My Experience with the Pixel 8 Pro: A Love Letter

Alan Diggs
4 min readNov 29, 2023

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I’ve always been a fan of Google’s Pixel phones, and the Pixel 8 Pro is no exception. It’s the perfect evolution of Pixel’s design language, and it’s packed with features that make it the best Pixel yet.

Design

The Pixel 8 Pro is one of the most beautiful phones I’ve ever seen. The back genuinely feels like sea glass, just as the marketing videos suggested. The Bay Blue color is stunning, and it’s sure to turn heads. The visor—while polarizing in some regards—remains one of the most brilliant design elements to ever debut in the mobile industry. Unlike the Pixel 6 series where the visor almost seemed like something tacked onto the phone or dividing the phone somewhat harshly… The visor on the Pixel 8 flows seamlessly into the matching aluminum rails that curve around the entire border of the phone. Unlike many phones out there, it focuses on how the phone feels rather than just chasing crazy designs. It’s not just beautiful to look at, but it’s comfortable to hold.

Camera

The camera on the Pixel 8 Pro is amazing. HDR performance is on par with and often better than the iPhone 15 series in still photos, and Google’s choice to implement Ultra HDR means images will appear at their best regardless of the display used to view them.

The 5x telephoto on the Pixel 8 Pro is stabilized quite well and produces clearer, less noisy images than the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 5x, and its 10x zoom quality is on par with and usually better than the Samsung S23 Ultra’s 10x optical output. Even in video, the 5x performs admirably.

The ultrawide is now a high-resolution sensor that graces all three users out there taking 0.5 shots for things other than silly pictures of foreheads. (Just kidding, this is actually awesome!)

It seems we’ve yet to get the fancy “Video Boost” feature which I’m not particularly sure about considering it’s one of those things that are announced and we’re just expected to take Google’s word for… but I’m hoping that the results of it are worth the wait and don’t end up being entirely gimmicky.

Software

Google has packed the Pixel 8 Pro with amazing software features. From little details like incredibly well-refined haptics throughout the entire OS, to the Material You integration not only in the OS itself, but across almost every Google application like Photos, Messages, etc.

Themed icons on the homescreen fall in line with those colors, and being able to pick color palettes from any wallpaper you select gives you tons of flexibility without the overwhelming mess of manually selecting every possible UI element color.

I’m also a big fan of Google Messages. It’s the best app for RCS messaging, and it has some great features like Ultra HDR support for photos and videos. On top of that, it will send photos and videos to SMS/MMS users over Google Photos rather than as MMS attachments, avoiding those pesky situations where your recipients recieve crunchy photos and videos!

Battery Life

Battery life on the Pixel 8 Pro is solid. I’ve had no issues getting through a full day of normal-to-heavy use.

Other Benefits

Here are some additional things I love about the Pixel 8 Pro:

  • The Magic Eraser tool is amazing. It can remove background distractions without much effort, and bring the focus of your photos exactly where you want that focus to be.
  • The Photo Unblur tool is also great. It can sharpen blurry photos and make them look much better when you don’t quite nail that shot and don’t realize you’ve missed it!
  • The Live Translate feature is incredibly useful. It can translate languages in real time, even in videos. I’ve used this a few times already to communicate with customers at work, and it thrills me that it gives me the opportunity to provide them a better experience than they would have gotten without being able to communicate effectively with us!

Some Minor Complaints

I also have a few minor complaints:

  • The fingerprint sensor is still optical, and it’s not as fast as the ultrasonic sensors found in some other phones.
  • The default setting for sending photos and videos in Messages compresses them and reduces their quality. I would prefer this to be an opt-in feature.
  • Pixels still capture photos in JPEG format, which wastes space, and lacks some of the awesome features that HEIC has. This leads to photos that could be about 50% smaller in storage size taking up more space on your phone and in your Google Photos library, resulting in you ultimately spending more money when you don’t actually need to!

Overall

Overall, the Pixel 8 Pro is an amazing phone. It’s the best Pixel yet, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new phone, especially if you’re looking for a clean and straightforward user experience but don’t want to miss out on incredible features.

Pros:

  • Beautiful design
  • Amazing camera
  • Great software
  • Solid battery life

Cons:

  • Optical fingerprint sensor
  • Default setting for sending photos and videos in Messages compresses them
  • Camera image format is old and inefficient, despite the addition of Ultra HDR

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience with the Pixel 8 Pro. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!!!

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