My journey with Pixel phones started a long time ago. I had several Nexus phones and tablets before I got my first Pixel phone. The feel of a pure Android device has always been attractive (one of the big selling points), and the devices generally offered a lot of features for the money.
As a result, the Pixel 7 Pro has been my personal phone of choice for a year now, so I find it very easy to notice the changes made to both software and hardware right away. Google itself was very confident before launching the Pixel 8 Pro and says it has now taken a seven-mile step forward, which it turns out it can actually back up. But not everything is better and the first impression when I unpacked the phone was a bit disappointing. The new phone feels heavier than its predecessor despite being slightly smaller (we’re talking just under a millimeter), and I blame that on the camera design and the fact that the screen is completely flat. However, both drawbacks have other advantages of course, and a flat screen in particular means far fewer false touches to the edges.
Fortunately, my initial somewhat negative judgment quickly became a shame, as this is a sturdier design than the Pixel 7 Pro and feels wonderfully solid. The screen is also brighter than its predecessor and of noticeably better quality, and even the sound is better for those who want to use the phone to play games through its built-in speakers (although of course it can never be compared to actual speakers).
The biggest software innovation in the Pixel 8 Pro is artificial intelligence and machine learning, which is now in every corner of the device. But when you turn it on, you’ll notice very little of this, as there’s nothing to really indicate that the phone offers features that few, if any, competitors in this area can match. Everything that happens under the hood is powered by Google’s Tensor G3 chip, which has plenty of performance and makes the phone seem very future-proof, even if Google adds more and more features in the future.
So what are the new features? Most people will be using high-end photo editing tools where AI is now fully implemented. It lets you remove airplane, wind, or similar background noise from a video you’ve recorded with the touch of a button so it sounds as if you’re talking in a quiet room under ideal conditions. You can also take multiple group photos and then have the AI use the faces that turned out best in one photo, so that your mother-in-law’s annoyed look is replaced by a smile and your father’s yawn when she closes her mouth. It’s also easier to move objects around in photos, so if you were taking a photo of your partner in front of a waterfall but noticed they were a little off-center, you can now easily place your partner exactly where they should be. . Even blurry photos can be sharpened, and you can easily remove distracting objects from photos.
Cheating? Maybe, but at the same time it’s very practical and I think these are the features that will really please anyone who wants to take perfect Instagram photos. The tools usually work very well, but not always, and if you remove something from very cluttered backgrounds, the AI sometimes has trouble finding a reliable solution to what should be in its place. However, it must be said that the functions are unnecessarily well hidden (this was an issue even with the Pixel 7 Pro, which had some of these functions in a simpler version) and there’s no good explanation of how everything works. Here, Google should have done better.
Overall, however, the camera is very good, as it has always been in Google’s Pixel series and I feel that the Pixel 8 Pro with all the AI help is the current champion. Even at long distances (5x optical zoom) and in dark rooms, the results are surprisingly good, and close-ups are great.
When I try to play Call of Duty, Fortnite, and even a demanding game like Black Desert Mobile, everything runs smoothly, which bodes well for anyone who wants to play a lot. The battery (5050 mAh) is also more than acceptable and I was able to last over two days with battery saver mode turned on and normal use. If I’m gaming, it obviously appeals more, and while it doesn’t offer the same battery performance as the Asus and OnePlus devices, it’s still pretty good.
One weird feature that was also added is the built-in thermometer. It’s an infrared sensor that sits under the flash, and using an app called a thermometer, you can check how cold your beer is or whether your shower water is the right temperature. What you shouldn’t do according to the program is check if you have a fever, perhaps because Google doesn’t want to be accused of misdiagnosing the disease. To measure temperature, simply hold your phone five centimeters away from something, choose what material it belongs to (there is a default setting, but the result will be noticeably better if you take the time to change it) and get a result. My experience is that it varies about a degree from one measurement to another, so it seems pretty accurate, and if I measure it on my forehead (although it shouldn’t be used to measure fever, as mentioned before), I get 35-36 degrees, so it’s pretty accurate even there.
So, does Google fully support the claim that the Pixel 8 Pro is the next big thing for smartphones? As I wrote in the introduction, this is true to some extent. It’s an incredibly good phone in terms of hardware and software, especially the camera, which is something out of the ordinary. But not all AI tweaks are good, and some are downright bad. Also, I think the problem with Android in general is that the apps are too optimized for Samsung hardware and software, and the smaller, weirder apps (in my case, the diabetes app and the Yale lock I have at home) strangely mess with Google’s pure Android system, but not with their counterparts From Samsung.
However, it’s still a very good phone, and despite its higher price than its predecessor, it offers an equivalent and, in many cases, better option than much more expensive alternatives. And the fact that it’s so good for gaming bodes well. Overall, it’s easy to recommend the Pixel 8 Pro, although I think it will be next year before we really see the AI revolution in smartphones that has now begun with this amazing gadget.
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