We’re still a long way from seeing the next generation of Pixel phones as Google just recently launched the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. But rumors are already surfacing about what we might see when the Series 8 models arrive.
Here’s what we know so far, plus a wish list for what we want in the Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro.
When will the Google Pixel 8 appear?
There is currently no confirmation of the official release date for the Pixel 8 models, but every single Pixel flagship so far has released like clockwork in October. So it’s pretty safe to say that we expect the Pixel 8 series to make its debut In October 2023.
That’s also roughly what appears from a Pixel product roadmap obtained by Android Authority, which claims the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will launch “later in 2023.”
Before that, the Pixel 7a is expected to arrive – possibly on Google I/O in May – alongside the much-anticipated Pixel Fold. Google could also give us a sneak peak at the Pixel 8 phones at the developer conference.
How much will the Google Pixel 8 cost?
Again, there’s still no word from Google on the potential price tags that will accompany the Series 8 devices. Of course, we can use the last few models as a guide to how much you need to save. This is how they lined up:
This shows that Google is pretty fixed when it comes to pricing. If that continues into 2023, and we think there’s a decent chance, then the Pixel 8 should cost $599 / £599 and the Pixel 8 Pro $899 / £849.
What about the specs and features of the Pixel 8?
Of course, with the Pixel 8 release date so far in the future, there’s not much to do in terms of new components or features. However, there are some rumours, with the main focus being on the chipsets that will be used in the upcoming models.
The latest and most detailed leak yet comes from OnLeaks (via Smartprix), which takes an exclusive look at the Pixel 8 Pro’s design from all angles, showing a similar but tweaked design compared to its predecessor. The headline change is the move from a curved to a flat display, which will reportedly be 6.52 inches – smaller than the 7 Pro’s 6.7-inch display.
The site also reports that the phone measures a similar 162.6 × 76.5 × 8.7mm (12mm with the camera bar), and it’s noticeable that the camera module now has a single oval for all cameras, while the 7th The telephoto lens has a separate section for this.
The new addition under the flash is currently unknown and could be a fourth camera like a macro lens or even just where the autofocus and other smaller sensors will live.
OnLeaks / Smartprix
It’s a similar story with the regular Pixel 8, this time with OnLeaks partnering with MySmartPrice. The phone has fewer changes than the Pro model, with an almost identical looking design to the Pixel 7.
The handset will be smaller at 150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9mm, but the bigger news – or should we say smaller – is that the display drops from 6.3 to 5.8 inches.
OnLeaks / MySmartPrice
Dutch website GalaxyClub has reported that work on Google’s third-generation Tensor chipset is well underway, meaning it should accompany the Pixel 8 launch. According to the site, Samsung will again be the manufacturer, with a chip code S5P9865 already appearing on test boards. This follows the naming sequence used on the previous Tensor 1 and 2 processors, which were numbered S5P9845 and S5P9855, respectively.
With the Tensor 2 found in the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro already proving to be more power efficient and powerful than the previous generation, there’s hope that the third iteration will push things even further when it arrives.
WinFuture has found more concrete information about the two phones after looking at the so-called “publicly available code sources”. The site found codenames for two phones: “Shiba” and “Husky.” Google has already used animal names for Pixel flagships – Cheetah and Panther for the Pixel 7 series – so it seems likely this refers to the Pixel 8 phones.
According to the code, both phones are powered by a chipset dubbed “Zuma,” which uses the same modem as the Tensor 2 – another hint that we’re looking at the next few pixels. Both phones also run on Android 14, which is no surprise.
Surprisingly, both phones come with 12GB of RAM, and the screen resolution is also high: 2268×1080 for Shiba and 2822×1344 for Husky, suggesting that the latter phone is the Pro model.
These two codenames also appear in the aforementioned Pixel product roadmap, but interestingly with the added note that while the Pro (Husky) remains roughly the same size, the regular 8 (Shiba) appears to have a “smaller display and overall smaller form factor” – probably a welcome change for many who missed the more compact Pixel phones of yesteryear.
We’re so far from launch that these specs probably won’t be finalized, and it’s equally possible that these two devices were designed for internal testing and don’t reflect the final Pixel 8 specs at all – but at least they give us a clue of what to expect.
Given that the Pixel’s cameras have always been this good, there’s a juicy rumor about the Pixel 8’s cameras that has been unearthed by developer Kuba Wojciechowski. They posted source code from the Pixel Camera app suggesting the next phone could use something called Staggered HDR:
Currently, Pixel phones don’t use Staggered HDR, a feature that allows different exposures to be captured simultaneously but uses the same pixels.
“This allows for the same effect as regular HDR, but without the longer capture time or risk of the photos being blurry due to frame misalignment caused by motion,” Wojciechowski said in her Twitter thread.
Anything that will improve the already excellent Pixel camera is good in our book.
There’s also a chance that Google will follow Samsung and some Chinese rivals in adding an under-display camera. Back in 2021, LetsGoDigital spotted a Google patent for a novel solution to the technology, which uses a moving mirror under the display that can either point at a camera lens or at a second display. So when you need the camera light is reflected into the lens and when you don’t need the camera light it is reflected off the auxiliary display to fill the gap.
Recently, Google filed a second patent (also spotted by LetsGoDigital) for under-display cameras that use different (and likely more cost-effective) technologies to achieve the same result. This version relies on a multi-layered transparent display that’s more similar to implementations we’ve seen elsewhere.
Interestingly, the patent mentions by name one Sangmoo Choi — a former Samsung display engineer who has been with Google for over three years now but likely had experience with Samsung’s early efforts in under-display camera technology.
There is no concrete reason to believe that any of the patents apply to the Pixel 8 series, but there is at least hope that it will be prepared for a flagship soon.
Wishlist of what we would like to see in the Google Pixel 8
The Class of 2022 impressed, but here’s what Google plans to refine in its next iterations.
120Hz refresh rate on all models
This is pretty easy these days. With so many mid-range Android phones sporting 120Hz refresh rates for smoother scrolling, it makes sense that both the Pro and the standard Pixel 8 would have the feature. It’s already present in the Pixel Pro 7 and Pixel Pro 6, but we’d like to see the 90Hz rate on the Pixel 7 make the step up when its replacement arrives.
Faster loading speeds
In our tests of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, the main criticism was the slow load times. At a time when phones can go from 0% to 100% in about half an hour, the pixels seem tedious by comparison. So we think it’s important for Google to address this in the Pixel 8 devices.
Improved face recognition
While the Pixel 7 Pro wowed us with its new face unlock feature, the Pixel 7 needs even more time in the oven. Hopefully the year between releases will mean the Pixel 8 performs better.
Lose the weight!
OK. We’re not shaming the Pixel 7 Pro, but at 162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9mm and 212g, you could call it hefty. We don’t know, maybe it’s a thyroid issue, but for the Pixel 8 Pro we’d like to see a slimmer body. It’s true that most powerhouse phones are pretty chunky these days, but for our wrists in 2023 we can only pray for lighter and tighter designs.
To see which phones the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will have to sell, check out our best smartphones and the best smartphones coming in 2023.
Rumours have emerged as to what to expect from the year-2023 release of Google’s Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones. Dutch website GalaxyClub reports that Google’s third-generation Tensor chipset, called “Zuma”, is already in development, and is expected to accompany the Pixel 8 launch. The phones will likely be launched in October 2023 which is when the company has released every Pixel flagship to date. As for the specs and features of the Pixel 8, there are rumours regarding the possible use of Staggered HDR in the phone’s camera for improved image quality. No official pricing or release dates have been confirmed by Google as of yet.