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The Google leakgate is over: the company just launched the new Google Pixel 8 series of smartphones, including the Pixel 8 Pro, arguably Google's best smartphone yet. The brand-new flagship smartphone features rounder corners, an upgraded camera, new finishes, a temperature sensor, and a higher price, to name a few changes.
But with as many new (and old) features as the Pixel 8 Pro boasts, you might be wondering if the upgrades are worth the higher cost or if last year's Pixel 7 Pro is still a worthy option. We'll break down the biggest differences and consider how some features may outweigh the others, depending on your needs.
If the Google Pixel is known for something, its the device's camera and photo-editing features -- and the Pixel 8 Pro is strong here. The new Pixel 8 Pro's rear camera system includes a 50-megapixel Octa PD wide camera, like the Pixel 7 Pro, but it also boasts a 48MP Quad PD ultrawide camera with autofocus, which is an upgrade from the 7 Pro's 12MP ultrawide camera. Both models have a third 48MP Quad PD 5x telephoto lens.
The Pixel 8 Pro also features an improved aperture for all three lenses in the triple camera array, allowing for brighter images in low-light conditions and a shallower depth of field, which helps create those blurred-background images organically. The 50MP camera now features f/1.68 aperture instead of the 7 Pro's f/1.85. The 48MP ultrawide camera goes to f/1.95, and the 48MP telephoto has an aperture of f/2.8 compared to the 7 Pro's f/3.5.
2. You want a porcelain or bright blue Pro smartphone
Unlike the Google Pixel 7 Pro, the 8 Pro is available in light blue, a finish Google calls 'Bay', and 'Porcelain', a light cream color with yellow and gold undertones. These colors will accompany Obsidian, the black Google Pixel, which is also available in the Pixel 7 Pro.
In contrast with the 8 Pro, the Pixel 7 Pro was available in Snow, which had a white finish, and Hazel, a darker blue than Bay, which had green undertones, and Obsidian. Color can be a deciding factor after considering the nitty gritty details between two smartphones, and if a bright, light blue, or a cream-colored Pixel is your preference, your best bet is the Pixel 8 Pro.
3. You'll use the temperature sensor
The Google Pixel 8 Pro is the first Google smartphone with a temperature sensor. This capability lets you scan hot or cold beverages or surfaces to determine their temperature.
The potential cost saving is an obvious benefit from buying an older model, and it's also a deciding factor for many buyers looking for a great smartphone. The Pixel 7 Pro can be easily found for $800 on Amazon, which is $200 less than the Pixel 8 Pro (and if you don't mind a refurbished smartphone, the 7 Pro is available at $500).
The Pixel 7 Pro is barely a year old, so we're not talking about an outdated smartphone here, but with the launch of its successor, the price is only sure to decrease from here.
2. You don't need the extra bells and whistles
Although the 8 Pro is the best Pixel phone available right now on paper, the 7 Pro is still an outstanding smartphone, and one with features that aren't too far off its successor. Google made some big boosts to its flagship smartphone but, truth be told, the launch of the Pixel 8 Pro is an iterative upgrade to the 7 Pro.
Most users won't miss the temperature sensor, improved camera, new color finishes, Super Actua OLED screen, new AI features, or 1TB of storage (detailed below). The battery life, IP rating, RAM, and many of the features smartphone users rely on every day remain largely unchanged.
The Google Pixel 8 Pro is the first Pixel to feature a model with up to 1TB of storage, which is a big upgrade for a lot of users. But if you don't need that much storage or any of the other updates, you're likely better off saving a few hundred bucks and opting for the Pixel 7 Pro.