For those of you who received the Pixel 8 Pro on launch day, we’re all nearing that magical 30 day mark with these devices. It’s customary to share thoughts after having the device for a month. What do we like? What don’t we like? What could be better? These thoughts help us establish our longterm opinion on products, so as people who review things and need to compare devices, it’s important for us. It can also help anyone still on fence if whether they should buy one or not, so allow me to share my 30 day experience with the Pixel 8 Pro.
- Related: Pixel 8 Pro Review
The Pixel 2 XL (🐧) will always have a special place in my heart, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to claim the Pixel 8 Pro as the best device Google has ever released. They essentially checked every single box on this device, and in living with it day to day, I haven’t come across an item that makes me think Google messed anything up. They gave it a high quality display that gets exceptionally bright, an absolute killer camera, Android 14 and its customization options (as well as the AI-powered features) offer plenty of fun and usefulness, and the hardware is straight up sexy. This phone exudes that Googleyness that I want from a Pixel phone, so when I look back on the Pixel 8 Pro, it’ll most certainly be in a positive light.
Allow me to get specific. The original Pixel started this trend of Google ensuring you were getting a high quality camera experience with its phones. Fast forward to the Pixel 8 Pro and it’s pretty wild how far we’ve come, not just in terms of raw shooting capabilities and low light performance, but with the introduction of AI and Magic Editor, as well as features like Magic Eraser and Unblur, I truly think you would have a difficult time finding a better overall camera experience on a phone. These AI features are multiple cherries on top of an already A+ camera, still capable of taking amazing Night Sight photos, Long Exposure shots, as well as really crisp Portrait photos. I have yet to come across a situation where the Pixel 8 Pro’s camera doesn’t produce good shots. To put it simply, it’s my go to camera.
Software and performance have been great, with Android 14 being one of my favorite builds of Android to date. Like I mentioned earlier, Google is really leaning in on the customization stuff, which has been too much fun. AI Wallpapers is a simple inclusion that has provided hours of fun, which may sound silly, but I love that stuff. Once Google gets cool and eliminates the predetermined categories and allows me to use any words I want, then we’re going to be in serious business.
Other little treats have been Summarize for webpages (I use this pretty much every day) and the camera’s Best Take feature that will utilize multiple similar shots to create a single best photo. I recently went to a wedding and took lots of pictures and it worked perfect with people who had their eyes closed.
Battery life has also been great for me. For me, the average screen on time has for years been 4+ hours, which the Pixel 8 Pro has had zero issues getting to each and every day. This is with a Pixel Watch 2 being connected all day long, as well as apps like Life360 running constantly in the background.
There is one thing that was included on the Pixel 8 Pro that I haven’t used a single time. I’m talking about the new temperature sensor. Why was this included? I would have much preferred an IR blaster, but oh well. I asked recently if any owners were using this new sensor, but to the surprise of probably nobody, it doesn’t seem like anybody is using it. There may be a few people who are using it for some odd hobby or job, but the vast majority don’t seem interested. Bummer.
Looking over Kellen’s review, he mentioned cellular connectivity giving him issues. For the past 25 days (to be exact), I have been using Verizon via an eSIM. Maybe in the first week of owning the device I had a single issue with connectivity, but other than that, I haven’t had any problems that I can recall. I understand that there may be others out there that do have issues with Pixel modems, but personally, I can’t attest to that. I’ll be the first to say that my Pixel 7 Pro had those issues, but nothing yet on the Pixel 8 Pro. And speaking of the Pixel 7 Pro, which had its volume rocker falling out every now and then when I’d click volume down, I haven’t yet had any hardware issues with the Pixel 8 Pro. No battery drain, no pink screen, no nothing.
Looking ahead, just as people who buy these phones with our own money, I really do wish that Google would institute an instant discount when utilizing a trade-in at purchase. That’s what Samsung does, and honestly, it’s so much better. Given this is a 30-day recap, it’s fitting that Google approved my trade-in literally two days ago. Google received my trade-in on October 25 at 9am in the morning. Two weeks later, I’m finally granted my reimbursement, which then takes another 2-5 business days to hit my bank. I’m sure this is all easier for Google, but at the end of the day, Samsung’s instant discount is simply better for the consumer. Google has billions of dollars. Most people do not. The buying public would probably appreciate any move that would make these devices more easily obtainable.
I call on all other Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro owners to share their thoughts after a month of ownership. Let’s hear how your month has gone.