June 2, 2023

We did not hear in regards to the Pixel 8 at Google’s I/O convention, however the firm did launch the Pixel 7A — a extra wallet-friendly various to the Pixel 7. It is nice information for Pixel followers, for the reason that 7A affords most of the identical advantages because the Pixel 7 — reminiscent of a fantastic digicam and the brand new Tensor G2 processor — for $100 much less. But it surely additionally makes me ponder whether Google’s A-series telephones are starting to overshadow its flagship Pixels. 

Now that Google has narrowed the hole between the Pixel 7 and 7A, it ought to assume extra fastidiously about its target market for the Pixel 8. If the Pixel 7A is for individuals who desire a primary Pixel expertise with out compromising on efficiency and digicam high quality, and the Pixel 7 Professional is for images lovers, then who’s the Pixel 7 for? That is the query I am hoping Google solutions with the Pixel 8, together with another routine enhancements to software program assist and battery life. 

Google sometimes releases new Pixel telephones within the fall, so we’re anticipating to study extra in regards to the Pixel 8 in just a few months.

The Pixel 8 wants to face out from Google’s subsequent A-series cellphone 

With the Pixel 8, Google must do extra to make its upcoming mainline Pixel cellphone stand out. The $499 Pixel 7A already has most of the options most individuals are on the lookout for in a brand new cellphone, reminiscent of a fantastic digicam, easy efficiency, easy-to-use software program and respectable battery life. 

The primary variations between the Pixel 7 and 7A come all the way down to the previous’s barely extra sturdy design, bigger display screen and battery share. That latter characteristic allows you to cost suitable equipment by resting them on the again of the cellphone, basically turning it right into a wi-fi charger. The Pixel 7 additionally has a bigger digicam sensor that is extra mild delicate based on Google, however I did not discover a lot of an enchancment when evaluating images from each telephones.

The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7A really feel like they’re focusing on the identical viewers: Android followers who desire a general-purpose cellphone with a fantastic digicam and a fairly sized display screen. The Pixel 7 Professional stands out for its bigger display screen, additional telephoto digicam and macro images. It additionally is available in a 512GB storage choice, in contrast to the Pixel 7, and has a display screen with a better, 120Hz refresh price for even smoother scrolling. Living proof: There are many elements that distinguish the Pixel 7 Professional from the Pixel 7, however not as many who differentiate the Pixel 7 from the 7A. 

Shifting ahead, there are just a few modifications Google may make to repair that. Maybe it may barely enhance the Pixel 8’s show dimension to six.4 inches as an alternative of 6.3 inches. That may put extra distance between the Pixel 8’s display screen and a future Pixel 8A, assuming Google retains the identical 6.1-inch show dimension for upcoming A-series telephones. 

Google may additionally give the Pixel 8 a pace enhance in the case of charging, for the reason that Pixel 7 and Pixel 7A supply related charging speeds (as much as 18W on the Pixel 7A versus as much as 21W on the Pixel 7). Rising the charging pace to create extra of a gulf between the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8A may make the case for getting the Pixel 8 a bit stronger. Rising the bottom storage of the Pixel 8 to 256GB, very like Samsung has achieved with the Galaxy S23 Plus, together with providing an extra 512GB storage choice may additional distinguish the Pixel 8 from a future Pixel 8A. 

These modifications mixed with the prevailing variations between the Pixel 7 and 7A may definitely make the Pixel 8 really feel like a compelling alternative over upcoming funds Pixel telephones. In fact, that is assuming Google maintains its present technique of releasing new flagship and Professional telephones within the fall and a less expensive A-series cellphone within the spring or summer season time-frame. 

Prolonged Android model assist

Software program is an enormous a part of what makes Pixel telephones so interesting, from the decision help options within the cellphone app to Google’s clutter-free model of Android. The issue, nonetheless, is that Google typically affords Android model updates for less than three years following a Pixel cellphone’s launch. 

Although it does present safety assist and different updates past that time, Google lags behind Samsung and Apple in the case of working system model assist. Samsung sometimes affords as much as 4 generations of Android platform updates on new telephones, whereas Apple’s most up-to-date software program is suitable with iPhones as outdated because the iPhone X and iPhone 8 era, which launched in 2017. 

If Google may match Samsung’s 4 years, or surpass 5 years, that might make the Pixel line much more aggressive.

Longer battery life

Battery life can by no means really feel lengthy sufficient, which is why I am hoping to see some enhancements within the Pixel 8. The Pixel 7’s battery life was lengthy sufficient to get by way of a full work day after which some in my expertise. However I might wish to pack a charger if I anticipated a very lengthy day. 

The Pixel 7A additionally carried out higher than the Pixel 7 in CNET’s three-hour battery take a look at, throughout which I streamed a YouTube video at full brightness and tracked the battery share at every hour. It will be nice to see Google make some enhancements on this regard on the Pixel 8.

Pixel 7A vs. Pixel 7 battery take a look at

Pixel 7A Pixel 7
1 hour 96% 95%
2 hours 90% 88%
3 hours 85% 81%

We can’t know what to anticipate from the Pixel 8 till Google pronounces its new telephones, which can doubtless occur within the fall. The digicam has been a focus for Google’s Pixel collection, so I am anticipating to see some developments in that space, together with a brand new model of the Tensor processor within the Pixel 8. If Google makes these modifications whereas providing longer battery life, further Android assist and extra unique options that differentiate the Pixel 8 from its A-series telephones, Google’s subsequent $600 cellphone might be successful. 

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