For a lot of people, whether we’re talking hardcore Google fans unwilling to spend a small fortune on the new Pixel 8 Pro flagship or simply Android enthusiasts looking to strike the perfect balance between power and affordability, the “vanilla” Pixel 8 might seem like the absolute best phone money can buy this holiday season.
But while it’s pretty obvious that the search giant behind the world’s most popular mobile OS has come a long way in the hardware-manufacturing game since the early days of the Pixel family (not to mention the Nexus line), it appears that some old habits die hard and certain issues are here to stay for another year.
Remember the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro’s excessive battery drain seemingly caused by the two 2021 phones’ outdated cellular modem? Unfortunately, the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are going through a similar situation for many users this year, just like the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro did in 2022 despite replacing the aforementioned key component of their predecessors with a newer one.
What’s going on?
While the battery life of Big G’s latest (and still admittedly greatest) in-house handsets is perfectly acceptable (at the very least) when said devices are used exclusively on Wi-Fi, switching to a 4G LTE and especially a 5G connection changes everything.
Instead of a normal 7 or 8 hours of screen time (or more), many Pixel 8 and 8 Pro units are barely capable of lasting 4 or 5 hours between charges when continuously using mobile data, which is clearly ridiculously low for what are ultimately two high-end smartphones available at high-end (ish) prices.
It goes without saying that a lot of users are struggling to squeeze a total of 12 or 14 hours of battery life out of their new phones in those conditions, which is making life (and especially professional life) rather difficult for many. Device overheating appears to be another (smaller) problem potentially caused by the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro‘s modem, along with mobile connectivity issues that are however impossible to blame solely on a phone (or two) when you also consider the notorious volatility of US carriers.
What can you do?
Sadly, not much, at least based on what we know at the time of this writing. While some folks claim they can get significantly better battery endurance numbers by forcing their Pixel 8 or 8 Pro to stay on a 4G LTE signal and avoid 5G connections, others say that doesn’t solve anything, and even if it does, not everyone wants to settle for LTE speeds in 2023.
That’s perfectly understandable, especially considering the great recent technological progresses made by T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T, which brings you to an uncomfortable point where all you can do is wait and hope that Google will address this battery drain situation in a future software update… if that’s actually possible.
The Pixel 8 and Pixel 7 (pictured here together) come with the exact same modem under the hood.
Given that everyone suspects the culprit to be a hardware component… that’s caused similar problems before, delivering a software fix might prove to be a mission worthy of a new Tom Cruise movie.
In case you’re wondering, the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro use the exact same Samsung Exynos 5300 modem as last year’s Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, which always seemed like a weird and risky decision on Google’s part for two phones that are officially advertised as packing an “all-new” Tensor G3 SoC.
We have no idea what Big G was thinking there, but if you’ve recently purchased a Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro and you’re starting to experience unusual battery drain when connected to a 4G LTE or 5G network, you might want to check if you can still return your phone in exchange for a refund. That’s the only real “solution” 100 percent guaranteed to work.
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