Pixel 8 rumors are taking center stage after the iPhone 15 series – now equipped with USB-C – had a chance to strut its stuff at Apple’s “Wonderlust” event. The Cupertino-based tech giant showed us what its got. Now, it’s time for Google to flex its flagship phones. Can the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro outshine the iPhone 15?
There’s no way the Pixel 8 nor the Pixel 8 Pro can beat even the entry-level iPhone 15 in terms of power – Apple is miles ahead of Google phones in that regard with its powerful A16 Bionic and A17 Pro chips.
However, Google has an edge with its cool AI-powered software features, thanks to Tensor (its custom system-on-a-chip). The next-generation Pixel 8 phones are expected to kick its machine-learning prowess up a notch with the new Tensor G3 processor.
Google Pixel 8 with rumored temperature sensor below the flash
What else does Google have in store for the Pixel 8 and Pixel Pro? Let’s dive into everything we know about it, thanks to rumors and leaks.
Pixel 8 release date
The new Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro have a release date of Oct. 4, 2023. In late August, the search-engine giant rolled out invitations to an in-person, “Made by Google” Oct. 4 launch event.
Plus, the invite specifically says that Google will “introduce the latest additions to [its] Pixel portfolio of devices.” You can’t get any more clearer than that. Alongside the Pixel 8 and Pixel Pro, we’re also expecting a new Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds.
Pixel price could spike
For two generations, the Pixel series hovered between a price range of $599 (entry-level Pixel) and $899 (Pro Pixel). However, according to respected leaker Yogesh Brar, Google plans to increase the Pixel 8’s price tag $50, bringing it to $649.
Yogesh Brar didn’t spill any beans about the Pixel 8 Pro’s price, but we hope it remains at $899.
We don’t have to speculate and prognosticate about how the new phones will look – leaks about the Pixel 8 have trickled out from Google itself. Do we think it was intentional to create hype? Yes. But we’re not complaining.
For example, in late August, X user @Android_setting spotted that Google “accidentally” uploaded a Pixel 8 Pro photo on the Google Subscriptions & Services page.
How did the hawk-eyed X user know it’s Pixel 8 Pro? The alt text confirmed it, revealing that the man is holding the Pro variant in the Porcelain shade. In early September, Google took it up a notch with its errant leaks and “mistakenly” rolled out a 360-degree Pixel Simulator demo of the next-gen phone. This revelation killed claims that the Pixel 8 series might be Google’s first eSIM-only phone. It looks like the Pixel 8 series will, indeed, feature a physical SIM slot.
If we look back in July, we got a leak of a Google Pixel 8 Pro in the wild, revealing minor changes to its familiar visor-like camera bar design.
Based on these leaks, here are the design tweaks we’re seeing:
Pixel 8 is seemingly slimmer than the Pixel 7 (0.34 inches vs. 0.35 inches)
Pixel 8 (and the Pixel Pro) have more rounded corners
Jade, Licorice, Peony, and Haze colors
The Pixel 8 Pro’s cameras appear to be enclosed in one pill (the Pixel Pro 7 had cameras arranged in a pill-and-hole design)
There seems to be an additional sensor under the camera’s flash. It’s reportedly the rumored new thermometer. Yes, this phone may have the ability to read your body temperature (more on this later)
Jade, Licorice, Porcelain, and Sky colors
Pixel Pro 8, like the Pixel 8, is reportedly slimmer (0.34 inches vs. 0.35 inches
We also got a teaser from Google itself about the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. Check it out below.
Other than a few tweaks, the 8 and 8 Pro are expected to maintain Pixel’s familiar “visor” design language.
Pixel 8 display upgrades
Android Authority (AA), citing a source inside Google, said that the Pixel 8 series will get some sweet new upgrades, including better luminance, a better refresh rate, higher resolution, and more. Check out the rumored new features below:
The Pixel 8 reportedly has a smaller panel (6.1-inch screen vs. 6.3-inch display)
The Pixel 8 Pro will likely share same 6.7-inch display as its predecessor, but it has a flatter screen
Google is purportedly dropping the Pixel 8 Pro’s 3,120 x 1,400 resolution to 2,992 x 1,344 resolution. The Pixel 8’s resolution is reportedly unchanged at 2,400 x 1,080.
Better brightness across the board. AA’s source claims that the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro have a brightness of 1,400 nits and 1,600 nits, respectively, up from 1,000 nits for both.
The Pixel 8 will jump to a 120Hz refresh rate, up from 90Hz. The Pixel 8 Pro will continue to sport a 120Hz display like its predecessor, however, it will have a more variable refresh rate. In other words, the refresh rate will adjust to your activity (e.g., if you’re gaming, the refresh rate will climb, but if you’re simply scrolling, it will drop).
But wait, there’s more. If you read Yogesh Brar’s tweet in the price section, you’ll notice that they mentioned that the Pixel 8 series may come with a new ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. If this is true, this is an upgrade from the Pixel 7’s optical scanners. What’s the difference? An optical fingerprint scanner uses an LED light to “sense” your fingerprint.
The more advanced ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, found on the Samsung Galaxy S-series phones, sends ultrasonic pulses – or sound waves – to your finger. This helps the scanner to map out your fingerprint patterns. As such, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones should offer faster biometric authentication via its in-display fingerprint sensor, thanks to its new ultrasonic tech.
New temperature sensor?
In March, 91mobiles dropped an eye-catching video leak that reveals that the Pixel 8 Pro will double as a thermometer. As mentioned, the body-temperature sensor is placed on the camera bar beneath the flash. The leaked video features a woman demonstrating how to use the Pixel 8’s thermometer.
The Pixel 8 reportedly will not have this feature. It seems a little gimmicky, but it will definitely help Google’s next-generation phones stand out of the crowd.
Pixel 8 specs
The Tensor G2 chip inside the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones is a bit of a snoozefest. Compared to other phones on the market, its processing power is lackluster. According to Android Authority, Tensor G2 is two generations behind its rivals, making the Pixel series the laughing stock among mightier competitors (e.g., iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S series). However, a new leak from AA revealed that the Tensor G3 chip, set to be inside the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, will trim down the performance gap between itself and other class-leading chips. However, it will fail to match them.
Pixel 8 screenshot from Google’s teaser video
In other words, expect a significant performance uptick with the Tensor G3, but it will still be a generation behind, matching 2022 flagship chipsets. Keep in mind, however, that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many of Google’s competitors (e.g., Samsung and Apple) stuff their phones with more power than they need, so the Tensor G3 should have sufficient muscle to handle all of your zippy tasks.
The Tensor G3 is also reportedly getting a “considerable upgrade” with its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), which should facilitate any eye-catching new AI goodies Google has in store for the Pixel 8. Finally, similar to the iPhone 15, the GPU inside the Tensor G3 will support ray-tracing, which means that playing mobile games on the Google Pixel 8 phones should be more of a visual treat.
Curious about the variants the new phones will offer? According to tipster Kamila Wojciechowska, in collaboration with AA, the Pixel 8 will reportedly have the following configurations:
The Pixel 8 Pro will have the following configurations:
128GB of storage/12GB of RAM
256GB of storage/12GB of RAM
512GB of storage/12GB of RAM
A Google insider told AA that while the Pixel 8 will get a battery capacity boost (4,485 mAh vs. 4,270 mAh), the Pixel 8 Pro will likely not get an upgrade (i.e., 5,000 mAh).
Pixel cameras try to stay ahead of iPhone 15
The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will reportedly continue to sport 50MP wide cameras, but Google may enlarge the sensor. This should increase light-gathering by 35%. As such, taking photos in low-light environments should produce better outcomes.
Other camera upgrades that may come to the Pixel 8 series:
Better ultrawide cameras for the Pixel 8 and Pixel Pro, but the latter has a more striking improvement
Better time-of-flight (ToF) sensor, but this is only for the Pixel 8 Pro. This should ensure that autofocus is less wonky.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any changes to the telephoto. Like its predecessor, the Pixel 8 Pro will continue to deliver 5x optical zoom (similar to the new iPhone 15.) It’s also worth noting that Google is reportedly making some major changes to the Google Camera app, too.
Be sure to keep an eye on this page. As more rumors trickle in, we’ll update this article. Check out our other rumor hubs, including the iPhone 16.