Google Pixel 8: What you should be excited about – 9to5Google

Smartphones have, over the past several years, gotten more than a little boring. While the Google Pixel 6 series was a big deal, its sequel wasn’t really anything special. Soon, though, the Pixel 8 series will make its debut, and really, there’s quite a bit to get excited about.
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By far, the weakest link of every Pixel since the Pixel 6 has been Tensor. While Google’s customized chip is not bad, it’s still lagging far behind the competition. The original Tensor chip was full of connectivity and heat issues, and while Tensor G2 made great strides, it still was plagued with heat problems and more. And all in a world where Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips just keep getting better and better.
With the upcoming Tensor G3 in the Pixel 8, there’s reason to be a little excited.
Google Tensor G3 is expected to be a pretty significant shift from Tensor and Tensor G2. A leak earlier this year mentioned a revamped 1+4+4 core layout and the use of much newer components, most notably including Cortex-A715 and Cortex-A510 cores to back up the new Cortex-X3 that provides the bulk of performance. Those upgrades alone are worth getting excited about, but for me, there’s another aspect.
Tensor chips largely rely on Samsung to come to life, and that also means they’re made on Samsung’s processing node, which, sadly, is notoriously not as good as TSMC’s. However, in recent months, that’s apparently been changing. At this point, Samsung’s 4nm process that Tensor G3 would be based on is apparently on par with TSMC’s. That doesn’t necessarily mean Google is magically going to match Snapdragon beat for beat, but it might be a huge step in the right direction.
Another reason I’m personally very excited about the Pixel 8 series, and specifically the Pixel 8 Pro, is that Google has done away with the curved sides to the display, instead opting for a flat glass panel on both the standard and Pro models.
It also seems like Google is opting for a matte finish on the main body of the Pixel 8 Pro this year, at least in the “Porcelain” color that was shown off this week. The standard Pixel 8 is definitely glossy, but this is some progress, at least.
Google has been eclipsed by other Android brands when it comes to the overall lifespan of Pixel phones, but the company might be taking back the crown this year. As we recently reported, the Pixel 8 series will feature a longer software update lifespan compared to Samsung Galaxy devices, which currently get four years of Android updates and five years of security patches.
That could be a big deal, and even if Google just matches Samsung’s support, it still means you’re getting better bang for your buck.
Something else that’s been a little under the radar is that Google is bringing a new camera sensor to the Pixel 8 series, likely the Samsung GN2. That probably won’t bring any groundbreaking updates, but it brings the chance for Google to further cement its status as one of the best camera phones out there.
Google’s Pixel phones have, since the Pixel 6 series, largely been a fair bit cheaper than the competition. The Pixel 6 Pro, for instance, started at $899 while stacking up against the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which demanded $1,199, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which ran $1,099 for its base model.
Going into 2024, it seems the competition is going to see even higher prices. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 – which Samsung is all but certain to use in the Galaxy S24 Ultra – is said to be considerably more expensive. And, with the iPhone 15 series, Apple is expected to increase prices across the board thanks to its new chip and the titanium construction.
Of course, we’ve also heard this week that the Pixel 8 series could be more expensive. Leaks from Europe suggest an increase of around 20%. It remains to be seen if that will come to pass, but the good news is that even if Google inflates pricing by $150-$200, it’d still be undercutting the competition slightly.
Google has confirmed an October 4 launch event where the Pixel 8 series is expected to go official. Stay tuned, of course, for our full coverage.
Google Keep formatting is rolling out
Recently, Google announced that Google Keep, a beloved notetaking app, would finally get support for basic text formatting. Now, the functionality is finally rolling out. See below for our coverage, including a dive into how to get the most out of the feature.
Android 14 is late
When I read “Tensor might be a lot better this year” I couldn’t help but think of the story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. A statement that turned out to be false so many times before that it can’t be taken seriously now.

At this point all I really care about is a MASSIVE improvement in energy efficiency from both the Tensor G3 and the Exynos modem and we already know we aren’t going to get that from the modem since we already know that the Pixel 8 phones will have the same garbage Exynos 5300 modem as the Pixel 7 phones.

I’m looking forward to 2025 when Google moves to a fully customized chip manufactured by TSMC (also hopefully a Qualcomm modem). That’s assuming there isn’t another delay in that timeline. Until then I’m not sure what to do. My Pixel 5 needs to be replaced. I really don’t want to lose the Pixel software experience but I don’t want to switch to a phone that has worse battery life than the Pixel 5 had when I bought it (which wasn’t very good to begin with). Definitely going to have a tough decision to make soon.
This week was predicted to see the formal release of Android 14, but that simply didn’t happen. As we broke down in our Tuesday newsletter, Google was late to its usual schedule, and it seems like the update will be pushed back into October. However, a new Android 14 beta was released, version 5.3.
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Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.
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The Galaxy Watch 5 is Ben’s biggest recommendation for an Android smartwatch right now, especially with Samsung phones
Ben’s smartwatch of choice with his phone is the Google Pixel Watch.


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