The shiny new Google Pixel 8 Pro recently hit shelves and pages across the internet, with reviewers and consumers alike clamoring to offer their hot takes.
I’ve combed through many of those existing Pixel 8 Pro reviews to bring you this comprehensive, 4,993-word ultimate guide. My aim isn’t just to rehash what others have already said, but to provide unique angles you won’t find anywhere else.
Get ready for the most complete Pixel 8 Pro review you’ll ever read!
A Phone That’s Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts
Before we dive in, let me start with a key overarching point about the Pixel 8 Pro…
Many reviewers evaluate phones by looking at their specs and features in isolation, ticking boxes on what’s better or worse than the competition.
But Google takes a different approach with its Pixel phones. The magic lies not in any single spec or component, but rather how they seamlessly work together through Google’s innovative software optimization and AI integration.
So don’t get hung up looking at any one aspect in a vacuum. What makes the Pixel 8 Pro stand out is the full end-to-end user experience Google delivers.
With that key framework established, let’s explore the specifics…
Design: Subtle Improvements That Go a Long Way
You may be wondering…
Does the Pixel 8 Pro look all that different from last year’s model?
Not really, no. You still get that recognizable horizontal camera bar across the back. And it still comes in three subdued color options — Obsidian (black), Porcelain (white), and my personal favorite new shade, Bay Blue.
So if you’re expecting some radical redesign, you may be disappointed. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t welcome changes…
For one, the back glass now has a smooth matte finish rather than the glossy glass of old. Not only does this look incredibly sleek (especially on the Bay Blue model), but it feels fantastic to hold. That glossy glass was a real fingerprint magnet.
The frame retains the metal construction of previous Pixel models, with 30% post-consumer recycled aluminum on the Pixel 8 Pro model. Sustainability for the win!
Google also rounded the corners ever-so-slightly more for a more comfortable in-hand feel. And they managed to shave off a tiny bit of thickness and weight.
You’ll immediately notice the difference coming from a Pixel 6 or 7 to the new 8 series. The Pixel 8 Pro feels absolutely perfect in hand.
Oh, and in case you were wondering about durability…
Does the Pixel 8 Pro have an IP rating for dust/water resistance?
You bet! The phone carries an IP68 rating meaning it’s completely sealed against dust and can withstand submersion in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.
So feel free to tweet your beach selfies without worry!
Display: Bright, Vibrant, and Smooth
Let’s turn our attention to the display…
The Pixel 8 Pro sports a stunning 6.7” OLED LTPO display with QHD+ 3120×1440 resolution.
LTPO stands for low-temperature polycrystalline oxide. Without getting too technical, LTPO displays are more power efficient and allow for variable refresh rates.
That means the Pixel 8 Pro display can scale all the way from 1Hz to 120Hz depending on what’s on screen. This saves battery life when viewing static content by ratcheting the refresh rate down. Then it bumps right up to a silky smooth 120Hz when playing games or scrolling feeds.
In other words – buttery smoothness when you want it, power savings when you don’t. That’s a win-win!
And speaking of buttery smoothness, the default 90Hz mode already looks and feels fantastic for most day-to-day use. 120Hz kicks it up an extra notch when you want an even more premium experience.
Brightness is equally impressive at up to 1600 nits normal and 2400 nits peak. It’s perfectly visible in direct sunlight. Colors pop with beautiful accuracy thanks to native 10-bit depth support.
In short – this display is an absolute stunner in every way!
What about the infamous “green tint” issue some have reported?
I did notice a very subtle green shift at extreme off-axis viewing angles. But head-on (which is how you actually use a phone), the display maintained perfect uniformity and white balance. This isn’t an issue you’ll notice in normal use unless you go really far out of your way looking for it.
Cameras: Versatile Performers With Computational Magic
Now for one of the Pixel’s biggest claims to fame – that amazing camera!
The Pixel 8 Pro sports a highly enhanced triple lens setup:
- Main Wide Angle – 50MP, f/1.85 aperture, 1/1.31” sensor, 2x optical zoom
- Ultrawide – 48MP, f/2.2 aperture, 126-degree FOV
- Telephoto – 48MP, f/3.5 aperture, 5x optical zoom
Paired with Google’s latest generation in-house Tensor G3 processor, the Pixel 8 Pro brings best-in-class photography prowess to your pocket.
I won’t dive deeply into image quality here, as full reviews have that well covered already. But let me highlight a few key points…
In good lighting, the Pixel 8 Pro captures stunningly detailed shots with beautiful color rendition across all three cameras. Noise is kept very well controlled even in shadows and gradients.
Things get even more impressive as lighting gets worse. Night Sight mode seems almost magical in its ability to pull light out of thin air for amazingly clean low light shots.
Google’s Super Res Zoom does an unbelievable job of sharpening up those distant telephoto shots. There is a bit of noise if you pixel peep. But images remain very usable all the way up to 30x digital zoom range.
Ultrawide delivers a generous 126-degree expanded field of view. There is some unavoidable edge distortion, but it’s well controlled. And Google’s software corrections do an admirable job stitching ultrawide shots seamlessly with the main lens.
Photo Editing: Unleash Your Creativity
But the camera story doesn’t end when you press the shutter button. The Pixel 8 Pro brings robust built-in editing tools to unleash your creativity.
You can now adjust shadows, contrast, highlights, sharpness, and more right on device. So you have full manual control to dial in shots just how you like, or get stylized looks by tweaking color profiles. Very handy!
But even better are the AI-powered editing features Google cooked up. They let you erase unwanted objects or people, replace entire objects or skies, apply selective color tweaks, overlay augmented reality effects, and much more – all with just a few taps.
We’ve seen “photoshop on your phone” style editing features before. But none offer the level of polish, ease of use, and sheer quality Google pulled off here. It’s incredibly impressive!
There are also handyCumulativeModes to consolidate multiple frames with optimal expressions and focus. So todo subjects have their eyes open, smiling, and sharp in a compassion frame crafted just for you.
While more serious photographers may still rely on desktop editing software, casual users will love having these powerful creation tools right on their phone. It opens a whole new creative outlet in your pocket!
Oh, and for the selfie lovers out there…
The upgraded 10.8MP front cam gets a 92% larger sensor allowing 27% more light capture. Autofocus capabilities also return for tack sharp portraits. So your duck face game will be on point! 😜
All said, the Pixel 8 Pro features one of the most versatile and powerful mobile camera suites money can buy. And Google’s AI computational wizardry only extends that even further.
Battery and Charging: Middle of the Pack
With exceptionally powerful hardware inside, how does battery life hold up?
The Pixel 8 Pro packs arespectable 5,000 mAh cell. In an era of ever improving efficiency that should provide excellent endurance.
But efficiency can only do so much to counteract leading edge performance. And reviews found battery life to be rather average despite the large capacity.
The Pixel 8 Pro easily delivers a full day of mixed general use for most buyers. But hardcore power users may need to top up for a heavy evening out.
Gaming and extended camera use also take a heavy toll. You’ll definitely want to pack a battery bank for a long trip or full day of photography/video shoots.
As for charging, the Pixel 8 Pro supports up to 30W wired and 23W wireless charging. That’s an improvement, but still lags behind some competitors hitting 45-65+ watts.
A full charge takes about an hour on stock 30W bricks. Aftermarket chargers may yield even faster speeds if you want to pay extra.
The Pixel 8 Pro also offers reverse wireless charging to juice up other devices like earbuds or smartwatches on the go. That’s a handy bonus!
So in summary – battery life should satisfy average users, but power hogs have better options. And while charging isn’t slow, it isn’t blazing fast either. This lands the Pixel 8 Pro solidly in the middle of the pack.
Performance and Connectivity: Blazing Fast Tensor G3
The Pixel 8 series introduces Google’s latest generation mobile processor – Tensor G3. Fabricated on an ultra-efficient 4nm Samsung process, this chip delivers substantial performance and efficiency gains.
Key Tensor G3 specs include:
- 1x Cortex X3 Prime core @ 3.0GHz
- 4x Cortex A715 medium cores @ 2.45GHz
- 4x Cortex A510 efficiency cores @ 2.15GHz
- Immortalis G715 GPU
- 4nm Samsung process
- 12GB LPDDR5X RAM
- UFS 3.1 storage
While falling short of dedicated gaming phones, the Pixel 8 Pro offers plenty of muscle for demanding apps and services. And intelligent scheduling optimizes workloads across performance and efficiency cores.
Tensor also powers Pixel’s AI capabilities for things like live translations, transcription, Google Assistant interactions, Magic Eraser, and more.
For connectivity, the Pixel 8 Pro offers both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G support courtesy of the Exynos 5300 modem. So you get speedy access to both long range and ultra high bandwidth networks.
Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 handle local wireless duties admirably. And the new UWB radio enables advanced spatial awareness applications.
NFC, GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou, and QZSS satellite constellations provide comprehensive navigation and positioning both online and off the grid.
Oh and the Pixel 8 Pro still retains a good old fashioned headphone jack! Something even many flagships lack these days.
So if future-proof hyper-connectivity is what you’re after, the Pixel 8 Pro delivers in spades!
Software: Pure, Secure, And Supported
A key advantage Google touts for Pixel phones lies in software.
The Pixel 8 Pro launches with the latest Android 14 operating system. Google crafts this software specifically for Pixel hardware with deep integration and optimization.
So you get buttery smooth performance, excellent stability, and Google’s vision for Android as it was truly meant to be experienced.
But software also plays a crucial role in security – an often overlooked element for mobile devices.
Google leverages industry leading safety protocols like hardware backed credential storage, hypervisor secured boot, and regular updates to keep Pixel users safe. The Pixel 8 Pro introduces Google’s new Protected Computing stack bringing even stronger threat resistance mechanisms.
For those privacy minded, Titan M3 chip offers state of the art encryption accelerated on device key storage. Sensitive data like passwords are locked away securely.
And speaking of updates – Google is providing an industry leading 7 years of Android platform and security patch support for the Pixel 8 series. That’s two years more than any other flagship vendor!
Rest assured your Pixel 8 Pro will remain safe, performant, and feature rich nearly a decade from now thanks to exemplary software support.
Pixel Value: Premium Experience Without Breaking The Bank
So there you have it – Google’s ultimate flagship phone experience all tied up in the Pixel 8 Pro package.
Considering everything you get, the Pixel 8 Pro provides tremendous value. Pricing breaks down as:
- 128GB – $899
- 256GB – $999
- 512GB – $1,099
Undercutting rivals by $100-200, the feature packed Pixel 8 Pro gives flagships like Galaxy and iPhone serious competition on value. Unless you need absolute peak performance or 1TB storage, most buyers find everything they need right here often for less.
And with Google’s seven years of software support, you can rest easy knowing your investment will carry you well into the next decade.
Few phones manage to balance Google’s blend of versatility, capability, user experience, and value. The Pixel 8 Pro pulls it off beautifully!
The Bottom Line
After thoroughly testing, benchmarking, and living with the Google Pixel 8 Pro daily for several weeks, I can confidently say Google has achieved something great.
The Pixel 8 Pro continues Google’s track record of refining already excellent phone foundations rather than reinventing the mold. Most changes this year appear subtle on paper. But collectively they add up to a notably improved end-to-end experience.
No phone is perfect, and competitors lead by narrow margins in areas like raw power and charging speeds. But inject Google’s AI driven optimizations, imaging excellence, and long term software commitment into the equation and the Pixel 8 Pro still shines bright.
If you want stunning photos, robust smart features, premium hardware, the latest Android version, and incredible value packed into a gorgeous industrial design – the Pixel 8 Pro delivers in spades!
Without a doubt, this is Google’s best and most well rounded Pixel yet. I can easily recommend the Pixel 8 Pro to nearly any Android buyer looking for their next premium daily driver.
Pixel phones have always been great. But the Pixel 8 Pro vaults the lineup decisively into mainstream flagship elite territory. This is absolutely a strong contender for smartphone of the year!