All the news on Google’s Pixel 8 lineup

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Google has launched its Pixel 8 lineup following many months of leaks leading up to its release. The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro sport new finishes, faster processors, better cameras, and a splash of AI software features. Alongside the phones comes the Pixel Watch 2 with a more advanced sensor array and updated Pixel Buds that now have conversation detection that can automatically put you into transparency mode.

Google’s newfound appetite for generative AI includes new photo editing tools that let you move people around and replace the sky with Magic Editor and also remove unwanted objects with an improved Magic Eraser. Another big new feature is Best Take, where you can select the best facial expressions of your friends in successive photos and pop them into one image. All together, it’s contributing to a new what-is-a-photo apocalypse.

The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro both rock Google’s Tensor 3 chip, but only the Pro will get extra pro camera features like manual modes and zoom enhance. But the must-have features of the Pixel 8s aren’t the brighter screens or the Pro’s weird temperature sensor — it’s the promise of seven years of software updates, which is unprecedented on an Android device.

You can learn all about the Pixel 8 lineup by gliding through all of our coverage below.

Highlights

  • The $999 Google Pixel 8 Pro takes good photos with its 50-megapixel f/1.68 main sensor. For the most part, subjects are sharp, colors aren’t too saturated, and the focus fall-off can fool you into thinking images came from a larger camera. But it’s important to remember that Google is a software company that sometimes makes hardware. And for every one photo it takes, there are two AI editing tools ready to either make its hardware look better than it really is or create a scene that isn’t necessarily true.

    In the latest episode of my YouTube series Full Frame, I set out to take 1,000 photos with the Pixel 8 Pro. From 4K, 24FPS video of fall in upstate New York to ultrawide macro shots of my eyeballs, I put this system to the test.

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  • RIP to the Sphere.

    Not the Vegas one… the photo spheres that Google used to let you capture. They’ve been removed as a feature from the latest Pixels.

    I’m told by reliable sources that I am the only person who ever used this feature. But I am here to insist: it was a good feature! Photo Spheres were a delightful way to step back into a space and time. I guess we’re back to taking really stretchy panoramas.

  • A photo of the bottom speakers on Google’s Pixel 8 Pro.

    A photo of the bottom speakers on Google’s Pixel 8 Pro.

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

    I carried around a Pixel 7 Pro as my primary phone for several months and enjoyed many aspects of it — but the audio that came from its speakers was thin and feeble compared to flagships from Apple, Samsung, and others. And this wasn’t a new flaw in the Pixel line by any stretch: it’s something Google has overlooked over multiple years now.

    I’d argue that things really went off the tracks starting with the Pixel 5, when Google replaced the conventional earpiece speaker with an over-engineered, under-display alternative that used vibrations to produce sound. The result was something that was passable for voice calls but underwhelming for anything else. It was a noticeable downgrade coming from perfectly adequate stereo speakers that Google had included on the Pixel 4 and 4 XL.

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  • Google’s pitch for the Pixel phone in recent years has centered on how smart the phone is — that it’s one step ahead of you and can help take some of the pain out of your daily chores. The Pixel 6 and 7 didn’t quite live up to that vision, but these Pixel 8 devices feel like the first phones that could turn the sales pitch into a reality.

    Right now, they’re better phones than their predecessors in some appreciable ways. And the potential of these devices is more compelling — the trouble is, Google is asking for a lot of your trust to get there.

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  • Pixel Watch 2 on top of the Pixel 8

    Pixel Watch 2 on top of the Pixel 8

    The Pixel Watch 2 is a significant improvement on the original.

    For whatever reason, being second generally isn’t a good thing in our culture. It’s baked into our vernacular: sophomore slumps, second place is the first loser — even the parable of the prodigal son was about a second-born child. In the world of smartwatches, we never talk about the Apple Watch Series 2, Samsung went straight from the Galaxy Watch to the Galaxy Watch 3, and Wear OS 2 was Bad. So I’m chuffed that the $349.99 Google Pixel Watch 2 is the rare sequel that’s better than the original.

    Before this watch launched, I wrote that all it needed was good battery life. Spoiler alert — the Pixel Watch 2 has made big strides on this front (though probably not enough for folks looking for a truly multiday smartwatch). The watch went from being a gadget I had to baby to something that could fit into my everyday life. That, plus a barrage of updates big and small, have, in turn, opened up a lot of possibilities that just weren’t there last year.

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  • Pixel 8 Pro shown in bay blue.

    Pixel 8 Pro shown in bay blue.

    The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
    Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

    Google isn’t just promising seven years of upgrades for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro — the company says it’ll also stock spare parts for seven years as well.

    “Parts will be available for seven years. That’s part of our commitment,” Soniya Jobanputra, director of product management at Google, told Android Authority. “[W]e need to make our parts available so you can keep your hardware alive for that long.”

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  • A screencap from Google’s Pixel 8 launch event. A closeup of a blue Pixel 8 Pro, with a temperature sensor visible below the LED flash module on the right side of the camera bar. A line goes from the temperature sensor to the words “temperature sensor.”

    A screencap from Google’s Pixel 8 launch event. A closeup of a blue Pixel 8 Pro, with a temperature sensor visible below the LED flash module on the right side of the camera bar. A line goes from the temperature sensor to the words “temperature sensor.”

    Temperature sensor. Temperature sensor? Temperature sensor.
    Image: Google

    The Pixel 8 Pro has an infrared temperature sensor. Why does the Pixel 8 Pro have a temperature sensor?

    For an unusual feature on a $1,000 flagship phone, Google really isn’t saying much about it. The Pixel 8 Pro announcement mentions it almost in passing:

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  • Photo of bay blue Pixel 8 Pro in hand

    Photo of bay blue Pixel 8 Pro in hand

    Photo by Allison Johnson / The Verge

    One of the first known photo fakes, a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, was made just decades after the dawn of photography itself. Since then, photographers have found themselves in endless arguments about what truly constitutes a photo — what’s real, what’s fake, and when is editing too much? Now, as we head into an era where AI-powered tools are everywhere and easily accessible, the discussion is going to be messier than ever. And with the Pixel 8, Google has turned the question of “what is a photo” right on its head.

    Google has been leading smartphone photography down this path for many years now. The company pioneered the concept of computational photography, where smartphone cameras do a huge amount of behind-the-scenes processing to spit out a photo that contains more detail than the camera sensor can detect in a single snap. Most modern smartphones use a system like Google’s HDR Plus technology to take a burst of images and combine them into one computationally-created picture, merging highlights, shadows, details, and other data to deliver a more pristine photo. It’s accepted practice at this point, but it also means that a baseline smartphone photo is already more than just “a photo” — it’s many of them, with their best parts combined.

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  • I can’t believe Google finally did it. I’m still in disbelief. An Android phone with seven years of updates — not security patches, but real OS and feature updates? It’s unheard of. It’s historic.

    It’s the opposite of what we’ve come to expect from Google over the past decade and change — so many great smartphone features sadly left locked away because of Android fragmentation, so many products buried in the Google graveyard. With “seven years of OS upgrades, security updates, feature drops, and AI innovations,” will the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro finally break the cycle?

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  • Sensor array on the Pixel Watch 2

    Sensor array on the Pixel Watch 2

    There’s contact pin charging now.
    Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

    Unlike the smooth puck used with the first-gen Pixel Watch, Google’s new Pixel Watch 2 has switched to a charger with pogo pins — a design used by Fitbit on all of its fitness trackers and smartwatches. Complicating matters, it also looks like first-gen Pixel Watch cases aren’t compatible with the new watch, either. All this can be frustrating from a user standpoint, but it highlights why smartwatches and wearables will rely on proprietary accessories for a good long while.

    Switching to pogo pin charging might seem like a step back, but it’s a functional choice. With the Pixel Watch 2, Google and Fitbit opted to add a new multipath sensor instead of the single strip of LEDs on the first watch. The upside is the additional sensors will purportedly improve heart rate tracking accuracy by 40 percent during vigorous activities. The downside is adding more internal components leaves less room to place charging elements within the watch.

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  • A pile of five Pixel 8 devices.

    A pile of five Pixel 8 devices.

    A pile of new Pixel 8 devices.
    Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

    I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Google’s latest products are filled with AI. There’s Magic Editor, a photo editing tool powered by generative AI; there’s Conversation Detection, an audio transparency feature powered by AI; there are improved heart rate algorithms, which, yes, are also powered by AI.

    Seven years of OS updates? Sounds like a great way to get more AI features from Google. New photography features? All AI. Tensor processor? Designed for AI, baby! “As always, our focus is on making AI more helpful for everyone, in a way that’s both bold and responsible,” Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh said in an introduction that, by my count, included the word “AI” over a dozen times. Over the course of the hour-long launch, Google’s presenters referenced AI over 50 times.

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  • Image of Pixel 8 Pro lying on a pool table with the rear panel facing up and light reflecting on the camera lenses.

    Image of Pixel 8 Pro lying on a pool table with the rear panel facing up and light reflecting on the camera lenses.

    Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

    When Google announced the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro today, it added a feature no other phone can compete with: both devices will get Android OS updates, security updates, and new feature updates for the next seven years. That’s a very big deal! Ongoing support is the difference between a phone that works and a phone with gaping security holes that needs to be thrown out.There’s a very real argument to be made that this is the biggest thing Google announced today.

    The promise is particularly notable for an Android phone, where OS support can often drop off after just a few years. By way of comparison, the Pixel 7A and Pixel Fold, both phones Google announced this year, will lose software support in 2026 and security updates in 2028 — that’s only three years of promised software updates for either, and one of those phones sells for $1,799.

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  • Pixel 8 Pro in bay blue with rear panel facing up.

    Pixel 8 Pro in bay blue with rear panel facing up.

    The Google Pixel 8 Pro comes with a 6.7-inch display and starts at $999.
    Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

    In addition to officially rolling out Android 14, Google introduced the Pixel Watch 2 and a new lineup of phones during its Made by Google Event on Wednesday. The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro start at $699 and $999, respectively, and will be available on October 12th.

    On the spec front, both phones sport Google’s new Tensor G3 chip, which is an upgrade over the G2 chip that marked Google’s Pixel 7 lineup. Each also comes with a 120Hz max refresh rate and seven years of software support and security updates. The Pro 8 touts a maximum of 1TB of storage as well, along with a new sensor for measuring the temperature of beverages, surfaces, and — perhaps one day — maybe even people.

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  • Google’s latest Pixel launch event has come to an end. Even though some of the products Google revealed were leaked well in advance, the company still managed to throw in a couple of surprises.

    Here are all the biggest announcements from the Made by Google event.

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  • You can get a free Pixel Watch 2 if you preorder the Pixel 8 Pro.

    You can get a free Pixel Watch 2 if you preorder the Pixel 8 Pro.

    You can get a free Pixel Watch 2 if you preorder the Pixel 8 Pro.
    Image: Google

    Google announced the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro on Wednesday during its Made by Google Event, introducing it alongside the new Pixel Watch 2. Both phones will be available on October 12th starting at $699 and $999, respectively, with preorders beginning today, October 4th.

    Powered by the new Google Tensor G3, both phones should offer improved performance, audio, and voice quality. The chip also allows for new AI capabilities, like Audio Magic Eraser, which removes distracting sounds from videos. In addition, both phones now feature a max refresh rate of 120Hz and the promise of seven years of software support and Android updates. The Pro model, meanwhile, offers improved cameras and additional bells and whistles, like the ability to measure the temperature of objects.

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  • The Google Pixel Watch 2 in its three case colors and finishes (left to right) : polished silver, matte black, and champagne gold.

    The Google Pixel Watch 2 in its three case colors and finishes (left to right) : polished silver, matte black, and champagne gold.

    The Pixel Watch 2 comes in polished silver, matte black, and champagne gold.
    Image: Google

    Google’s Pixel Watch has been with us for a full year now, and the surprise hit smartwatch now gets the honor of having its own iterative update. While the original Pixel Watch was a good first crack at a wearable from Google, the Pixel Watch 2 is poised to improve on it with more Fitbit-inspired health and wellness features and a claim of improved battery life.

    Google announced the Pixel Watch 2 alongside the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro at its fall Made by Google event in New York, and the new $349.99 wearable is slated to arrive soon on October 12th. Just like its predecessor, it’s being offered as a base model with Wi-Fi or with the option of a cellular LTE connection for an additional $50 (plus the usual subscription fee from your carrier of choice).

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  • An image of the new blue and porcelain Pixel Buds Pro.

    An image of the new blue and porcelain Pixel Buds Pro.

    Image: Google

    To complement the new Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, Google is releasing additional colors of its Pixel Buds Pro noise-canceling earbuds. They now come in blue and porcelain hues that fit nicely alongside the company’s latest mobile devices. I’ve asked whether this means any of the previous color options are being phased out.

    More importantly, Google has announced a handful of new software features that will roll out to its flagship earbuds over the next few weeks. At the top of the list is conversation detection. Yes, as with earbuds from Sony, Apple, and other brands, the Pixel Buds Pro can now sense when you begin speaking, at which point they’ll automatically engage transparency mode and pause whatever audio you’re listening to. Once you’ve stopped talking, the music resumes, and noise cancellation turns back on. Conversation detection is an optional setting, so if you have a habit of chatting with yourself or singing along with your tunes, you can avoid it altogether.

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  • The new Google Pixel 8 is officially official, despite having been leaked and preannounced by the company already. As with the Pixel 7, the Pixel 8 is smaller and less expensive than its larger Pixel 8 Pro sibling, also officially announced today. But the price has gone up this year, with the Pixel 8 starting at $699.99 for a model with 128GB of storage. (And if you’re a Verizon customer, that starting price is $799.99 for the same storage. You can call that the mmWave tax.) You’ll be able to preorder it starting today, October 4th, in either rose, black, or hazel colors. Shipping is expected to start on October 12th.

    Google has slightly tweaked the design of the Pixel 8 to differentiate it from the Pixel 6 and 7, and that’s most noticeable in the device’s corners, which are more rounded now. The design is still immediately recognizable as a Pixel phone, with a metal frame and camera bar across the back. The phone is also ever so slightly smaller, with a 6.2-inch display instead of last year’s 6.3-inch screen. Will you notice that difference in use? I don’t think so, but hey, at least it didn’t get bigger.

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  • The $349.99 Pixel Watch 2 may not look too different from the outside, but under the hood, it’s another story. The second-gen smartwatch features a bevy of upgrades, including a new processor, an overhauled sensor array, added safety features, heart rate zone training, and Wear OS 4. Oh, and 24 hours of battery life — this time with the always-on display.

    Thanks to a never-ending barrage of leaks, we knew what the Pixel Watch would look like going into today’s announcement at Made by Google. At a glance, the main difference is that the screen sits flush with the digital crown, where the original had a slight cutout. Another change imperceptible to the naked eye: the body is now made of 100 percent recycled aluminum instead of stainless steel. The result is a slightly lighter watch, but not by much. The Pixel Watch weighed 36 grams, while the Pixel Watch 2 is 31g. That’s a bit disappointing, considering the Watch 2’s price remains the same as last year.

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  • Google doesn’t leave much to the imagination when it comes to unreleased phones, and that’s mostly the case with the Pixel 8 Pro. Thanks to a flood of leaks, you’ve probably seen its updated camera bar, read all about the new AI photo features, and braced yourself for a $100 price hike that takes the starting price to $999. Even the 8 Pro’s built-in temperature sensor doesn’t come as a total surprise, despite being the biggest curveball addition to the line in years.

    But as Google officially announces the phone this morning, there is one major new feature that still rings as a surprise: it’s getting seven years of OS upgrades. That’s a huge improvement from the three years of OS upgrades and five years of security support Google promised for its previous flagships, and it rivals the lifespan Apple is known for providing its iPhones. If there’s one thing that makes a higher price a little easier to swallow, it’s the promise that you’ll be able to get many more years of use out of your device. Assuming, you know, Google actually makes good on it.

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