The vanilla Pixel 8 is now smaller than ever before. That's undoubtedly the biggest and most prominent change in the design. There's also a clear trend too, as Google has been reducing the size of its vanilla Pixels since the 6th generation - 6.4-inch Pixel 6, 6.3-inch Pixel 7 and now we have the 6.2-inch Pixel 8. However, the overall design language and hand-feel remain roughly the same.
Naturally, with the display size going down, the Pixel 8 also features a smaller footprint and is about 5 mm shorter and 3 mm narrower, compared to its predecessor. This is great news for anyone looking for a compact and premium smartphone. Take a look at the difference using our 3D comparison tool.Pixel 8 vs. Pixel 8 Pro
Google has also optimized the footprint by trimming the bezels on the front. Along with the bezel reduction, Pixel 8's chassis now has rounder corners, making the device slightly easier to handle. Holding a phone with rounder corners usually means a better and more comfortable grip. Although, one could argue that this boils down to personal preference.
The back hasn't changed much over the years. The lens glass is slightly bigger and the camera module protrudes a little more than before, but it looks and feels essentially the same. We have the Hazel color for review and Google is offering the good old Obisidian and a new Rose paint job as well. The surface remains glossy and the protective sheet is still Gorilla Glass Victus, unlike the 8 Pro, which has the second-generation Victus. The Pixel 8's front is protected by GG Victus as well.
The aluminum side frame has a soft, matte finish, making it slightly more slippery than the 8 Pro with the glossy frame, but the vanilla 8 can get away with it since it naturally provides a more secure grip. It's a smaller device, after all.Pixel 8 Pro vs. Pixel 8
The right side of the frame is home to the power button and volume rocker and as is usually the case with Pixels, the former sits atop the latter. If you are using a Pixel phone for the first time, it will take time to adjust, but the good news is the power key falls right under your thumb. Both buttons are within comfortable reach. The USB-C connector and the speaker grille are at the bottom side of the frame.
The handset generally feels extra nice in hand and the glossy glass back is surprisingly grippy. We don't have any major complaints about the ergonomics of the Pixel 8. It's hard to mess things up with a small device like the Pixel 8. This is a proper compact 2023 flagship, with a premium build and IP68 certification. We just wished Google had used the same GG Victus 2 sheets as on the 8 Pro.