Google Pixel 8 Pro vs Pixel 8: Reaping the harvest, Google style

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PIxel 8 vs Pixel 8 Pro

Intro


Nearly two years after it kicked off, Google's softly rebooted Pixel lineup now finally feels on an equal standing with all of its main rivals. Technically, the new Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 are your regular yearly smartphone refresh, but that's just what was needed to elevate the series to the higher level. 

With super-bright displays, tons of AI goodies, and better performance, the Pixel 8 series could be the perfect entryway into the pure Android experience. Which is the Pixel phone to get this year, and are we certain that it's the Pixel 8 Pro by default? Is the Pixel 8 the bestseller in disguise to consider?

Let's find out.

Get Google Pixel 8 Pro at Amazon and save $99

Google's 2023 Pixel 8 Pro flagship is available at Amazon. At the moment, the 128GB model is available at $99 off, meaning you can save 6% on the most innovative Google Pixel flagship phone to date.

Google Pixel 8 is now on Amazon at 15% off

The Google Pixel 8 is available at Amazon right now. The smartphone in Hazel retails at 15% off. The deal applies to the model with 128GB of storage.

Pixel 8 Pro vs Pixel 8 main differences:




Table of Contents:

Design and Size

Family legacies


Will you be able to spot any major differences between the Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel 8? Sure. Aside from the obvious size differences, the Pixel 8 Pro has one extra camera and a slightly wider rear camera cutout, while the lighter and more compact Pixel 8 is a bit more understated in this regard. Aesthetically, however, Google sticks to the tried-and-tested design language that has graced both the Pixel 6/Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7/Pixel 7 Pro series. 

Size-wise, the Pixel 8 has shrunk in size and is now more compact than the Pixel 7, which surely is a welcome sight for our eyes, fatigued by larger and larger phones every day. With a 6.17-inch display, the Pixel 8 differs from the 6.32-inch Pixel 7 greatly. 

At the same time, the Pixel 8 Pro has remained a 6.7-inch device. This big difference greatly helps for the diversification between the two phones, which wasn't necessarily been the case in previous years.  Those craving for a smaller phone will get the Pixel 8, while those that need the most features and the largest display will surely want to opt for the Pixel 8 Pro.

Both phones have retained their IP68 water- and dust-resistance. On the colors front, we've got a bunch of new great new options, which are thankfully moving past the drab black and white palette that has shrouded the phone industry recently. We have Porcelain, Bay and Obsidian on the Pixel 8 Pro, while the Pixel 8 can be yours in Rose, Hazel and Obsidian. Cool!

Display and Biometrics differences

Actua vs Super Actua


The Pixel 8 Pro features a 6.7-inch screen that Google calls Super Actua, while the Pixel 8 comes with a smaller 6.2-inch Actua screen. Why the new naming scheme? Well, the displays on these two new phones are special, as they both have record-breaking maximum brightness levels for the Pixel range. As Google deservedly boasted on stage, the Pixel 8 can crank its brightness up to 2,000 nits, while the larger Pixel 8 Pro can scorch your eyes at up to 2,400 nits of peak brightness! 

Display Measurements:



Both the Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel 8 also support super-smooth 120Hz refresh rate, but the Pixel 8 Pro is better endowed in this regard. It's display is an LTPO one, so it can vary between 1 and 120Hz for the ultimate smoothest scrolling experience, whereas the Pixel 8 doesn't have an LTPO screen, so the user can only choose between 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rates. 

There is an in-display fingerprint scanner embedded right into each phone's display for quick and easy unlocking. Surely, fingerprint unlock isn't the only way to unlock the new Pixels: Google has once again added face unlock on its phones, and it's picture-based as usual, but this time around, it's obviously more secure and can now be used to authenticate fintech and other sensitive apps.

Performance and Software

Google Tensor G3 to the rescue


The Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro boast the nona-core 64 bit-only Google Tensor G3 chipset on board. That's right, this one comes with nice cores on deck, unlike the octa-core Google Tensor G2. The Tensor G3 comes with the Cortex-X3 prime core running at 3.0GHz for extra-demanding tasks, while a quartet of mid Cortex-A715 cores running at up to 2.45GHz and quad Cortex-A510 cores take care of regular and non-intensive tasks.

Graphics is another area in which the Tensor G3 has improved in comparison with the Tensor G2, employing a 15% faster Mali-G715 GPU as well as a a custom new TPU core that takes care of AI and ML-related computations. 

This still unofficial chipset will debut along with the phones and will be the third and improved version of Google's custom chipset endeavors. We expect that this silicon will still be tailored on artificial intelligence and machine learning, with raw performance taking the back seat. 

As such, the Pixel 8 or the Pixel 8 Pro probably won't shine in comparison with the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and the Apple A17 Bionic chipsets. However, the Tensor G3 is sufficient for your everyday needs. 

Performance Benchmarks:


Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Google Pixel 8 Pro1720
Google Pixel 81630
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Google Pixel 8 Pro4268
Google Pixel 84302
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Google Pixel 8 Pro2382
Google Pixel 82417
3DMark
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Google Pixel 8 Pro1622
Google Pixel 81669

In terms of memory and storage, we have fast LPDDR5X RAM on the two devices. The Pixel 8 comes with 128 and 256GB of storage, while the Pixel 8 Pro will be up for grabs in 128, 256, 512GB, and 1TB versions. 

Software, however, is an area in which both the Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 truly shine. In a typical Google fashion, most of the exciting new features are software ones, of course fueled by Google's humbling AI and ML mettle. 

And yet, the most exciting new feature is the projected 7-year software support for the two new flagships. Yes, 7 years, and this doesn't only apply to security updates, but to full-fledged Android releases as well. Yes, expect to see Android 21 on the Pixel 8 Pro by this decade's end!

Camera

Three is more than two


Just like its predecessors, the Pixel 8 Pro comes with a triple camera setup, and all of its cameras have scored better light sensitivity. The main camera weighs in at 50MP and has an f/1.68 aperture, while the 48MP ultra-wide and the 48MP telephoto cameras also have much wider apertures. 

Meanwhile, the Pixel 8 relies on a dual camera setup, with the main camera being the same 50MP f/1.68 as the one on the Pixel 8 Pro. It offers and offers 2x zoom, which is not optical but crops from the center of the sensors and should provide decent quality.

There's some serious difference in the ultra-wide cameras of the two devices as well. While the Pixel 8 employs a regular 12MP camera, the Pixel 8 Pro has a new 48MP ultra-wide camera with an improved sensor and wider aperture as well as improved macro capabilities.  

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Tons of cool software and AI-powered camera features are also present. Best Take, for example, will use AI to combines areas of similar photos into one fantastic picture where everyone looks their best. The Magic Editor and Magic Eraser have also gotten better, and so has the pro-grade photography controls available in the improved new camera app. 

Google is also getting serious about video. In a move aimed at dethroning the iPhone from being the best video-recording machine this side of the Milky Way, Google has graced the Pixel 8 Pro with Night Sight Video that promises to deliver outstanding videos. 

And here are our camera benchmarks for the Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel 8, which should give you a decent understanding of what each phone is capable of.

Google Pixel 8 Pro
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
148
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
155
Main (wide)
BEST 85
79
Zoom
BEST 27
24
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
23
Selfie
BEST 30
28
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
141
Main (wide)
BEST 79
77
Zoom
BEST 24
17
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
21
Selfie
BEST 28
26


Google Pixel 8
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
142
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
145
Main (wide)
BEST 85
76
Zoom
BEST 27
18
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
23
Selfie
BEST 30
28
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
139
Main (wide)
BEST 79
78
Zoom
BEST 24
14
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
21
Selfie
BEST 28
26

Below you can check out some camera samples taken with both the Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel 8

Google Pixel 8 Pro camera samples



Google Pixel 8 camera samples



Audio Quality and Haptics


Both the Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 deliver can superb sounds to your audiophiliac ears. neither phone will disappoint you when it comes to audio, though the Pixel 8 Pro delivers a tad richer sound.

In the past few years, Google put a lot of emphasis on the haptics with the Pixel series, so we are happy to report that the Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel 8 provide strong and accurate haptic feedback during interface interactions. 

Battery Life and Charging

Endurance galore

The Pixel 8 Pro comes with a 5,050mAh battery, while at the same time, the smaller Pixel 8 comes with a 4,575mAh battery. Battery life is mostly similar to each phone's predecessor, but our custom battery tests put the Pixel 8 Pro ever slightly ahead of its smaller sibling. With their displays manually set at 200 nits of brightness, both devices enjoy very respectable battery life, even during 3D gaming, and we are happy to report that the smaller Pixel 8 doesn't lag behind the larger phone too much, so battery life probably shouldn't be a decisive argument to get one over the other. 

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:


Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Google Pixel 8 Pro10h 32 min
Google Pixel 89h 36 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Google Pixel 8 Pro15h 51 min
Google Pixel 815h 39 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Google Pixel 8 Pro6h 42 min
Google Pixel 86h 33 min

Charging-wise, the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro charge at up to 30W. Fast wireless charging and Battery Share are also part of each phone's specs sheet. Each phone takes around an hour and a half to get fully charged, but you can get around 80% in roughly an hour or so. 

PhoneArena Charging Test Results:

15 MinsHigher is better30 Mins(%)Higher is betterFull Charge(hours)Lower is better
Google Pixel 8 Pro26%
47%
1h 31 min
Google Pixel 830%
55%
1h 24 min

We performed the wired charging test with the optimal charger for each phone — in this case, the Google official charger for the Pixel phones, which doesn't come in the box, but you can buy separately from the Google Store. The good thing about USB C is that 3rd party chargers should be able to "talk" to your Pixel phones and deliver the optimal charge, as long as the charger has at least 30 W output.

Specs Comparison


Eager to check out those Pixel 8 Pro vs Pixel 8 specs? We've summarized the main hardware specs in the table below.


Summary



The Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel 8 are currently shaping up to be regular yearly updates that won't overhaul the Pixel flagship series, but will introduce some decent quality of life improvements to the lineup. Brighter displays, better cameras, improved performance, and lots of fun software AI-powered features are making the two new Pixels quite exciting. 

Add the stupendous promise for seven years of software support, including major Android updates, surely makes the new Pixels two phones to watch out for! 

Overall, Google is on the verge of making a pretty good job at diversifying its upcoming flagship phones by making the smaller Pixel more compact and the larger one better suited at 'pro' users. The $999 starting price positions the Pixel 8 Pro as a direct rival to the equally premium iPhone 15 Pro Max and Galaxy S23 Ultra.

At the same time, the Pixel 8 is a sensible compact phone starting at just $699, it's the perfect embodiment of an affordable mini flagship that generally doesn't differ that much from the proper flagship phone. 

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