Several upgrades to the camera system, a brand new super-bright display, next-gen custom chipset, plus 7 years of software support - as generational improvements go, the Pixel 8 Pro appears to bring more than just the bare minimum. The 7 Pro from last year was already a capable enough handset, though, and it may very well still be the better option for those looking for a high-end end Google phone experience at a lower price than that of the latest flagship. Let's see how the two compare.
For starters, you can compare the complete specs sheets. You can check out our editor's assessment in the following video or in the text further down below.
The numbers in the dimensions and weight portion of the spec sheet won't be helping you decide between the two. The single gram that splits the two doesn't make a difference at over 210g each, and the fractions of a millimeter in this or that direction will also normally go unnoticed. But that's not to say that the two phones aren't different enough physically for it to be of at least some significance.
Perhaps the most important distinction comes on the front, where the Pixel 8 Pro gets a flat display, as opposed to the 7 Pro's curved edges. While the latter is sexier, the 8 Pro is more practical - it can take a glass screen protector, and it's less likely to pose handling issues (vocal opposition to a curved screen is still a thing). On top of that, the switch from last year's glossy glass back to a frosted one on the 8 Pro means less fingerprints (or, rather, none), though it is arguably a bit more slippery.
The Pixel 8 Pro gets some updated protection, and in the hopefully unlikely event of a drop, its Gorilla Glass Victus 2 may fare just that tiny bit better than the first-gen Victus on the 7 Pro. Both phones are IP68-rated, so no advantage for either on this one.
Depending on where you stand with color preferences, each generation has something to offer. The 8 Pro's Bay is easily our favorite, but the 7 Pro comes in Snow (white), which isn't available on the new model. Obsidian (black in layman speak) can be had on both, while Porcelain (8 Pro) and Hazel (7 Pro) offer softer alternatives.
Among the key developments on this year's Pixel phones are the new displays, and the Super Actua panel of the Pixel 8 Pro delivers on the promise. We measured 1,600nits with adaptive brightness enabled, a meaningful improvement over the 1,090nits the 7 Pro is good for in the same conditions. The new phone can also be super bright on your request - 954nits, vs. the 7 Pro's 588nits.
Brightness aside, the two displays don't have all that much to set them apart. Both support HDR10 and HDR10+, while Dolby Vision is still not on the menu. Both panels are very color-accurate in one mode and similarly vivid in the other.
The 8 Pro perhaps has the advantage in the way the adaptive refresh rate is handled - it's advertised to be able to go all the way down to 1Hz and we saw such readings from the built-in tool, while the supposedly 10-120Hz-capable 7 Pro never reported anything below 60Hz.
The Pixel 8 Pro got a 1% battery capacity increase this year, now standing at 5,050mAh. In our Endurance rating testing, the new model recorded higher numbers than the previous generation across the board, but not quite as high as to challenge major competitors.
While we don't have an Active Use Score for the Pixel 7 Pro to give you another point of comparison between the two models, we feel confident in saying that the new model will have an advantage there as well - of a similarly not huge magnitude. In that sense, while the 8 Pro is a step up, battery life alone shouldn't be a big enough advantage.
Google doesn't compete with the industry leaders from China in terms of charging speed, but it's also not the fastest against competitors from Apple or Samsung. That said, the Pixel 8 Pro's results we got are a welcome step in the right direction if not so much as to be a 'leap,' per se.
Using Google's official 30W charger, we clocked a full charge from flat to require 1:23h on the Pixel 8 Pro - nearly a half-hour improvement over the admittedly glacial Pixel 7 Pro.
Similarly, at the 30-minute mark, we're seeing an improvement over the previous generation.
Both phones support wireless charging, and Google specifies a maximum power rating of 23W with the Google Pixel Stand, while generic Qi-compliant pads will mean 12W max (if the pad itself supports the Extended Power Profile). Given the improvement in charging speed over cable, however, we wouldn't be surprised if the new model charges faster, but that's just speculation on our end.
There are no generational changes in the speaker setup concept and the Pixel 8 Pro has the usual hybrid arrangement that the 7 Pro uses - a 'main' unit firing out of the bottom of the phone, joined by the earpiece acting as the second channel. The top speaker is assigned the left channel in portrait, while in landscape, the channels will be adjusted to match the actual orientation. Regardless of orientation, each speaker will also output the other channel's track as well, albeit at an attenuated level.
In our test, the Pixel 8 Pro posted a 'Good' score for loudness, a notch below the 7 Pro. To our ears, however, the 8 Pro has the superior output, delivering a more balanced sound than the old model, with some good thump in the low end, clear vocals, and well-defined treble.
You can compare how the two phones sound in controlled acoustic conditions with the samples below. Just make sure you have your headphones on and the volume is at max level.
Rocking a custom chipset for the third year in a row, the Pixel 8 Pro is powered by the Tensor G3. Based on Samsung's 4nm manufacturing process the SoC features an unusual 9-core CPU (1x3.0GHz X3 & 4x2.45GHz A715 & 4x2.15GHz A510) and the Immortalis-G715s MC10 GPU.
The 7 Pro is based on the previous generation Tensor G2 chip and that's made on a 5nm process. It features a more conventional octa-core CPU (2x2.85GHz X1 & 2x2.35GHz A78 & 4x1.80GHz A55) and the Mali-G710 MP7 GPU.
All versions of the Pixel 8 Pro come with 12GB of RAM. When it comes to storage, the very existence of a 128GB base version appears wrong, but at least you do get more options - 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The Pixel 7 Pro, on the other hand, starts at 8GB/128GB and maxes out at 12GB/512GB.
When Google took over chipset design for its own phones, they made it abundantly clear that they wouldn't be pursuing records in benchmarks and raw performance. Neither the Pixel 7 Pro, nor the Pixel 8 Pro are truly competitive against rivals from their respective generations, but the 8 Pro is, after all, more powerful than the 7 Pro - to the tune of 15% in CPU tests and up to 30% in graphics benchmarks.
A bit hard to quantify are the perception of smoothness, the usefulness of the AI smarts that only Google offers, the speediness of software updates and the long-term support. In that sense, the two phones aren't all that different, though the new model does carry a promise of seven years of software support. Still, it is likely that you'll have replaced your Pixel way before that period expires.
The Pixel 8 Pro continues in the footsteps of the previous generation with its camera system, offering a trio of cameras on its back. There are several key improvements in the hardware, though, including a brighter lens on the main camera, a brand new large-sensor ultrawide camera with autofocus, and a revamped telephoto that's ever so slightly shorter, but also brighter. The selfie camera also gets an upgrade, and it now features autofocus.
During the day, the new model brings minor improvements in terms of detail on both the main camera and the ultrawide - hardly groundbreaking stuff, but the differences are there if you look (very) closely. Similarly, there's not all that much of an improvement in the 5x zoom shots in broad daylight (or whatever this gloomy weather was). In any case, the overall look of the images contains that characteristic Pixel quality, so either model will get you into #teampixel.
In low light, things get a bit more nuanced. The new model's ultrawide has the upper hand in detail and noise performance, and the telephoto is that tiny bit sharper too. The main camera also tends to produce slightly cleaner shots.
One of the new changes on the Pixel 8 Pro is the introduction of autofocus on the front-facing camera. While selfies look more or less the same at arm's length (aside from a slight difference in white balance), the ability of the 8 Pro's selfie camera to focus closer allows it to capture some more… interesting angles. Getting the new model is the better idea if you're into selfies.
Both the Pixel 8 Pro and the 7 Pro can record video up to 6K60 with all four cameras, and you can also choose to shoot in 4K24 in addition to the 'regular' 4K30.
The new model's ultrawide camera captures notably sharper footage in daylight, and we're willing to forgive it for its white balance being slightly off. The 8 Pro is also the better performer when comparing the main cameras, both at their native focal length and at 2x zoom. It's a similar story between the telephotos, where the 8 Pro's clips are of higher quality.
In the dark, the 8 Pro maintains the upper hand on all three cameras, and even if the differences aren't as pronounced, the new model's superiority is unquestioned.
Here's a glimpse of how the Pixel 8 Pro's main camera compares in image quality to the Pixel 7 Pro's in our Photo compare tool.
And here's how the Pixel 8 Pro's main camera compares in video quality to the Pixel 7 Pro's in our Video compare tool.
The Pixel 8 Pro is a relatively significant generational step for the series that may not be bringing dramatic changes but still improves on key areas, and the improvements are worth it. The slightly tweaked main and telephoto cameras, the new ultrawide, and the added AF capability on the selfie unit make an already versatile camera system that extra bit better in many ways.
The new Super Actua display is among the brightest on the market, and even if the old one was super good enough, this one is properly great. Small advancements in battery life and charging speed also contribute to making the new model an even more well-rounded package. The long-term support will also entice a certain type of consumer, though it's not like the 7 Pro will be denied updates any time soon.
As for the 7 Pro, while it's still available alongside the 8 Pro, its main selling point against the new model is the lower price. The difference in MSRP in the US is just $100, and that makes the 8 Pro easily the better deal. In Europe, you'd be looking at €200 of savings, which makes a bit more sense, but it still feels like the 8 Pro is worth the premium. With the shopping season upon us and the 7 Pro getting discontinued, however, different discounts may help make a better case for the 2022 model.
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8 years is doable. I still have the pixel 2. It's been 6 years so far and the experience is smooth and relatively fast.
i went to upgrade from 7pro to pixel 8 pro , i decided not to change at the point it was wasnt worth it but black friday maybe it was more reasonable and i mean just. plus i dont think a phone will last 8 years for most i think we upgrade every 3 to ...
I am keeping my Pixel 7 Pro. This is the first Android phone I have kept for over a year and it just works. It gets great support, the battery life is good and the Google Assistant integration is great. It's fast enough so that I don't have...