Google has a lot of work ahead of itself if it wants to remain relevant in the flagship space. That’s why a Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Pixel 7 Pro comparison is worth detailing to see if the company’s upcoming phone is more of a leap, rather than just an iterative update.
Given how the Pixel 8 Pro will have competition upon launch from other recent flagship releases, like the iPhone 15 Pro Max, it’s going to be tough time trying io redirect the spotlight. There have been a number of leaks we’ve seen about the Pixel 8 Pro, including those from Google itself, but we won’t have long to wait with the “Made by Google” event right around the corner.
Some of the biggest rumors include the Pixel 8 Pro packing a mightier Tensor G3 chip, upgraded 50MP main camera that could shoot 8K video, and a temperature sensor. Hardware always leaves the biggest impression on consumers, but it appears as though Google's gambling on the software to carry the Pixel 8 Pro.
Before anything else, however, the Pixel 8 Pro will need to prove to people how much better it is than last year’s Pixel 7 Pro.
Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Pixel 7 Pro: Specifications
Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Pixel 7 Pro: Price and availability
Google’s Pixel phones have historically undercut its competition in price. But we could see a price hike this year. In fact, the Pixel 8 Pro is rumored to cost $999, which is $100 more than the Pixel 7 Pro's price. It’s not what anyone wants to see, so if it does turn out to be that way, Google’s going to need to justify why it’s hiking the Pixel 8 Pro price.
The good news, sort of, is that the Pixel 8 Pro would still be $200 less than the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Pixel 7 Pro: Design
There's need to speculate what the Pixel 8 Pro will look like because Google has already shown us what its upcoming flagship looks like. In fact, it doesn’t look all different from the Pixel 7 Pro since it shares the same design language as before. The only meaningful difference based on leaks so far relate to a matte glass finish with the Pixel 8 Pro, which would inherently make it more smudge resistant.
The glass meets metal trim design seems to be shared by the two, along with the prominent camera hump on the back. However, Google appears to be making a slight tweak to the glass panel that goes over the triple camera arrangement on the back. In particular, the Pixel 8 Pro has a single piece of glass — rather than how the telephoto lens in the Pixel 7 Pro has its own separate one apart from the main and ultrawide cameras.
We suspect that the Pixel 8 Pro will match its predecessor’s IP68 rating. One other design change tipped for the Pixel 8 Pro is that it’ll have a ‘flat’ display as opposed to how the edges of the display on the Pixel 7 Pro are slightly curved. This may change the way it feels in the hand, but we hope it won’t have much of a negative impact on its overall design.
Thanks to all the leaks, we know that the Pixel 8 Pro will be available in Licorice, Porcelain, and Sky — which are essentially black, white, and blue. The latter option adds a splash of color to the series when you look at the three monotone hues of the Pixel 7 Pro: hazel, snow, and obsidian.
Finally, it looks like that the Pixel 8 Pro will be introducing a temperature sensor that appears to be fashioned alongside the camera arrangement on the back of the phone. Most people would suspect it to measure your body temperature — much like how the Apple Watch Ultra does it. However, it could also be used to measure other objects. You could say it’s a novel feature, but we’re curious what other applications it could be used for.
Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Pixel 7 Pro: Display
Similar to all the rumors, we suspect that the Pixel 8 Pro will retain the same 6.7-inch OLED panel as the Pixel 7 Pro, but it could actually turn out to be less pixel dense. Usually there’s an improvement to the specs instead of a reversal, but Google will need to work on one of the biggest shortcomings about the Pixel 7 Pro’s display — its weak brightness output.
Fortunately, this seems to be what Google’s looking to address because the Pixel 8 Pro is tipped to pack a "Super Actua display" for even greater brightness output. When we tested it out, the Pixel 7 Pro’s 6.7-inch QHD+ OLED display produced a peak brightness output of 927 nits — which underperformed against its contemporaries. The rumors hint to this Super Actua display reaching 1,600 nits HDR brightness and 2,400 nits peak brightness.
That would put it in contention against some of the other phones we’ve tested with extra bright screens, which inevitably would help make it more visible under direct sunlight conditions.
Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Pixel 7 Pro: Cameras
The Pixel 7 Pro was no slouch in the camera department with its triple camera arrangement, which consists of a 50MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide, and 48MP telephoto. However, the Pixel 8 Pro’s anticipated to get a boost in the form of a 50MP main camera, 64MP ultrawide, and a 48MP telephoto.
Sure, the specs boost is always a nice touch for the Pixel 8 Pro, resulting in a better performance we hope, but it appears as though there’s going to be a lot of emphasis on the features more so than the hardware. While the Pixel 7 Pro had its own set of camera feature goodies, like Cinematic mode and Active Stabilization, the Pixel 8 Pro is rumored to have more.
For example, the Pixel 8 Pro could be adopting staggered HDR to better even out photo compositions with high contrast scenes. Secondly, a Video Unblur feature is rumored to make it on the Pixel 8 Pro that would similarly work like the Pixel 7 Pro’s Photo Unblur — essentially taking out of focus video clips and making them clear. And lastly, there was a leaked video that suggests an Audio Magic Eraser feature that would remove unwanted background noise from videos shot with the Pixel 8 Pro.
These Pixel 8 Pro camera features seem like an incremental boost over what the Pixel 7 Pro delivered, but we’re also equally interested in the hardware — particularly its telephoto zoom lens. The Pixel 7 Pro moved the needle up with its 5x optical zoom (up from the Pixel 6 Pro’s 4x zoom), so it would benefit the Pixel 8 Pro to extend it even farther. However, we haven’t heard any leaks about its range, so it could end up being the same 5x optical zoom.
Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Pixel 7 Pro: Performance
Another big area of opportunity for the Pixel 8 Pro to improve over the Pixel 7 Pro is in the performance department. The Tensor G2 chip of the Pixel 7 Pro dished up lackluster benchmark results in our testing, posting weaker scores in synthetic benchmark tests such as GeekBench and 3DMark.
As a result, this would apply more pressure on the Pixel 8 Pro, which is speculated to run the newer Tensor G3 chip. Thanks to a massive specs leak, this is pretty much a nail in the coffin confirmation for the Tensor G3. While we anticipate better performance out of this chip, it could have the muscle power to introduce new features.
Video recording on the Pixel 8 Pro could be upgraded to 8K 30FPS with the help of the Tensor G3. It’s a big leap compared to the Pixel 7 Pro’s maximum video capture of 4K 60FPS. Shooting in 8K resolution requires a lot of processing power to dissect and process the data from video captures, so the Tensor G3 will need to prove it’s a substantial upgrade over the Tensor G2.
Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Pixel 7 Pro: Battery life and charging
The Pixel 7 Pro packaged a 5,000 mAh battery, which regrettably underperformed against other comparable phones in our best phone battery life list. In Tom’s Guide’s battery benchmark test, it achieved an average battery life of 8 hours and 4 minutes — whereas most phones we’ve tested run 10 hours or more. The devices on our best phone battery life list last at least 11.5 hours.
So far, it’s rumored that the Pixel 8 Pro will be packing a smaller battery capacity than its predecessor. It’s tipped to come with a 4,950 mAh battery, which would mean more pressure for the power efficiency of its Super Actua Display and Tensor G3 chip. There could also be other enhancements with Android 14 to further make the Pixel 8 Pro more power efficient with its smaller battery capacity.
Conversely, it doesn’t look favorable either for the Pixel 8 Pro’s wired and wireless charging. That’s because Google’s reportedly sticking to 30W wired charging via USB-C and 12.5W wireless charging.
Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Pixel 7 Pro: Outlook
The Google Pixel 8 Pro is shaping up to be a good step up over the Pixel 7 Pro. While there are things about it that are unchanged according to the rumors, there’s no denying that Google’s gambling on the experience more so than the hardware — evident in how it’s tipped to offer an Audio Magic Eraser feature with capturing videos and the ability to measure objects with a temperature sensor.
We can most certainly expect improvements to its camera performance, battery life, and display brightness, but everything will hinge on one critical area that historically made Pixel phones appealing. We’re talking about its price. Last year’s Pixel 7 Pro gave consumers everything they crave in a flagship, but in a generous $899 package. That’s less than the $999 cost associated with most of today’s flagship phones, like the iPhone 15 Pro, and far less than ultra-premium phones like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
If the rumors of a price increase to the Pixel 8 Pro do pan out true, it’s going to need to prove to people that the $100 increase is justified.