Article updated September 15th; article originally posted September 13th.
Google has found critical and commercial success from its Pixel line of smartphones. With the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro launching next month, what has Google decided can lift the new Pixel phones to new heights?
Update: September 14th: Google has announced the event and teased the new Pixel smartphones, the full specs are awaiting confirmation. Some official details are coming out through the various governmental agencies that require the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones to be registered before going on sale.
Sidharth Joseph reports certification for both Pixels has now been spotted on Singapore’s IMDA certification website. This confirms the various connectivity options on offer, which include support for 3G, 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, UWB, NFC and WPT.
The IMDA certification joins the paperwork from Canada’s REL and the United States’ FCC. These are generally filed as close to a retail release date as is practical. It’s likely that Google will be putting the new Pixels on sale as soon as possible after the October 4th launch.
Update: September 15th: Although it has been available in beta for some time (and is in beta for a month longer than expected), the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are expected to be the first smartphones that ship with Android 14. One of the benefits of this will be the use of Google’s ninth version of its Camera app. Currently in beta, it is designed to only run on devices with Android 14.
A number of improvements have already been leaked around the Pixel 8 family’s cameras. Video editing tools leveraging the Tensor G3 chipset’s AI capabilities will allow for smoother videos and the ability to remove unwanted noise from the background. No doubt this is part of the package in the new Camera app.
Google has now released the updated Camera app, and while it might not be in the box, it will be one of the first apps updated when users turn on their new Pixel phones. Given the premium placed on photography by reviewers, this release just ahead of the release of the phones is a timely one.
One of the key upgrades for the two new Pixel smartphones will be the next Tensor Mobile chipset. Designed by Google, the Tensor G1 and Tensor G2 leaned heavily into supporting artificial intelligence and machine learning on the handset by hardcoding many routines into the silicon.
With rumored additions of AI routines to the video editing suite to improve picture quality and remove background noise from the recordings, you can be sure there is a close match between the software and the hardware.
Many will be looking to see if the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro address one of the ongoing criticisms of the Pixel 7 family, namely the raised operating temperatures of the phones. There will be a correlation between the demand placed on the hardware with higher demand on the Tensor chipset, resulting in higher temperatures.
Part of the solution to addressing it will likely come from using Samsung Foundry’s FO-WLP packaging process during fabrication. Multiple sources are reporting the use of “fan out wafer-level processing” for the Tensor G3. This should reduce heat generation when placed under load and to run more efficiently at other times.
Practically, this should see the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro run cooler for longer, precisely what you would be looking for in Google’s next smartphone.
Google has previewed the new handsets online and confirmed a full launch event, “Made By Google”, which takes place on October 4th.
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