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While there was no shortage of leaks for Google's new flagship phones, this month's Made by Google event officially dropped all the details on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones. And as expected, both are very solid phones.
Though these two phones have relatively similar designs and both run on the Tensor G3 chip, the 8 Pro adds a few extra features to warrant the higher cost -- namely, an extra telephoto camera lens, a bigger battery, and a larger display. But are those additional features worth the extra price? We detail the differences to help you decide.
Google Pixel 8
Google Pixel 8 Pro
2,400 x 1,080 pixels, 20:9 ratio, 424 PPI
3,120 x 1,440 pixels, 20:9 ratio, 513 PPI
50MP main + 12MP ultrawide
50MP main + 64MP ultrawide + 48MP telephoto
8GB/12GB with 128GB/256GB
12GB/16GB with 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Water and dust resistance
You should buy the Google Pixel 8 if...
1. You don't want to break the bank
It doesn't quite match the price of the iPhone 15 Pro Max or the Samsung S23 Ultra, but the $999 Pixel 8 Pro is the most expensive Google phone to date. So, if paying quadruple digits for a cell phone isn't something you can come to terms with, look to the Pixel 8. The camera is the biggest difference between the two, so if you don't envision taking advantage of the new camera features, go with the Pixel 8.
2. You want to test drive Google's new AI editing features as affordably as possible
The Pixel 8 brings a number of AI-assisted editing features, both for photo and video. Audio Magic Eraser leads the way, a feature in which unwanted audio in a video can actually be edited out, leaving the audio you were trying to record. The Best Take feature, which lets you swap faces into an image from other pictures, is especially appealing if you have kids. Real Tone not only sees more diverse faces in more lighting conditions for facial recognition, but also has an auto-white balance model to help determine color in a picture. This helps reflect a variety of skin tones in photos and should have your photos looking as good as possible. These features are available on both the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro, but if you want to try out these features without having to pay extra, you'll want to choose the Pixel 8.
Bigger isn't better for everyone. The Pixel 8 is narrower than its 8 Pro counterpart by about 5mm, and it weighs about 26 grams less. But it's not just smaller than the Pixel 8 Pro -- it's smaller than the Pixel 7. If you want a phone that's a little easier to hold, consider the Pixel 8.
You should buy the Pixel 8 Pro if...
1. You want the best camera
Both the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro will share a 50MP main camera, but the 8 adds a 12MP ultrawide camera, while the Pixel 8 Pro has a striking 48MP ultrawide camera and a 48MP Quad PD telephoto camera. If you want a fantastic camera phone, both of these phones will have cameras that are upgrades over the previous generation, so you won't go wrong with either.
But if taking pictures of subjects that are far off is something that appeals to you, the 8 Pro is the easy choice here. The 8 Pro's 5x optical zoom and Super Res Zoom up to 30x is also a significant upgrade over the 8's Super Res Zoom up to 8x and 2x Optical Quality. But if you're a shutterbug at all, the Pro's additional camera features are worth considering. For more experienced photographers, the 8 Pro also features the addition of a manual mode that lets you tinker with shutter speed, ISO, and other elements.
2. Bigger is better
On the practical side of things, the 8 Pro is simply a little bit larger than the 8 -- 6.7 inches to 6.2 inches, respectively. If size matters, you'll want to go with the 8 Pro. For comparison, it's the same size as the iPhone 15 Pro Max, meaning it's a pretty hefty phone. If you prefer a smaller phone without a lot of the extra features, look to the 8. But if you want a large phone that makes watching content a better experience, consider the 8 Pro.
3. You want the best battery life
The Pixel 7 has a 4,355mAh battery, while the Pixel 8 upgrades that to right at 4,5000mAh. It's not necessarily a huge upgrade, but it's still a little more. If you really want to upgrade, the Pixel 8 Pro brings an even larger battery at 5,0000 mAh. This is right in line with the Samsung S23 Ultra and more than the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers. This is also the same-sized battery that's in the Google Pixel 7 Pro, but between the 8 and the 8 Pro, the latter is clearly the winner in battery life.