The last big smartphone release of the year is almost upon us.
Google is set to unveil its new lineup of Pixel devices, including a pair of flashy new phones, in less than 24 hours.
The company’s answer to the iPhone 15 is expected to feature reworked cameras and displays that should improve on last year’s range.
Here are all the details about the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, including their price, features, and release date. Plus, find out how you can tune into the big reveal event live to get the latest info as it’s announced.
When will the Pixel 8 be released?
Invites have gone out to the next ‘Made by Google’ event, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 4. While the Pixel 8 isn’t directly mentioned, Google says it intends to “introduce the latest additions to our Pixel portfolio of devices”.
How to watch the Made by Google event
As in previous years, Google will officially take the wraps off its new Pixel devices at its Made by Google event.
How much will the Pixel 8 cost?
Prolific leaker Roland Quandt recently tweeted that the base Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will cost £700 and £1,000, respectively.
Like Samsung and Apple before it, Google appears to be planning a price increase for the new range. Last year’s Pixel 7 cost a reasonable £599 at launch and the Pixel 7 Pro cost £849.
The new prices align with those that were leaked for the US recently, where the two phones are expected at $700 and $1,000, respectively.
What specs will the Pixel 8 have?
A flurry of leaks has laid bare the Pixel 8 range’s defining features, from their camera hardware to battery sizes.
We should note that Google hasn’t confirmed these specs, although leakers claim that they’re based on the company’s marketing materials.
These are the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro’s alleged specs:
Two rear cameras (48MP main, 12MP ultrawide)
Front camera (10.5MP)
Google Tensor G3 chip
Battery size: 4575mAh
60-120Hz refresh rate
Peak brightness of 2,000 nits
Pixel 8 Pro
Three rear cameras (50MP main, 48MP ultrawide, 48MP telephoto)
Front camera (10.5MP)
Google Tensor G3 chip
Battery size: 5050mAh
1-120Hz refresh rate
Peak brightness of 2,400 nits
Pixel 8 design
More conclusively, Google briefly published a picture of the Pixel 8 Pro on its storefront. It was quickly removed, but not before eagle-eyed Twitter users reposted it.
Here's a look at the Google Pixel 8 Pro in Porcelain.
This image is from the Google Store website, which inadvertently published this image early in the promo page for "Google Subscriptions & Services".
Thanks to @android_setting for the tip! pic.twitter.com/nARd4Hz8hk
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) August 30, 2023
At a glance, it looks remarkably similar to the Pixel 7 Pro, but the camera lenses are shaped differently. If that weren’t a big enough giveaway, the accessibility-friendly alt text simply read: “A person takes a call on a Pixel 8 Pro phone in Porcelain.”
The phone made a second appearance in an advert for the Made by Google event, in which Google poked fun at Apple for finally switching to a USB-C connector for the iPhone 15 range.
Pixel 8 features in detail
Both models will come with a Google-built Tensor 3 chipset for the usual gains in speed and power efficiency, but the Pixel 8 Pro will pack 12GB of RAM compared to the Pixel 8’s 8GB.
In simple terms, that means the pricier of the two phones should be able to run more apps without sacrificing as much speed.
Google is also said to be considerably improving camera performance for the Pixel 8 handsets. Both phones will reportedly receive an improved Samsung GN2 sensor for better light capture, while the Pixel 8 Pro will feature a faster aperture for improved images in more challenging conditions.
A marketing poster shared on Twitter indicates that the Pixel 8 Pro will get a new 48MP ultrawide lens — up considerably from the 12MP sensor on the Pixel 7 Pro. This contradicts an earlier leak that said it would have a 64MP ultrawide — a reminder that these unconfirmed rumours should always be taken with a grain of salt.
The Pixel 8 Pro will also retain last year’s 50MP main camera and 48MP telephoto with 5x zoom.
I wasn't really going to do this today, but someone claims they know the prices of the Pixel 8 series in the US, which isn't really true, so here it is-
The Pixel 8 series pricing in the US from the most credible source there is - Google themselves. pic.twitter.com/t0dv4YtMl5
— kamila 🌸 (@Za_Raczke) September 24, 2023
The regular Pixel 8 will boast the same 50MP main snapper, plus the 12MP Ultrawide from last year’s Pro. A new 10.5MP selfie camera will be on the front of both the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro.
Google’s Pixel phones come with a bag of AI tricks to help you tinker with, and ultimately boost, your photos.
The Pixel 8 is no different. A leaked advert has revealed that the Google Photos app on the new phones will let you change people’s faces in a shot. You’ll be able to swap frowns for smiles and even move the position of people’s heads so they face the camera.
The AI-powered feature could divide users. Some will call it creepy and too artificial, while others may view it as a lifesaver when rescuing botched pics of special occasions.
The Pixel 8 is getting what I'm going to call the "Michael Scott" treatment for photos, with the ability to literally change faces using AI. It looks WILD
More from the leaked ad here: https://t.co/kBzajTz3R0 pic.twitter.com/KFRAzg4vgk
— Ben Schoon (@NexusBen) September 23, 2023
Google is also expected to release a Magic Editor that lets you move a subject in a pic or change the colour of the sky. Meanwhile, a video-boost feature will let you remove background noise from a clip.
Returning features will include Google’s low-light Night Sight photography option, the Astrophotography mode for capturing constellations, and Super Res Zoom for even better close-ups.
Speaking of the Pro model, an earlier leaked video showed the introduction of an infrared heat sensor, seemingly for medical temperature readings as widely used by venues for access in the Covid era.
Made by Google: Other products to expect at the event
Elsewhere, we’re also expecting to see a second-generation Pixel Watch with a substantial performance upgrade. While the original wearable used the six-year-old Exynos 9110 processor, the new model is tipped to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon W5, which only came out last year.
That should make it more responsive in use but, crucially, also address the watch’s Achilles heel: its weak battery life, which struggled to last a day.
It’s possible we’ll also see other additions to the Nest family of smart home devices at the same time, given Google’s ownership, but the Pixels will likely be the main event.
With Google making both the hardware and software — Android and Wear OS — they tend to be excellent products, even if this is yet to translate to market share. Back in May, Statista estimated that just 3.2 per cent of UK users used a Pixel as their primary smartphone.