Review: Google’s Pixel 8 Pro leaves me wanting more – Video

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Review: Google's Pixel 8 Pro leaves me wanting more

Speaker 1: Google’s flagship. Pixel 8 Pro is now on sale, but is it worth it? Let’s take a closer look. I had a rocky start with the Pixel 8 Pro with strange camera issues, which affected my first impressions a bit, but after countless hours testing all parts of the phone, especially the camera, I’m finally ready to give my verdict. The Pixel eight Pro is drum roll please. (00:00:30) Basically good. If that seems like a bit of an anticlimax, then it’s quite appropriate because the Pixel 8 Pro has been quite an anticlimax product for me. The Pixel 7 Pro and 6 Pro were once great all-around phones with incredible camera systems. I gave both phones the coveted CNET Editors Choice Awards and as a result, I had high hopes for the Pixel 8 Pro. But after having tested it for a long time, I feel a little disappointed. Speaker 1: (00:01:00) It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong with the phone, it’s just that it doesn’t really add anything important or move the pixel line forward in any meaningful way. Its battery life is average. The performance of the processor didn’t really impress me and to be honest I prefer the design of the previous model. Some of its key new features including several artificial intelligence tools and a new temperature scanner on the back of the phone. They work pretty well, but they don’t really add enough (00:01:30) to stand out as cool new features. However, one of the main points it has in its favor is the seven years of software updates that Google has promised to offer. That’s a big boost over the four years it used to offer and a big boost over most other Android competitors, and that means this phone should still be going strong in 2030 and a longer life for your phone means fewer phones. in landfills. So let’s dive in and see what the Pixel 8 Pro has to offer. Speaker 1: (00:02:00) Physically, it’s clear to see the family resemblance with this large camera bar running along the back. I don’t think it looks as stylish or premium as the sage and gold color of this Pixel 7 Pro. Certainly not in the black version I initially reviewed. Although this light blue has a little more personality, the 6.7-inch screen is the same size as the seven Pro and looks glorious. The colors are punchy and vibrant and easily do justice (00:02:30) to any vibrant, colorful Netflix or YouTube video you’re watching. Supports HDR content. It’s bright enough to use outdoors and has a maximum refresh rate of 120 hertz for smooth scrolling and gaming. This little circle next to the camera flash houses a new feature, a temperature sensor that now allows the phone to take temperature readings from the home surfaces of objects directly in front of it, and it’s pretty easy to do: simply Turn on the temperature app (00:03:00) and hold the phone about five centimeters from what you want to scan. Speaker 1: Kind of like if you’re taking a close-up photo, you touch the screen and it’ll give you a temperature reading of that object. The idea is that you can check the temperature of a drink before taking a big gulp or check that that slice of cake isn’t hotter than the sun before you put it to your face. It worked quite well in my tests and I can imagine some examples where it could be quite useful. Maybe you’re a parent who wants to check the temperature of a baby’s bottle, but overall (00:03:30) I think its real-world use is pretty limited. It feels like a feature that has been shoehorned in just to act as a differentiator against the competition. And sure, the Pixel 8 Pro now has an important feature that the iPhone 15 doesn’t, but is it a feature you really care about? To be honest, I don’t. Speaker 1: The phone runs the latest Android 14 software and Google has committed to seven years of software updates. That’s great because longer software support periods (00:04:00) extend the life of a phone. It is often the case that old hardware still works fine, but if the software it is running is not yet receiving security updates, it is simply not safe to use. Android 14 is not much different from Android 13. It looks practically the same and has several ways to customize the interface. However, Google has included some AI features, including a new way to create AI generative wallpapers, the tool used selects from a variety of cues including (00:04:30) colors, textures, objects and artistic styles, and then combine those to create a new backdrop. It’s a lot of fun to play with and I really enjoyed playing with the different prompts to try to create images that I like. Speaker 1: And Google has integrated some AI features into other parts of the phone, including the image editor. These tools you do, things like selecting an object to make it larger or smaller within the frame or removing it completely. The results don’t always seem surprising, but they can be pretty fun ways to (00:05:00) play with snapshots. That’s if you mind waiting, the excruciating 15 seconds it takes to process each edit. The software is run by Google’s latest home processor, the Tenser G three, which I found disappointing overall. It didn’t impress at all in Benchmark tools, bringing it closer in performance to cheaper mid-range phones than today’s flagships. And while benchmark tools certainly don’t tell the whole story of a processor, there are areas where I definitely (00:05:30) feel like it’s lacking in power, especially those long wait times for creating AI edits. In general use though it feels fast, responsive and demanding. Games like Genin Impact and PUBG played with smooth frame rates even at high settings. Speaker 1: So let’s talk about those cameras. The cameras were my biggest concern in my initial review due to several image processing issues I encountered under certain conditions, several of our (00:06:00) initial test images in high contrast situations showed strange looking artifacts in the shadow areas along with extremely aggressive software noise reduction that softened areas that should have had detail. Google released an update to help resolve some of these issues and while it has gone a long way to rectifying them, they are not completely gone, but it is a much smaller issue that now appears very rarely and in very specific circumstances. For the most part, the camera is excellent and takes (00:06:30) vibrant, sharp, well-exposed images in a variety of conditions. In good conditions. The main camera with ultra-wide-angle zoom and 5x telephoto lens took beautiful photos that comfortably rivaled the same shots I saw on the iPhone 15 Pro at night. Speaker 1: The iPhone generally performs better, but the Pixel 8 Pro is still a big step up in nighttime abilities over the Pixel 7 Pro. The phone also has other new camera features, including manual settings to adjust (00: 07:00) shutter speed and white balance, as well as a new 50-megapixel mode for taking high-resolution photos. The extra resolution over the standard 12 megapixels is certainly noticeable when you zoom in on those details, but to be honest, most photographers won’t need to use it, especially since the one to two second delay required to take each photo means it’s just Really suitable for static scenes such as landscapes. Overall, the camera on the Pixel eight Pros is excellent. I’m so glad I spent all this extra time (00:07:30) trying it out after the Google update. It can take beautiful photos in all conditions and its night mode is a big step up from its predecessor. However, that heavy-handed image processing is still visible and dedicated. The photographers among you will probably be better served with the iPhone 50 Pro. Speaker 1: So what do I like about the Pixel 8 Pro? Well, I like your gloriously vibrant display. I like their generally solid cameras (00:08:00) and I love the extended software support. What I don’t like is the disappointing processor performance, average battery life, heavy image processing on some photos, and the fact that some of its key new features look like gimmicks. So is this a foam you should buy? Collectively, we’ve spent countless hours testing all of the Pixel 8 Pro’s features and taking hundreds of test photos with all of its cameras. (00:08:30) Despite my concerns above, I’m confident that the Pixel 8 Pro is a solid Android phone to consider, especially if you’re into night photography. But overall, it doesn’t seem like a big step up from the Pixel 7 Pro and certainly, if you have a 7 Pro, it’s not worth upgrading. But those of you with older Pixel phones or other Android phones more than two or three years old will absolutely benefit from Speaker 2: Of this phone’s key updates. What do you think of the Pixel eight pro? Is it the phone (00:09:00) for you or do you have your eyes set elsewhere? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to check out the video description for lots more information.

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