Google's Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro arrive with a stylish spec bump

Pixel 8 in pink and Pixel 8 Pro in gold on beige background
(Image credit: Google)

Google has officially unveiled its latest duo of Android phones, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. After heavy speculation and an onslaught of leaks prior to these phones being announced, Google has now officially lifted the lid on its latest smartphones - so let's dive right in.

As is the case with the last two generations of Pixel phones, there will be a standard model and a "Pro" model, with the latter featuring higher specs and a more premium build. On the subject of the last generation, specifically the Pixel 7, the Pixel 8 seems to carry much of the same DNA as last year's models.

Design-wise, there are a few changes here, but otherwise, the Google genetics are strong; consider the Pixel 8 another refinement of Google's new design formula started with the Pixel 6 series. The camera bar and glass back panel both make their return, with rounded corners taking over from the Pixel 7's more squared-off design. 

The camera bar melts seamlessly into the frame once again this year, and the back glass looks like it features a satin matte effect compared to last year's glossy finish. The Pixel 8 gets the sturdy Gorilla Glass Victus, while the Pixel 8 Pro gets Gorilla Glass Victus 2 for even better chances of surviving a drop. Both devices are also rated at IP68 for dust and water resistance, meaning if you accidentally take your phone for a quick dip you should be just fine. 

The Pixel 8 remains a smaller device at 6.2 inches, while the Pixel 8 Pro is 6.7 inches. Both models use OLED displays and here is where we get our first big upgrade for the Pixel 8. While it's still a 1080p Full HD+ display, it now features variable refresh rate technology from 60Hz to 120Hz. For reference, the previous model reached a maximum of 90Hz. It also features a peak brightness of 2000 nits, with HDR rated at 1400 nits. 

The Pixel 8 Pro sticks with last year's formula of 1440p Quad HD+ resolution and a variable refresh rate of 1Hz to 120Hz. It is, however, much brighter this year with a peak brightness of a whopping 2400 nits, as well as a rating of 1600 nits for HDR content. The Pixel 8 Pro will likely be the one to go for if you're a die-hard Android fan who likes watching movies on the go. 

Internally, the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are shaping up to be top-notch performers. Both use Google's new Tensor G3 chip, its latest in-house developed silicon, alongside 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage on the Pixel 8, or 12GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of storage on the Pixel 8 Pro. This extends up to 1TB if you're a customer in the United States.

The battery in both phones is getting a boost, with the Pixel 8 going up to 4575mAh and the 8 Pro reaching 5050mAh. Both units support fast charging and wireless charging, 27W wired and 18W Qi wireless on the 8, and 30W wired and 23W Qi wireless on the 8 Pro.

Obviously, camera performance gets a boost too, although not a huge one like in previous years. The 50MP main shooters remain on both units, as does the 12MP ultrawide camera on the Pixel 8 and the 48MP telephoto lens on the 8 Pro. New for the Pro model, however, is a 64MP ultrawide camera, up from 12MP on the Pixel 7 Pro. As you can see, the camera configuration also looks slightly different this year, as all lenses are now housed in one long pill-shaped lens cover.

Rounding things out with connectivity and software, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will support Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.3 for the latest in wireless connectivity. Google is also promising seven years of operating system and security updates, rivalling Apple when it comes to longevity.  

From a software perspective, both have been guaranteed to get seven years of software support and will be the first phones to launch with Android 14.

The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are available to preorder now, with each model available in three colours. The Pixel 8 comes in Hazel, Obsidian and Rose, while the Pixel 8 Pro can be found in Bay, Obsidian and Porcelain. 

Pixel 8 pricing will start at  £699 / $699 and go up to £999 /$999 for the Pixel 8 Pro. 


Here's everything you need to know about the Pixel 8

Read our full Pixel 7 review

As well as our picks for the best Android phones

Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.