The Pixel 8 Pro brings an updated camera system, an impressive display, a new and improved chipset, the promise of 7 years of software support, and an unexpected design change – what is Google’s flagship phone for 2023 all about and should you get one?
The bread and butter of Pixel phones has been their camera, and the 8 Pro has no shortage of improvements in that field. Key among those is the ultrawide on the back, which gets a new, larger sensor, while the main camera and the telephoto get revamped optics. It may not sound like a lot, but evolutionary steps can mean a lot when they add up.
Super Actua display is Google’s branding for the new panel on the Pixel 8 Pro that should go as bright as 2400nits – while we didn’t quite get that, we measured some remarkable numbers elsewhere. The Tensor G3 chipset’s performance in the things Google deems important is more difficult to measure, but it’s undoubtedly an upgrade over the previous generation in the things we can quantify. Putting a number on software support is also somewhat difficult, but 7 does sound remarkable – years of updates, that is.
And while the Pixel design language has been mostly dialed in these last couple of years, it turned out that 2023 did still have something new to bring – or, rather, the well-forgotten old flat display. Time is a flat circle and all that.
Here’s a quick refresher on the key specs of the Pixel 8 Pro before we move forward with the unboxing.
Google Pixel 8 Pro specs at a glance:
Body: 162.6×76.5×8.8mm, 213g; Glass front and back (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 min).
Display: 6.7″ LTPO OLED, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1600 nits (HBM), 2400 nits (peak), 1344x2992px resolution, 20.04:9 aspect ratio, 489ppi; 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 12GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM, 1TB 12GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
OS/Software: Android 14.
Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.7, 25mm, 1/1.31″, 1.2µm, multi-directional PDAF, multi-zone Laser AF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 48 MP, f/2.0, 126˚, 0.8µm, dual pixel PDAF; Telephoto: 48 MP, f/2.8, 113mm, 1/2.55″, 0.7µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom.
Front camera: 10.5 MP, f/2.2, 20mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1″, 1.22µm, PDAF.
Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@24/30/60/120/240fps; gyro-EIS, OIS, 10-bit HDR; Front camera: 4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps.
Battery: 5050mAh; 30W wired, PD3.0, PPS, 50% in 30 min (advertised), 23W wireless, Reverse wireless.
Connectivity: 5G; eSIM; Wi-Fi 7; BT 5.3, aptX HD; NFC.
Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); stereo speakers; Ultra Wideband (UWB) support.
Google Pixel 8 Pro unboxing
Not that there’s a whole lot of unboxing to be done, really. The Pixel 8 Pro shows up in a rather standard half-height white cardboard box with a likeness of the phone printed on the lid.
Inside, the list of accessories is pretty short – you get a USB-C cable and a USB-A-to-C adapter to facilitate data transfer from as many types of older phones as possible. Sure, there’s also a SIM eject pin and some paperwork, but nothing all that useful, like a charger.