Latest Pixel smartphones come with 7 years of Android updates
After pretty much all of the specs leaked online over the past few weeks, Google has now officially announced the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones, and the Pixel Watch 2 wearable.
The Pixel 8 handset sports a 6.2-inch OLED display at 1,080 x 2,400 pixels and 428 ppi, which is topped by Gorilla Glass Victus for durability. It's capable of 1,400 nits of HDR brightness or 2,000 nits at peak, boasts a 24-bit color depth and million:1 contrast, and its refresh rate can adjust between 60 Hz up to 120 Hz. Holepunched at the top is a 10.5-megapixel fixed-focus selfiecam capable of 4K video at 60 fps.
The handset is powered by Google's Tensor G3 chipset supported by 8 GB of RAM and 128/256 GB of storage. It runs Android 14 out of the box, with the promise of at least 7 years of OS updates, and Google has thrown in a VPN and anti-malware protection. Wi-Fi 7 and 5G plus Bluetooth 5.3 cater for wireless connectivity.
The bump on the upper part of the back is home to a 50-MP main camera based around a 1/1.31-inch-type sensor and coming with a wider F1.68 aperture, optical image stabilization and 8x Super Res zoom. This is paired with a 12-MP ultrawide with autofocus.
Users are able to record 4K UHD videos at up to 60 fps, and there are a number of software features to help level up photos and videos, including a tool to isolate and remove distracting sounds from videos, and generative AI editing within Google Photos "to help you bring your photos in line with the essence of the moment you were trying to capture."
The 4,575-mAh battery could last up to 72 hours between top-ups in "Extreme Battery Saver" mode, but more than 24 hours is expected for regular use. Fast-charging to 50% in 30 minutes is supported, and the handset supports Qi wireless charging too.
The IP68-rated Pixel 8 is up for pre-order now, starting at US$699. It's due to go on general sale from October 12.
The Pixel 8 Pro has the same corner to corner measurements as last year's flagship, but gets upgraded to a LPTO OLED display at 1,344 x 2,992 pixels, and Google has bumped the cover glass to Victus 2, while also opting for matte glass at the back instead of polished. The screen offers a variable refresh rate from 1 Hz to 120 Hz for smooth visuals, HDR brightness rises to 1,600 nits and peak goes up to 2,400 nits. But it's the same story as the Pixel 8 in terms of contrast and color depth. The resolution of the selfiecam is also the same, but this time there's autofocus included.
The handset is also built around the third-generation custom chipset, but the supporting act shapes up as 12 GB of RAM and up to 1 TB of storage. Google has cooked in a temperature sensor for scanning objects "to check if your pan is hot enough to start cooking or if the milk in your baby’s bottle is at the right temperature." The company has also applied to the FDA so that the thermometer app can be used to check body temperature. Again, seven years of OS, security and feature drop updates are included.
This model gains a triple-camera array made up of the same 50-MP as the "standard" version plus a 48-MP ultrawide and a 48-MP telephoto with 5x optical zoom. All cameras benefit from laser-detect AF and spectral/flicker sensing, but the ultrawide misses out on optical image stabilization. Video chops are much the same as the smaller sibling, though an upcoming boost mode will be able to share the processing load with cloud servers for "stunning videos that look true to life."
Despite coming with a larger 5,050-mAh battery, per-charge up time is around the same as the Pixel 8, and the Pro also supports fast wired/wireless charging. This similarly water- and dust-resistant model is also up for pre-order with a starting price of $999.
Finally, Google also pulled back the curtain on the Pixel Watch 2, which looks very similar to the first generation wearable, but as you might expect, a fair bit has changed. The new model's cover glass has been treated to a durability boost thanks to Gorilla Glass 5 protecting a 320-ppi AMOLED display that boasts brightness up to 1,000 nits and covers the DCI-P3 color gamut. And the housing is now fashioned from 100% recycled aluminum.
Inside, the new Snapdragon W5+ chipset is supported by 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, which should make for much improved performance over its predecessor. The smartwatch runs Wear OS 4 – which includes new apps such as Gmail on your wrist, and Calendar – and is compatible with "most phones running Android 9.0 or newer."
There's a new multi-path optical heart-rate sensor onboard, with AI-driven algorithms, plus SpO2 sensors, a cEDA (continuous ElectroDermal Activity) sensor geared to tracking stress levels, and a skin temperature sensor.
Google has included safety features such as stored medical info and emergency location sharing, as well as safety check from the Pixel phones, which will send an alert to contacts if the user fails to "check in" after a specified time has elapsed.
Rounding out the key specs are 4G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 together with support for five satellite systems, there's a built-in microphone and speaker for taking calls, and the 306-mAh Li-ion cell reckoned good for 24 hours in always-on display mode. A fast-charge of 30 minutes offers 12 hours of use, if you're in a hurry.
The straps attach to the main body using the same mechanism as before, which means that users who invested in a variety of bands last year can use them on the new model. And it's also lighter on the wrist than the original, at 22 g.
The Pixel Watch 2's pre-order pricing starts from $349.99.