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Google Pixel 8 Pro: A Notable Upgrade in Design, Display, and Camera

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The Google Pixel 8 Pro, the newest addition to the Pixel family, arrives with a series of enhancements, ranging from design to camera features. Succeeding the Pixel 7 Pro, this flagship smartphone is poised to make a significant mark in the competitive market. Let’s delve into the various aspects of the Pixel 8 Pro and see what sets it apart.

Design: A Familiar Yet Refreshed Look

The Pixel 8 Pro retains the family design elements, with the distinctive camera bar prominently positioned on the back. However, the smartphone’s frame takes a sustainable turn by being crafted from recycled aluminum. While it maintains the key placement familiar to Pixel 7 Pro users, the rear glass panel now boasts a frosted finish reminiscent of the iPhone 15 series. This change not only offers a softer and smudge-resistant grip but also makes the phone lighter and more comfortable to hold.

Notably, the Pixel 8 Pro has achieved an IP68 rating for water resistance, ensuring protection against spills and rainy weather. This practical feature enhances its suitability for everyday use, regardless of environmental conditions. An intriguing addition to the phone’s design is a small circular feature located beside the camera flash—an integrated temperature sensor. This innovative sensor enables the phone to record temperature readings for various objects or surfaces, making it easily accessible through a dedicated temperature app.

Display: A Shift to Flat Panel

In a departure from its predecessors, the Pixel 8 Pro opts for a flat display panel, deviating from the curved design of its forerunners. The top glass is constructed from Gorilla Glass Victus 2, offering durability and protection. The smartphone’s display features uniform bezels on all sides, providing a balanced and visually pleasing look.

The Pixel 8 Pro boasts a 6.7-inch OLED display, known as the Super Actua display, with a resolution of 1344 x 2992 pixels and a 20:9 aspect ratio. Users have the flexibility to choose between 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rates, and the display intelligently drops to 1Hz when not in use or when static content is displayed. Out of the box, the phone offers a 120Hz refresh rate at a 1080p resolution, requiring manual adjustment to access the full native resolution of 1344p.

The display further supports HDR, offering a peak brightness of 1,600 nits in HDR mode and an astounding absolute peak brightness of 2,400 nits. It also delivers HDR and wide color support, although it features an 8-bit panel. The absence of Dolby Vision support is a notable omission in the Pixel 8 Pro’s feature set.

OS: Android 14 with Enhanced AI Features

The Pixel 8 Pro ships with Android 14 and incorporates Google’s tailored software features. AI takes center stage this year, enhancing various apps, including Google Photos. Notable AI features include Audio Magic Eraser for noise removal in videos, Magic Editor for background adjustments, subject repositioning, and lighting changes, and the Best Take feature, which allows for face and head swaps in group photos.

Processor: Google Tensor G3 Chip

Under the hood, the Pixel 8 Pro is powered by the new Google Tensor G3 chip, manufactured on Samsung’s 4nm process. The chip features a nona-core design, including a 3.0GHz Cortex-X3, 4x 2.45GHz Cortex-A715, and 4x 2.15GHz Cortex-A510 configuration, paired with an Immortalis-G715 MP10 GPU.

The smartphone is equipped with 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM, and it comes in a single 128GB storage configuration in India. While the storage may seem limited for a flagship device in this price range, the Pixel 8 Pro offers a significantly improved user experience compared to its predecessor. It also showcases impressive thermal performance, operating without excessive heating even during extended usage, such as watching the Men’s Cricket World Cup for several hours.

Camera: Advanced Triple Camera Setup

The Pixel 8 Pro features a revised triple camera setup. The primary camera boasts a new 50MP sensor with an f1.68 aperture, multi-zone laser detect auto-focus, and both optical and electronic image stabilization. The phone also introduces a new 48MP ultra-wide camera with an f1.95 aperture and a wide 125.5-degree field of view. Additionally, it includes an updated 48MP 5x telephoto camera with a brighter f2.8 aperture and a slightly wider 21.8-degree field of view.

One standout feature is the improved 10.5MP front camera with an f2.2 aperture, featuring autofocus. Users have the flexibility to choose between 12MP and 50MP resolutions for their photos. The main camera delivers excellent images with good dynamic range and a respectable level of detail, despite the 12MP resolution. Google has incorporated signature features like highlight exposure, contrast enhancement in mid-tones, edge sharpening, and a cooler white balance with a magenta bias to achieve the classic Pixel look. Notably, there is a subtle improvement in perceived detail compared to the Pixel 7 models, likely due to increased sharpening, and shadow details appear cleaner.

In the ultra-wide photography department, the Pixel 8 Pro excels, providing more detail and cleaner images compared to the 12MP ultra-wide images of the Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 8. As for zoom capabilities, the Pixel 8 Pro interprets 2x magnification differently compared to the Pixel 7 and iPhone 15 Pro. The Pixel 8 Pro crops more for 2x magnification when compared to the other devices.

The portrait mode shines with its ability to capture photos with artistic separation of the subject and background. Even in low-light conditions, all phones engage in night mode automatically, resulting in excellent image quality.

Selfies captured with the Pixel 8 Pro exhibit high precision and top-notch image quality. Google has enriched the phone with a multitude of AI features, such as Magic Editor and Best Take, which prove highly effective in everyday scenarios.

Battery: Ample Capacity and Fast Charging

The Pixel 8 Pro features a 5,050mAh battery, a slight upgrade from its predecessor. It comfortably manages a day’s use on a single charge. The phone supports 30W wired charging, taking approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach a full charge. Additionally, it offers 23W wireless charging capabilities and supports reverse wireless charging, adding versatility and convenience.

Verdict: A Promising Upgrade with a Consideration

The Pixel 8 Pro presents a promising upgrade within the Pixel lineup. It offers a non-slippery feel, superior processing, improved thermal efficiency, and the unique addition of a temperature sensor. The smartphone capitalizes on the strengths of the Pixel family, particularly in camera capabilities, further enhanced by new AI tools.

However, the Pixel 8 Pro’s pricing, exceeding ₹1 lakh (12GB/128GB, single variant only), positions it

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