Google Pixel 8 Pro could feature one major change that will split opinion

To eSIM or not to eSIM? The Google Pixel 8 Pro might remove physical SIM tray in some territories

Google Pixel 7 Pro
Pictured: Google Pixel 7 Pro
(Image credit: Google)

As we enter September, the annual flagship phones release cycle is gathering pace: there's the iPhone 15 series expected to arrive next week, followed just a few weeks later by the Made by Google event in early October, which is when the Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 handsets are expected to be revealed in full.

Although the Google Pixel 8 isn't yet official, that's not stopped the leaks from coming thick and fast on approach to the phone series' reveal, with one new feature in particular that's likely to divide opinions. That's because there won't be a one-size-fits-all approach to the Pixel 8 Pro, based on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) information, as spotted by 9to5Google

The FCC's disclosure is that there's not one but seven variants of Google's phones listed: four of which are thought to be the Pixel 8, three of which are thought to be the Pixel 8 Pro. So what's that all about? The answer is twofold: one, it'll be related to eSIM; two, it'll depend on the 5G modem hardware used, with some model expected to support mmWave.

The Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro

Pictured (left to right): Google Pixel 7 Pro & Pixel 7

(Image credit: Google)

Switching to eSIM isn't a new concept, of course, the iPhone 14 series in the US specifically made that change – it just didn't translate to all regions, such as in the UK. It appears that Google is now following a similar format with the Pixel 8 series, hence the double-up of models that the FCC cites, catering for SIM tray and eSIM-only region capabilities. 

Elsewhere the Pixel 8 series is expected to look a lot like the previous Pixel 7 series – but I think that's a good thing, given the distinctive design of this handset and how its stands out among the best Android phones as a result. However, do expect a camera boost and a batch of fancy new colours. It'll be interesting to find out come 4 October exactly what'll be on offer. 

In the meantime now is a good time to pick up a Pixel 7 bargain: the original smaller-scale handset – the Pixel 7 Pro being the larger model – is currently cheaper than the Pixel 7A model. Check out the shopping widget below as you might want to pick up a bargain before the Pixel 8 series is announced. And all of these options come with SIM trays, whereas, who knows, the Pixel 8 models may not...

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone too (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech and audio aficionado his beat at T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a tech stone unturned he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.