Google Pixel 8 Full review:Unveiling a Compact Powerhouse

The transition from Pixel 6 to Pixel 7 may have been modest, but Google’s latest 8 series packs a punch with a multitude of new features and enhanced hardware. Notably, the smaller Pixel 8 takes center stage in this review, and its transformations are quite impressive.

Downsizing with a Purpose

One of the standout changes in this year’s vanilla Pixel 8 is its size. Google has sensibly shrunk it down, primarily thanks to a more compact 6.2-inch display. But that’s not all; other design modifications have also contributed to a lighter and more pocket-friendly device.

Power Under the Hood

The beating heart of the new Pixel 8 series is the cutting-edge 4nm Google Tensor G3 chipset, crafted by Samsung. This chipset promises superior efficiency and performance, addressing past concerns of overheating. Alongside it, Google has introduced the Titan M2 security chip and an enhanced NPU, responsible for AI-related tasks.

A Visual Treat

This year, the spotlight is on the display. While the Actua-branded LTPO OLED panel remains exclusive to the Pro variant, the standard Pixel 8 boasts significant improvements over its predecessor. Although not LTPO, the display elevates the refresh rate to a speedy 120Hz, finally catching up with the times. What’s more, it’s advertised to reach a remarkable peak brightness of 2,000 nits.

Google Pixel 8

Quick Specs Overview

  • Dimensions: 150.5×70.8×8.9mm, 187g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 min).
  • Display: 6.20″ OLED, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1400 nits (HBM), 2000 nits (peak), 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 428ppi; Always-on display.
  • Chipset: Google Tensor G3 (4 nm): Nona-core (1×3.0 GHz Cortex-X3 & 4×2.45 GHz Cortex-A715 & 4×2.15 GHz Cortex-A510); Immortalis-G715s MC10.
  • Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
  • OS/Software: Android 14.
Google Pixel 8

The Camera Renaissance

Pixel phones have always been lauded for their camera systems, and the Pixel 8 series continues this tradition. While the main camera remains a formidable 50MP shooter, it’s the ultrawide lens that’s seen a significant upgrade. Although still 12MP, it now supports autofocus, resulting in sharper overall photos and macro-level photography, offering a wider field of view.

Bigger Battery, Faster Charging

The battery capacity also receives a boost, now standing at 4,575 mAh. It supports 27W wired charging, marking an improvement from the previous year. However, the wireless charging rate takes a slight hit, dropping to 18W from 20W, a somewhat unusual trade-off.

Leading the Software Race

Google is stepping up its game in terms of software support. With the Pixel 8 series, they’re promising an impressive 7 years of OS and security updates. This exceeds the industry standard and even surpasses Apple’s iOS support, which is limited to devices not more than 5 years old.

While these specifications look promising, it’s the real-world performance that matters. Join us as we dive deeper into how the Pixel 8 stacks up against the competition in various scenarios, and whether the Pixel 8 Pro justifies the extra investment over the vanilla Pixel 8.

Unboxing the Pixel 8

The Pixel 8 arrives in a modest retail package, offering only the essentials. Inside, you’ll find user manuals, a USB-C to USB-C cable with Power Delivery support, and a USB-C to USB-A adapter, handy for charging and data transfers.

As a common trend in today’s smartphone landscape, the charger is not included. You’ll need to acquire a compatible 27W or faster PD-compliant charger.

unboxing the Google Pixel 8

Design and Ergonomics

The most conspicuous change in the Pixel 8 is its reduced size. Google has been steadily decreasing the dimensions of its standard Pixels since the 6th generation, culminating in the 6.2-inch Pixel 8. However, the overall design language and feel remain consistent.

With a smaller display, the Pixel 8 also trims its overall footprint. It’s about 5 mm shorter and 3 mm narrower than its predecessor. This is excellent news for those seeking a compact, premium smartphone. The rounded corners and reduced bezels enhance the phone’s handling, providing a comfortable grip.

Google Pixel 8 Design and Ergonomics

While the back hasn’t undergone drastic changes, subtle adjustments like a larger lens glass and a more prominent camera module are noticeable. The phone is available in Hazel, Obsidian, and a new Rose color option. The glossy surface is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, and the front is safeguarded by GG Victus.

The aluminum frame, with its soft matte finish, provides a secure grip, making up for its slightly slippery nature when compared to the glossy frame of the 8 Pro. Given its smaller size, the Pixel 8 is inherently easier to handle.

Google Pixel 8 Design and Ergonomics

The right side of the frame houses the power button and volume rocker, a typical arrangement for Pixel phones. While it may take newcomers a little time to adapt, the power key’s placement is convenient, falling right under your thumb. Both buttons are within easy reach, and at the bottom of the frame, you’ll find the USB-C connector and speaker grille.

In hand, the Pixel 8 exudes a premium feel, with the glossy glass back surprisingly offering a secure grip. The phone’s ergonomics are well-executed, and it’s evident that Google has crafted a compact flagship for 2023, complete with a premium build and IP68 certification. The only missing piece is the GG Victus 2 sheets found on the 8 Pro.

Lab Tests – Display, Battery Life, Charging Speed, Speakers

A Stunning Display

The Pixel 8 boasts a remarkable 6.2-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. While it may be smaller than last year’s 6.3-inch screen, it compensates with an enhanced refresh rate and brightness. Although it lacks LTPO technology like the 8 Pro, the vanilla 8’s screen is still a speedy 120Hz and supports HDR10+ content. Impressively, it can reach up to 2,000 nits when playing HDR videos, marking a substantial leap forward for the Pixel family.

Impressive Color Accuracy

One of the standout features of the Pixel 8’s panel is its exceptional color accuracy. Even in the default color mode, the colors are highly precise. Opting for the Natural color preset takes it up a notch, with an average dE2000 of just 1.1, showcasing exceptional color accuracy.

Adaptive Refresh Rate

While the Pixel 8 lacks granular refresh rate control due to the absence of LTPO technology, it offers a practical refresh rate control to conserve battery life. The mechanism is straightforward: the screen maintains a 120Hz refresh rate unless

Pixel 8’s Software and Performance

Embracing the essence of the pure Android experience, the Pixel 8 series runs on Android 14 with some exclusive Pixel enhancements. Google’s commitment to long-term support for these devices is a standout feature, promising major OS updates and security patches for a whopping 7 years, setting a new industry standard. To further ensure a lasting device, Google will provide spare parts support.

Enhancing User Experience

While the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro don’t boast flashy features, they’re all about making your life easier, provided you’re in the right region. With features like call screening, real-time translation, and robust image editing tools, these devices are truly ‘smart.’ The improved NPU turbocharges AI tasks. Some features may require an internet connection since certain AI functions utilize Google’s cloud computing.

Pixel 8’s Software and Performance

Android 14 – Familiar and Refined

The overall look and UI design in Android 14 closely resemble its predecessor, Android 13, maintaining the classic stock Android feel. However, Android 14 offers new customization options for the lock screen, enabling users to personalize clock styles and shortcuts.

Google Pixel 8 Android 14 – Familiar and Refined

Generative AI for Creativity

Creating images becomes a breeze with generative AI, allowing users to generate high-quality wallpapers with ease. You can choose from a variety of styles and word-color combinations.

Language and Region Flexibility

Android 14 offers flexibility by allowing users to choose a regional language while maintaining their preferred measurement system, date format, and week format. It’s a thoughtful feature for international users.

Under-the-Hood Improvements

Several under-the-hood changes are designed for efficiency and extended battery life. Background app management, foreground services, user-initiated downloads, and the internal broadcast system have been optimized, although these are relatively minor enhancements.

Enhanced Privacy and Security

Google continues to prioritize privacy and security. One notable change is discontinuing support for apps developed for Android 5.1 Lollipop and older. This ensures your device remains secure by not running outdated apps. Additionally, Android 14 offers improved privacy policy changes and more control over image sharing.

Audio and HDR Enhancements

Android 14 introduces lossless audio support for wired headphones and handles 10-bit HDR images, preserving more sensor data and offering broader compatibility.

Empowering AI Features

The updated NPU enables real-time, system-level translation, benefiting various apps and languages. The interpreter mode stands out by translating live conversations between supported languages. It even offers transcriptions for further translations.

Messaging benefits from automatic language detection and translation, making communication across languages seamless.

The Call Screening feature has also received enhancements, allowing Google Assistant to manage calls and transcribe options from business menus.

AI-Powered Tools for Content Creation

The AI in the Pixel 8 series offers an array of features. It can transcribe conversations, extract text and images from screens, summarize articles, and provide advanced editing functionalities. Google Photos receives AI-powered editing capabilities beyond what’s offered with a Google One subscription.

Pixel 8 Generative AI for Creativity

Smooth Performance and Enhanced Hardware

The Pixel 8 series is powered by the Google Tensor G3 core, based on Samsung’s 4nm manufacturing process. It features a nona-core CPU with a robust Immoralis-G715s MC10 GPU. While it’s faster than its predecessor, the Tensor G3 still falls behind some competing chipsets.

In real-world scenarios, the Pixel 8 devices perform well for daily tasks, even though they don’t match the highest performance benchmarks.

However, sustaining performance over extended periods may be a concern. The CPU’s frequency dropped significantly during sustained loads, suggesting efficiency and thermal challenges.

In summary, the Pixel 8’s software offers a smooth, smart experience with numerous AI-driven features. While the devices perform well in everyday tasks, they may face limitations in prolonged high-performance use. Despite the minor drawbacks, the software shines with its thoughtful additions and innovations.

Photography with the Pixel 8’s Camera

The Pixel 8 keeps the same camera foundation as its predecessor, maintaining the main and ultrawide lenses. However, there are notable improvements both in hardware and software.

Main Camera: The main camera sports a 50MP sensor, but it cleverly combines pixels to deliver 12.5MP images, resulting in excellent image quality. What’s new is the wider aperture, now set at f/1.68 for better low-light performance. The sensor uses Octa-PD autofocus, and the Pixel 8 Pro offers a multi-point laser system to enhance focusing. Since there’s no telephoto lens, the main camera handles zooming duties as well.

Ultrawide Lens: One of the major upgrades is the introduction of autofocus on the ultrawide lens. This addition allows for better flexibility and sharpness in a variety of lighting scenarios.

Selfie Camera: The selfie camera is a 10.5MP sensor with a 20mm focal length equivalent, but it lacks autofocus.

Camera App: The camera app undergoes some interesting changes. The settings panel is now at the bottom and can be accessed by swiping up. The app is split into dedicated photo and video modes, each with its own sub-modes. However, it’s important to note that the Pixel 8 Pro offers more advanced camera settings compared to the non-Pro model.

Display P3 Color Space: Both models can capture images in Display P3 color space, offering a broader range of colors. This feature needs to be enabled in advanced settings.

HDR PQ-Like Effect: The Pixel 8 captures additional luminance levels in images, which are used to create an HDR-like effect in the Photos app. This enhances image highlights when viewing photos.

Photography with the Pixel 8’s Camera

Photography Quality

  • Daylight Photos: The Pixel 8’s main camera excels in daylight, offering vibrant and detailed images with excellent exposure. It tends to prioritize highlights, leading to darker shadows.
  • Zoom Photos: Zoomed shots perform well, although fine details in some scenarios may appear slightly fuzzy.
  • Ultrawide Photos: The ultrawide camera maintains tonal properties similar to the main camera. It performs well in various scenarios.
  • Low-Light Photos: The main camera maintains composure in low-light conditions with balanced exposure. However, there may be softening in certain textures.

Video Recording: The Pixel 8 records video up to 4K60 with all cameras. Video quality from the main camera is excellent, offering sharpness, great dynamic range, and accurate colors. The 2x zoom is slightly softer, and the ultrawide camera exhibits some detail loss in low light. However, stabilization is robust.

Comparison with Competitors

  • iPhone 15: The Pixel 8 competes with the iPhone 15, offering a 120Hz display, faster charging, and a more extensive software support period. The iPhone 15 provides better battery life and a more potent chipset. Camera quality varies depending on image processing preferences.
  • Samsung Galaxy S23: The Galaxy S23 offers several advantages over the Pixel 8, including a dedicated telephoto camera, longer battery life, and a more feature-rich OS. The Pixel 8 outperforms the Galaxy S23 in camera quality.
  • Asus Zenfone 10: The Asus Zenfone 10 offers a faster display, a more powerful chipset, and faster charging. However, the Pixel 8 excels in camera performance, display brightness, and software support.
Google Pixel 8


Despite some limitations, the Pixel 8 presents a compelling choice with its competitive price, enhanced camera experience, improved display, faster charging, and extended software support. While it’s not without its flaws, such as battery life and limited software features in certain regions, it offers a significant upgrade over its predecessor and packs capable hardware into a compact design.

Pixel 8
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Hanzla Luqman

(Associate Editor) Hanzla holds a BS Degree in Botany. He is also a well-known personality and educationist and has a large number of social following. He is also a scholarship winner and mentor for students looking for studying abroad opportunities.

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