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Google Pixel 8: A Long-Term User Review


The Google Pixel line has carved a niche for itself in the smartphone market, consistently praised for its exceptional camera and clean software experience. But how does the Pixel 8 hold up after months of daily use? Here’s a breakdown of the Pixel 8’s strengths and weaknesses, helping you decide if it’s the right phone for you.

Stellar Cameras Still Reign Supreme

Let’s not mince words: the Pixel 8’s camera remains a powerhouse. Google’s computational photography continues to impress, producing stunning photos and videos in various lighting conditions. The dual rear camera system, while lacking a telephoto lens present in some competitors, utilizes the main sensor effectively. Portrait mode with adjustable blur and Magic Eraser, which lets you remove unwanted objects with surprising ease, are just a few of the software features that elevate the camera experience.

AI smarts on Display

The Pixel 8 boasts a vibrant OLED display with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, making scrolling and gaming a joy. Although it doesn’t quite reach the peak brightness of some rivals, it’s still plenty bright for outdoor use. However, some users might miss the curved displays of previous Pixel generations; the Pixel 8 opts for a flatter design. One area where Google shines is integrating AI features into the display. Adaptive Battery helps optimize battery life based on usage patterns, and features like Now Playing automatically identify songs playing in your environment.

Clean Software, Speedy Performance (mostly)

A hallmark of Pixels is the clean, bloatware-free Android experience. Stock Android 14 runs smoothly, with timely updates directly from Google. This ensures a consistent and secure user experience. The Tensor G3 chip delivers solid performance for everyday tasks and multitasking. However, some users report occasional slowdowns with very graphically demanding games. If you’re a hardcore gamer, the Pixel 8 might not be your top choice.

Battery Life: A Mixed Bag

The Pixel 8’s battery life is decent, lasting a full day for most users with moderate usage. The increased battery size compared to the Pixel 7 is a welcome improvement. However, power users might find themselves reaching for the charger before the end of the day. The fast charging capabilities have seen a bump, but some competitors offer even faster charging solutions.

A Farewell to Bezels (Almost)

The Pixel 8 adopts a more modern design aesthetic with slim bezels around the display. The signature two-tone back with a matte finish is comfortable to hold and resists fingerprints well. While some users might have preferred a more premium feel like glass, the matte finish does offer a practical advantage.

The Verdict: A Worthy Contender, But Not Without Flaws

The Google Pixel 8 remains a compelling option for users who prioritize camera quality and a clean software experience. The vibrant display, AI-powered features, and long-term software support are all strong selling points. However, the lack of a telephoto lens and slightly slower charging compared to some competitors might be dealbreakers for some. The occasional performance hiccups with demanding apps are also worth considering.

Overall, the Pixel 8 is a well-rounded phone that excels in specific areas. If you value a fantastic camera, clean software, and a comfortable design, the Pixel 8 is a strong contender. But if raw processing power, ultrafast charging, or a feature-packed camera system are your priorities, you might want to explore other options in the market.