Maybe it’s not the most suitable word for a smartphone but it’s difficult to find an adjective that describes it better Pixel 8 Pro. Also because ultimately this is what Google is focusing on: (artificial) intelligence.
The result is a product that becomes increasingly smart without losing sight of the objective, which is to put a device in people’s hands that remains simple to use.
The Pixel 8 Pro review
This is the Pixel 8 Pro review but, we’ll tell you, we also spent some time in the company of Pixel 8 which remains an excellent alternative. First of all because we can also find most of the features of its older brother here and, secondly, because it will satisfy those looking for a compact smartphone.
However, we will later highlight the technical and functional differences between the two devices so as to provide you with all the elements necessary to choose the one best suited to you.
Now, however, we would like to start from what, to date, is the element that most defines a top of the range: the camera.
The software that makes the difference
The Best Shot feature on the Pixel 8 Pro
Let’s leave aside megapixels, acronyms and technical specifications for a moment to focus on the software. Because basically the software is the real plus of the Pixels.
And it’s not just because it’s Google software on Google hardware. That helps but that’s not all. It’s because the software was created to be simple, intuitive and surprising, relying on artificial intelligence and the knowledge of a company that has built an empire on software.
Now, let’s assume that you are new to photography or that you don’t have the desire or time to invest in taking a photo. In short, you’re a point-and-shoot type.
Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro give you exactly that: you point, shoot and photographs emerge that are already excellent but on which you can still intervene.
Let’s take an example. We have a photo with the Tower of Pisa behind us which came out particularly well but our expression isn’t the best. Pixel 8 comes to your aid: go to Tools, choose Better Shot and the smartphone will search for similar photos for you, will select the other expressions and ask you which one you prefer to have.
Imagine this applied to group photos where statistically there is always someone who turned out worse. With Scatto Migliore you compose the perfect photo and please everyone.
However, the software can also do something else.
For example, this Tower of Pisa is beautiful but perhaps it would have looked better at sunset. With the Magic Editor, a new software feature of the Pixel 8, we can modify the sky by appealing to the magic of artificial intelligence.
Sunset added with the Magic Editor
And then we find things we already know like the Magic Eraser per eliminate people in your shots or the possibility of recover a blurry photo bringing it into perfect focus. There are also there Night Photo mode for truly satisfying photos in the dark, the Super Res Zoom which improves shots even when you go beyond optical zoom, and the Macro, which is now also present on Pixel 8.
Compared to the little one at home, however, Pixel 8 Pro has two additional elements on the photographic front.
The first is the telephoto.
In fact, the main sensor is the same, 50 megapixels, the ultra-wide angle one is also 12 megapixels, but the Pro has a 48-megapixel telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom and up to 30x high-definition digital zoom.
It’s not necessarily true that you need it, not everyone has the same needs, but we used it with pleasure in these days of testing.
The other difference is that the Pro has Pro controls.
If you are familiar with photography you can then have fun modify parameters such as brightness, focus, shadows, white balance and more.
In Pro mode you can also decide whether to shoot at 50 megapixels or 12 megapixels e whether to have the files only in JPG or in both JPG and RAW. Finally, the dedicated menu also allows you to decide whether to activate the automatic choice of lens or whether to select it manually by opting for one of the three available (wide angle, ultra wide angle or telephoto).
How are the photos taken with the Pixel 8 Pro?
The main camera is the one that undoubtedly gives us the most satisfaction. The shots are of high quality, with lots of details, good color rendering and the Night Photo mode which comes in very handy when the sunlight goes down.
If you want to get even more, you can shoot in RAW. The resulting .dng file is extremely workable: it doesn’t create too much grain, there are no artifacts, the shadows can be brought up without difficulty… In short, you can really go wild.
The ultra-wide angle isn’t bad either, even if it pays a little for the price of the sensor which, we remind you, is only 12 megapixels. You still take home some good photographs.
The telephoto lens is promoted which gives you excellent photos while retaining so many details.
The telephoto lens is very good even when it is exploited for videos, with a stabilization that allows it to be very useful for still shotsbut less satisfying if you start walking.
If you want to get the most out of it, you need the main sensor which remains so stable as to simulate the presence of a gimbal, not to mention that manages everything well: colors, details, high and low lights…
We then point out the presence of theAudio Magic Erasera function that identifies the sounds that make up the video – obviously with artificial intelligence – and then asks you what you want to eliminate.
For example, you have a nice video but it’s windy? You can tone down the wind noise so we can better understand what you are saying.
You even have two options: Automatic, so it acts as it sees fit, or manual, by plugging
about different sounds and deciding how much you want to attenuate them. In our opinion, the automatic version works quite well even if the voices tend to become a little tinny.
The tool therefore still needs to be refined but in the meantime it is surprising that it can be done with a telephone.
Pixel 8 Pro review: not just the camera
However, Pixel 8 Pro is not just a camera.
There are many other software functions that make it very pleasant to use in everyday life.
We have the AI Wallpaper, which generates a unique custom wallpaper, just for you. An excellent way to customize your smartphone by specifying only the starting theme and a couple of other parameters.
You can also ask your smartphone to read an article for you.
Open your browser, activate Google Assistant and say “read the article to me”. He will take care of the rest.
Or you have the option to dictate a message using two languages at the same time like Italian and English. The Pixel 8 Pro recognizes language and switches based on what you’re saying, even adding punctuation based on your tone of voice.
All this by relying on the processor, Google’s Tensor G3, which does its job very well and is once again accompanied by the Titan M2 chip that keeps your data safe.
Pixel 8 vs Pixel 8 Pro: what changes?
Ok but camera aside, what else distinguishes the two devices?
The Pixel 8 Pro display is a 6.7-inch LTPO OLED that switches from 1 to 120 Hz depending on the content displayed and performs excellently with any content you submit to it. It performs great even in the sun with a peak brightness of 2400 nits and it’s protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2 so you can sleep soundly.
Pixel 8 also has an OLED panel but the refresh rate can be fixed at 60 or 120 Hz and the maximum brightness is 2000 nits.
The difference in everyday use is difficult to understand if you don’t have both. In fact, the little one in the house is perfect in practically every situation.
What else changes? We have 8 GB of RAM on the small one and two memory cuts, 128 and 256 GB, while the Pixel 8 Pro has 12 GB of RAM and 128, 256 or 512 GB of storage.
The battery is bigger on the Pro but both allow you to get through the day. Keep in mind that it learns over time so they need a few days to optimize consumption based on your usual use.
There is one last difference that you need to know and of course it is not the design since they are very similar.
We’re talking about temperature sensor that is on the Pro.
We still haven’t found an answer to the question that has plagued us since the presentation of the Pixel 8: why? Or rather, what exactly do we do with it?
There is an app with which you measure, at a short distance – about 5 centimeters – the temperature of objects. We emphasize “objects” because formally Google does not have the necessary certification to use it on humans. You can do it anyway but be aware that it is not as precise as a thermometer.
So… what is it for? Or what exactly will it be used for? We’ll probably find out later.
7 years of updates
Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will have 7 years of updates.
Operating system, new functions, security updates.
So until 2030 you will have an updated phone.
That’s more than any other manufacturer makes. Apple promises 5 with the iPhone, for example.
There are so many and it’s a very important sign: it means that Google will keep its top of the range as young as possible instead of incentivizing you to change it every year. Which, let’s remember, is not good for the planet.
The Pixel 8 Pro review: conclusions
Pixel 8 is on sale starting from 799 euros, the Pro from 1099 euros.
And they’re all worth it.
They do everything, they do it…