Google Pixel 8 Pro: The camera’s still the thing

Google Pixel 8 Pro: The camera’s still the thing
Google Pixel 8 Pro: The camera’s still the thing

It’s a camera enhancement but a complete standstill. If photography and videography aren’t your primary considerations when shopping for a new smartphone, there must be more motivation to switch from the Pixel 7 Pro to the Pixel 8 Pro. To see if this also holds for the Pixel 8, you can refer to Darrell’s review. Google now finds itself in a situation akin to the rest of the industry, which holds greater significance than the Pixel 8 Pro’s underwhelming aspects.

The smartphone business has been a victim of its success in many ways. Finding out what the category’s future holds has taken up most of the last five years. On the whole, it’s become a fight of inches, except for the foldables, which have brought some optimism (although one that is prohibitively expensive).

Display resolution used to be that area of expertise, but the rewards are now getting smaller and smaller. But imagery is still a topic that people frequently think about. Despite what the makers may claim, it is still highly likely to capture a poor photo using a smartphone. There is still opportunity for improvement until such a situation never arises again (or, at the absolute least, rarely).

Your best shot is frequently out of reach due to uneven illumination, low light, zooming, and bad luck. Undoubtedly, things have advanced considerably in only a few short years. Entry requirements are much more relaxed now. 

From the beginning with the Pixel, Google has strongly supported it. The driving force is apparent. First and foremost, Google is a software business. Also, now, it is an AI company. The company’s initial philosophy was that the correct algorithms could solve photo or video graphics problems. After Pixel, the company has been propelled by this idea.

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With its belief that it just needs a single camera sensor to provide customers with the finest experience, Google put the cart before the horse in the early stages of the product. The multi-camera system many of its rivals used was initially resisted, but eventually, it started to accept it. The belief that certain people had, according to which any problem could be handled using hardware solutions, needed to be corrected. Somewhere in the middle, the wise businesses have come together.

Several other factors made the first Pixel smartphones a mixed bag. Google aims its more mid-range products at the premium market that Samsung and Apple dominate. It’s crucial to be realistic about your target market, even though there is a market for products at various price points.

Google Pixel 8 Pro: The camera’s still the thing
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The Pixel 6, introduced in 2021, gave the series fresh life with a physical redesign, first-party silicon, and some significant camera enhancements. The attempt required reorganization and a change in direction. Ultimately, the strategies worked, demonstrating that Google would keep its competitors from overtaking it.

The two releases after it, including the most recent ones, were more incremental than revolutionary. In the end, Google has discovered what most phone producers have understood for years: If you’re developing consumer hardware for a broad audience, you must be careful about your changes. Consumers dislike departures from the ordinary almost as much as they want for novelty and excitement. Everything requires careful balancing.

In recent years, the temperature sensor has been one of the most peculiar flagship additions to a smartphone from a major manufacturer. At first glance, it mainly exists so that Google may boast about anything. It’s undeniably a unique feature in that we haven’t seen it before. Given the growing prevalence of skin temperature sensors in wearable technology, many firms have looked into the notion but have concluded that it offers little benefits.

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The Thermometer app discloses that “accuracy may vary based on the selected material [and] distance from the object.” Good enough. Around -5°F and 300°F is also when things start to get hairy. Those are entirely reasonable conditions.

It’s a beautiful touch to have the Actua display. Many users may only sometimes consider screen brightness. Still, if you’ve ever faced the challenge of trying to view your phone’s screen under intense sunlight, you’ll understand its critical importance in such situations. The 8 Pro now boasts a maximum brightness of 2,400 nits, substantially improving over the 7 Pro’s 1,500 nits. The peak brightness of the 6 Pro is tripled. The Galaxy S23 Ultra‘s maximum brightness is 1,750 nits, whereas the iPhone 15 Pro Max can reach 2,000 nits.

Consumers now mainly anticipate receiving a new chip with every upgrade. Following Apple’s lead, Google adopted first-party silicon, starting with the Pixel 6. In comparison to the kinds of numbers that Qualcomm frequently announces for the Snapdragon 8 Gen platform, the Tensor line has yet to astound anyone. This is identical to how the Tensor G3 falls short of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 but performs similarly. Additionally, it offers a considerable improvement over the Tensor G2.

Best Take is a fantastic new editing function that essentially superimposes face traits so you can, for example, make a subject grin or open their eyes using related photographs instead of deleting the entire shot or utilizing an awkward smiling filter. The software offers several other faces when you tap on it inside a photo. You can tap through them to see the main image change. The uncanny valley has crossed in this situation. Although initially frightening, Pixel owners will play it extensively because of the remarkable blending.

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Discussing the “realness” of a particular digital image may wait another day. The redesigned Magic Editor, which allows you to remove unnecessary background images and position and resize the topic, makes the query feel less pronounced. According to elements like the backdrop, the feature’s effectiveness fluctuates quite a bit, but when it works, it’s one of the most remarkable photo-editing methods accessible on mobile.

Sincerity pretty well sums up the Pixel 8 Pro. With this device, Google is once more emphasizing image, which is what it does best. The gadget’s camera and video recording capabilities are still among the best. Beyond that, it doesn’t outperform its predecessor. However, improving somewhat is sufficient for most phones in most years.

It’s important to highlight that the latest device is $100 pricier than its predecessor. While the Pixel 8 Pro now falls within the $1,000 flagship category (to be precise, $999), this increase isn’t notably steep compared to other offerings in the market. Nevertheless, crossing this particular price threshold carries some symbolic weight, slightly eroding the company’s identity as a more budget-conscious choice. Ultimately, Google will have to choose how essential the price is to the customer and what it might give up to get there.

Ankit Kataria