Hot on the heels of Apple’s iPhone 15 announcement and with less than a month to go until Google hosts its Pixel hardware event on 4 October, the Google Pixel 8 has pretty much been completely revealed by pre-launch leaks and teasers.
We were seriously impressed by the current generation Pixel handsets when they launched last year. So impressed, in fact, our tech writer has adopted the Pixel 7 Pro as their main phone. In our Google Pixel 7 review, our writer called it “the best bargain in smartphones today”.
Since launching, both models have been regularly discounted, too, and sit shoulder to shoulder with the Samsung Galaxy S23 in our list of the best Android phones of 2023. Google has also recently unveiled the Google Pixel 7a and the Google Pixel Fold, the company’s first-ever folding phone.
Naturally, this means we’re even more excited for the launch of the Pixel 8. As we get closer to the launch event, rumours are already flying about what Google’s next Android flagship could hold. Here’s what we know about the phone so far.
Read more: Google Pixel Fold review
The Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro are expected to launch at Google’s Pixel hardware event on 4 October. The company usually starts shipping the smartphone a week later, so expect the Pixel 8 to be in your hands in mid-October.
The Pixel 8 isn’t the only new Google hardware arriving this year. Google is also predicted to be working on the Pixel Watch 2, and this month launched the Pixel Tablet, a hybrid between a smart home speaker display and an iPad-style entertainment device.
Google also launched the Pixel 7a, a more budget-friendly alternative to the flagship Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones. It costs £449 and is available to buy now.
Early Pixel phones were competitively priced, as Google traditionally tended to shy away from bleeding-edge specifications in favour of cloud-based processing and Google Assistant smarts. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro launched at £529 and £849, much less than the nearest rivals at the time, the Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus.
We predict the Pixel 8 phones to be aggressively priced too, but with spiralling production costs and global inflation to consider, we would expect the cheapest Pixel 8 to start at around £699. That’s a figure roughly echoed by other tech experts, but until Google makes any formal announcements, it’s simply our best guess.
Google revealed the look of the newest Pixel phones in an official teaser video on 7 September. The preview showed the Pixel 8 Pro in full. By this quick glimpse, this year’s phone isn’t a dramatic departure from previous Pixel phones in terms of exterior design.
In a previous leak from 91Mobiles, we saw what appeared to be a Pixel phone being used to take someone’s temperature. The preview confirmed that the temperature sensor exists. In the clip, we see an infrared sensor on the rear being brought close to the user’s forehead to measure their temperature like a thermometer.
According to 91Mobiles, you’ll also be able to use the in-built sensor to measure the temperature of inanimate objects. It’s a unique feature that we’ve only really seen on one phone in the past – the Honor Play 4 Pro, launched in 2020. While the video has been removed from YouTube, one of 91Mobiles’ readers shared the clip on Twitter.
One rumour that’s gained traction is that the Pixel 8 will continue to use a flat display, rather than the gently curved edges found on the Pixel 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23 phones. The reportedly leaked images suggest the Pixel 8 will have more rounded corners too, and that the recognisable “camera bar” will return.
That said, rumours all suggest that the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will be an incremental rather than revolutionary upgrade to the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Expect to see a return of the camera bar across the back of the device, with most of the improvements arriving in the form of software rather than hardware.
It’s predicted the Pixel 8 will be powered by Google’s newest (and as yet unannounced) Tensor G3 chipset. A report from Android Authority speculates the G3 chip will offer significant performance gains over the existing G2, with leaked specifications suggesting it will feature nine CPU cores running at higher frequencies than the Pixel 7’s chip could handle.
Other improvements to the G3 chip are reported to include beefed-up graphics performance with on-board ray-tracing capabilities.
Camera upgrades are always a hallmark of new Pixel phones, and we’re expecting to hear a whole lot about how artificial intelligence will be used to improve photography on the Pixel 8.
Google tends to lead the pack when it comes to software-based image processing, versus simply cramming more megapixels into a sensor, and with the advent of headline-grabbing AI tools it’s inevitable that the tech giant will want to bring its software smarts to bear on the camera performance of its newest device.