So now we've seen what the iPhone 15 has to offer, it's time to switch our attention to the Google Pixel 8. With its own Google Pixel event confirmed for the 4th of October, we won't have to wait long. That's exciting, we're big Google Pixel fans (Pixelheads?) here at T3. We rank the Pixel 7 Pro as one of the best phones out there so we're definitely excited about the Google Pixel 8.
Having already released the Pixel 7a and Pixel Fold, it's already been a busy year for Google, but we want more. The Pixel Fold may be Google's first foldable, but it is the company's traditional 'candybar' shaped handsets that have impressed us the most and led the way for Android devices.
We're starting to get some information emerging on the Pixel 8 now so expect the news to ramp up as we get closer to release. Check back here regularly for the latest.
Release date and price
Last week the world was invited to join Google on October 4th (the day after Mean Girls Day) for the next "Made by Google" event. Although not officially confirmed to be a Pixel 8 release event, we would be very surprised to see it not be.
The phone's release is almost certain. Especially considering Google mentions in the event invite that it will use the event to "introduce the latest additions to our Pixel portfolio of devices." and with a hilarious teaser video featuring both a Pixel and iPhone in a sauna (you read that right).
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 both launched in October of their respective years, so the same schedule seems likely, especially with the Pixel Watch 2 tipped for that month. September is probably a no-go with a certain fruit-based company likely to release the iPhone 15 then. The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will likely launch at the same time.
As for the price? Well, Google admirably was one of few to not raise the price of its phones last year with both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7, launching at £599 / $599 / AU$999, the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro were both £849 / $899 / AU$1299 at release. But it seems the 2023 trend of price rises looks set to continue however now with the price supposedly for the base Pixel 8 set to hit £700. Expect something similar for the Pro model too.
Interestingly Google offered an impressive discount toward Pixel Fold pre-orders when users traded in their iPhones (we wonder why), so hopefully we could see the same again as a way to mitigate the cost for many.
We have now seen official footage of the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro and Google Pixel Watch 2 which to be honest don't look that different from their predecessors.
Some early theories suggested the Pixel 8 Pro could have a rear-mounted strip screen but that now seems wide of the mark. One more plausible rumour is that the phone could shrink slightly with a more slimline design. This might be at the cost of screen size, an interesting decision if true. While not for everyone a smaller flagship would definitely make fans of the best small phones happy.
In terms of available colours for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, leaked wallpapers suggest a mineral theme with Haze, Jade, Licorice, Porcelain, Peony and Sky the names of the colours. Haze and Peony will be Pixel 8 exclusives with Porcelain and Sky for the Pro model only. A leaked promotional video also shows a new blue colour.
It is a reasonable assumption that the Pixel 8 will utilise a new generation of Google's Tensor chipset, presumably called the Google Tensor G3. In comparison with Snapdragon equivalents, the Tensor G3 seems underwhelming in its performance on GeekBench, but Google's chips aren't about benchmark scores and in practice they are some of the best chipsets to be found, particularly when it comes to AI features.
In terms of unique features, expect a bunch of Pixel-first Android features with the phone likely to launch alongside Android 14. One tipped feature seems slightly unusual and very niche, a temperature sensor on the camera bar, I'm sure Google will have some ingenious uses for it.
We have actually had a very comprehensive Pixel 8 Pro specs leak now from a reputable source and it suggests that we will be treated to a G3 processor and a Titan security chip. The leak claims that we will get 12GB of RAM as well as a 4950mAh battery, similar to the Pixel 7 Pro. Interestingly we will apparently get a jump in charging speed from 23W to 27W.
The same leak suggests that the camera will feature a 50-megapixel main shooter with optical image stabilisation, a 64-megapixel ultrawide, and a 48-megapixel telephoto and an 11-megapixel selfie camera. There's not been any talk of the improved optical zoom found in the iPhone's new tetra-prism camera but we can dream. Besides, we love the way Google handles camera software already and there's talk of another serious upgrade with a new 'Staggered HDR' feature and an Audio Magic Eraser feature that reduces background noise.
There's also word that the Pixel 8 range could be the first Pixel phones to support DisplayPort via USB-C which will let users connect their phone to an external display. Some believe that select regions at least will see the phone be the first Pixel 8 with an eSIM.
Starting from an impressive base with last year's model, these upgrades would make for a phone we'd love to get our hands on. Perhaps the next Pixel Fold could also take some upgrades from the Pixel 8.