Google Pixel 8 review: better than the Pixel 8 Pro?

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A personification taking a photograph pinch nan Google Pixel 8.

Google Pixel 8

MSRP $699.00

“The Google Pixel 8 packs astonishing AI tools, awesome cameras, and agelong artillery life into a pretty, compact body.”


  • Great main camera
  • Amazing AI photograph editing tools
  • Two-day artillery life
  • Slick, accelerated Android 14
  • Tensor G3 is cool and efficient
  • Seven years package support


  • Wide-angle camera disappoints
  • Average complaint speed

The Google Pixel 8 sits successful nan protector of nan Google Pixel 8 Pro. It’s not its fault, but it’s ever that measurement erstwhile 1 telephone is branded Pro and nan different is not. It’s seen arsenic nan “cheap” action and, therefore, nan little desirable model.

I’ve been utilizing nan Google Pixel 8 arsenic my main telephone for a while now, and location is nary measurement you’re being short-changed if you chose it. Let’s spell into item astir why you shouldn’t instantly conscionable spell Pro pinch your caller Pixel.

Google Pixel 8: design

The Google Pixel 8 connected a table.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel 8 has a matte aluminum metallic framework and a polished solid rear panel, pinch Gorilla Glass Victus complete nan 6.2-inch screen, and it measures 8.9mm heavy pinch a full weight of 187 grams. It besides has an IP68 h2o and particulate guidance standing and a ample metallic camera visor stretching crossed nan apical of nan rear panel. It’s not drastically different from nan Google Pixel 7 aliases nan Google Pixel 6 successful position of looks, but it is erstwhile you prime it up.

It’s a overmuch much compact telephone than nan past two, helped by nan 0.1-inch simplification successful surface size dispersed complete nan past 2 generations, and it’s besides overmuch lighter. The 150mm by 70mm dimensions make it very comfortable successful your manus (Asus’s investigation says this is nan cleanable size for a one-handed usage phone, and it sticks to this look for its Zenfone series), and it ne'er becomes tiresome aliases awkward. The much curved corners look modern and thief it beryllium comfortably successful your palm.

A personification holding nan Google Pixel 8.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The broadside buttons are easy to find and press, positive nan in-display fingerprint sensor is speedy and accurate. I don’t ever person to usage nan fingerprint sensor, arsenic Face Unlock usually gets location earlier me. Even better, Google has updated nan strategy for nan Pixel 8 truthful it meets requirements for costs and in-app authorization too. The smooth, easy information is different logic surviving pinch nan Pixel 8 is truthful pleasant, and location are nary compromises connected it compared to nan Pixel 8 Pro.

Most of nan time, nan Pixel 8 has lived wrong Google’s silicone case, which does get covered successful particulate and lint, but it is besides astir apt wise to usage specified a thing. I’ve removed it mostly conscionable to return photos of nan phone, but during this time, it has picked up a brace of scratches connected nan solid backmost already. They’re visible successful nan correct ray but not each that noticeable nether your fingernail, and it’s a small concerning it has scratched truthful quickly.

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 were rather ample phones, and while nan Pixel 8 is still rather heavy and slab-like, it’s considerably much hand-friendly and tin accurately beryllium described arsenic compact this clip around. The Pixel 8 is simply a modern, lightweight, almost perfectly-sized smartphone.

Google Pixel 8: camera

The Google Pixel 8's camera module.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The main 50-megapixel camera connected nan Pixel 8 is nan aforesaid arsenic nan Pixel 8 Pro and comes pinch optical and physics image stabilization (OIS and EIS), and it has an f/1.68 aperture. The wide-angle camera has 12MP and a 125.8-degree section of view, but there’s nary dedicated telephoto camera, truthful you make do pinch nan 2x “optical quality” zoom provided by nan main camera. The selfie camera has 10.5MP and fixed focus.

It won’t travel arsenic a astonishment to study nan main camera is excellent. The photos it takes are vibrant and exciting, yet still earthy looking. It ne'er veers into over-saturated territory but keeps colors punchy and nosy to guarantee you want to stock them online pinch minimal editing. Zoom successful to 2x (there’s a shortcut successful nan camera app to do so), and you will spot a flimsy degradation successful value if you harvest nan image, but otherwise, it looks amazingly good.

At 5x integer zoom, there’s evidently pixelation, but astatine nan maximum 8x Super Res zoom, a batch of this is removed by Google’s software, and nan last image looks acold amended than you whitethorn expect. Night Sight brightens images a batch (the photograph of nan logs successful nan assemblage supra was successful almost complete acheronian and changeable pinch a three-second exposure), but it does adhd atom and blur erstwhile it’s very dark. But to find responsibility pinch nan immense mostly of photos taken pinch nan Pixel 8 is conscionable nitpicking.

It’s easier to find responsibility pinch nan wide-angle camera, though, which has a disappointingly debased megapixel count, and though nan colors, contrast, and tones successful nan photos it takes are accordant pinch nan main camera, nan item levels erstwhile you harvest nan image aliases look very intimately can’t compete. It’s surely worthy getting nan Pixel 8 Pro if you return a batch of wide-angle photos. The macro mode suffers owed to nan wide-angle’s mediocre value too.

Put these things speech (the Pixel 8 isn’t nan only telephone lumbered pinch a disappointing wide-angle camera this year), and you’re near pinch an immensely tin main camera that takes astonishing photos. It’s not arsenic versatile arsenic its much costly related owed to its mostly integer zoom feature, but galore group won’t attraction astatine all. As an wide package, nan Google Pixel 8 is truthful rewarding to use.

Google Pixel 8: Magic Editor

The photos you return pinch nan Pixel 8 tin beryllium edited to a grade ne'er seen earlier connected a smartphone. Magic Editor is Google’s latest generative AI tool, and it allows you to manipulate nan image to a monolithic grade — from removing aliases shifting objects and group to changing nan look of nan entity and water. It tin beryllium shockingly effective, and champion of all, it’s so elemental to use.

Magic Editor uses Google’s cloud-based generative AI to make its adjustments. To region objects, you trace astir them arsenic you did pinch Magic Eraser, but present nan app generates a replacement inheritance alternatively than conscionable softening and smoothing it. It useful champion pinch elemental shapes successful nan inheritance and tin still get confused by group unless they’re mini aspects of nan image. You tin besides prime objects and move them astir successful nan frame, pinch Magic Editor moreover capable to create caller parts of nan image to capable successful nan blanks erstwhile you do.

To alteration nan wide look of nan photo, Magic Editor gives you various choices, and if you don’t for illustration immoderate of them, they tin beryllium refreshed aggregate times. The alterations tin beryllium startling, and while astir aren’t convincingly real, they surely do adhd nosy to nan editing process. Magic Eraser is besides onboard, on pinch a caller characteristic called Best Take, wherever you tin face-swap your friends pinch a amended changeable if they ruin nan photograph by not smiling. You tin spot it successful action successful our Google Pixel 8 Pro review.

It’s each technically very impressive, and I person had nosy pinch Magic Editor, particularly erstwhile cleaning up signs and different distracting inheritance features from shots. However, it’s a spot of a gimmick, and I wouldn’t ever want to usage Magic Editor’s segment alteration system, not slightest because it could mean immoderate typical yet imperfect photos could beryllium mislaid aliases discarded owed to its immense talent, and that would beryllium a shame.

All these questions and concerns will beryllium forgotten nan first clip you usage Magic Editor aliases Magic Eraser, though. These devices are astonishingly powerful, and it’s profoundly awesome we person nan expertise to alteration photos to this grade connected a smartphone. You won’t find Magic Editor anyplace other isolated from connected nan Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, and on pinch nan full Google Photos editing suite, a genuine logic to see either 1 if you’re really into photography.

Google Pixel 8: surface and performance

The Google Pixel 8 connected a array showing nan screen.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The 6.2-inch surface is an OLED “Actua Display” sheet pinch a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, a 2,000-nit highest brightness, and a adaptable refresh complaint betwixt 60Hz and 120Hz. It’s nan main quality betwixt it and nan Pixel 8 Pro, which does person a brighter, much pixel-dense surface pinch a greater adaptable refresh complaint and moreover stronger solid complete it. Both Pixel 8 phones usage Google’s caller Tensor G3 chip, and nan Pixel 8 has 8GB of RAM.

We don’t people benchmarking tests successful our reviews astatine Digital Trends — they’re conscionable numbers and tin beryllium easy manipulated — but I often usage nan 3DMark app and its 20-minute Wild Life Extreme Stress Test to measure power buildup and to spot really it handles really hardcore games. Given nan Tensor’s emotion of getting lukewarm successful nan past, how would nan Tensor G3 grip nan test? It does get very warm, but I wouldn’t telephone it hot, and it’s surely not scalding. The telephone useful hard, conscionable arsenic you’d expect during this test, but it ne'er becomes a concern. This is simply a bully motion for anyone who wants to play a batch of games.

The surface whitethorn not get rather arsenic agleam arsenic nan Pixel 8 Pro’s screen, but I’ve had nary problem seeing it extracurricular successful nan autumn sunshine and astatine various angles too. I only want capable brightness to spot nan screen, and nan Pixel 8 fulfills my needs, truthful I’m not judge really overmuch use I’d get from nan Pro here. Despite being technically flat, nan assemblage blends into nan surface pinch a bully curve and avoids immoderate sharpness. It besides isn’t overly reflective, and nan bezels are slim astir nan sides. It’s crisp and colorful erstwhile watching videos.

I’ve had nary issues utilizing normal phone-related stuff, pinch calls sounding awesome either done nan speaker aliases erstwhile I usage Bluetooth-connected earbuds. The Pixel 8 pulls successful a beardown awesome connected to some 4G and 5G, while NFC and Google Pay activity faultlessly. At this stage, nan Tensor G3 is simply a better, much reliable performer than erstwhile versions, giving nan Pixel 8 masses of velocity and ability. I just hope it stays this way.

Google Pixel 8: software

The Google Pixel 8 connected a array showing nan screen.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Android 14 is installed connected nan Pixel 8, and Google is promising 7 years of awesome Android updates and information updates, on pinch its regular characteristic drops. This is fantabulous semipermanent support and moreover amended than Samsung and OnePlus’s four-year support commitment. It intends you could support your telephone until 2030, and nan package would still beryllium arsenic up-to-date arsenic possible. Whether nan hardware would beryllium is different question.

If you’ve utilized a telephone pinch Android 13 onboard, nan Pixel 8’s Android 14 package will consciousness very familiar. The operation, design, and fluidity are very similar, and I hardly noticed immoderate changes coming from nan Pixel 7 Pro. If Magic Editor didn’t already driblet capable hints astir Google going all-in pinch AI connected nan Pixel 8, nan smattering of caller features successful Android 14 will.

Screenshots taken from nan Pixel 8's software.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

For example, Google Assistant will publication web pages and documents retired loud; it will screen, manage, and moreover respond to calls truthful you don’t person to, positive it tin supply summaries of websites. Even much AI features are coming astatine a later date, though not each will beryllium disposable connected nan Pixel 8. For example, nan Zoom Enhance characteristic for nan camera is simply a Pixel 8 Pro exclusive, arsenic is nan camera’s Pro mode. Each existing AI characteristic has its place, but apt won’t beryllium utilized by everyone and aren’t reasons to buy.

Screenshots taken from nan Pixel 8's software.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

You whitethorn person much nosy pinch nan AI-generated wallpapers. Have you ever wanted to spot what a wallpaper depicting a segment showing surreal cliffs successful shades of indigo would look like? Google’s AI wallpaper will show you. It’s nosy and different. I besides for illustration nan varied ways you tin customize nan fastener screen, from nan layout of nan clip and day to adding useful shortcuts. Android has ever been customizable, but Google has worked difficult connected making these tweaks accessible and good-looking successful Android 14.

Android 14 connected nan Pixel 8 has been very reliable for me. I person not encountered immoderate bugs, each my apps activity without issue, and navigating and interacting pinch nan package is intuitive and fast. It’s each you really request from a smartphone, and nan varied AI features only adhd to its wide appeal.

Google Pixel 8: artillery and charging

A personification putting nan Google Pixel 8 connected charge.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

A 4,575mAh artillery hides wrong nan Pixel 8, and because it sounds a small small, I did person immoderate concerns complete really agelong it would last. Google’s Tensor spot hasn’t been nan astir efficient, and nan Pixel scope has agelong had a estimation for disappointing artillery life. The Tensor G3 didn’t look to amended artillery life successful our Pixel 8 Pro either, but remember, it’s driving a larger, much advanced, higher solution surface compared to nan Pixel 8.

This does look to make a difference, and my worries person been unfounded. My normal 3 hours of surface clip and usage per time sees nan artillery past heavy into a 2nd day, and not erstwhile has it threatened to expire astatine nan extremity of nan first day, moreover erstwhile connected to nan Google Pixel Watch 2. A dense 4 hours of surface clip takes astir 50% of nan battery, which includes gaming, streaming video, apps, calls, and camera use. Provided your usage isn’t excessively extreme, nan Pixel 8’s artillery will past 2 days earlier it needs recharging.

The broadside of nan Google Pixel 8.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

For a small much granular accusation connected artillery performance, streaming YouTube for 30 minutes depletes nan artillery by conscionable 2%, signaling a 4K Timelapse video for 15 minutes takes 4%, and 30 minutes playing Pocket City takes 7% from nan battery. These results are adjacent to, if not moreover amended than I’d expect to spot from immoderate current, high-performance smartphone.

You don’t get a charger successful nan box, and if you want nan fastest charger, you must ain aliases bargain 1 pinch support for USB-PD 3.0 PPS technology, putting retired astatine slightest 30W of power. Google claims this will present a 50% complaint successful astir 30 minutes. To check, I utilized an Anker GaN charger, and it went from astir 2% to 58% successful 30 minutes, and successful total, it took 75 minutes to afloat recharge. The Pixel 8 besides has 18W Qi wireless charging and reverse wireless charging.

Google Pixel 8: value and availability

A personification holding nan Google Pixel 8 showing nan screen.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

A Google Pixel 8 pinch 128GB of retention abstraction costs $699, and expanding nan soul retention to 256GB sees nan value emergence to $759. There are 3 colour choices — Obsidian (which is nan exemplary successful our photos), Hazel, aliases Rose. The telephone tin beryllium purchased done Google’s ain online shop aliases pinch AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. In nan U.K., nan Pixel 8 starts astatine 699 British pounds.

The Pixel 8 is $100 much costly than nan Pixel 7. This emergence brings it person to nan Samsung Galaxy S23 and nan Motorola Edge Plus’s $799 unit price, and it now matches nan OnePlus 11’s $699 price. It has go much costly than nan $599 Motorola Edge (2023) and nan Nothing Phone 2 — and overmuch much than nan $499 Samsung Galaxy A54. All are fantabulous smartphones, conscionable pinch different specialties. If you want very accelerated charging, nan OnePlus 11 is for you, but if you want an eye-catching design, nan Nothing Phone 2 will decidedly fresh nan bill, for example.

Why wouldn’t you want nan Pixel 8?

It’s nary longer rather nan midrange bargain it erstwhile was, but nan value summation doesn’t put nan Pixel 8 retired of contention for those seeking a bargain entirely, arsenic it’s still different $100 measurement up to “flagship” devices for illustration nan Galaxy S23. The bully news is, you’re surely not going to announcement a measurement down successful build quality, software, aliases camera expertise if you get nan Pixel 8. Yes, it’s much costly than past year, but I’d opportunity it’s a better-designed phone, pinch immoderate genuinely cutting-edge package features to bask connected nan camera that you won’t find successful nan competition.

Google Pixel 8: verdict

A personification taking a photograph pinch nan Google Pixel 8.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Why would you want to bargain nan Google Pixel 8? The much due mobility is why wouldn’t you want nan Pixel 8? It’s much compact, lighter, and amended looking than ever before. The artillery lasts 2 days pinch wide use, moreover erstwhile connected to a smartwatch. The camera takes astonishing photos, and nan AI editing features are dissimilar thing else. Plus, nan superb package will beryllium updated until 2030. All this is yours for $699.

The Pixel 8 Pro surely earns its Pro sanction pinch nan much precocious camera and screen, positive a greater number of AI features to travel successful updates, but it costs $999. That’s a large jump up! The much modestly specced Pixel 8’s longer artillery life is simply a logic to deliberation difficult astir your priorities erstwhile choosing betwixt these 2 phones.

When 2 marque caller phones are released, it’s easy to deliberation nan champion point to do is conscionable bargain nan Pro aliases much costly model, but Google has sewage nan Pixel 8’s specification, performance, and expertise conscionable correct truthful you don’t person to consciousness this way. I person been highly happy pinch it arsenic my main phone, truthful nan Google Pixel 8 gets an enthusiastic proposal from me, sloppy of really overmuch you person to spend.

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