Google launches Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro in Singapore
The wait is finally over. After countless leaks like a lousy tap in your bathroom, the Google Pixel 8 series is now officially revealed during its Pixel keynote on the evening of 4 October 2023.
According to Google, the Pixel 8 series running on Android 14 features upgraded rear cameras, a new chipset, and new unique features. We'll cover all the big and small changes below. Make way for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
Google Tensor G3 powering new features
A new generation begets a new chipset, with Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro featuring Google's proprietary Tensor G3 processor.
When compared to the Pixel 6 series' original Google Tensor chip, Google said that Tensor G3 has "the biggest machine learning model" that's "10x more complex". Google said it brings about more photography and video-recording features, but more on those new tricks later.
Like the preceding chips, Google Tensor G3 has a Titan M2 security co-processor, which securely handles sensitive information(app sign-ins, payment details, and Face Unlock).
Both models use UFS 3.1 storage and LPDDR5X RAM. The Pixel 8 variants all come with 8GB RAM, whilePixel 8 Pro models all pack 12GB RAM.
Actua Display is Actua-lly real
Google Pixel 8 gets a 6.2-inch Actua Display, which is the marketing term for its OLED panel at 2,400 x 1,080 pixels resolution (428 PPI) and 60-120Hz refresh rates. Pixel 8's panel supports up to 1,400 nits (HDR) and 2,000 nits (peak brightness), with HDR content compatibility and full 24-bit depth for colours. It's protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.It also has an Always-On Display, and the AOD contains At A Glance and Now Playing information.
The most noticeable difference is the Pixel 8 getting a 120Hz peak refresh rate, whilethe previousPixel 7 topped out at 90Hz instead.
Google Pixel 8 Pro gets a 6.7-inch Super Actua Display, which has extra perks beyond its base model's screen.
Besides its higher pixel density at 489 PPI (2,992 x 1,344 pixels resolution), Pixel 8 Pro uses a flat LTPO OLED for its 1-120Hz refresh rates. It also uses a newer Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 for protection. The brightness levels go higher, with HDR and peak brightness exceeding it's non-Pro sibling at 1,600 and 2,400 nits, respectively.
Otherwise, the Pixel 8 Pro's panel shares the same HDR and colour support as its non-Pro variant. Also, the predecessor (Pixel 7 Pro) had a curved screen, so that's something for panel purists to take note of.
Same design, but different finishes
Pixel 8 uses a satin metal frame with polished back glass, while Pixel 8 Pro differentiates itself with an aluminium frame and matte back glass (the latter is a first for Pro Pixel phones). The Camera Bar design stays, with Google finding its footing in having a unique-looking Android phone.
Both models offer IP68 water-and-dust resistance, symmetrical bezels around the display, and use about 18% or more recycled materials in its construction.
Cameras and AI features
Both models share the same main camera: a 50MP shooterwith 1.2μm pixel size, f/1.68 aperture, optical image stabilisation (OIS),and "2x Optical Quality" which is likely its marketing name for 2x in-sensor zoom.
The main cameras offer "Octa PD", a Sony-developed technique combining Quad Bayer pixel-binning arrangement with two photodiodespowering each pixel on the sensor. That means the main camera has low-light situations well covered, with fast autofocus(AF)even in such conditions.
That's where the similarities end. The Pixel 8 packing a 12MP ultrawide camera with AF and built-in lens correction for its125.8° field of view (FOV). It has an f/2.2 aperture and 1.25μm pixel size.
Over to the Pixel 8 Pro, it's a 48MP ultrawide camera with AF, Quad PD, 0.8 μm pixel size, a lower f/1.95 aperture, and125.8° FOV.
Pixel 8 Pro also gets an extra 48MP telephoto camera with OIS(5x optical zoom, 10x "optical quality" zoom). This telephoto shooter is responsible for its 30x Super Res Zoom, while the Pixel 8's Super Res Zoom goes up to 8x via its main camera instead.
Macro Focus is now available to the Pixel 8, no longer making it a Pro-only feature. Both also gain Macro Focus Video, which opens up macro videography to both models.
But, we all know Google's focus isn't necessarily about components. It's the AI-assisted software features that milk these cameras for what they're worth.
New to Google Photos' cloud-editing is a whole host of shooting and editing assistants. Best Take, for example, blends similar images into one near-perfect copy, making it ideal for adjusting every face and person in a group selfie. Magic Editor allows you to re-position subjects in your photo for better composition, letting you move or even scale your selected object.
Videos get access to Audio Magic Eraser, which removes unwanted sounds and noises from your videos (must be under two minutes in length).
All these software features are on top of existing ones like Photo Unblur, Magic Eraser, Speech Enhancement in videos, and Audio Zoom, all of which debuted on older Pixel phones. Both models support up to 4K60FPS video recording.
Pixel 8 Pro additionally gets Night Sight Video, and Video Boost for HDR+ colour grading (the latter coming as a Feature Drop in December 2023). The Pro also gets a more powerful Magic Eraser feature, as the phone is able to run a mobile version of Google's generative AI and custom image AI model.
Seven (!) years of software updates
Google is also offering seven years of updates to its operating system, security, and Feature Drops (software)for the new Pixel 8 series phones until the year 2030, the longest promised smartphone support by a modern phone maker. This has increased from Google's five-year assurance for the previous Pixel 7 series.
Then again, Google has to set a positive example to other Android phone manufacturers, given that the Android ecosystem is well within its remit.
Other details you'd care about, like a thermometer on your phone
Pixel 8 comes with a 4,575mAh battery (slightly larger than Pixel 7's 4,335mAh). It supports fasting charging with Google's 30W USB-C charger using PD 3.0 profile, and also has Qi-certified wireless charging at 18W.
Pixel 8 Pro's battery sits at 4,950mAh, with the same wired fast-charging perk but a faster 23W wireless fast-charging.
Note that those wireless fast-charging speeds are only available when you use a second-generation Google Pixel Stand. Otherwise, the Qi-certified wireless charging goes up to 12W with other chargers.
The under-display fingerprint sensor returns to both devices, working alongside Face Unlock for privacy and user recognition. Also built in are NFC and Google Cast support, and both retail packaging contains a USB 2.0 cable with a Quick Switch Adapter for transferring between different phone operating systems.
Unique to the Pixel 8 Pro is a new temperature sensor that can act as a thermometer for objects. You simply fire up the Thermometer app, and point it at the object (within 5cm) to get a reading. That means you'd not only know if something has overheated, but by how much. Nifty.
Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro prices in Singapore
|Google Pixel 8||128GB||S$1,099||Hazel, Rose, Obsidian|
|Google Pixel 8 Pro||128GB||S$1,549||Bay, Porcelain, Obsidian|
In Singapore, the Google Pixel 8 starts at S$1,099 (128GB) in Hazel, Rose, and Obsidian. The 256GB version goes at S$1,199 and is only available in Obsidian.
Google Pixel 8 Pro starts at S$1,549(128GB) in Bay, Porcelain, and Obsidian colourways. It's also available for S$1,649 (256GB) in Bay and Obsidian and S$1,849 (512GB) only in Obsidian.
Pre-orders begin on 5 October 2023, 12 AM Singapore Time. On-shelf retail availability starts on 12 October 2023, 9 AM SGT.
Both phones have a one-year Google-backed warranty in Singapore (shorter than the two-year warranty in Europe, the U.K. and Australia).
Google has platform-specific deals and promotions to celebrate the launch. For example, the official Google Store throws in a Pixel Pouch and a discount code for your next Google purchase if you buy the Pixel 8 (S$250 discount code) or the Pixel 8 Pro (S$549 discount code). This offer is limited to two devices per customer, and ends on 20 October 2023 at 11.59 PM Singapore Time.
For reference, the Google Pixel 7 had a launch price of S$999 (128GB), while Pixel 7 Pro launched at S$1,299 (128GB). Both models had 128GB and 256GB variants officially available here.
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