By Allison Johnson, a reviewer with 10 years of experience writing about consumer tech. She has a special interest in mobile photography and telecom. Previously, she worked at DPReview.
If there’s anything you can rely on in this life, it’s the inevitability of death, taxes, and Google hardware leaks. The digital ink was barely dry on our Pixel 7 review when the Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 rumors started to appear last year. Right on schedule, Google is gearing up for its October hardware event, but you don’t have to wait that long for a peek at the new hardware — the company already gave us a sneak preview, complete with the product name in the metadata. Never change, Google.
You can find all of our coverage below — be sure to check back often as the launch event approaches and the leaks inevitably turn into a steady stream.
We’ll meet Google’s newest Pixel devices in just over a month now that the company is sending out invitations for an in-person launch event on Wednesday, October 4th, at 10AM ET in New York City. The invites are going out just one day after Apple invited the media and others to check out its iPhone 15 hardware at an event on September 12th, as the fall calendar quickly fills with events.
An image errantly posted to the Google Store last night has confirmed everything we already knew about the Pixel 8 Pro’s design and camera layout, but what else is there to find out? Details on the full Pixel 8 line of devices and a new Pixel Watch are assured. Otherwise, the Pixel Buds A-Series and Pixel Buds Pro are potential targets for an update, but the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet just started shipping and aren’t ready for a refresh.
Google just started selling its new $699 Pixel 8 and $999 Pixel 8 Pro, but a less expensive version is apparently already on the way: OnLeaks and Smartprix have teamed up again to offer unofficial renders of a roughly 6.1-inch Pixel 8A.
Like the Pixel 8, it’s a design with two rear cameras and a hole-punch selfie cam, and it’s curvy like the other new Pixel phones, too.
Antonio G. Di Benedetto
The Google Pixel Buds Pro may be getting some nifty new software features that should sound a bit familiar if you were paying attention to the latest tweaks for Apple’s AirPods Pro. According to notable leaker Kamila Wojciechowska (@Za_Raczke), Google plans a software update for its flagship earbuds that includes conversation detection, a hearing wellness monitor, and clearer call quality going both ways.
The first feature sounds similar to Apple’s Conversation Awareness that just came to all second-gen AirPods Pro earbuds, with Google’s implementation automatically pausing your media playback and activating transparency mode once the Pixel Buds Pro detect the wearer is talking. Though, before Apple, Sony had already implemented this feature, where it was called the much more confusing “Speak to Chat” — and it’s possible no manufacturer has figured out how to implement the feature while accounting for a user quietly singing along to a tune out loud.
The Pixel 8 launch event is just days away, but someone has already gotten their hands on Google’s upcoming smartphones. In a pair of unboxing videos posted to YouTube by PBKreviews (via 9to5Google), you can see the packaging for the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, along with a brief glimpse at how they look.
The videos don’t really add much to the flood of leaks we’ve already seen leading up to the event, but they show how both phones come neatly packaged with a USB-C cable, a manual, and a Quick Switch adapter, which you can use to transfer the contents of your old device to the Pixel 8.
A leaked Pixel 8 “Switch to Pixel” ad posted to X by Arséne Lupin highlights Google’s AI features, including Best Take, which lets you swap faces into an image from other pictures (via 9to5Google). Google’s Pixel event is just around the corner on October 4th, but there’s seemingly very little we don’t already know about the phone, considering the steady stream of leaks.
The ad kicks off highlighting the process for transferring data to a Pixel 8, but spends most of its time on the AI features of the phone — some new, like Best Take, and some old, like Magic Eraser:
If there’s one job I’d like AI to take from me, it’s my daily email deleting ritual.
Every morning at 8:30AM, Google Calendar pings me with a reminder containing just one word: EMAILS. Thus, my formal workday begins as I speed-delete nearly every email that landed in my inbox overnight. They are largely useless and clog up the space between legitimate emails that I need to read and respond to.
Google’s Pixel launch event is next week, but the company can’t stop the bleeding when it comes to leaks on product reveals. This latest leak gives us a peek at new Fitbit features included on the upcoming Pixel Watch 2, which leaker Evan Blass shared on X, the social platform previously known as Twitter (via 9to5Google).
One of the leaked Pixel Watch 2 images shows support for Fitbit Sense 2’s “Body responses” feature, which is supposed to tell when you’re feeling stressed. While the current Pixel Watch doesn’t have the electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor that’s required to enable this feature, it looks like the Pixel Watch 2 will come with it. EDA sensors measure minuscule amounts of sweat on your skin to detect when you’re stressed while also factoring in heart rate variability, skin temperature, and other metrics.
Google’s upcoming Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro could come with seven years of software support, according to a leaked list of specs published by 91Mobiles. Kamila Wojciechowska, the original source of the leak, has also published US pricing for the two unannounced phones ahead of their October 4th launch. The Pixel 8 Pro is reportedly due to start at $899, the same as the 7 Pro, while the Pixel 8 could start at $699, a $100 increase over the $599 starting price for the Pixel 7.
Wojciechowska notes that it’s unclear whether Google will offer seven years of major Android OS updates for the phones, or whether the figure just refers to seven years of security patches (my money’s on the latter, for what it’s worth). But either way it’s a decent improvement over last year’s Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, which Google has said it’ll support with five years of security patches, including three years of major Android updates.
Pixel 8 camera specs and a new AI promo video for the phone were posted by 91Mobiles, courtesy of leaker Kamila Wojciechowska, giving us our first real look at how Google will integrate more AI into its flagship smartphones (via 9to5Google).
Magic Editor, which the company said earlier this year would come to “select” Pixel phones, is like a supercharged version of Magic Eraser. It enables you to remake any picture you take so it looks like you want it to. That’s shown in a demonstration where a person takes three pictures of a family on a carousel and combines them into one shot so that everyone is smiling and looking at the camera at the same time.
MySmartPrice shared official-looking renders of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro and some of the colors that the phones will apparently come in. The article includes three colors for each phone, and you should check the galleries for yourself to see what Google might have in store at its Pixel launch event on October 4th.
Below, I’ve included an image of my favorite color of the lot: a Pixel 8 Pro in a nice porcelain. And check out our storystream to see more leaks about the phones.
Antonio G. Di Benedetto
Maybe it’s because it reminds me of the old phones’ pill-shaped navigation UI, but this Google Camera 9.0 update 9to5Google reports is rolling out to beta Pixels looks… kinda bad? There even seems to be slightly less viewfinder space. Also, it requires Android 14, so maybe there’s something to rumors of a camera revamp coming with the Pixel 8.
I do love the Ice Cream Sandwich-era vibes of that cyan highlight color, but that might just be Material You theming at work.
Google just released a teaser video of the Pixel Watch 2, and while the smartwatch looks awfully similar to the original, there are some notable differences, such as a new crown, IP68 rating, and a totally different sensor array.
In the run-up to its Made by Google launch event on October 4th in New York, Google’s been “leaking” glimpses of its upcoming Pixel lineup, including Thursday’s closeup of the Pixel 8 Pro and the much smaller Pixel 8. However, our looks at the Pixel Watch 2 have been relatively fleeting. This new video, while short, is the first time we’ve been able to confirm some real differences in terms of design. (Yes, I replayed the video several times and held up my own Pixel Watch as a reference.)
After leaking the Pixel 8 Pro, Google has finally revealed an official look at the flagship device, along with the standard Pixel 8, ahead of its hardware launch event scheduled to take place on October 4th in New York City. A pair of video teasers and a new Google Store landing page give a glimpse at what the Pixel 8 lineup will look like, which includes the “porcelain” 8 Pro seen previously and a pink color option on the smaller phone.
The pictures and videos shared by Google show how much smaller the Pixel 8 is in comparison to the 8 Pro. While the Pixel 8 Pro is rumored to retain the same 6.7-inch display size as its predecessor, the standard Pixel 8 could have a smaller 6.17-inch display (instead of 6.3 inches on the Pixel 7), which is good news if you prefer phones that don’t take up your entire hand.
If this year’s I/O was any indication, we’re going to hear about AI a lot at next month’s Pixel 8 launch. AI for your videos, AI for your text to the babysitter, blah blah blah. Fine. But there’s something else I’m hoping to see in the next generation of Pixel phones, even if it’s not quite the attention-getting feature that AI is: four years of OS upgrades.
Samsung does it. Xiaomi just announced it’s doing it. Even OnePlus is doing it. So why is Google — the company behind Android — still only offering three OS upgrades for its flagship phones when a growing number of other OEMs are promising four? Sure, most Pixel phones launch with the latest OS version, so in some cases, those three OS upgrades are actually even-steven with other phones playing OS catch-up. And Pixel phones get monthly security patches for a full five years, while other flagships drop to a less frequent software update cadence toward the end of their lifespan.
If you had any remaining questions about what the Pixel 8 Pro looks like, Google is here to answer them. The company has put online a 360-degree simulator that lets you turn the device over back to front and top to bottom, with helpful indicators pointing out where various sensors and ports are located. The simulator shows the phone in three colors and confirms that the Pixel 8 Pro will be getting a new temperature sensor on the back beside the cameras.
The simulator was spotted by José Rubén and highlighted by Mishaal Rahman, who both posted about it on X. Google doesn’t appear to have published a link to the website — but all you have to do is plug the new phone’s name into the URL of Google’s other Pixel simulators, and the new phone appears. Presumably it went online early, and someone found it while poking around.
9to5Google reports that a new feature of the Pixel 8 Pro may be better video recording in the dark. The report doesn’t say whether it’ll hit the standard Pixel 8, too.
Oh, and good news for anyone who switches phones now and then: apparently the SIM card slot is still there.
FCC filings suggest both the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will get the yet-to-be-certified Wi-Fi standard (available now in some routers), as reported by Droid Life and shared by Android expert Mishaal Rahman.
But the non-Pro Pixel 8 might lack the ultra-wideband chip needed for Google’s upcoming “Hold Close to Cast” feature and the same goes for the rumored Pixel Watch 2.
Continuing the storied tradition of Google’s Pixel devices being some of the most-leaked hardware ever, the as-yet-unannounced Pixel 8 Pro has popped up on a Google Store page. @Android_Setting on Twitter / X pointed out the image on a page promoting Google’s subscriptions and services (Pixel Pass is not among them), showing a man taking a call on a Pixel 8 Pro in Porcelain.
Sure, the device looks like the renders and images that have already leaked, including from a supposed internal Google video, but how can we be sure it’s that phone in that color? In a win for accessibility, the tipster notes that the image’s alt-text description removes all doubt, reading, “A person takes a call on a Pixel 8 Pro phone in Porcelain.”
Leaker Kamila Wojciechowska wrote up some leaked updates to Google’s camera app UI — changes she says in her Android Authority story will arrive alongside the still-unannounced Pixel 8.
Changes mostly look like tweaks to how you access settings or change camera modes, and one — swiping up to get to settings — sounds like a nice reachability adjustment.
You can see the video on X / Twitter here or in the embedded tweet below. In the video, a person turns on the feature and largely removes the loud noises of a skateboard.
Take it with a grain of salt: this is from an account created this month that has no other posts. But it does seem plausible that this is a Google-made video for a new Google product feature.
We’ve reached out to Google for comment.
If you’re a fan of Google’s Pixel lineup and want the best possible camera performance, there’s only been one real choice over the last couple of years: you buy the biggest phone. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro share the same primary sensor, but the larger device has a superior ultrawide camera (thanks to its wider field of view) and the vaunted telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom. For the upcoming Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, it looks like the company will continue the trend of giving the pricier phone an optical advantage.
Last year, the telephoto lens was the big story, but in 2023, it’s reportedly the ultrawide camera that’s making a substantial leap — but only in one of the two phones, of course.
Google has historically been terrible at maintaining confidentiality and secrecy around its Pixel devices. It’s become a given that we’ll see prototype hardware several months ahead of the company’s annual October hardware event. This has led Google to tease upcoming flagships well in advance. But with the Pixel 7A, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet all taking center stage at last week’s I/O keynote, we didn’t get an early glimpse of the Pixel 8 lineup.
It didn’t take much time for that to change.
Umar Shakir and Sheena Vasani
The Google Photos app has already hosted AI-powered features for still photos going as far back as the Top Shot and Photobooth features added with the launch of the Pixel 3. More recent devices powered by its Tensor SoC have pushed on-device machine learning tech even further to enable stuff like Face Unblur and the Magic Eraser that wipes out photobombers, but it soon might expand its abilities to videos, too.
The launch of Google’s Pixel 8 lineup could introduce a new Video Unblur tool to sharpen videos, code discovered by 9to5Google suggests. It was found within the latest APK for the Google Photos app that the company most recently uploaded to the Play Store.
Google’s upcoming Pixel 8 Pro may have a redesigned camera bar and a flat display, according to new renders of the unannounced device from OnLeaks and Smartprix. Similar renders have also been published of the non-Pro Pixel 8 by MySmartPrice, also in collaboration with OnLeaks.
The most noticeable change to the Pixel 8 Pro’s camera bar is that all three cameras will be visible in one big oval cutout instead of being partially separated like they are on the Pixel 7 Pro. Per the renders, the 8 Pro’s camera bar will also have a mysterious new sensor under the flash. Smartprix speculates that the sensor could be a macro or depth sensor but says that its “specific function remains unknown.” The Pixel 8’s dual-camera setup, meanwhile, appears similar to that the one seen on the Pixel 7, with no obvious sign of the extra sensor.
Dec 20, 2022
The Pixel 8 is a long ways off, but some snippets of camera app code identified by developer Kuba Wojciechowski are giving us an early glimpse into what Google might be planning. The code in question refers to “staggered HDR,” which isn’t a technique that Google’s Pixel camera currently uses. The company was one of the first to refine mobile HDR and computational photography, taking them mainstream. Now, it appears to be evolving its tech for the next generation in a significant way.
Staggered HDR is a method of capturing short and long exposures of scenes nearly simultaneously. Google currently employs HDR Plus Bracketing, which takes individual photos in rapid succession and uses them to create a final image with a wide dynamic range — meaning there’s detail in both shadows and in highlight areas.
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