Google Pixel 8: The Ultimate Guide to Google’s Latest Flagship Smartphone

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Google Pixel 8

The Google Pixel 8 is one of the most highly anticipated Android smartphones of 2023. As the latest iteration in Google’s Pixel line of flagship phones, the Pixel 8 brings upgrades across the board from camera capabilities to performance and battery life.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll provide a comprehensive look at everything you need to know about the new Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. Whether you’re considering buying the Pixel 8, are simply curious about Google’s strategy, or want to see how it compares to alternatives like the iPhone 14 Pro and Galaxy S23, you’ll find all the details here.

An Overview of the Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro

Google unveiled the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro at its annual Made by Google event on October 4, 2023. The Pixel 8 series continues Google’s two-tier strategy of offering a regular Pixel 8 model along with a higher-priced Pixel 8 Pro with upgraded features.

The Google Pixel 8 serves as Google’s mainstream flagship, while the Pro model caters more to enthusiasts and power users. But both pack significant improvements over their Pixel 7 predecessors in areas like the camera, performance, display technology, and even software support longevity.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro models and how they differ:

  • Google Pixel 8 – The standard Pixel 8 offers some excellent upgrades but keeps the overall size and price lower than the Pro. It has a 6.3″ OLED 90Hz display, dual rear cameras, Google’s new Tensor G3 chip, 8GB RAM, 128GB or 256GB storage, and a 4,925mAh battery. It starts at $699.
  • Google Pixel 8 Pro – The Pro model includes upgrades like a 6.7″ LTPO OLED 120Hz display with higher brightness and resolution, an additional 48MP telephoto camera, up to 12GB RAM and 1TB storage, a larger 5,550mAh battery, wireless charging up to 23W, and a few extra features like Face Unlock. It starts at $899.

The Google Pixel 8 is available in Snow, Obsidian, and Hazel color options while the 8 Pro comes in Snow, Obsidian, and new Cinnabar and Flamingo variants. Both phones retain Google’s iconic large camera bar on the back but with a more refined frame and curved edges.

But the Google Pixel 8 has far more upgrades beyond just hardware and specs. Let’s dive deeper into what makes the Pixel 8 series so compelling in areas like the camera, performance, software experience, and more.

Unpacking the Impressive Pixel 8 Camera Upgrades

One of the most standout features of Pixel phones has always been their cameras. Google has clearly focused on enhancing the photography prowess of the Pixel 8 series with some major hardware and software upgrades.

The Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro both have an improved 50MP wide angle main camera sensor that offers several benefits:

  • Higher resolution and sharper detail than prior 12MP sensors
  • Wider aperture for better low light capture
  • Dual pixel autofocus for faster focusing
  • OIS (optical image stabilization)

In addition, the Google Pixel 8 Pro gets a 48MP telephoto camera with a 5x optical zoom range and a new 48MP ultrawide camera. Having three high megapixel cameras gives you a lot of versatility in framing shots.

But megapixels aren’t everything. Some of the most exciting Pixel 8 camera changes come through computational photography and AI-powered software.

Software Camera Improvements

  • Night Sight – Google’s leading low-light photography mode now works for videos through a new Video Boost feature. It can significantly brighten dim video footage.
  • Magic Eraser – This tool to remove unwanted objects or people in photos gets an upgrade to handle larger parts of an image.
  • Photo Unblur – The Pixel 8 can sharpen and fix blurry old photos through AI even if you don’t have the original.
  • Cinematic Blur – You can now adjust the depth of background blur in portraits after the shot.
  • Macro Focus – The ultrawide camera enables close up focus on tiny details and textures.

And those are just a few of the many new computational photography features Google has added through software and AI. The Pixel 8 cameras showcase the power of Google’s processing combined with enhanced camera hardware.

New Editing and Control Capabilities

Google has also expanded the editing tools and controls available in the Pixel 8 camera app:

  • A powerful new Magic Eraser can easily remove distractions in the background with just a tap.
  • The Photo Unblur tool lets you select and fix blurry parts of a photo.
  • Face Unblur detects and sharpens facial expressions.
  • An HDR+ with a Bracketing option blends bracketed exposures for scenes with challenging dynamic range.
  • A new Pro Mode provides granular control over settings like white balance, shutter speed, ISO, and more.

Between the upgraded hardware, sophisticated software processing, and additional editing features, the Pixel 8 cameras offer one of the most comprehensive photography experiences you can get in a smartphone today. For many buyers, the camera capabilities alone may be reason enough to choose the Pixel 8 over other Android flagships.

Let’s continue looking at the other major upgrades in the Pixel 8 series in areas like performance, software, and more that make these phones stand out.

Blazing Fast Performance and All-Day Battery

Google has packed the Pixel 8 series with significant upgrades to deliver enhanced performance and battery life.

The New Google Tensor G3 Processor

Powering the Pixel 8 lineup is Google’s latest silicon, the Tensor G3 processor. The Tensor G3 chip enables more advanced AI and machine learning capabilities across the Pixel 8 cameras, speech processing, security, and apps.

Key Tensor G3 upgrades include:

  • Faster overall CPU performance than prior Tensor chips
  • Improved GPU and display processing for smoother graphics
  • A dedicated Security Core for enhanced protection
  • Stronger computational photography abilities
  • New natural language processing for speech transcription and translations

Having an in-house processor gives Google tight integration between hardware and software for a responsive, efficient experience. The Tensor G3 allows more demanding apps, camera features, on-device AI capabilities, and games to run smoothly.

More Memory and Faster Storage

The Google Pixel 8 doubles the base memory configuration to 8GB RAM compared to last year’s models. The Pro can be configured with up to 12GB RAM for optimal multitasking performance.

Storage gets a speed boost as well with UFS 3.1 for faster app loading and data transfers. You can choose up to 512GB capacity on the Pixel 8 or an enormous 1TB on the Pro.

All-Day Battery Life

Battery life is often the Achilles heel of powerful flagship phones, but Google has packed larger capacity batteries into the Pixel 8 series.

  • Google Pixel 8 – 4620 mAh battery (up 13% vs Pixel 7)
  • Google Pixel 8 Pro – 5000 mAh battery (up 18% vs Pixel 7 Pro)

Google claims “beyond 24-hour battery” for typical use. Extreme Battery Saver mode can stretch battery life up to 72 hours by disabling certain features.

For charging, the Google Pixel 8 supports up to 25W USB-C PD fast charging. The Pro model bumps that up to 30W charging for even faster top-ups. Both phones offer 12W wireless charging as well.

With the Tensor G3, increased memory and storage, and much bigger batteries, the Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are equipped to deliver exceptional performance while lasting all day – a key combination sought after in any modern flagship smartphone.

Next, let’s examine the software experience and unique AI features you’ll get with the Pixel 8 series.

Software, AI and Security

Google’s Pixel phones showcase the latest Android software and AI capabilities powered by Google’s silicon. The Pixel 8 series runs the brand new Android 14 software out of the box and introduces even more exclusive Google AI features.

Android 14 and Pixel Software Features

As Google’s flagship phone, the Pixel 8 series ships with the most up-to-date Android 14 operating system and will get software updates immediately once available.

Some of the Pixel-exclusive software features include:

  • The new Pixel Launcher home screen
  • Pixel-only theming and style options
  • Pixel Live Translate for real-time translations
  • Recorder app with automatic transcriptions
  • Google Assistant voice typing
  • Car crash detection and emergency calling

Pixel phones also get exclusive access to Pixel Feature Drops – regular software updates that add new capabilities throughout the phone’s lifespan. Overall, you get the cleanest implementation of Android on Pixel.

7 Years of Software Updates

In a landmark commitment unmatched by any other Android phone maker, Google is providing a full 7 years of software updates for the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

That means you are guaranteed to receive:

  • Android OS version updates for 7 years after release
  • Monthly security updates for 7 years
  • Access to new Pixel software features for 7 years

Knowing your phone will be supported with the latest software for so long makes the Pixel 8 series an even more valuable investment.

Enhanced On-Device AI

The Google Tensor G3 enables more powerful AI capabilities to work directly on the Pixel 8 without needing an internet connection:

  • Real-time translations for over 50 languages with Live Translate
  • Improved natural language processing for Google Assistant
  • Faster, more accurate voice typing and dictation
  • Better spam call screening and filtering

Having more machine learning on-device allows you to do more while maintaining your privacy.

Robust Security Protections

To keep your data safe, the Pixel 8 has Google’s latest security protections:

  • Titan M2 security chip
  • Encrypted storage for sensitive data
  • Google Play Protect scanning for malicious apps
  • Pixel-first security updates for 7 years
  • VPN by Google One built-in for online privacy

The Google Pixel 8 sets a new standard for software support longevity while providing the best Android experience through close Google integration.

Next, we’ll compare how the Google Pixel 8 sizes up against rival flagships from Apple and Samsung.

Google Pixel 8

How the Google Pixel 8 Compares to the iPhone 14 Pro and Galaxy S23

The Google Pixel 8 series faces stiff competition from other leading flagships like the iPhone 14 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23. How does Google’s latest smartphone compare to the current models from Apple and Samsung?

Pixel 8 vs. iPhone 14 Pro

The Google Pixel 8 goes head-to-head with Apple’s standard iPhone 14 Pro model in terms of pricing and mainstream appeal. Here’s how the two phones stack up:

  • Display – The iPhone 14 Pro has a brighter 1000+ nit 6.1″ OLED 120Hz display, but the Pixel 8’s 6.3″ OLED panel offers more fluid 90Hz refresh.
  • Camera – The Pixel 8 touts incredible low-light Night Sight photos and new AI features. But the iPhone 14 Pro’s 48MP camera offers RAW and macro modes. Ultra-wide and telephoto lenses are excellent on both.
  • Performance – Apple’s latest A16 Bionic chip is slightly faster, but Tensor G3 enables more on-device AI experiences. Both deliver elite performance.
  • Battery Life – Comparable battery capacities of around 4500 mAh. Pixel may have a slight edge in real-world usage.
  • Software – Pixel 8 offers a more customizable Android 14 experience. But the iPhone has provided iOS updates for many years with an excellent app ecosystem.

The Google Pixel 8 clearly goes toe-to-toe with the iPhone 14 Pro in most areas, coming out ahead in some like the camera while lagging just behind in others like the display quality. But it makes choosing mainly a matter of your preferred operating system.

Pixel 8 Pro vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung’s top-of-the-line Galaxy S23 Ultra presents another alternative to the Pixel 8 Pro at the same premium price point:

  • Display – The S23 Ultra’s expansive 6.8″ QHD+ panel is brighter at 1750 nits. Pixel 8 Pro display gets up to 1500 nits but has more fluid 120Hz.
  • Camera – Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts an incredible 200MP main sensor and 10x optical telephoto zoom. Pixel 8 Pro touts unmatched Night Sight and AI features. Both excel in photography.
  • Performance – The S23 Ultra’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset benchmarks a bit higher than Google’s Tensor G3. But both deliver elite performance.
  • Battery – The S23 Ultra’s 5000 mAh battery lasts equally as long as the Pixel 8 Pro’s 5000 mAh capacity. Both support very fast charging.
  • Software – Pixel 8 Pro offers a more customizable Android UI and quicker updates. Galaxy S23 Ultra provides 4 years of updates and excellent DeX desktop mode.

Like with the standard models, choosing between the Pixel 8 Pro and S23 Ultra comes down mostly to your preferences on Android vs. One UI software. The Google Pixel 8 Pro holds its own against Samsung’s top flagship in nearly all areas – an impressive feat by Google.

Pixel Value Proposition

With premium build quality, elite specs, and extremely capable cameras, the Google Pixel 8 can go toe-to-toe with the world’s leading flagships while often costing $100-200 less.

But Google’s phones truly shine with their more customizable Android software experience, AI capabilities enabled by Tensor, and computational photography that other brands can’t match even with superior hardware.

If you highly value a pure Google software experience, best-in-class camera, and the most on-device AI features, the Pixel 8 ultimately provides an incredibly compelling package that stands above the rest.

Next, we’ll cover where you can buy the Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro along with some of the best deals currently available.

Google Pixel 8

Where to Buy the Google Pixel 8 & 8 Pro

The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are available directly from Google as well as all major carriers and retailers. Here are some of the best places to buy the Pixel 8 series:

Buy Directly from Google

You can purchase the Google Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro unlocked directly from the Google Store:

  • Get free expedited shipping
  • Access to device insurance and support
  • Can finance the phone through Google Store Financing
  • No carrier bloatware or restrictions
  • Won’t get deals requiring trade-ins or plan signup

One downside is that Google rarely offers the Pixel for substantially discounted pricing. But you are guaranteed an unlocked phone directly from the source.

Carrier Deals

All major US carriers sell the Google Pixel 8 models both online and in stores:

  • Verizon – Offers up to $700 off with trade-in and new line
  • AT&T – Provides up to $800 off with eligible trade-in on installment plans
  • T-Mobile – Gives up to $400 via bill credits with trade-in

Carrier deals can often save you the most money if you have a recent phone to trade in and you sign up for a new line or payment plan. Just note that you’ll likely be stuck with that carrier and monthly fees for 2+ years.


Many retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target sell unlocked or carrier versions of the Pixel 8 series:

  • Amazon – Usually provides modest discounts of $50 off or more. Excellent for fast, free shipping.
  • Best Buy – Offers savings with qualified activation, sometimes up to $400 off.
  • Walmart – Provides on-the-spot trade-in savings when buying in store. It also has installment plans.
  • Target – Matches many deals from other retailers. Excellent for in-store shopping.

Best Deals

Some of the best Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro deals we’re currently seeing include:

  • Verizon – Get a free Pixel Watch with new line and Pixel 8 Pro purchase
  • AT&T – $700 off Pixel 8 Pro or free with trade-in; Pixel 8 only $15/month
  • Amazon – Save up to $150 on Pixel 8 and $350 on 8 Pro
  • Best Buy – Save up to $400 with qualified activation

Be sure to also look out for any preorder offers, which often include gift cards or free accessories like the Pixel Buds Pro earbuds and Pixel Watch.

With so many options, you can likely find the Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro at one of the major carriers or retailers that also get you the best deal or gift for preordering.


As Google’s leading flagship phone for 2023, the Pixel 8 delivers significant upgrades and new features that make it a compelling high-end smartphone choice.

The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro stand out through their:

  • Excellent camera systems made exceptional by Google’s computational photography
  • Powerful Tensor G3 processor with advanced AI and machine learning
  • Large, smooth displays with up to 120Hz high refresh rates
  • All-day battery life thanks to large capacity batteries
  • Unique Pixel software experiences like Live Translate and Magic Eraser
  • 7 years of guaranteed Android OS and security updates

These capabilities allow the Pixel 8 series to go head-to-head with premium rivals from Apple and Samsung. Google’s phones offer a more flexible Android OS, the best camera capabilities you’ll find, and exclusive Google AI features to enable new ways of interacting with your phone.

While the Pixel may lack some bells and whistles like 10x optical zoom or an ultra-bright 2000+ nit display, the overall package makes the Pixel 8 an incredible value in the flagship smartphone market. Starting at just $699, the Google Pixel 8 provides premium hardware, an unmatched software experience, and elite camera performance at a lower price than comparable iPhones or Galaxies.

For those highly invested in the Google ecosystem who want the latest Android updates and innovations delivered first, the Pixel 8 offers an extremely compelling overall experience. It earns our strong recommendation as one of the best Android flagships you can buy today.

Hopefully this guide gave you all the details on Google’s new Pixel 8 smartphones to help determine if it’s the right premium phone for you. Let us know if you have any other questions!

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