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Google’s Pixel 8 is a smartphone that shows seven years of experience in redefining and refining what an Android smartphone should be. It has helped shape the future of Android in many ways, and is bringing more attention to the Pixel line than ever before. The new Pixel 8 Series comes with a number of new features, including the powerful new Google Tensor G3 processor, 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of internal storage, an updated camera with a 120Hz refresh rate, and the latest Android 14 operating system. Read on in our full review of the Google Pixel 8.

Design & Build Quality

The Pixel 8 is a more compact and comfortable-to-hold smartphone than its predecessor, the Pixel 7. It has a 6.2-inch screen with thinner bezels and rounded corners, making it easier to use with one hand. It sports a 6.2-inch screen as opposed to 6.3 inches on the Pixel 7. The 8 is shorter by 5 mm, thinner by just over 2 mm, thicker by 0.2 mm, and lighter by 10 grams, weighing 187 grams.

The Pixel 8’s screen is not LTPO OLED like the Pixel 8 Pro, but it is still 120Hz, supports HDR10+ content, and can boost its brightness up to 2,000 nits when playing HDR videos. This means that the screen is bright, colourful, and has excellent dynamic range, making it ideal for watching videos, reading text, and viewing photos.

The Pixel 8 also has a super fast fingerprint scanner and face unlock feature. However, face unlock may have difficulty scanning your face in a dark room or very low light if you are wearing glasses.

Google Pixel 8 - TheEffect.netSoftware

Google has set a new standard for software support with the Pixel 8, promising a whopping 7 years of OS and security updates, as well as regular Feature Drops. This means that your Pixel 8 will continue to get new features and security updates long after other smartphones have been abandoned by their manufacturers.

The Pixel 8 is also the first smartphone to launch with Android 14, which brings a number of new features and customization options. For example, you can now customise the text, wallpaper, and themes on your device to a greater extent than ever before. You can also enable an always-on display and use AI-generated wallpapers.

My favourite new feature in Android 14 is the AI-generated wallpapers. This feature lets you choose from a set of preset prompts, or input your own, to generate a unique wallpaper. The AI then uses your prompts to create a wallpaper that is tailored to your personal style.

While the AI-generated wallpaper feature is still in its early stages, it offers a lot of potential for personalisation. And because it is exclusive to the Pixel 8 series, it gives Pixel users another reason to be proud of their devices.

The other software benefits like the Pixel 8 Pro were highlighted by John in his 8 Pro review, “are things like ‘Read Aloud’ and ‘Translate’ which allows you to call up Google Assistant as you’re reading an article on Chrome and have it read it back to you. You also have the ability to have it translate and read the text back in a different language.

Another Assistant-powered feature which we find very handy, and is also available on other Pixel devices is ‘Call Screen’ which allows you to use an automated response for callers you’re not sure of. The Assistant is even able to instantly detect and filter out spam calls. The new Tensor chip will soon allow even more conversational sounding responses when you do decide to screen a call with the ability to tap AI generated, context-sensitive responses, when dealing with an unknown caller. Very clever.”

Cameras

The Pixel 8’s camera is simply magical. It takes stunning photos in any light, with incredible detail, rich colours, and amazing dynamic range. It’s the best camera you can find in a phone outside of the expensive Pro’s, and it’s all thanks to a combination of excellent hardware and Google’s computational photography prowess.

On the back, the Pixel 8 has a 50-megapixel main sensor and a 12MP ultrawide lens. The front-facing selfie camera is 10.5MP. All three cameras work together to deliver truly exceptional photos and videos.

In low light, the Pixel 8 shines. Night Sight mode is faster and more effective than ever, and it can even produce usable photos in near-complete darkness. And with the new Magic Eraser feature, you can easily remove unwanted objects from your photos with just a few taps.

Google has also introduced a Macro Focus feature outside the Pro series of Pixel. Everything is set to Auto mode, which is great for those quick moments that require good focus and lighting without the need to dive into manual settings.

Really respectable specs and features, but once AI jumps into the picture, the whole game changes. Google has introduced two new AI-powered editing tools in the Photos app: Best Take and Magic Editor. Best Take employs an on-device algorithm to create a composite image from a series of photos, ensuring that everyone in the frame appears at their best. On the other hand, Magic Editor allows users to customise photos by repositioning and resizing subjects in the frame or enhancing the background with a simple tap.

For videos, the Audio Magic Eraser tool has been introduced, which identifies sounds within videos, such as background conversations, music, or wind, and separates them into distinct layers that users can control. This tool enables the reduction of distracting noises, granting users the ability to achieve their desired audio quality.

Battery

The Google Pixel 8 is a powerhouse when it comes to battery life. With a 4,485mAh battery, it can easily last all day on a single charge, even with heavy use. I was able to get a full day of use out of the Pixel 8, including browsing the web, watching videos, and playing games, without having to worry about running out of battery.

The Pixel 8 also supports fast wired and wireless charging, so you can quickly top up your battery when you need to. With the included 27W charger, you can get up to 50% charge in just 30 minutes.

Overall, I’m very impressed with the battery life of the Google Pixel 8. It’s one of the longest-lasting smartphones I’ve ever used, and it’s a great choice for people who are always on the go.

Conclusion

The Pixel 8 is the smartphone that ticks all the boxes: a beautiful display, an amazing camera, fast charging, and long-term software support. And it’s especially competitive, especially for Irish consumers

With its 6.2-inch OLED display, the Pixel 8 is perfect for watching videos, playing games, and browsing the web. And with its 50MP main camera and 12MP ultra wide camera, you’ll be able to take amazing photos in any lighting condition. The Pixel 8 also supports fast wired and wireless charging, so you can quickly top up your battery when you need to. And with 7 years of software updates guaranteed, you can be sure that your Pixel 8 will stay up-to-date for a long time to come.

With this latest Google Pixel series, Google really are coming into their own with a unique combination of top-end hardware paired with cutting edge AI-empowered software each and every year.

Pixel 8 Pro Pricing & Availability

The Pixel 8 is available in 128GB and 256GB models in three colours: Obsidian, Hazel and Rose.

  • Screen: 6.2-inch OLED, 1080 x 2400, 428 pixels per inch, 10-bit HDR up to 2000 nits, 120Hz.
  • Weight: 187 grams.
  • Battery: 4575 mAh, 27W fast charge (wired), 18W charge (wireless).
  • Rear camera: Wide and ultrawide lenses max 2x optical, 8x digital zoom. 50MP max resolution. Video max 4K 60FPS/1080p 240FPS, 10-bit HDR.
  • Selfie camera: Single ultrawide lens, 10.5MP max resolution. Video max 4K/1080p 60FPS.
  • Network: Wi-Fi, 4/5G.
  • Bluetooth: 5.3, LE, A2DP, aptX HD.
  • Processor: Google Tensor G3.
  • RAM: 8GB.
  • Protection: IP68 dust- and water-resistant.

The Pixel 8 is available for now from the official Google Store.

The new Pixel 8 series is also available through Three Ireland for the first time.

It’s priced at €799 for the 128GB model and €859 for the 256GB version.

REVIEW: Google Pixel 8 – A small but mighty addition to your pocket
  • Design & Build Quality
  • Software
  • Cameras
  • Battery
4.4

Summary

Overall, the Google Pixel 8 is a brilliant, compact smartphone that offers a superb user experience, looking and feeling good while doing it. A small but mighty addition to your pocket.

Chris

Digital & Social Media hack, Self-confessed Geek, Gamer, Writer & Tech head. All opinions expressed are mine. Now recommended by 9 out of 10 people that recommend stuff