensor, and USB-C connectivity.

Thrilling new AI digicam options

The digicam is likely one of the Pixel’s best-selling factors. As with earlier fashions, the Pixel 8/Professional {hardware} solely tells a part of the story, particularly for Google, and particularly this 12 months when generative AI is all the fashion in tech.

The Pixel 8 and eight Professional will provide higher low-light images than in earlier years, because of that new 50-megapixel sensor. On high of that, Google has added numerous AI methods that will help you enhance your photographs after you’re taking them. I’m not an enormous fan of a few of them as they alter actuality, however that doesn’t make them much less spectacular:

  • Greatest Take: combines a number of photographs so everybody can have a look at the digicam
  • Magic Editor: enables you to take away background, change the climate, and transfer objects round
  • Audio Magic Eraser: this one works like Magic Editor however removes background noise from video clips
  • Video Enhance: adjusts shade, lighting, and stabilization mechanically
  • Stay Translate: It isn’t precisely a digicam function more often than not, however it will possibly translate indicators along with 49 languages. For that function, it wants entry to the digicam.
The Pixel 8 Pro camera in action.
The Pixel 8 Professional digicam in motion. Picture supply: Google by way of Twitter/X

The Pixel 8 telephones can even provide Evening Sight help for low-light videography. Furthermore, the cameras will help a brand new Macro Focus mode for capturing very shut topics.

That is additionally the place the magic of these seven years of help comes into play. It’s doubtless that a few of the digicam options that Google will develop within the coming years can even be obtainable on Pixel 8 and eight Professional fashions. So long as the digicam {hardware} can help them, a Characteristic Drop replace can be all you want.