Google's still made sure the basic Pixel 8 offers plenty of premium features, such as a new 120Hz display and additional camera modes. But the Pixel 8 Pro, in return for a little extra money, offers a larger screen, a telephoto camera and other special features that help it earn its pro name.
Google Pixel 8 vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Specs
Google Pixel 8 vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Price and availability
Both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are up for pre-orders as of the “Made by Google” event on October 4, 2023. Global availability starts on October 12.
Pricing is going to be a point of contention for longtime users because there's a price hike this year. The Pixel 8 costs $699 and the Pixel 8 Pro $999, a $300 price gap like before but both are $100 extra compared to their Pixel 7 counterparts. It may alienate loyal owners, especially given how Pixel phones typically undercut their competition in price, but compared to one another, there's no change in the price difference.
Google Pixel 8 vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Design
Rounded edges, glass surfaces, and metal trims seem to be the fundamental traits of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. The only obvious visual difference from the front is the Pixel 8 Pro is larger offering a 6.7-inch display to the Pixel 8's 6.2 inches. The Pro's heavier too, by almost an ounce.
Besides that, the only other difference with their designs relates to the camera arrangement on the back of both phones. The Pixel 8 Pro fashions a triple camera system, while the Pixel 8 is limited to a dual camera one.
Additionally, there’s an extra sensor below the LED flash on the Pixel 8 Pro. This is a temperature sensor that can be used to judge how hot an object you put in front of it is, with Google applying for FDA approval for it.
Google Pixel 8 vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Display
If you prefer bigger displays, you’ll naturally gravitate towards the Pixel 8 Pro because of its larger 6.7-inch Super Actua Display with up to a 120Hz refresh rate. Meanwhile, the Pixel 8 offers a 6.2-inch Actua display with a 120Hz refresh rate but more limited adaptive mode. While it’s not much of a separation, the higher display refresh rate of the Pixel 8 Pro would make it more appealing for hardcore gamers.
We should see the Pixel 8 reaching 1,400 nits HDR brightness and 2,000 nits peak brightness according to Google's numbers. Meanwhile, the Pixel 8 Pro offers a higher 1,600 nits HDR brightness and 2,400 nits peak brightness.
Also, there's still a resolution difference between the two phones. The Pixel 8 has an FHD resolution, while the Pixel 8 Pro gets a more detailed QHD panel.
Google Pixel 8 vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Cameras
Casual shutterbugs should be satisfied with the Pixel 8, but there’s sufficient reason for power users to go with the Pixel 8 Pro. The two do share the same 50MP main camera, but the Pixel 8 has a 12MP ultrawide camera as opposed to the Pixel 8 Pro’s 48MP ultrawide with upgraded autofocus. Furthermore, there’s the added benefit of the 48MP 5x telephoto camera of the Pixel 8 Pro to get closer to subjects without sacrificing detail and clarity.
Diving into some of the photo and video features beyond the hardware, the Pixel 8 Pro gets the appropriately-named Pro controls which allow greater freedom with basic camera settings and more detailed photo formats. Additionally, another exclusive feature with the Pixel 8 Pro is Video Boost, a feature that takes videos shot with the phone and "edited" to bring out more details and better dynamic range.
But many of the other new features, like the generative AI-powered Magic Editor, the face-swapping Best Take ability and convenient Audio Magic Eraser, are on offer on both phones.
Google Pixel 8 vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Performance
Not surprisingly, both phones are powered by Google’s Tensor G3 chip — an upgrade over last year’s Tensor G2. We’ll certainly have our eyes locked in on how it turns out in real-world tests, just because the Tensor G2 underperformed in several synthetic benchmark tests we ran on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro.
Pixel phones have a reputation of being very speedy on the surface with basic tasks, such as running around the interface or launching your favorite apps, but it’ll be interesting to see how the Tensor G3 handles complex operations.
The only performance differences on paper between the two new Pixels are RAM and storage capacities. The Pixel 8 comes with a basic 8GB RAM package, and either 128GB or 256GB of storage. The Pixel 8 Pro however gets a more muscular 12GB of RAM, with 128GB, 256GB or 512GB storage by default — while a 1TB option will be offered in certain markets.
Google Pixel 8 vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Battery life and charging
Unfortunately for Google’s Pixel phones, they’ve never had the endurance to make it into our best phone battery life list — so this is an ongoing area of opportunity.
Let's start with the basic specs: the Pixel 8 gets a 4,575 mAh capacity cell, and the Pixel 8 Pro a 5,050 mAh one. Those are both a touch larger than their Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro predecessor, which is a good start for improving the battery life.
This means that it’s going to boil down to two critical things: the power efficiency of their displays and Tensor G3 chips. If Google is somehow able to delicately balance them with help from power enhancements courtesy of Android 14, then it’s possible that battery life will be improved over their predecessors.
Google's stuck with to 27W and 30W wired charging for the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro respectively — which are the same rates as last year’s Pixel phones. Furthermore, both offer the same 12W wireless charging option as the Pixel 7 models too.
Google Pixel 8 vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Outlook
Now that you have a better idea of how the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro stack up against each other, choosing one will hinge on how much you’re willing to pay or if you find value in the exclusive features of the Pixel 8 Pro.
As we’re mentioned earlier, the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro's $300 price gap is a big factor for any potential buyer to consider. If you prefer a smaller phone without all the fluff, the Pixel 8 seems more than capable for everyday stuff such as taking photos for social, checking email, and catching up on your favorite shows on streaming services.
You might be paying a premium to get the Pixel 8 Pro, but it’s gaining a temperature sensor, 5x telephoto camera, and some pro controls with its cameras, and Video Boost for better looking videos — along with the larger display and theoretically longer battery life. It's up to you if you think you'll get your money's worth over the Pixel 8.
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