In a surprising turn of events, Google recently hosted an event that unveiled the highly anticipated Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro smartphones, and the Pixel Watch. The event, although not entirely unexpected, brought several exciting features and improvements to the table.
The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro continue Google’s recognizable design language, featuring the iconic visor design. However, this year’s models showcase a more rounded design, offering a fresh and modern aesthetic. The new color options, including Hazel, Rose, Obsidian, and the intriguing new blue shade called Bay, add to the visual appeal.
Both phones sport enhanced displays with thinner bezels and significantly increased brightness. The Pixel 8 achieves 120Hz refresh rate, while the 8 Pro takes it a step further with LTPO technology. The Pixel 8 offers up to 2,000 nits peak brightness, while the 8 Pro boasts a remarkable 2,400 nits – the highest seen in a smartphone.
Under the hood, the Pixel 8 series introduces the Tensor G3 chip, the third generation of Google’s custom silicon. Although Google did not emphasize raw performance gains, it focused on optimizing AI-related tasks and software enhancements. The phones come with 8GB of RAM for the Pixel 8 and 12GB for the Pixel 8 Pro.
Google’s software magic takes center stage with various innovative features. The Google Assistant can now summarize webpages in Chrome, and the speech-to-text function is faster and more accurate, even filtering out filler words. Additionally, the call screen feature offers more human-sounding responses and context-aware suggestions.
One notable feature is the Magic Editor, allowing users to select subjects and manipulate entire photos with ease. The Pixel 8 series also introduces Video Boost, a cloud-based processing feature that enhances video quality significantly.
The cameras on both phones are powered by a 50-megapixel main camera, with the Pixel 8 featuring a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens, and the 8 Pro boasting a 48-megapixel ultra-wide and 48-megapixel 5x telephoto. The revamped camera app layout simplifies navigation and enhances user experience.
Another exciting addition is the temperature sensor on the Pixel 8 Pro, accompanied by a thermometer app. While it measures surface temperatures of materials, it excludes human temperature measurement pending FDA approval.
The Pixel 8 series showcases impressive haptics, providing a strong and refined tactile experience, particularly during typing.
Regarding pricing, the Pixel 8 starts at $699, while the Pixel 8 Pro starts at $999, representing a modest increase from previous models. However, the enhanced features and capabilities justify the price hike.
One standout announcement is the commitment to seven years of OS security and feature drop updates for both Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, setting a new standard for software support.
Google also introduced the updated Pixel Watch 2, featuring a quad-core processor for improved performance and redesigned apps. It incorporates new safety features, a skin temperature sensor, and auto workout detection. The Pixel Watch 2 will maintain last year’s pricing, starting at $349 for the Wi-Fi version and $399 for LTE.
In summary, Google’s surprise event unveiled a range of exciting upgrades and features for the Pixel 8 series and the Pixel Watch 2. While some improvements are incremental, the overall package aims to deliver a compelling user experience, further solidifying Google’s position in the competitive smartphone and smartwatch markets.