Google is now positioning the Pixel 8 in the upper flagship territory and moving away from the previous upper midrange category. The Pixel 7 starts at $599 and occasionally drops as low as $499 during festive seasons and offers. That’s incredible value since you’re getting one of the best camera systems on a phone and balanced overall specifications with arguably one of the world’s best Android experiences ever.
There were rumors that Google would eliminate the Pixel A series from their lineup since the main phone was often discounted to the launch price of the A model. For example, the Pixel 7A costs $499, and the much better Pixel 7 also drops to $499 with offers. To avoid this clash, Google had to remove the A series of Pixel devices or increase the price of the base Pixel.
According to the internal sources at 9To5Google, Google is apparently increasing the price of the base Pixel 8 to $699. This puts the phone in a very interesting spot in the market. The current Pixel 7 offers tremendous value for $200 less than the iPhone 15 and the Galaxy S23.
The S23 arguably has much better hardware. You get the 3X telephoto zoom and also a 120Hz. Not to mention that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SOC (TSMC 4 nm) is miles ahead of the Google Tensor G2 (Samsung 5 nm). However, the Pixel 7 is much better value, and you’re not losing out on too many features. You also get the iPhone 15, but with a 60Hz display, it isn’t a very value-for-money choice.
The price increase for the Pixel 8 isn’t just to continue the A series; there’s a lot of new hardware. The Pixel 8 series is moving to Samsung’s new 4 nm node, which is more expensive. The CPU and GPU configuration matches and sometimes outperforms the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a major sign of improvement for Google. The new Samsung 4 nm node also matches its yield rates with the TSMC 4 nm node, possibly good with efficiency and thermals.
Since they’re increasing the price by $100, you’re getting new hardware across all the components. The Pixel 7 has a 90Hz 1080P LTPS OLED panel. The Pixel 8 will ship with a 120Hz LTPS panel. The refresh rate bump will help with smoother scrolling and high FPS gaming.
It’s also getting the 12MP 1/2.3″ IMX 381 ultra-wide with autofocus from the Pixel 7 Pro. The main sensor is also getting an upgrade. It’s moving from the 50MP 1/1.31″ GN1 sensor to the much larger 50MP 1/1.12″ GN2 sensor. That’s almost 1″, and it’s one of the best sensors for a smartphone camera. There’s a new 10.5 MP front camera and some slight design changes. All these changes justify the extra $100.
The 128GB version of the Pixel 8 will start at $699. The Pro will still start at $899, and it has an extra 5X periscope telephoto, a new 48MP ultra-wide. It also has a higher resolution 1440P LTPO screen. Both phones will allegedly still start at 128GB of internal storage.
The Pixel 8 series apparently has a new software feature. It’s like Photoshop on mobile, using AI to replace blurry faces with a face of your choice. There’s a new Night Sight Video feature too. It will also ship with the Magic Editor feature. We first saw this at the Google I/O in May 2023. Pre-orders for the Pixel 8 will begin on October 4. You can buy it at retail stores from October 12.
According to a recent leak from Kamila on X, there’s a special pre-order offer for the Pixel 8 Pro. If you pre-order it on October 4, you’ll get a Pixel Watch (2nd Gen) completely free of cost. The Watch 2 has a new heart rate sensor, new fitness features, and better battery life.