Google is leveraging AI to enhance photography, with a chip that regulates heat and displays defining both Pixel phones, despite their subtle differences. Google Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 phones are the first smartphones to fully embrace AI, a concept that has been a significant promise for many apps and hardware, with its specific utility serving as the definer.
Google Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8
Generational change demands better phones than current ones, as they are more expensive and mature. Google’s big bets provide a vision of looming goalposts, but these are still distant as more AI features are expected in the coming weeks. The goalposts are not a here-and-now scenario, but rather a distant horizon.
Google is introducing a dual-pronged approach to define the Google Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8, focusing on AI models. Google Photos, an app familiar to users, will add a new layer of AI models to the Google Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8. To unlock these features, users must leave the phone on charge overnight while connected to Wi-Fi.
Magic Editor is a new AI-based editing feature for Google Photos, available for Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8. It offers comprehensive editing controls, including background removal, lighting and tone adjustments, subject resizing, and shadow movement. With just a tap, users can easily adjust their photos.
Magic Editor offers presets and manual editing for photos, but not all options are available for every photo, such as indoor photos with two faces. It’s similar to Adobe’s Lightroom app, but without a learning curve for professional tools.
Magic Editor’s tools are most effective with new photos, specifically those clicked by Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8, for accurately replicating texture around resized or repositioned subjects, revealing impressive detail.
AI can enhance photos from earlier phone cameras, but they may not always have the detailed data and lighting necessary for AI to effectively work with.
Google Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 have evolved camera hardware, with the Pixel 8 Pro featuring a 50-megapixel wide, 48-megapixel ultrawide, and a 48-megapixel telephoto camera, while the Pixel 8 has a 50-megapixel wide and 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, highlighting Google’s differentiation between the two devices. However, there is also parity in specs and software.
The ‘Best Take’ feature in Instagram allows users to quickly edit photos by clicking on them before and after the shutter button. This data can add expressions to the photo, potentially enhancing it. To access this feature, go to the ‘Edit’ menu, then ‘Tools’, and select ‘Best Take’. This feature eliminates the need for closed eyes in photos.
Audio Magic Eraser is an AI tool designed for video enthusiasts to detect and reduce unwanted noises in recordings, such as fan whirring, air-conditioner noise, and traffic. It can significantly reduce background sounds when human speaking, though not absolute elimination.
The evolution of smartphones has significantly enhanced their capabilities, allowing for a wider range of AI use cases than ever before.
Google plans to introduce a Video Boost feature later this year, which will allow users to edit videos in Google Photos. The feature will be available on Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 phones, and will be processed and downloaded to these servers. The editing options include color, stabilisation, grain control, and lighting. However, fast upload speeds are required for 4K videos.
AI editing tools can be impressive and can save photos that may not look as desired. However, their ability to alter almost everything within a photo may not ensure that memories remain as pure as they should be. This raises questions about the purity of memories.
Google’s Tensor G3 chips perform well in an Android flagship phone, focusing on powering the AI layer. The underlying performance is better than the Tensor G2, but it’s harder to differentiate between this and a Pixel 7, but it’s even more capable with AI implementation. The focus is not purely on clock speeds, but on the ability to power AI.
The Tensor G3 is a significant improvement over previous Pixel phones, addressing the issue of the Tensor G2’s inability to stay cool during stressful use cases. However, it may make the back panel tepid during multitasking or extended camera use, particularly in 4K videos, but not as tepid as previous models.
The Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 have improved connectivity on 5G and Wi-Fi compared to previous generations. The updated modem enhances mobile network signal latching and stable Wi-Fi handshake, especially as users move towards the outer range of their home Wi-Fi router.
The Pixel 8 Pro’s 5,050mAh battery provides 5 hours and 45 minutes of screen use time, making it suitable for a day at work. The smaller 4,575mAh battery offers 4 hours and 45 minutes of screen time. For quick charging, the wired route is recommended, offering 30-watt speeds with a compatible charger, compared to 23-watts using a Qi wireless pad.
The charging speed of the latest Android phones is not the fastest, but it is not a major issue to worry about.
The Pixel 8 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro phones have similar design language and footprint, but with subtle changes. Both have flat displays with no waterfall-esque curves, and the back features matte glass, while the iPhone 15 Pro has a color-infused glass layer. Subjectivity in design is a topic of debate.
The Pixel 8 Pro’s 6.7-inch display, known as Super Actua by Google, has increased brightness thresholds from 1000 nits and 1600 nits to 1600 nits and 2400 nits, providing greater convenience across different lighting levels. It also features a dynamic refresh rate between 1Hz and 120Hz, depending on the content being viewed.
The Pixel 8 Pro now has a screen resolution of 2992 x 1334, slightly lower than its predecessor’s resolution of 3120 x 1440.
The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro both feature a satin metal frame and come in Rose, Hazel, and Obsidian finishes. The larger Pixel 8 Pro is available in Obsidian (black) and Bay (a stunning blue shade), respectively.
The Pixel Thermometer app on the phone’s back features a temperature sensor for detecting temperature on objects. However, it is not yet approved for tracking human body temperature and does not have a health tracking use case. Users can use the sensor to determine the temperature of milk, pizza, or gravy, but it is not yet suitable for tracking human body temperature.
The Pixel 8 series phones have a bug with the USB-C port, causing display out support. Apple is addressing this issue with the upcoming iPhones, potentially unlocking gaming capabilities in the future.
The entry spec for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro is disappointingly limited to 128GB storage. This could be due to user demand from Samsung’s 256GB entry spec for the Galaxy S23+ and Galaxy S23 Ultra, or Apple’s differentiation between the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, which starts with 128GB.
Google Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8
Google Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 Pro phones offer AI features for video editing, demonstrating their maturity in the tech market. While there are differentiations between the devices, the basics remain consistent, making them relevant for different demographics. These Pixel phones offer AI capabilities for video editing, highlighting the importance of considering future technology in tech purchases.