Now that the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro flagship phones are official, as revealed at the Made by Google event in New York on 4 October, there's one standout feature that has nothing to do with the new hardware – one which I think is a major step forward for Android fans everywhere.
The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will deliver 7 years of Android updates, including security patches and feature drops. That's a massive amount of future-proofing when it comes to ensuring longevity from a device, including new features where plausible – and I think it's a major statement of intent from Google that other brands of the best Android phones really need to get behind.
Let's face it: the most sustainable best phone you can buy is, well, not a new one at all really. It's actually to keep the handset you have going for as long as possible, and with the promise of software and security upgrades such as this now under its belt, Google could be seen as a leading light in those regards. So long as, of course, the handsets can hold up to the pressures of everyday life.
As noted in my Google Pixel 7 versus Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 7 Pro comparison to the Pixel 8 Pro, both new devices wave goodbye to any screen curves, instead offering flat and brighter-than-ever-before displays with variable refresh rates. Both are coated in protective glass (Gorilla Glass Victus for the former, Victus 2 for the latter). And both bring new colourways to the fore (a pink 'Rose' for the Pixel 8, a blue 'Bay' for the 8 Pro) to stand apart in a brighter way than ever before.
All of which is great, but it's the software, beginning at Android 14 in these handsets, that sets the benchmark of what to expect when using these new devices. The 7 year update promise would take you all the way to Android 21, in theory, and I'm sure that tonnes of battery-saving tricks, artificial intelligence-leveraging features, and ease-of-use design changes will be established in that period. All of which will come to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
Certainly sounds like a winner to me. If you're on the lookout for a new Pixel 8 then it'll set you back £699/$699/AU$1,199, while the Pixel 8 Pro will cost £999/$999/AU$1,699. That's for the 128GB entry-level storage versions, with larger capacities all the way to 1TB (for the Pro anyway) also set to be available. You'll need even more cash for those, though, but with Google Pixel Watch 2 purchase incentives and that theoretically greater longevity on the cards it's still a fair value proposition.