Google has unveiled the Pixel 8 Series in the Made By Google 2023 event featuring the new Tensor G3 chipset, AI features, an advanced camera system, and several hardware upgrades. The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro come with Android 14 out of the box becoming the first phones to launch with the OS. Additionally, the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will get 7 years of software software including Android OS upgrades, security updates and regular Pixel Feature Drops. This means that the series will have software support till 2030.
Alongside the launch of the Pixel 8 series, Google has also announced the Pixel Watch 2 starting at $349 (KSH 51,857).
The Pixel 8 Pro has a larger 6.7-inch LTPO OLED (Google is calling this “Super Actua”) display with up to 2,400 nits peak brightness which is quite bright. The Pixel 8 has a 6.2-inch OLED display, slightly smaller than its predecessor. The non-pro lacks the LTPO display and has a peak brightness of 2,000 nits. Both models offer smooth scrolling and gaming experience with refresh rates of up to 120HZ.
Both models feature the latest generation of Google’s custom SoC, Tensor G3. The Tensor G3 offers considerable performance improvements to the Tensor G2 powering the Pixel 7 series. It has a 9-core CPU, an upgraded GPU and features Google’s latest custom TPU for machine learning and AI tasks. According to Google, Tensor G3 allows the Pixel 8 series to run on-device generative AI and twice as many machine learning models on-device as the first generation found in Pixel 6.
Pixel 8 camera system and new photo features
The Pixel 8 series comes with the same 50-megapixel main camera with 21% more light sensitivity than the Pixel 7 series. The main camera has Dual Exposure Camera Technology for natural-looking videos with vivid color and low noise.
The rear dual camera system on the Pixel 8 features an ultrawide camera with auto focus alongside the main camera. The Pixel 8 Pro has a triple rear camera system which includes a 48MP ultrawide lens and a 48MP telephoto lens along the primary camera.
Both models have a 10.5-megapixel front-facing selfie camera with the Pro having an autofocus upgrade. The Pixel 8 front camera still has fixed focus. The Pixel 8 series supports 4K video recording up to 60 FPS on both the front and rear cameras
Google has also announced additional AI image and video editing features including Best Take, Magic Editor, and Audio Magic Eraser. Best Take automatically creates a blended image with everyone’s best expression from a series of photos taken close together. Magic Editor allows one to reposition and resize subjects or even edit the background with a few taps. Audio Magic Eraser allows one to reduce distracting noises in a video.
Other features set to be introduced on the Pixel 8 Pro only include Zoom Enhance for finer details after capture and Video Boost which enables Night Sight Video and also supports cloud processing.
One striking feature announced today on the Pixel 8 Pro is the built-in thermometer. The thermometer sensor can measure the surface temperature of objects and subject to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval can also take body readings.
Google has also upgraded the Face Unlock feature on the Pixel 8 series to the highest Android biometric class (Class 3). This means you can use Face Unlock to sign in to apps or even make payments.
Price and availability
The Pixel 8 comes with 8GB RAM and is available in 128GB and 256GB storage options. It is available in Hazel, Obsidian and Rose colors. The Pixel 8 Pro comes with 12GB RAM and is available in 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB storage options. The Pro color options include Obsidian, Bay and Porcelain.
The Pixel 8 series sees a $100 price increase from its predecessor’s pricing with the Pixel 8 starting at $699 (KSH 103,836) while Pixel 8 Pro starts at $999 (KSH 148,401). Google is offering a free Pixel Watch 2 for any Pixel 8 Pro pre-order.
Both models are available for pre-order and will go on sale from October 12, 2023.