Made by Google announced the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, and they come with an upgraded Tensor G3 chipset, a temperature sensor and even better AI magic.

Google’s latest flagship Android smartphones come with little surprise, thanks to the plentiful teasers and leaks running around. It’s more of a discreet update compared to the jump to the Pixel 6, but Google still delivers plenty of worthwhile updates to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

There’s no word about the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro arriving in New Zealand, but that doesn’t make them impossible to get (check out how to get the Google Pixel 7a and Pixel Buds Pro for a few pointers).

It’s clear Google is going all-in on Generative AI, with Assistant with Bard being a major feature at the event (that’s set to arrive soon), with the Pixel 8 series being the conduit for it all. However, it won’t just be the Pixel 8 that gets this.

From its price and release date to all the new updates, here’s everything you need to know about the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

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Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro: Price

The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are available from $699 / £699 / AU$999 and $999 / £999 / AU$1,499, respectively.

Compared to the Pixel 7 lineup, this is quite the price bump, and it’s likely due to cost of components and recent inflation. The latest Pixel phones are leaning towards “iPhone price tag” territory, although they are competitively priced.

If pricing is accurate, the both models should be around NZ$1,099 and NZ$1,599, respectively.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Price

Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro: Release Date

The Made by Google event announced the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are available to pre-order from October 4, 2023.

The release date is set on October 12, which is when you can expect both models to be shipped and ready to purchase on shelves.

Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro

Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro: What’s new?

So, with similar sizes and the same signature camera visor we’ve seen on recent Pixels, what is new with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro? A fair bit, actually – both in its design and what’s under the hood.

The Pixel 8 and Pixel Pro 8 are slightly smaller than their counterparts and boast more rounded edges. The camera visor is also slightly redesigned, with the lenses being grouped closer than previous models. Material-wise, The Pixel 8 Pro now comes with a matte finish on the rear, which will hopefully lose all those fingerprint smudges (if you don’t have a phone case). The stand Pixel 8 retains its matte aluminium and a glossy glass back.

As for colours, the Pixel 8 arrives in Obsidian (black), Hazel (green/grey) and Rose (pink), while the Pixel 8 Pro comes in Obsidian (black), Porcelain (white) and Bay (blue). There’s also a lineup of new Pixel 8 cases with matching colours.

Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro

The displays, known as a Actua Display (Pixel 8) and Super Actua Display (Pixel 8 Pro), have also slightly shrunk, with the Pixel 8 boasting a 6.2-inch (1080 x 2400) AMOLED display with up to 1,400 nits of brightness (2,000 nits of peak brightness) and a new 120Hz refresh rate, a step up from the usual 90Hz. The Pixel 8 Pro sports a 6.7-inch (1344 x 2992) LTPO AMOLED panel with always-on support, 1-120Hz refresh rate and 1,600 nits brightness (2,400 nits of peak brightness) — subtle upgrades to already impressive screens.

One unique detail the Pixel 8 Pro gets is a new temperature sensor. This built-in contactless thermometer can be used to monitor your temperature as a quick way to let you know if you’re running hot. It’s been done before with the Honor Play 4 Pro, and we can’t imagine it being the actual selling point of the Pro model, but it’s a neat touch.

Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro Pixel Watch 2 Pixel Buds Pro

Keeping up with the annual upgrades, the Pixel 8 And Pixel 8 Pro feature the Google Tensor G3 chipset. This should improve performance, battery efficiency and (hopefully) heat reduction, as previous models have had issues with overheating.

The Pixel 8 comes with 8GB of RAM with 128GB and 256GB storage options, while the Pixel 8 Pro gets 12GB of RAM with up to 512GB for storage.

Cameras are always a highlight on Pixel phones, and the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are no different. This time around, the Pixel 8 will come equipped with a 50MP main lens and a 12MP ultra-wide, and the Pixel 8 Pro is getting a 50MP main sensor, 64MP ultra-wide (same as the Pixel 7a), and a 58MP telephoto lens. The cameras also get a GN2 upgrade, which should capture more light and improve low-light photography.

Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro Cameras

It’s all about Google’s AI tech, so expect more camera magic. This time, we’re getting upgrades in video, bringing Real Tone, improved mixed lighting performance, better auto-focus in low-light settings and more. Plus, there’s Audio Magic Eraser, which allows you to eliminate different sounds in a video. With Video Boost, you can expect a high-quality video with natural imagery, Night Sight Video and an overall smooth clip.

There’s also Night Sight for better night photography, including it being used with the Pixel’s impressive Super Res Zoom feature.

Oh, and we’re getting a strange new Best Take feature that uses AI to change faces in photos to what it judges to be better. It may be pretty odd, but it could be handy when taking those group photos and that one person isn’t pulling the best face, but we’ll see how it plays out when people get a hold of the new phones.

Plus, with Call Screen, there’s an AI that can answer calls for you in a much more natural voice, letting you know if it’s a spam phone call or not. Pretty neat!

Finally, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro come shipped with Android 14. As usual, these are the first Android phones to get the latest OS update. Moreover, the Pixel 8 models will be getting seven years of updates.

Is Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro coming to NZ?

Google Pixel devices still aren’t officially available in New Zealand. As with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7, there’s no sign of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro arriving in New Zealand. While unfortunate, there are still ways to get the new Pixel devices, as they can be imported.

They should work on New Zealand’s carriers like 2 Degrees, Vodafone and Spark, with 5G included (according to Kimovil). However, since the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro isn’t officially launching in NZ, don’t expect much customer support.

Pixel devices are tricky to get in NZ, but if you’re after other Android phones, check out our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review and Motorola Razr 40 Ultra review.