Google Pixel 8 Pro Review: Pushing the Boundaries of Post-Processing

Dailylaco.com – In the world of photography and videography, the phrase “we’ll fix it in post” is a common refrain. It means that if the initial shot isn’t perfect, you can rely on post-production editing to correct it. This concept extends to the realm of smartphones, and the Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro embody this philosophy. These devices embrace the idea that you can rectify imperfections through post-processing wizardry.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Review
Google Pixel 8 Pro Review

A Familiar Design with Notable Improvements

Let’s start with the design. The exterior of the Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro may look familiar if you’ve followed previous Pixel iterations, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The design language has evolved, featuring camera circles that merge into a unified, larger circle. This change accommodates the new, more substantial camera sensors.

One noticeable improvement in the Pixel 8 Pro is the flat display, departing from the slightly curved edges of its predecessors. The satin finish on the back is not just for aesthetics but also serves to effectively conceal fingerprints. The design elements, such as the metal rails, button clickiness, and overall build quality, make the Pixel 8 series feel on par with flagship phones from Xiaomi, Samsung, and other competitors.

The smaller Pixel 8 boasts a 6.2-inch 1080p OLED display with thinner, more consistent bezels all around. It now offers a 120Hz refresh rate and can reach an impressive 2,000 nits of brightness. The Pixel 8 Pro, on the other hand, features a larger 6.7-inch LTPO display with closer to 1440p resolution and a stunning peak brightness of 2,400 nits. This display quality positions the Pixel phones among the brightest in the smartphone market.

A Closer Look at the Cameras

The Pixel series has always been known for its camera prowess, and the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro continue this trend. Both phones share a substantial 50-megapixel primary sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS) and an F1.7 aperture. The resulting photos are sharp with excellent dynamic range. The autofocus is fast, and the devices can achieve a pleasing shallow depth of field for close-up subjects.

However, what sets the Pixel cameras apart is the software. Google’s post-processing magic enhances the image quality. Multiple exposures are blended into a single HDR shot, faces are strategically relit, and AI-driven noise reduction works to refine image details. There is a propensity for over-HDR’ing some images, but the software features are impressive.

One of the standout features is the “Magic Editor,” which takes post-processing to another level. It allows you to select objects in photos, remove or adjust them, and even change the entire scene’s lighting or background. The “Face Unblur” and “Magic Eraser” features let you correct imperfections in photos, making them more presentable.

Video recording on the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro has also seen improvements. While the footage may exhibit some artificial brightening and sharpening, the overall quality is notably better than previous iterations. An interesting feature is the “Audio Eraser,” which attempts to isolate and edit specific audio elements within a video. It works reasonably well for minor audio issues but struggles with more prominent background noises.

Software Innovations

The Pixel phones are renowned for their software innovations, and the Pixel 8 series is no exception. Google has integrated features like “Magic Eraser,” “Face Unblur,” and “The Best Take” to provide users with an array of post-processing tools to enhance their photos and videos. These features are not just gimmicks; they genuinely make a difference in the quality of your content.

One notable software enhancement is the ability to use the front-facing camera for secure authentication, eliminating the need for additional hardware like infrared sensors or dot projectors. It’s a smart use of technology to simplify user experiences.

However, one aspect that may leave users puzzled is the software limitations imposed on the non-Pro model. Google has chosen to distinguish between the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro by restricting certain features to the Pro version. This artificial separation, even when the hardware is nearly identical, can be frustrating for users who expect feature parity.

Outstanding Battery Life

A major concern with devices featuring incredibly bright displays is their impact on battery life. In this regard, the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro shine. The battery life on both devices is impressive, especially on the 8 Pro. Users can expect six to eight hours of screen-on time, and standby time is satisfactory. The real question, though, is whether this excellent battery life will be sustained over the long term, a historical concern with previous Pixel phones.

Smart Software Integration

The Pixel series has always stood out for its intelligent software integration. Features like call screening, Google Assistant, and the quality of Google’s stock apps enhance the overall user experience. Android 14 has already breathed new life into older Pixel models, demonstrating Google’s commitment to providing long-term software support.

A noteworthy feature on the Pixel 8 series is the ability to request a webpage summary using Google Assistant within the Chrome browser. While this feature shows promise, its effectiveness is limited to websites that have opted in, leaving room for more widespread adoption.

The haptics on the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are excellent, and phone call quality is impressive, making for a premium overall experience. Google’s promise of seven years of software updates, feature drops, security updates, and the availability of spare parts, all starting at a reasonable price of $700, makes the Pixel 8 series an enticing choice.

Overall

The Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro exemplify the philosophy of “we’ll fix it in post” to the fullest. These devices leverage advanced post-processing techniques to enhance the quality of photos and videos, making them appealing to those who prioritize content creation. The design and hardware improvements, especially in the display department, position the Pixel phones as legitimate contenders in the flagship market.

While the software features are impressive, the artificial separation between the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro in terms of available features is a point of contention. The outstanding battery life and long-term software support are significant advantages, and the devices deliver a smart and seamless user experience.

The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are excellent choices for users who appreciate top-notch post-processing capabilities, long-term software support, and a well-rounded smartphone experience. Google’s commitment to improving its hardware and software integration is evident in this generation of Pixel devices.

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