Google’s new tech: How does the Pixel 8 compare to the iPhone 15

Oct 11, 2023, 3:00 PM

Google Pixel 8 held side by side...

(Photo by Ed Jones/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ed Jones/Getty Images)

Apple’s fall device drop gets all the love, but Google wants you to remember it’s here, too — with lots of shiny new tech and some seriously impressive AI upgrades coming soon to a phone near you.

Let’s break down everything Google just announced and see how the Pixel 8 stacks up against the new iPhone 15.

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Batting 1,000

That’s how much the Google Pixel 8 Pro costs (OK, it’s $999) — up $100 from the top-tier 7 model. For a grand, it includes Google’s zippy Tensor G3 chip and a camera good enough to rival the iPhone 15. Neat feature: Zoom Enhance lets you go in and add details after you’ve taken the shot and want to zoom in on a pic.

The other random but excellent addition is a temperature sensor that can accurately measure how hot or cold a surface, object and even your forehead.

It comes in black, porcelain and light blue—shipping expected Oct. 12.

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What about the non-Pro?

The Pixel 8 is going up $100, too. It’s faster and slightly smaller than the 7 — and gets access to Google’s sweet new AI photo editing tools (along with the 8 Pro).

  • Magic Editor uses AI to change the scenery in a photo, remove distracting elements and even move people around.
  • Best Take is a group-shot game-changer. The idea is you take several pictures, and then you can choose the best face for each subject and merge them into one final image. Finally, everyone looks good!
  • Audio Magic Eraser tones down distracting sounds in audio tracks that are ruining your video.

The 8 is $699, or $799 if you’re buying from Verizon. It comes in rose, black and hazel and is expected to ship on Oct. 12, too.

Updates till 2030

Hey, at least if you spend all the money, you know your phone will work for many years. Google says the 8 and 8 Pro get seven years of “OS, security, and Feature Drop updates” for both phones.

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How do they stack up against the new iPhones?

For most people, it comes down to what ecosystem you prefer. If you’ve been using one or the other for years, you know exactly how they work and are comfortable with the OS.

Perhaps you’re not so brand loyal. Let’s compare some specs, shall we? We’ll stick with the base models.

iPhone 15 vs. Pixel 8

  • Cost: $799 to $1,099 (iPhone); $699 to $749 (Pixel)
  • Screen: 6.1” OLED with 460 pixels per inch (iPhone); 6.2” OLED with 428 pixels per inch (Pixel)
  • RAM: 6GB (iPhone); 8GB (Pixel)
  • Battery: 3,349mAh (iPhone); 4,575mAh (Pixel)
  • Rear cameras: 48-megapixel main camera, 12-megapixel ultrawide camera (iPhone); 50-megapixel main camera,12-megapixel ultrawide
  • Front-facing camera: 12-megapixel main camera (iPhone); 10.5-megapixel main camera (Pixel)

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but on specs alone, the Pixel models are totally solid for the price. (And yes, I say that as an iPhone devotee.)

Beyond the phones, here’s what else Google is working on.

More battery life, better sensors

The Pixel Watch 2 looks like the original, but the insides got a significant upgrade. The improved Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 processor means up to 24 hours of battery life, even with the always-on display enabled.

It’s outfitted with new skin temperature and electrodermal activity sensors to tell how stressed you are, along with additional heart rate sensors for more accurate readings and automatic workout tracking.

You’re looking at $349.99 for the GPS version or $399.99 for LTE. Pick from silver and blue, silver and white, gold and hazel, or all-black.

Can you hear me, Buds?

The Pixel Buds are Google’s answer to the AirPods. The upgraded Buds Pro get light blue and porcelain options to match the new phones, along with audio upgrades for “fuller and clearer” sound. They’re $199.99.

Assistant gets smarter

It wouldn’t be 2023 if there weren’t some AI talk. Google Assistant is getting a Bard AI upgrade “in the coming months.” It’ll connect with your Google apps — like Gmail, Drive and Calendar — to plan trips, caption pictures, make lists and find that dinner reservation you forgot about.

Keep your tech-know going

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Google’s new tech: How does the Pixel 8 compare to the iPhone 15