The Google Pixel 8 Gets a Performance Upgrade and a Substantial Redesign

The Google Pixel 8 Gets a Performance Upgrade and a Substantial Redesign

Google has just officially unveiled its worst-kept secret, the Pixel 8, announced alongside its bigger sibling, the Pixel 8 Pro.

Although it still looks very Pixelly, it’s had a pretty dramatic redesign, with the waterfall edges swapped for a more rounded, straight edge and the camera system getting a sizable upgrade, too.

Google Pixel 8

As touched just before, Google has given the handset a redesign, with the Pixel 8 now boasting a flat screen and rounded edges. The camera bar at the rear is more flush, but design-wise it still looks much the same as the Pixel 7. It has a polished glass back and when compared to its predecessor, it’s a smaller phone than we got last year – it’s smaller than the Pixel 7a. The Pixel 7a is 152 mm tall while the 8 is 150.55 mm tall. It’s also 10 grams lighter than the Pixel 7.

The camera system looks unchanged, with the main camera 50MP, and the ultrawide 12MP. While we break down the Pixel 8 Pro over here, it’s worth mentioning that with the Pro you’ll still get the 50MP main camera, but the ultrawide is boosted to 48MP and you also get the addition of telephoto, which is a 48MP lens, too.

While on paper, the Google Pixel 7a has a better camera system than the 8, we’ve got to also consider the processing power inside the handset – software works even harder to make sure your photos are noticeably better this year than they were last. And the lenses are just simply better, with the Pixel 8’s 50MP main boasting 21 per cent more light sensitivity than Pixel 7, and the ultrawide now packing autofocus.

On the guts, the Google Tensor G3 is touted as being “built to push the boundaries of on-device machine learning”, so we should expect even the base model 8 to be a computing workhorse. For G3, every major subsystem has been upgraded, which includes the latest generation of ARM CPUs and a more performant GPU. Put it this way – Google said that compared to the largest machine learning model it ran last year on the Pixel 7, some of these new models require up to 150 times more computation power.

google pixel 8
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Pixel 8 specs at a glance

  • Screen: 6.2-inch Actua display (42 per cent brighter year-on-year), built with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Size: 150.5 mm x 70.8 mm x 8.9 mm
  • Weight: 187 grams
  • Battery: All day (24 hours+), up to 72-hour battery life with Extreme Battery Saver
  • Storage: 128 GB, 256 GB
  • Processor: Google Tensor G3
  • Camera: 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, and 10.5MP selfie cam
  • Authentication: Fingerprint, face unlock, PIN/pattern/password
  • Network: 5G
  • Water resistance: IP68
  • Colours: Obsidian (black), hazel, and rose.
Image: Google/Gizmodo Australia

What else?

Other features coming to the Google Pixel 8 include Audio Magic Eraser for video (where you can scrub out audio like you scrub out things in photos with standard Magic Eraser) and Magic Editor (coming October 12) will let you pick the right shot for everyone and blend it together. This was a bizarre demo, with an example being a shot of three people, and three different photos that each individual has chosen for themselves can now be blended into the one photo.

Assistant voice typing lets you write messages twice as fast with your voice and it also now lets you type, edit, and send messages in multiple languages. The new feature At a Glance is touted as showing more useful info on your screen, like travel updates or event tickets.

With the Pixel 8, Google has also upped its software support and security upgrades to seven years. You also get VPN by Google One built in.

Google Pixel 8 Australian pricing

Note that the 256GB model is only available in black in Australia.

  • The 128GB Pixel 8 will cost RRP $1,199
  • The 256GB Pixel 8 will cost RRP $1,299

Google Pixel 8 Australian availability

The Pixel 8 will be available for pre-sale from October 5 at the Google Store, Telstra, JB HI-FI, Optus, Vodafone, Officeworks, and Harvey Norman. Availability in Australia is October 12. We’ll update pricing when we know more.

At its Made By Google event, Google announced the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 ProPixel Watch 2, and two new colour options for the Pixel Buds. While you’re here, why not check out our daily tech deals, our guide to the best value for money NBN plans, and info on the latest phones from Apple and Samsung. Head to our dedicated Mobile tab for more. Stay tuned for our review of the new Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. This article has been updated since it was first published.

Image: Google