Embracing generative AI with a gusto unmatched by Apple or Samsung, Google goes all-in on its Pixel camera suite, recognizing that many photographers want professional-looking, successful results with minimal effort or skill.
The star of the show of the Pixel 8 is its can-do camera system. The 50MP + 12MP ultra-wide camera boasts 2X optical zoom gets the most out of its center, nailing low-light images and taking shots with speed and razor-sharp clarity.
Best Take, Magic Editor and Audio Magic Eraser pitch in with a Harry Potter-style magic that makes your shots and videos sing. You can remove photobombers, excise ambient noise and combine several similar snapshots for an amalgamation that combines the best of the bunch into one shining, Insta-friendly moment. So what if it never really happened?
While the device may not be quite as budget-friendly as the Pixel 8's predecessors, the 7 and 6, you get considerably more bang for your buck. And while other top-tier smartphone releases tend to be only minimal upgrades, the Pixel 8 is a bold, enterprising push into parts unknown.
Orchestrating device-taxing apps, games and streaming with ease, the Pixel 8 performs with smile-inducing ease on T-Mobile's blisteringly-fast 5G network. On road trips, elevators and in crowded situations, I never saw a bit of lag.
The switch to eSIM underlines the forward-thinking momentum behind the design, which includes a recycled aluminum, water-resistant chassis that makes you feel good that you're not destroying the environment.
Svelte and slim, the Pixel 8 has a futuristic feel that's easy to use with one hand and fits well in your pocket. All the better to whip it out to capture shots from the hip that the AI will touch up into masterpieces.
All the while, the 6.2-inch, 120Hz FHD + OLED screen shimmered at 428ppi. While some bells and whistles, including a lack of extendable zoom and a mediocre 2D face unlock, were minor chinks in the armor, the overall effect is a diminutive, gorgeous device that manages to face down its higher-priced rivals without blinking a 50MP eye.
T-Mobile provided device for review.