Google Pixel 8 Pro Review: New Pixel, Old Problems

Google Pixel 8 Pro Review: New Pixel, Old Problems

The Google Pixel 7 Professional was smartphone total. It packed in all the things an informal smartphone person would count on from an Android smartphone together with, the now commonplace, well timed software program updates. However it got here up brief in just a few areas like battery life, charging and had its justifiable share of heating points and camera-related bugs as properly. With the brand new Pixel 8 Professional, there is a brand-new design, loads of AI-enabled options and even a brand new processor. Maintaining this in thoughts, one would naturally count on Google to have labored on some if not all the shortcomings of its predecessor. However that is not precisely the case with Google’s latest Pixel flagship.

Google Pixel 8 Professional worth in India

In contrast to final yr, Google’s Pixel 8 Professional lastly affords a better storage choice in India. After years of complaining about providing a measly 128GB of storage with its base fashions, Google lastly determined so as to add a brand new storage tier in India with the introduction of a 256GB variant. I acquired the 128GB storage variant for evaluate which is priced at Rs. 1,06,999 in India, whereas the 256GB variant is on the market at Rs. 1,13,999.

As talked about in my first impressions, each the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Professional, are Google’s most costly Pixel smartphones to launch in India. Merely put, the brand new top-end Pixel 8 Professional has acquired a worth hike of Rs. 22,000, which immediately places it out of attain of a number of potential consumers. After which you must take into account that even at Rs. 1,06,999, you’re nonetheless getting simply 128GB of inner storage and no free cloud storage entry both.

Certainly, Google has its arms full in the case of convincing its current Pixel customers to improve to the newest mannequin this yr. And it is in all probability one of many explanation why you’re studying this evaluate.

Google Pixel 8 Professional Evaluate: Design

Google’s Pixel 8 Professional has seen extra adjustments than the usual Pixel 8 (Evaluate) this yr. Mainly, Google’s engineers removed some pointless stuff and made some refinements to the Pixel 7 Professional’s design. Maintaining in thoughts its flat show, and total flatter profile it qualifies as a brand new design. However it’s an overhaul of types as the brand new Pixel 8 Professional nonetheless seems distinctly Pixel. That is primarily all the way down to its sharper, visor-like digital camera module on the again which is as chunky as final yr’s mannequin.

Google Pixel 8 Pro back scratches ndtv GooglePixel8Pro  Google

The visor-like digital camera module nonetheless will get scratched simply, identical to the Pixel 7 Professional


The digital camera module’s edges are fairly sharp not like final yr’s mannequin, however I am glad Google retained its chunky protruding look as a result of it makes it simpler to carry on to the telephone’s somewhat slippery matte-finished physique by resting my index finger beneath it for assist.

The matte-finished rear glass panel is a primary for Google’s Pixel vary and its total rounded look and curves do remind me of the unique Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. As slippery because the rear panel is, it is wonderful in the case of resisting fingerprints. At 213g the telephone doesn’t really feel too heavy or too gentle. This mixed with the soft-finished glass again lends the gadget a really premium and splendid really feel.

Google Pixel 8 Pro back battery ndtv GooglePixel8Pro  Google

Google’s Pixel 8 Professional undoubtedly seems to be the half for a premium smartphone


Google additionally affords an IP68 score which is similar as on final yr’s mannequin. Construct high quality is sort of stable and I am glad Google lastly removed the curved edge show which appeared pointless on a Pixel, on condition that it by no means had any added software program options like on Samsung’s smartphones.

Google Pixel 8 Professional Evaluate: Specs and software program

This yr’s Pixel 8 Professional brings one other new chipset referred to as the Tensor G3. It is constructed utilizing the 4nm manufacturing course of, which along with its new nona-core structure ought to in idea translate to higher efficiency and effectivity. Nevertheless, Google is extra targeted on its AI capabilities and that is the place it’s anticipated to shine. 12GB RAM is commonplace and the telephone affords as much as 256GB of storage this yr with no expandable storage and no extra SIM card slot. Nevertheless, one can use the eSIM performance to make use of two numbers on the identical gadget.

By way of connectivity, the Pixel 8 Professional affords an upgraded WiFi 7 expertise, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, a USB-C port, ultra-wideband (UWB) assist and assist for a number of world positioning techniques.

Google Pixel 8 Pro back design ndtv GooglePixel8Pro  Google

The Pixel 8 Professional’s (proper) design shares some similarities with the older Pixel 7 Professional (left)


Other than the same old digital camera array, there may be additionally a brand new thermometer which can be utilized to verify the floor temperature of assorted supplies. Google will probably be including assist for checking physique temperature quickly, which might make it helpful if it seems to be correct.

The telephone has a 5,050mAh battery and helps 30W wired charging and 23W wi-fi charging. Nevertheless, the field contents do not embrace a supported charging adapter.

Going with the AI development, Google introduces its new AI wallpaper function which is unique to this yr’s Pixel 8 and eight Professional gadgets. It wants an web connection to work however chomps out some actually distinctive and attention-grabbing wallpapers utilizing its AI bits. The remainder of Android 14 feels and seems just like what’s out there on a Pixel 7 Professional.

Different new smarts which can be out there on the Pixel 8 Professional embrace the power to learn aloud net pages or articles from an online browser. Google Assistant may even translate an online web page earlier than studying it aloud which can be helpful. The operation is correctly hands-free on the Pixel 8 Professional (I couldn’t get the function to work efficiently on a Pixel 7 Professional), which is helpful in case your arms are busy.

Google Pixel 8 Pro front AI Wallpaper ndtv GooglePixel8Pro  Google

The AI Wallpaper function is a enjoyable method to pattern the ability of AI and create some distinctive wallpapers within the course of


The Pixel 8 Professional’s AI enhancing instruments, which can be found in its Images app are jaw-droppingly spectacular by way of functionality. Whereas the older Magic Eraser has gotten significantly better over time, the newly marketed instruments nonetheless want a little bit of polish by way of output.

The brand new Magic Editor device helps you to actually reposition individuals and objects in {a photograph} (which must be uploaded to the cloud). The AI fashions positive are spectacular! At occasions it might get actually arduous to inform if a picture has been edited in any respect. Nevertheless, pixel-peeping into these photographs often reveals some clues. Magic Editor is not excellent and may get polished with future updates, however it’s a very highly effective device nonetheless.

The identical will be stated in regards to the new Greatest Take function which requires a sequence of photographs of the identical setting so as to work. For those who occur to have sufficient photographs of the identical individuals in the identical setting, then it is somewhat arduous to inform if a picture has been edited.

Audio Magic Eraser is one other AI-enabled device, which may impressively perceive the sounds in a video. As soon as activated, it listens to the clip and rapidly identifies the totally different sounds after which categorises them (speech, nature, wind, noise and many others.) letting one regulate the degrees to bump up the quantity of the sounds they want to hear (speech, nature) over those that they need to quieten (noise, wind). Whereas I didn’t discover the outcomes all that spectacular, it’s attention-grabbing to see how the AI mannequin identifies the totally different sounds in any given video.

Google Pixel 8 Pro front Audio Eraser ndtv GooglePixel8Pro  Google

The Audio Magic Eraser device within the Images app is helpful for eradicating or decreasing undesirable sounds in a recorded video


As controversial as these picture enhancing options are, I can see a whole lot of Pixel 8 and eight Professional customers serving to many who aren’t capable of snap handsome photographs. Furthermore, Pixel 8 Professional customers could seem to be wizards to aged people who often do not find yourself composing a trip photograph proper, and sometimes request the unimaginable, like transferring the Eiffel Tower a bit to the fitting. Surprisingly, all of that and extra is now doable utilizing easy drag-and-drop instruments.

As spectacular because the Pixel 8 Professional’s images and enhancing capabilities are this yr, I nonetheless confronted the identical digital camera bug as on final yr’s fashions. The Night time Sight bug triggers when capturing back-to-back photographs from the digital camera app’s evening mode when transitioning from 1X to 2X. As soon as triggered, all photographs captured thereafter don’t get saved within the telephone, leaving one with a digital camera that can allow you to click on photographs however not save them. The one method to get the digital camera to begin storing snapped photographs once more is to restart the telephone or look ahead to the digital camera app to crash.

For lengthy, Pixel smartphones have all the time been the primary gadgets to obtain Android software program updates and Google has in some way managed to one-up itself on this space with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Professional. Google claims that it’s going to present as much as 7 years of software program updates which incorporates its quarterly Characteristic Drops (that deliver new options) and safety updates. Including to this dedication Google additionally defined that it’s going to top off on spares for these two smartphones as properly, in case your smartphone will get broken or stops functioning over the subsequent 7 years. Certainly such commitments will enchantment to those that do not improve their gadgets regularly, however changing your smartphone much less regularly works properly for the setting because it additionally reduces e-waste.

Google Pixel 8 Professional Evaluate: Efficiency

As for the Pixel 8 Professional’s 6.7-inch QHD+ OLED show, it really works properly below vibrant daylight and exhibits pretty correct colors when set to the Pure color mode. Its 120Hz dynamic refresh price, which may drop to 1Hz when not getting used, additionally works as anticipated.

Similar to final yr, battery statistics aren’t all that nice as I typically discovered me reaching out for the charger by the tip of a piece day with about 20 p.c left round 7:00 PM, after unplugging the telephone at round 8:00 AM. If you find yourself utilizing the digital camera and edit a number of photographs count on the battery ranges to drop even quicker. In our video loop battery take a look at, the Pixel 8 Professional managed to final for 14 hours and quarter-hour, which is barely higher than the Pixel 7 Professional, however not nice in comparison with what most smartphones on this section are able to. Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Extremely which at the moment retails a further Rs. 20,000 managed to final 21 hours and seven minutes in the identical take a look at.

Google Pixel 8 Pro front display ndtv GooglePixel8Pro  Google

The Pixel 8 Professional (proper) has a flat show in comparison with the older Pixel 7 Professional (left)


On the Pixel 8 Professional, most informal and high-end video games run simply effective at default settings. However the telephone clearly is not as highly effective when in comparison with its Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered counterparts so do not count on flawless body charges when taking part in graphics-intensive titles like Genshin Impression or fast-paced video games like Name of Obligation: Cell.

The telephone does heat up after taking part in just a few Name of Obligation tournaments on Extremely settings, nevertheless it doesn’t get abnormally scorching and that is primarily all the way down to CPU throttling. Nevertheless, one can count on loads of body drops throughout gameplay because the Tensor G3 is not actually designed for working demanding titles at the most effective settings. Ray-tracing, whereas being comparatively new, can be not supported. I additionally discovered the contact sampling to be a bit sluggish when taking part in fast-paced FPS video games.

The Tensor G3 contained in the Google Pixel 8 Professional managed barely inferior scores in comparison with most smartphones on this section and had been far beneath what Apple’s newest iPhone 15 Professional Max is able to. The Pixel 8 Professional scored 10,38,343 factors in AnTuTu and managed scores of 1,629 and three,274 in Geekbench’s single and multi-core exams. To present you an concept about the place Google’s Pixel 8 Professional stands, the lower-priced OnePlus 11 5G (QHD+ show) which we reviewed earlier this yr scored 11,89,556 factors and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 5 (FHD+ show) managed a rating of 12,87,359 whereas the iPhone 15 Professional Max managed a snug lead scoring 16,61,205 factors in our evaluate.

Google sticking with its personal Tensor design for its processor does have its downsides as they’ve but to determine higher methods to deal with all of the processing that occurs after snapping {a photograph}. Similar to the Pixel 7 Professional, the Pixel 8 Professional struggles when capturing Portrait mode photographs and can cease capturing photographs (or disable the shutter button) when the photograph buffer is full after clicking round 7-8 portrait mode photographs in fast succession. It does this to complete processing them within the background and can let one snap extra photographs solely as soon as it is accomplished processing those which have already been captured. Whereas this doesn’t seem to be a giant downside, I did find yourself lacking a number of moments whereas snapping photographs of my child. Taking pictures RAW photographs additionally takes some time to course of, in comparison with the iPhone 15 Professional Max which is nearly immediate.

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The Pixel 8 Professional identical to the Pixel 7 Professional runs a bit scorching outdoor when related to 5G networks


For a telephone that is extra targeted and identified for its images options, it is unhappy to see that the newest Tensor G3 SoC is not able to dealing with the fundamentals. Google actually has to work on the Tensor G3’s imaging pipeline or go together with a separate imaging chip solely for dealing with all of its digital camera necessities as the present Tensor G3 processor clearly is not up for the job.

Even with day by day utilization, one thing so simple as scrolling by way of net pages and social media apps (even YouTube) can get jittery at occasions. Scrolling is jittery when utilizing each native and third-party apps and that is one thing many customers have complained about on Reddit as properly. Google took its personal candy time to aim to resolve its Pixel 7 Professional’s scrolling points, however these have but to be resolved efficiently.

The telephone nonetheless will get scorching when utilizing the digital camera app, particularly when capturing extra difficult digital camera modes like Portrait and Night time mode. The telephone additionally will get fairly scorching outdoor when related to 5G networks. Google nonetheless doesn’t provide any cooling answer (aside from CPU throttling) with its Pixel telephones, which retains them working heat more often than not when used outdoor. Many Chinese language smartphone manufacturers have adopted vapour chamber cooling to keep up efficiency ranges whereas performing power-intensive duties. This yr’s Samsung Galaxy S23 additionally utilised the identical, making it run quite a bit cooler in comparison with its predecessor. So, it is actually a thriller why Google refuses to incorporate the identical in its flagship Pixel smartphones.

The brand new and safe Face Unlock function works as rapidly as Apple’s Face ID authentication, nevertheless, it solely works properly (or rapidly) in good lighting. Dimly lit settings will see the digital camera struggling to recognise faces, which is once I needed to revert to the nice outdated fingerprint scanner, which fortunately labored as anticipated.

Google Pixel 8 Professional Evaluate: Cameras

This yr’s Pixel 8 Professional comes with a number of enhancements within the digital camera division as properly. Key amongst these is the brand new 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle digital camera which replaces the 12-megapixel digital camera on the earlier mannequin. There is a new brighter 50-megapixel major digital camera as properly however I count on minor enhancements (if any) with this one. All the pieces else aside from the brand new Tensor G3 stays the identical, which isn’t a foul deal because the earlier Pixel 7 Professional was not dangerous at imaging to start with.

The digital camera modes have been revamped on the Pixel 8 Professional. The Pixel 8 Professional particularly this yr will get a particular professional mode referred to as Professional Controls, which brings superior digital camera controls for smartphone digital camera fans preferring to tweak issues a bit earlier than capturing or whereas recording.

Google Pixel 8 Pro front Pro Controls ndtv GooglePixel8Pro  Google

Professional Controls is splendidly designed with practicality and ease in thoughts, making it simple to make use of and perceive


To be clear, the Pixel 8 Professional’s Professional Controls mode is just not as superior because the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely’s digital camera app which additionally affords numerous controls for video. The Pixel 8 Professional’s Professional controls appear much more user-friendly (designed for the common Joe), and fairly sensible on the similar time, simply making it quite a bit higher by way of functionality and management when capturing video, even when in comparison with an iPhone 15 Professional Max, I reviewed earlier.

In contrast to the Pixel 7 Professional the place one will get entry to brightness, shadow and white steadiness sliders within the viewfinder when capturing, the Pixel 8 Professional hides all of its Professional controls below a settings button situated on the prime proper nook. Tapping on it offers one entry to superior controls like Night time Sight length, brightness, shadow, white steadiness, focus, shutter pace and ISO as properly. I notably appreciated the main focus management because it highlights the at the moment targeted space in pink due to a spotlight peaking function like on an actual digital camera.

Tapping on the same old gear icon on the backside now opens a complete menu with a particular Professional tab wherein one can choose the decision (binned or full body), output kind (RAW/JPEG) and a really helpful Lens Choice selector, which helps you to select between Auto or Guide. Selecting Auto mainly will get you your entire zoom vary which additionally contains the digital ranges between the native focal lengths (0.5X, 1X and 5X).

The guide will get you entry to only the native focal lengths, which switches off the digital camera’s computerized lens choice. That is helpful to keep away from utilizing the mistaken digital camera (which the smartphone robotically selects relying on the space of the item/topic from the lens. This typically results in digitally cropped and scaled photographs. So, in case your topic is just too shut for the 5X telephoto digital camera, it simply will not focus, letting that you must preserve a better distance to get the right shot.

Pixel 8 Professional additionally lets one shoot in RAW utilizing all three cameras which implies you may get high-resolution (50 or 48-megapixel) RAW photographs which will be tweaked later within the submit. As for the video, Professional Controls solely helps you to tweak white steadiness and publicity on this mode.

The Pixel 8 Professional and Pixel 7 Professional digital camera samples had been captured in daylight and low gentle utilizing their major cameras (faucet picture to increase)


As for picture high quality, I discovered the photographs from the first digital camera to be virtually an identical to final yr’s mannequin. The minor variations are primarily all the way down to the tone the place the Pixel 8 Professional chooses cooler tones in comparison with the Pixel 7 Professional’s hotter hues. The extent of element is second to none, however I typically observed that colors aren’t as correct although the images appeared good. Low-light imagery is unbelievable, however I observed that the first digital camera tends to crush the blacks in settings with contrasted lighting.

Google Pixel 8 Professional captures some high quality 5X telephoto photographs (prime) and macro photographs (backside) (faucet photographs to increase)


Images from the ultra-wide digital camera, which has seen essentially the most adjustments this yr, pack in additional element and dynamic vary when capturing in daylight. Colors are fairly correct as properly. Macro photographs additionally got here out nice and the brand new digital camera helps you to get even nearer (as much as 2cm) to your topic.

Google Pixel 8 Professional and Pixel 7 Professional daylight and low-light digital camera samples captured utilizing their ultra-wide-angle cameras (faucet picture to increase)


By way of zoom, the telephoto digital camera shoots actually spectacular photographs with good element. I used the 5X telephoto to seize some crisp portraits and close-ups and properly they usually all appeared beautiful with a pure bokeh. Going past its optical limits, Google’s Tremendous Res Zoom manages high quality photographs as much as 10X (hybrid zoom) however the high quality begins to dither thereafter.

Google Pixel 8 Professional telephoto zoom digital camera samples captured in daylight (faucet picture to increase)


Whereas it manages good picture high quality, the Pixel 8 Professional identical to the Pixel 7 Professional struggles with edge detection when in Portrait mode (faucet picture to increase)


After managing common video high quality final yr, it is good to see that Google has lastly upped its online game. 4K 30fps video recorded from the first digital camera seems to be sharp, has bitrate and affords a gentle body price. Stabilisation can be spectacular, making it a stable improve over the Pixel 7 Professional’s video recording capabilities. Low gentle footage additionally has good element with low noise. HDR footage shot on the similar decision appeared a bit saturated however showcased good distinction and element even in low gentle.

Google Pixel 8 Professional Evaluate: Verdict

What units the Pixel 8 Professional aside from each different Pixel of the previous, is its AI capabilities. It is a path that Google has charted for its Pixel smartphones, and the Pixel 8 Professional certainly shines on this space with the power to course of a whole lot of requests and use a number of instruments with out the necessity to hook up with the web or the cloud for processing. The very succesful and well-designed built-in Professional Controls can be an space which cell images fans will take pleasure in.

However the worth hike could persuade many upgraders to stay with their Pixel 7 Professional fashions this yr as all the above-mentioned options (apart from a 7-year dedication for software program updates) do not actually seem to be must-haves on anybody’s listing.

To make issues worse, the Pixel 7 Professional as we speak retails for as little as Rs. 63,999, which is not a foul deal, relying on what one is in search of in a brand new smartphone buy. Its nonetheless digital camera efficiency is just like the Pixel 8 Professional however falls behind in the case of video recording. The brand new Pixel 8 Professional could not warmth up as a lot because the Pixel 7 Professional however its battery life solely affords minor enhancements over the older mannequin.

If you’re keen to spend upwards of Rs. 1,00,000 in India, Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Extremely (Evaluate) (out there at Rs. 1,24,999 for the 256GB variant) certainly affords higher worth, with spectacular zoom functionality, a greater and bigger show, wonderful battery life, and to an extent even Samsung’s Galaxy ecosystem of gadgets which incorporates, smartwatches, audio equipment, tablets and laptops.

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