The Google Pixel 8 Pro is set to be the search giant’s big flagship phone for 2023, and the larger sibling to the Google Pixel 8.
Likely launching early October, the Pixel 8 Pro looks set to be an evolution of the 7 Pro and 6 Pro; read our Pixel 7 Pro review and Pixel 6 Pro review for our verdict on those phones. It will see Google continue to lean into the somewhat blocky shape of the recent Pixel phones, with their distinctive rear camera bar – not a bad thing, as it helps the devices stand out from the crowd among the best Android phones.
So, what else do we know about it, and what knowledge gaps remain to be filled in? Read on for everything we know about the Google Pixel 8 Pro so far.
Google Pixel 8 Pro: rumored release date and price
Given Google has already teased the Pixel 8 Pro on YouTube, we know the phone is coming. What’s more, the search giant is holding a Made By Google event on October 4, so we’d place a significant bet that we will see the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro get revealed in full then.
Preorders for the phones are likely to follow, potentially on the day. And we’d expect the phones to be released a week after the reveal – that’s following the example set by the Pixel 7 Pro – which would mean the Pro could get a release date of October 11.
As for price… well, the rumors haven’t been hugely forthcoming here. However, the ones we have seen tip the Pixel 8 Pro to start at €1,235.72 for the 128GB model in Europe; Euro prices don’t translate that well into US or UK prices due to taxation. But the Pixel 7 Pro started at $899 / £849 / AU$1,299 when it launched, and we’d expect the Pixel 8 to stick with that pricing.
Google Pixel 8 Pro: design and display
Going by Google’s teaser video, the Pixel 8 Pro will look a lot like the Pixel 7 Pro. It appears to have the same overall dimensions, and to use the same rear camera bar in a shiny metal finish that stands out from the glass back of the phone.
But rather than using a pill and cut-out design for the cameras, the Pixel 8 Pro looks like it’ll have its trio of cameras in a single pill-shaped cutout. To the right of the cameras are what appears to be a flash and some other form of sensor; we don’t know what that sensor will do.
We can speculate, though, so we will. It could be used for some form of LiDAR or extra depth sensing to power augmented reality features and deliver better depth of field when shooting portrait photos. Or perhaps it could better sense ambient light to help with low-light and night photography modes. Or it could be a temperature sensor to be used in combination with health-related apps. The jury is out on this one.
The display looks like it’ll come in at 6.7 inches and will use an LTPO OLED panel so that the refresh rate can hit 120Hz, but can also be dialed back to the single digits when the phone isn’t displaying fast-moving content – say, when the always-on display mode is showing basic static information.
While the Pixel 7 Pro has a great display, we’d not be against Google adjusting the contrast and colors, and taking the brightness about 1,600 nits to make for an even more punchy display that you’d not mind watching shows and movies on when commuting.
Meanwhile, another Google leak revealed several more details about the Pixel 8 Pro, including that it could come in Sky (blue), Porcelain (white), and Licorice (black) color options.
Google Pixel 8 Pro cameras
Excellent cameras are are one of the key selling points for Pixel phones, and the rumors so far are pointing at some big changes on the Pixel 8 Pro.
While it will likely retain the 50MP main camera specs of its predecessor, the Pixel 8 Pro could use a new sensor that will let in more light than ever before. That should make for better overall photos, ideally with crisper details, and improved low-light shots. The main camera is also tipped to be able to capture 8K video thanks to the Pixel 8 Pro’s Tensor 3 chip (more on that later), which would be a first for the Pixel phones and which would put it on a par with the mighty Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
The ultrawide camera is tipped to take the Pixel 7a’s 64MP sensor, replacing the 12MP camera of its predecessor. We expect this to lead to more detailed wide-angle shots and pristine macro photography. On the telephoto side, the 48MP camera looks set to remain. But we’d not be surprised if it gained some software tweaks to deliver improved detail and colors, while also boosting zoomed-in stabilization.
There’s no word on a boosted selfie camera. So expect the front-facing snapper to stick at 10.8 megapixels; improvements to image quality are likely to be made on the software side.
Joining the Photo Unblur mode seen in the last two generations of Pixel phones, should be a new Video Unblur feature. As the name would suggest this could help clean up blurred footage in fast moving videos, using the power of AI-centric smart image processing.
Google Pixel 8 Pro rumored specs
Expect to see the Tensor 3 chip in the Google Pixel 8 Pro. Though not officially announced, everything points to this slice of silicon following on from the Tensor 2 chip, which brought in a decent performance boost over its predecessor.
But the Tensor chips aren’t about clock speeds and cores. Rather, they have AI-based processing pipelines at their heart to enable fast machine-learning actions to be carried out. That means a more responsive Google Assistant and snappier processing of various things, from unblurring images to translating text and speech.
There’s been no word on RAM, but we suspect it’ll stick to the Pixel 7 Pro’s 12GB, which is plenty for smartphones right now. Same story for storage, which we predict will start at 128GB. Some may see that as a tad ungenerous by Google, given the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Galaxy flagships now start at 256GB. But Google has robust cloud storage, so one could argue that a lot of onboard storage isn’t vital on Pixel phones.
Expect a similar-sized battery, too, likely sitting at 5,000mAh. Charging will probably stick with 30W when wired and will use Qi-certified wireless charging. But we’d expect some battery life gains to come from improved processor efficiency and smarter machine learning-power battery optimization.
Google Pixel 8 Pro outlook
Going by what we’ve heard and seen so far, the Google Pixel 8 Pro looks set to be a small-ish upgrade on the Pixel 7 Pro.
While its rumored hardware specs may not blow us away, we’d be reasonably confident in Google bringing new AI capabilities to the Pixel phones, powered by the Tensor 3 chip.
Whether this will be enough to place the Pixel 8 Pro in contention for a high spot on our best phones list remains to be seen. But with October 4 not far away, we’d hope to find out how the Pixel 8 Pro shapes up rather soon.