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Google Pixel 8 Pro Review: The Jack Of All Trades

Following the success of the past few generation’s Pixel smartphones, Google is gradually getting all the well-deserved recognition among mainstream consumers as the Mountain View-based company continue to enjoy positive growth in several key markets including the U.S., where the company saw it’s market share during the second-quarter of the year (vs the same period last year).

The increased popularity of Pixel smartphones doesn’t came as a surprise given the vast amount of positive reviews it had gotten over the years, commending the phones on their superior AI capabilities that greatly improve smartphone experience across the board, from day-to-day usage to mobile photography.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Design -4

Google’s latest flagship – Pixel 8 Pro – is the company’s latest attempt to expand it’s presence in the higher-end segment of the smartphone market which has long been dominated by Apple and Samsung. Featuring a reinvented triple-camera system along with Google’s third-generation Tensor chipset, the new Pixel 8 Pro takes Pixel experience to a whole new level.

Design

Google made headlines in 2021 when the company unveiled the Pixel 6 series smartphones which ushered in a fresh new look for the Pixel lineup. Since then, the company had reverted back to it’s traditionally “conservative” approach towards design change for the upcoming Pixel devices. This is particularly true for the new Pixel 8 Pro.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Design -1

The phone retains the signature dual-tone color scheme and the same familiar camera bar that easily stands out from the crowd. But even though the overall design remains largely consistent, that’s not to say there are no changes at all. Rather than risking with a new and untested design, Google seek to redefine an existing design that’s already popular among it’s fan base.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Design -2

One of the key changes include adopting a frosted, matte-like finish for it’s back panel which does a much better job in keeping out fingerprints and smudges as compared to last year’s Pixel 7 Pro with a glossy finish. It feels soft and premium on hand, and the overall construction of the phone certainly feels like a high-end device that live up to it’s asking price.

The review unit I’m holding comes in an Obsidian colorway which dons a classy and yet understated outlook – just to my liking. But in case you find this color a bit dull, there are also brighter options like Porcelain and Bay colorways for you to pick from in the local market. Each of these colors has it’s own charm, so there’s no particular color that looks better than another in my opinion.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Design -5

Over to the front side, the Google Pixel 8 Pro greets us with a spacious 6.7” flat screen display which offers plenty of screen estate for work and play. As usual, the display itself is based on a high-end OLED panel that offers an ultra-sharp 2992 x 1344 pixels screen resolution along with a buttery-smooth 120Hz refresh rate which allow you to enjoy a more immersive viewing experience.

This time round, the adaptive refresh rate feature has also been improved and is now finally able to (automatically) adapts the screen refresh rate between 1Hz to 120Hz according to onscreen contents. This makes it even more power efficient than last year’s Pixel 7 Pro which features a slightly narrower range between 10Hz to 120Hz.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Design -6

However, the biggest upgrade in the display department actually lies in it’s peak brightness which can now goes up to an impressive 2,400 nits in auto brightness mode. That’s way brighter than what the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra offer. As such, outdoor visibility will never been an issue for the Pixel 8 Pro even if you’re using the phone directly under the sun.

Like any other high-end devices, the front display is reinforced by an extra layer of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 to protect the screen against accidental drops or scratches. Speaking of durability, it’s worth noting that the Pixel 8 Pro is also IP68-rated for dust and water resistance. This basically means the phone is able to survive 1.5m of water submersion for up to 30 minutes.

Performance

Since the Pixel 6 series smartphones, Google has been using the company’s in-house Tensor chipset for it’s Pixel devices. The new Pixel 8 Pro is powered the latest Tensor G3 chipset that comes with several noteworthy improvements including better performance and thermal management.

In terms of day-to-day usage, the Tensor G3 is able to deliver an amazing smartphone experience with rapid app loading and seamless app switching when multi-tasking. Even when working on more resource-intensive tasks like mobile gaming and video editing, the phone also didn’t show any sign of choppiness, making it an ideal companion for gaming and productivity.

Besides drafting in more power for entertainment and productivity, the new Tensor G3 chipset also comes with improved AI and machine learning capabilities that are crucial for computational photography. This allows the Pixel 8 Pro to support new features such as Best Takes which automatically create a blended image with everyone’s best expression using a series of similar photos, as well as Magic Editor which leverages generative AI to help you easily make complex edits such as the resizing and repositioning a particular subject in the photo.

Memory-wise, the Google Pixel 8 Pro is available in three storage options – 128GB, 256GB and 512GB – which will all be paired with 12GB worth of RAM. Considering that cloud storage is readily available at your fingertip, the 128GB base model is probably more than good enough for majority of the users.

Cameras

Now, let’s move on to the most exciting aspect of the Pixel 8 Pro – it’s camera system. The new Pixel 8 Pro features a total of three cameras at the back including a 50 megapixels (f/1.7 aperture) main camera, 48 megapixels (f/2.0 aperture) ultra-wide camera as well as a 48 megapixels (f/2.8 aperture) telephoto unit.

Unsurprisingly, the main camera is able to capture fantastic-looking photos with accurate exposure and excellent dynamic range regardless whether you’re shooting in a well or poorly-lit environment. Likewise, it’s high-res imaging sensor also allows the camera to capture plenty of details in photo which remain sharp and visible even when I blow it up on my 32″ desktop monitor as wallpaper.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -1
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -2
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -3
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -4
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -5

Like any other Pixel smartphones, the Pixel 8 Pro’s main camera features a powerful autofocusing system that’s quick and reliable. For me, this is a very important aspect of a camera system as it allows me to capture a sharp and well-focused photo within the shortest period of time which ensures I won’t miss out any precious moment that may not come by again.

While I’m very much impressed by the main camera, the Pixel 8 Pro’s ultra-wide unit is surprisingly my favorite camera among the trio. Besides taking breathtaking landscape photography, the ultra-wide camera also doubles up as a superb macro camera for close-up photography.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -6
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -9
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -7
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -8

Speaking of macro photography, I really love how smooth and seamless the main camera switches over to the ultra-wide camera once I hold the phone close to the subject at around 2cm distance. Also, I hardly experience such ease of taking close-up photography without having to struggle for a good focus. Most importantly, close-up photos captured with the ultra-wide camera are easily comparable to those taken by expensive DSLR with dedicated lenses.

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Following the success of the past few generation’s Pixel smartphones, Google is gradually getting all the well-deserved recognition among mainstream consumers as the Mountain View-based company continue to enjoy positive growth in several key markets including the U.S., where the company saw it’s market share during the second-quarter of the year (vs the same period last year).

The increased popularity of Pixel smartphones doesn’t came as a surprise given the vast amount of positive reviews it had gotten over the years, commending the phones on their superior AI capabilities that greatly improve smartphone experience across the board, from day-to-day usage to mobile photography.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Design -4

Google’s latest flagship – Pixel 8 Pro – is the company’s latest attempt to expand it’s presence in the higher-end segment of the smartphone market which has long been dominated by Apple and Samsung. Featuring a reinvented triple-camera system along with Google’s third-generation Tensor chipset, the new Pixel 8 Pro takes Pixel experience to a whole new level.

Design

Google made headlines in 2021 when the company unveiled the Pixel 6 series smartphones which ushered in a fresh new look for the Pixel lineup. Since then, the company had reverted back to it’s traditionally “conservative” approach towards design change for the upcoming Pixel devices. This is particularly true for the new Pixel 8 Pro.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Design -1

The phone retains the signature dual-tone color scheme and the same familiar camera bar that easily stands out from the crowd. But even though the overall design remains largely consistent, that’s not to say there are no changes at all. Rather than risking with a new and untested design, Google seek to redefine an existing design that’s already popular among it’s fan base.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Design -2

One of the key changes include adopting a frosted, matte-like finish for it’s back panel which does a much better job in keeping out fingerprints and smudges as compared to last year’s Pixel 7 Pro with a glossy finish. It feels soft and premium on hand, and the overall construction of the phone certainly feels like a high-end device that live up to it’s asking price. @playfuldroid Google Pixel 8 Pro full unboxing ? #GooglePixel8Pro#GooglePixel8#Google#Smartphone? Levitating – Dua Lipa

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The review unit I’m holding comes in an Obsidian colorway which dons a classy and yet understated outlook – just to my liking. But in case you find this color a bit dull, there are also brighter options like Porcelain and Bay colorways for you to pick from in the local market. Each of these colors has it’s own charm, so there’s no particular color that looks better than another in my opinion.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Design -5

Over to the front side, the Google Pixel 8 Pro greets us with a spacious 6.7” flat screen display which offers plenty of screen estate for work and play. As usual, the display itself is based on a high-end OLED panel that offers an ultra-sharp 2992 x 1344 pixels screen resolution along with a buttery-smooth 120Hz refresh rate which allow you to enjoy a more immersive viewing experience.

This time round, the adaptive refresh rate feature has also been improved and is now finally able to (automatically) adapts the screen refresh rate between 1Hz to 120Hz according to onscreen contents. This makes it even more power efficient than last year’s Pixel 7 Pro which features a slightly narrower range between 10Hz to 120Hz.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Design -6

However, the biggest upgrade in the display department actually lies in it’s peak brightness which can now goes up to an impressive 2,400 nits in auto brightness mode. That’s way brighter than what the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra offer. As such, outdoor visibility will never been an issue for the Pixel 8 Pro even if you’re using the phone directly under the sun.

Like any other high-end devices, the front display is reinforced by an extra layer of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 to protect the screen against accidental drops or scratches. Speaking of durability, it’s worth noting that the Pixel 8 Pro is also IP68-rated for dust and water resistance. This basically means the phone is able to survive 1.5m of water submersion for up to 30 minutes.

Performance

Since the Pixel 6 series smartphones, Google has been using the company’s in-house Tensor chipset for it’s Pixel devices. The new Pixel 8 Pro is powered the latest Tensor G3 chipset that comes with several noteworthy improvements including better performance and thermal management.

In terms of day-to-day usage, the Tensor G3 is able to deliver an amazing smartphone experience with rapid app loading and seamless app switching when multi-tasking. Even when working on more resource-intensive tasks like mobile gaming and video editing, the phone also didn’t show any sign of choppiness, making it an ideal companion for gaming and productivity.

Besides drafting in more power for entertainment and productivity, the new Tensor G3 chipset also comes with improved AI and machine learning capabilities that are crucial for computational photography. This allows the Pixel 8 Pro to support new features such as Best Takes which automatically create a blended image with everyone’s best expression using a series of similar photos, as well as Magic Editor which leverages generative AI to help you easily make complex edits such as the resizing and repositioning a particular subject in the photo.

Memory-wise, the Google Pixel 8 Pro is available in three storage options – 128GB, 256GB and 512GB – which will all be paired with 12GB worth of RAM. Considering that cloud storage is readily available at your fingertip, the 128GB base model is probably more than good enough for majority of the users.

Cameras

Now, let’s move on to the most exciting aspect of the Pixel 8 Pro – it’s camera system. The new Pixel 8 Pro features a total of three cameras at the back including a 50 megapixels (f/1.7 aperture) main camera, 48 megapixels (f/2.0 aperture) ultra-wide camera as well as a 48 megapixels (f/2.8 aperture) telephoto unit.

Unsurprisingly, the main camera is able to capture fantastic-looking photos with accurate exposure and excellent dynamic range regardless whether you’re shooting in a well or poorly-lit environment. Likewise, it’s high-res imaging sensor also allows the camera to capture plenty of details in photo which remain sharp and visible even when I blow it up on my 32″ desktop monitor as wallpaper.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -1
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -2
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -3
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -4
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -5

Like any other Pixel smartphones, the Pixel 8 Pro’s main camera features a powerful autofocusing system that’s quick and reliable. For me, this is a very important aspect of a camera system as it allows me to capture a sharp and well-focused photo within the shortest period of time which ensures I won’t miss out any precious moment that may not come by again.

While I’m very much impressed by the main camera, the Pixel 8 Pro’s ultra-wide unit is surprisingly my favorite camera among the trio. Besides taking breathtaking landscape photography, the ultra-wide camera also doubles up as a superb macro camera for close-up photography.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -6
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -9
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -7
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Sample -8

Speaking of macro photography, I really love how smooth and seamless the main camera switches over to the ultra-wide camera once I hold the phone close to the subject at around 2cm distance. Also, I hardly experience such ease of taking close-up photography without having to struggle for a good focus. Most importantly, close-up photos captured with the ultra-wide camera are easily comparable to those taken by expensive DSLR with dedicated lenses.

@playfuldroid Check out Google Pixel 8 Pro’s impressive zooming capability ? #GooglePixel8Pro #GooglePixel8 #GooglePixel #Smartphone ? Better Off Alone – 90s Dance Music

As for the telephoto camera, I would say this is fun camera to have onboard. Other than helping you to see tiny wordings on distant signboard or billboard, there’s honestly no practical use for zooming beyond the 10x mark on any smartphone at this point of time until we see a significant improvement in the photo quality.

Battery & Charging

To keep it’s lights on, the Pixel 8 Pro is backed by a respectable 5,050mAh battery that’s able to provide me with slightly more than a day’s battery life under moderate usage which typically include 4 to 5 hours of screen time as well as an hour of gameplay in between.

In the event that the battery runs out, it can be recharged rather quickly as the phone supports an improved 30W wired charging that’s able to fully recharge a completely flat battery from 0 to 100% in around 80 minutes. Wireless charging is available too – but at a slower charging speed of up to 23W.

Verdict

After spending more than a month with the Pixel 8 Pro, I can say with great confident that the Pixel 8 Pro isn’t just the best Pixel smartphone launched by Google so far, but it’s also one of the best smartphone in the market. Regardless whether you’re a busy office worker, a budding mobile photographer or an avid mobile gamer, the Pixel 8 Pro got you covered with the best hardware you need to perform your role. Simply put, it’s a jack of all trades in the smartphone world.

In Singapore, the Google Pixel 8 Pro is available in three different configurations – 128GB, 256GB and 512GB – which are priced at S$1,549, S$1,649 and S$1,849, respective. Those who’re interested can purchase the phone through Google Store, Amazon, Challenger, Courts, Shopee, Singtel and Sprint Cass.

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