Google on Wednesday, 4 October 2023, showcased their flagship Android phones, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. The phones are ‘engineered by Google’ and built with AI at the centre for a more helpful and personal experience, the internet giant said.

The phones are set to get seven years of software updates, including Android OS upgrades, security updates and regular feature advancements, google said. They are built with recycled material and feature metal finishes.

Pixel 8 has a 6.2-inch ‘Actua’ display, which, according to Google, gives the user ‘real-world clarity’ and is 42 percent brighter than Pixel 7’s display. The phone features satin metal finishes, a polished glass back and comes in ‘Rose’, ‘Hazel’ and ‘Obsidian’.

The Pixel 8 Pro features a 6.7-inch ‘Super Actua’ display which will make your Ultra HDR images look ‘true-to-life’ even in direct sunlight, Google said. It has a matte glass back with a polished aluminium frame and comes in ‘Porcelain’, ‘Bay’ and ‘Obsidian’. The back of the Pixel 8 Pro features a new temperature sensor. While at launch the sensor is only calibrated for use on objects, Google has submitted an application to the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to enable Pixel’s Thermometer App to take human readings and save it to Google owned Fitbit devices.

Every camera on the Pixel 8 Pro has been upgraded, says Google, starting with the main camera that captures ‘better photos and videos in low-light’ settings. The bigger ultra-wide lenses are set to deliver better Macro Focus, the telephoto lens captures 56 percent more light and takes 10x photos at optical quality, and the front-facing camera now has autofocus. The Pixel 8 has the same updated main camera, plus a new ultra-wide lens that now enables Macro Focus.

The camera app features a redesigned interface, letting users quickly find and capture images and Pixel 8 Pro users will have access to Pro Controls, giving them more creative control of the Pixel Camera with settings like shutter speed, ISO, 50 mega-pixel photos throughout the zoom range and more, said Google. The camera’s ‘Best Take’ feature uses an on-device algorithm to blend images from a series of photos to get everyone’s best look when a user takes group photos. ‘Magic Editor’ in Google Photos uses generative AI to help give photos are more closer to life look allowing users to reposition and resize subjects or use presets to make the background stand out with just a few taps.

‘Audio Magic Eraser’ reduces distracting sounds, like howling winds or noisy crowds, in videos, the company said. Pixel 8 Pro is also set to get ‘Video Boost’ later this year — it pairs the onboard Tensor G3 chip with Google’s data centres, via the cloud, to apply cutting-edge processing to videos and can adjust colour, lighting, stabilisation and graininess, to deliver videos that look true to life while also enabling ‘Night Sight Video’ on Pixel for better low-light smartphone video quality.

The devices will also feature a flurry of protection features like allowing users to better screen calls and to protect personal information from more sophisticated data attacks.

The phones are now available for pre-order with the Pixel 8 starting at US$699 and Pixel 8 Pro from US$999.