It’s been a month since I started using the Pixel 8 Pro, and I’m here to share the real scoop.
This review isn’t just about specs and tech stuff, it’s about what it’s like to use the Google Pixel 8 Pro every day.
Are you into taking great photos? Or maybe you just want a phone that’s easy to use and does cool things? I’ve checked out everything this phone has to offer.
Sure, it’s got some great features, but it’s not perfect.
So, is the Pixel 8 Pro worth the hype? Let’s dive in and find out together.
Pixel 8 Pro: Pros & Cons
- Outstanding Camera
- Bright, Vivid Display
- Clean Software Experience
- Unique Design
- Long-Term Updates
- Solid Build Quality
- Average Battery Life
- Performance Hiccups
- Prone to Scratches
- Heating Issues
Pixel 8 Pro: Key Specs
|162.60 x 76.50 x 8.80 mm
|Premium build with Gorilla Glass Victus 2
|2,400 nits peak brightness
|In-display fingerprint scanner, face unlock
|Google Tensor G3
|50 MP + 64 MP + 48 MP
|IP68 water and dust resistance
|Stereo speakers, spatial audio support
|Up to 30W wired charging, wireless charging support
|Obsidian, Porcelain, Bay, Mint
|AI-powered software features, extended update support
Pixel 8 Pro: Design & Build Quality
When I first got my hands on the Pixel 8 Pro, its design immediately caught my eye.
There’s something about it that makes it stand out in a sea of smartphones.
If you’ve seen a Pixel before, you know they have a certain flair, and the Pixel 8 Pro is no exception.
The distinct RoboCop-style visor camera module is instantly recognizable.
As you hold the Pixel 8 Pro, the first thing you’ll notice is its comfortable grip.
The rounded corners this year are a nice touch, enhancing the overall hand-feel.
It doesn’t feel slippery, and it fits snugly, almost like it was made just for your palm.
This is crucial because a phone isn’t just about looks, how it feels in your hand is equally important.
Google seems to have nailed this aspect, balancing aesthetics with ergonomics.
Related: Pixel 8 Pro vs OnePlus 12
To provide you with a better understanding of the design and build quality, here are other aspects:
The durability of the Pixel 8 Pro has an issue.
I found that the metal on the camera part of the phone gets scratched easily.
It’s disappointing because we spend a lot of money on these devices.
You’d probably want to use a case to maintain its resale value.
Also, while the Pixel 8 Pro boasts Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 for protection, which is reassuring, it’s prone to scratches.
So, a screen protector is almost a necessity.
2. Daily Use Experience
In my month-long journey with the Pixel 8 Pro, a few things stood out.
The IP68 rating means it’s durable against water and dust, but what really impressed me was the USB Type-C gen 3.2 port at the bottom.
It provides super-fast transfer speeds, which is a big advantage in our fast-moving world.
Related: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review
3. The Stereo Speaker Setup
Finally, let’s touch on the audio.
The stereo speakers are decent, but they don’t quite match up to other flagships in terms of quality.
They’re okay for casual listening but might fall short for audiophiles.
The spatial audio support is a nice addition, though.
Pixel 8 Pro: Display
When you first turn on the Pixel 8 Pro, the screen really grabs your attention.
It’s bright and colorful, making everything you do look great.
Whether you’re surfing the web or watching movies, the pictures are clear and lively.
The screen also has HDR, which makes videos look even better.
Sure, it doesn’t have Dolby Vision, but the quality is still amazing.
If you love watching shows on Netflix or videos on YouTube, you’ll be happy with how they look on this phone.
Related: Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus Review
Here are a few more things to consider about the display:
1. The Super Brightness
The Pixel 8 Pro’s screen brightness is a real highlight.
It’s incredibly bright, reaching up to 2,400 nits.
This means when you’re using your phone outside, even on very sunny days, you’ll have no trouble seeing your screen clearly.
Reading texts or looking at photos outdoors becomes much easier, thanks to this high level of brightness.
What’s impressive is how the display performs under different lighting conditions.
In broad daylight, the content on the screen remains visible and vibrant.
In contrast, in darker environments, the display’s ability to tone down brightness without losing clarity ensures a comfortable viewing experience, especially during those late-night scrolling sessions.
Related: Redmi Note 13 Pro Review
3. The Bezels
The display of the Pixel 8 Pro is designed with thin, evenly matched bezels, giving the phone a modern and stylish look.
This design isn’t just about looks, it also makes the phone more enjoyable to use.
The balance of good design and practicality in the Pixel 8 Pro means you get a phone that’s not only nice to hold and use but also great to look at.
4. Comfortable and Immersive
As I used the Pixel 8 Pro more, I realized how comfortable the flat display was.
Unlike curved screens, which can sometimes lead to accidental touches, this flat design ensures a more reliable and immersive experience.
5. The Haptic Connection
Let’s talk about something often overlooked in phone reviews: haptic feedback.
Combined with the responsive display, the haptics make every interaction feel tactile and engaging.
Whether you’re typing a message or navigating through menus, the feedback you get adds a layer of connection between you and your device.
6. A Few Shortcomings
It’s not all perfect, though.
This means it can’t dynamically adjust the refresh rate for better battery efficiency.
However, Google has optimized it to switch between 60, 90, and 120Hz effectively, ensuring a good balance between performance and power consumption.
Pixel 8 Pro: Camera
The camera setup has always been a hot topic among Pixel phones, and the Pixel 8 Pro is no exception.
As I experimented with it, the results were consistently impressive.
Google is really good at using computer tricks to make photos look great, especially with the wide-angle camera.
In low-light conditions, it even outperforms some of its high-end competitors.
To give you a clearer picture of the camera setup, let’s look at some other aspects:
1. Portraits and Selfies
When it comes to taking portraits with the Pixel 8 Pro, things get really interesting.
The way it focuses on the subject, handles skin tones, and works with colors is excellent.
The background gets beautifully blurred, making your portraits look like they were taken with a fancy camera.
Selfies come out clear and detailed, though they can be a bit heavy on contrast.
Nevertheless, they still do a great job of capturing your best moments with clarity.
2. Video Capabilities
It’s not just about still photos.
The video capabilities of the Pixel 8 Pro have seen significant improvements.
The 4K video recording is robust, offering a level of quality that’s quite close to what you’d expect from the top players in the market.
The stabilization adds to the professional feel of the videos, making your recordings look smooth and cinematic.
Related: Poco X6 Pro Long Term Review
3. The AI Touch
What sets the Pixel 8 Pro’s camera apart is its intelligent use of AI.
Features like Magic Eraser and Real Tone showcase Google’s commitment to not just capturing images, but enhancing them in meaningful ways.
These tools don’t just tweak your photos, they transform them while keeping them looking natural.
4. Room for Improvement
Despite these strengths, there are areas where the Pixel 8 Pro’s camera could improve.
For instance, its HDR processing can sometimes be overzealous, leading to overexposed results.
Also, while the 5x periscope zoom is impressive, it doesn’t quite match the prowess of some competitors.
And, the portrait mode, once a benchmark in the industry, now seems to lag behind in terms of edge detection and depth accuracy.
5. Low Light Photography
In low-light conditions, the Pixel 8 Pro performs admirably, but it’s not without its quirks.
In certain scenarios, you might find the images a bit too contrast-heavy, though they retain impressive detail and low noise levels.
Pixel 8 Pro: Performance
When it comes to performance, the Pixel 8 Pro, powered by Google’s own Tensor G3 chipset, presents a mixed bag.
As I navigated through daily tasks, the phone handled general activities with ease.
From browsing the web to multitasking between apps, the experience was smooth and hiccup-free.
However, when pushing the phone to its limits, particularly in gaming or intensive tasks, the Tensor G3’s limitations became evident.
The following aspects will clarify what I’m talking about:
1. Heating and Throttling
One noticeable aspect during my usage was the heating issue.
The Pixel 8 Pro tends to run warm, more so when under stress from gaming or prolonged camera use.
This warmth isn’t just about the feel, it translates to performance throttling over extended periods of high demand.
It’s a concern, especially considering the expectations from a flagship device.
2. AI Capabilities
Despite these challenges, the Tensor G3’s AI capabilities are commendable.
Google has integrated some smart AI features that enhance the overall user experience.
From the sophisticated camera algorithms to real-time translation features, the AI integration is seamless and genuinely useful.
3. Comparing to the Competition
In the world of flagship chipsets, the Tensor G3 doesn’t quite match up to the likes of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon or Apple’s A-series in raw performance.
While it works fine for regular use, if you use it a lot or play games, this could be something you don’t like.
4. The Daily Driver Perspective
For the average user, the performance of the Pixel 8 Pro will likely be more than satisfactory.
It handles everyday tasks with finesse, and the occasional warmth during heavy use might not be a dealbreaker.
However, for those who prioritize top-tier performance, especially in gaming or intensive multitasking, the Pixel 8 Pro might leave you wanting more.
Pixel 8 Pro: Software
When we talk about the software on the Pixel 8 Pro, the first thing you notice is the pure Android experience it gives you.
It’s using Android 14, and the phone has a clean and simple interface without a lot of extra stuff that can make things confusing.
It’s like a nice change in a market where many phones have a lot of extra things and apps you don’t really need.
Here are some other factors to help you get a better sense of the software:
1. The Pixel Flavor
What makes the Pixel 8 Pro unique in its software approach is the “Pixel flavor” added to the already efficient Android system.
These Pixel-exclusive features, like the Now Playing song identification and Live Transcribe, aren’t just fancy additions; they’re genuinely useful in everyday life.
The way music titles appear on your lock screen or how transcriptions help in noisy environments are small touches that significantly enhance the user experience.
2. Seven Years of Promise
One remarkable thing Google does with the Pixel 8 Pro is promising to give you software updates for seven years.
It’s not only about getting new features; it’s also about keeping your phone safe and working well for a long time.
This means that your Pixel 8 Pro will stay useful and protected for many years, making it a good investment.
Related: Oppo Reno 11 Pro Full Review
3. Smoothness and Stability
In terms of day-to-day usage, the software on the Pixel 8 Pro is remarkably smooth and stable.
Swiping through apps, navigating the settings, or just scrolling through your feed, there’s a sense of fluidity and responsiveness that makes the experience enjoyable.
4. Generative AI
With the Pixel 8 Pro, you get a taste of the future with generative AI features.
The ability to create wallpapers based on prompts or use the Magic Editor for advanced photo editing are not just gimmicks; they’re practical tools powered by AI, making your interaction with the phone more creative and personal.
5. Room for Improvement
While the software experience is mostly positive, there are some quirks.
For instance, the occasional bug or anomaly, like playback controls not appearing on the lock screen, can be a minor inconvenience.
However, these issues are rare and don’t take away much from the overall experience.
Pixel 8 Pro: Battery Life & Charging
As I used the Pixel 8 Pro, the battery life was a critical aspect of my daily experience.
It’s a mixed bag, honestly.
On a typical day involving browsing, social media, emails, and some streaming, the phone managed to last a day with moderate use.
However, intense tasks like gaming or using the camera extensively cut down the battery life noticeably.
On average, I managed to use the phone for about 4-5 hours with the screen on.
It’s not exceptionally long, but it should be enough for most people.
Here are a few more things to consider about the battery life and charging:
1. Compare to Other Flagships
In comparison to other flagships, the Pixel 8 Pro’s battery performance doesn’t quite hit the high marks.
It’s good enough for everyday use but doesn’t quite provide the full-day battery life that some users might hope for in a top-of-the-line device.
This might not be a big problem for everyone, but if you use your phone a lot, it’s something to think about.
Moving to charging, the Pixel 8 Pro supports fast charging, but the speeds are not as fast as some of its competitors.
With a compatible PD charger, it charges at a maximum of 30 watts, which is decent but not the quickest in the market.
From my experience, it took around 1.5 hours to fully charge the phone, which is reasonable, but again, not exceptionally fast.
3. Wireless Charging and Heat
The phone also supports wireless charging, which adds to the convenience factor.
However, during wireless charging, I noticed the Pixel 8 Pro tends to get warm, which could be a concern for some.
It’s not overly alarming, but something to keep in mind if you prefer wireless charging.
4. Adaptive Battery
One of the smarter features in terms of battery management is the Adaptive Battery technology.
It learns your usage patterns over time and optimizes battery life accordingly.
This feature is particularly useful as it helps to squeeze out extra hours from the battery, making the phone more efficient in the long run.
Is Google Pixel 8 Pro Worth It?
If you love taking great photos and want a phone that’s easy and fun to use, the Pixel 8 Pro might be the phone for you.
Its camera is top-notch, and the way it runs Android is really smooth and smart.
But, if you’re someone who uses their phone a lot for heavy stuff like gaming, or if you’re away from a charger all day, you might find it a bit lacking.
The battery is okay but not amazing, and when you push the phone hard, it doesn’t always keep up.
In terms of price, it’s up there with other fancy phones.
So, think about what matters most to you in a phone.