Google has a new flagship: the Pixel 8 Pro. WANT editor Jeroen Kraak got to take it in hand over the past week and he tells you what caught his eye.
Last year we were first introduced to the Google Pixel line in the Netherlands. The 7 and 7 Pro came to the Netherlands and managed to make a big impression on my colleague Mark Hofman, just like the iPhone, the Pixel is an annual tradition, and so the 8 and 8 Pro are coming to the Netherlands. But should you buy it, or is it better to leave it?
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Google Pixel 8 Pro on the outside
From the outside, the Google Pixel 8 Pro looks exactly like the 7 Pro. Google kept its unique camera design, and the phone is also the same in terms of size. Still, a few small things are different. For example, the company now opts for a flat screen. It also opted for a matte back, something Apple also did with the iPhone. Ideal because it does not leave fingerprints. Also, the device now has rounded corners.
The Google Pixel 8 Pro is very nice in the hand. I don’t have the biggest hands myself, but it’s still perfectly manageable. Moreover, the smartphone doesn’t feel heavy in the hand either, nice since it is still quite large with a 6.7-inch screen.
On the outside next to the camera, you can also see a dark circle. This is a special temperature sensor that allows you – logically – to measure the temperature of various things. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for measuring body temperature because it is not suitable for that. It’s a nice gimmick, but when I used it, I didn’t notice that it really added value for me. Now how often do you measure the temperature of your coffee or a bowl of custard if your name isn’t Rob Geus?
That screen has a variable refresh rate from 1 to 120 Hz. This allows you to choose to use the always-on screen, because one refresh per second naturally uses less energy than 120 refresh rates.
(Image: WANT/Jeroen Kraak)
In addition, the screen offers a peak brightness of 2,400 nits. It ensures that even with bright sunshine you can still read everything. In the sunniest situation, which of course was difficult to test last week, I could read everything exactly.
Long live AI
On the inside of the Google Pixel 8 Pro, we find the Tensor 3 chip. Like Apple, Google also makes its own chip. Ideal since it can design it exactly the way it wants, which is where I get right to the heart of the matter: AI. In fact, a special section of the chip is geared toward that.
Google wants to use the phone primarily as a phone for AI. It presents it that way and has many features in the pipeline for that purpose.
And then that’s another issue with the phone: many developments are still in the pipeline. Some features are unfortunately not available in the Netherlands, such as the feature that lets you have Google answer calls from unknown numbers, so as not to bother spam callers. Many other features are in the pipeline, and it remains to be seen exactly when they will be released. It is therefore unfortunate that they are not here immediately.
For example, Google wants to add Bard to Assistant. So this will combine AI with the things you ask your phone. So in the future it really will have an answer for everything, and that will make things much easier. This feature should come to the Pixel 8 Pro this year, but then again, as with other features, the question is whether it won’t be available only for English-speaking countries.
Even pets put you incredibly sharp in the photo. (Image: WANT/Jeroen Kraak)
Still, the company has already brought some new AI features to the phone. For example, there’s one where you can change the faces in a group photo. Never fear, it’s still the same person, but the algorithm can make you look your best. Very nice, but secretly a little creepy when everyone looks perfect all the time.
AI in the camera
In addition, photo editing has become even easier on the google Pixel 8 Pro. The magic eraser works even better and it is even possible to change the sky in the background of the photo in the magic editor. This way you create exactly the setting on a photo you want.
Also, you can now edit videos even easier using AI. This includes a function for the magic eraser and it is even possible to filter sounds in the environment. So you won’t have to start filming again when a truck or a police car with siren passes by, for example.
The camera itself
Speaking of photos. That camera has also gone up another notch in quality. In total, it has three lenses on the back: (main, wide-angle and a telephoto camera. The wide-angle lens in particular seems to have made quite a step with its photos. It has better lenses that make snapshots in the dark even better.
(Image: WANT/Jeroen Kraak)
Zooming on the Google Pixel 8 Pro’s cameras also works wonderfully. The new telephoto camera has 5 times optical zoom. This allows you to capture subjects even better. The digital zoom has also been improved. This can make a photo even sharper through the AI software.
By the way, keep in mind that you do need to be connected to the Internet for these and other AI features.
The Google Pixel 8 Pro is here mostly for the future
But other hardware also does fine on this phone. The battery easily lasts a day. In addition, it is also just possible to turn on battery optimization. With this, the smartphone ensures that apps run more economically. However, you sometimes have to be careful that this is not very useful for every app. For example, you don’t want to find out too late when someone is at your door if you have a digital doorbell, for example.
Unfortunately, there is also some downside to the Google Pixel 8 Pro. Namely, the company is raising the price compared to the 7 Pro. The phone will soon cost you 1,099 euros. A hefty price, but there is still something positive to say about it. Namely, the phone gets 7 years of software and security updates. So you can really do with it for a long time and thus get the latest Android version through 2023.