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Should you buy the Pixel 7 or wait for the Pixel 8?

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Should you buy the Pixel 7 or wait for the Pixel 8?

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Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

For Pixel fans in need of a new smartphone, you might be wondering what your options are in 2023. First, you could consider getting the brand new Pixel 7a, or even the Pixel 6a if you’re on a tight budget. For those looking for something more powerful from the Pixel family, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are great choices, but they are now over six months old. In other words, the Pixel 8 family isn’t too far away. Should you wait? We take a quick look at the Pixel 7 vs Pixel 8 to help you make that decision.

Update (6/13/23): This article was originally published in early May. It was most recently updated to add details on the Tensor G3 and the new camera package.

Pixel 7 vs Pixel 8: Expected differences

Although we don’t know everything about the Pixel 8 just yet, there are enough rumors that we can tell you some of the biggest differences.

The Pixel 8 family will move on to the new Tensor G3 SoC

Google Tensor G2 benchmarks feature image

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

While the Tensor G2 is a powerful chip with a major focus on machine learning, it’s also relying on relatively old ARM core technology. Thankfully that’s set to change with the Pixel 8 series.

In our own exclusive Tensor G3 leak, we’ve confirmed the Tensor G3 will have a 1+4+4 CPU configuration consisting of a 3.05GHz Cortex-X3, four 2.4Ghz A715 cores, and four 2.15GHz A510 cores. This is in line with earlier Pixel 8 rumors.

For those that don’t know, the Cortex-X3 is an ARM V9 core and a big move from the ARMV8.2 cores on the G2. In the first developer preview of Android 14, Mishaal Rahman discovered a feature called “Advanced Memory Protection.” This prevents errors in handling memory and is a feature that the older ARMV8.2 CPU cores can’t handle. Odds are Google will showcase this new feature in the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro.

The same report also confirms earlier rumors the G3 will have an Arm Mali-G715 GPU. Previously we believed it would be an 8-core setup, but now are expecting it to feature ten cores, as well as ray-tracing support. This is a notable upgrade over the older Mail-G710 seven-core configuration found in the Pixel 7 series.

We also learned the Tensor will have MTE support for better security, an improved TPU, and AV1 encoding.

Even with these upgrades, it’s likely the Tensor G3 won’t likely be able to compete directly with Qualcomm in terms of raw performance. Instead, the SoC will continue to focus on AI and machine learning first and foremost. Still, it’s a pretty notable update.

The Pixel 8 will see a similar design to the Pixel 7, just smaller

Pixel 8 render

When it comes to the Pixel 7 vs Pixel 8, the design won’t be a major factor. Google settled on a new design language with the Pixel 6 and has only made small refinements to that formula in the last two years. While the Pixel 7 refined the camera and made a few other key improvements, looks like the Pixel 8 might feature nearly an identical setup to its predecessor. That is, except for the size.

The alleged Pixel 8 dimensions are 150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9mm, which is a bit smaller than the Pixel 7 at 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7mm. The screen will obviously shrink as well, with rumors claiming the Pixel 8 has a 6.16-inch display versus the 6.32-inch screen on the Pixel 7.

Although this might not seem like a huge difference, it will make the phone feel much more compact. It will also make it easier to use with one hand. There is a shortage of phones with small footprints these days, so this could be a wise move for Google and help better set it apart from the Pixel 8.

At the same time, that brings its size more in line with the Pixel 7a. The two phones are already super similar devices, so hopefully, the Pixel 8a makes a few changes to help keep the two phones from being too similar.

The Pixel 8 Pro will slightly shake up the Pro’s design

The Pixel 8 might not be much different from its predecessor beyond size, but the Pixel 8 Pro is set to receive a few key changes. First, the display is now flat, like the Pixel 7. The corners are also more rounded than before. This should make the phone easier to hold than before.

The camera module is also slightly different, with all three cameras encased in the glass pill. It’s a small change, but we think it looks a little more refined than the previous design. You’ll also notice the camera bar has a new sensor, but it has nothing to do with photography. Reportedly this is an IR thermometer. This could measure your own body temp as well as the temperature of objects around you.

It seems a bit odd Google didn’t bring the camera bar changes to the base Pixel 8, but perhaps the company is trying to set its two phones apart a bit more this year in order to appeal to different audiences. The Pixel 8 is increasingly looking like the option for compact phone enthusiasts, while the Pro if for those who want the kitchen sink approach and a larger display.

The Pixel 8 will see a notable camera upgrade and new photography features

Google Pixel 7 Pro hazel focus on the camera bump

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Pixel 7 camera bump

Google hasn’t changed its cameras much over the last two generations, with the exception of the Pixel 7 Pro’s improved telephoto camera. In yet another Android Authority leak, we’ve learned the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will both get a few new camera upgrades.

Both phones will upgrade to a newer Isocell GN2 sensor main sensor with staggered HDR support. What does staggered HDR do exactly? In short, it brings faster, more efficient HDR shots with richer colors and better detail.

Although that’s the only new feature expected for the Pixel 8, the Pixel 8 Pro will upgrade its ultrawide camera to the same sensor used as the main camera in the Pixel 7a. That’s the 64MP Sony IMX787, as a refresher.

Beyond the new cameras, Google may introduce a few new software features too. An APK teardown indicates the Pixel 8 might get a new video unblur tool as well as an improved Night Sight function that combines photos taken by the main and telephoto lenses to enhance the center of the image further.

Reasons to consider waiting for the Pixel 8

The Pixel 7 is a good phone and can often be found on sale for much cheaper than its advertised $600 price tag. If you really need a phone right now, you won’t regret buying it. Those who don’t need a new phone immediately might be better off waiting a bit longer. Here are just a few reasons:

  • The Pixel 7 family is only going to get cheaper. Ahead of the Pixel 7a, Google slashed the Pixel 7 down to as little as $450 in order to push more units. Since then, pricing has returned to normal. It’s very likely these kinds of steep discounts will return once the Pixel 8 gets closer to release. We could also see further discounts on the Pixel 7a and even the Pixel 7 Pro.
  • The Pixel 8 may give you a big upgrade for the same price you’d buy a Pixel 7 or 7 Pro today. With a better SoC and camera, the Pixel 8 family could bring enough upgrades that you might feel like you missed out by not waiting for more rumors and details on pricing. If Google jacks up the Pixel 8 family pricing (similar to the 7a’s price increase) the Pixel 7 might still be the right move, but if Google keeps the pricing the same, it might make more sense to just get a Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro.
  • The Pixel 8 comes with Android 14 out of the box. The Pixel 7 will absolutely see Android 14, but it won’t see all the improvements. There are some features that will likely be dependent on the Tensor G3. That means you really should wait if you want to experience Android 14 at its absolute best.

Reasons to buy the Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro now

pixel 6a vs 7 vs 7 pro 2

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Google Pixel 7 is a great phone, but unless it’s on sale for under $600, we’d personally wait. After all, Google has brought this phone down to around $400-450 before and so paying $150-200 more just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Still, there are a few reasons you might want to consider buying the Pixel 7 right now:

  • You need a phone now. If your current phone is broken or woefully out of date, waiting another 5-6 months might just not be in the cards. Still, unless you can find it at a discount, we’d likely get a Pixel 7a or Pixel 6a instead.
  • You don’t want a smaller design. Personally, I like big phones. I prefer the Pro’s footprint but didn’t want to spend the premium. The Pixel 7 is about as small of a phone as I want. If this sounds like you, the Pixel 7 might be a better choice if you’re not willing to sacrifice screen real estate for the Pixel 8’s new features.
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Harmony Evans is an award-winning author of Harlequin Kimani Romance, African-American romance, and so on. Harmony Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. Her 2nd novel, STEALING KISSES, will be released in November 2013. Harmony is a single mom to a beautiful, too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter, who makes her grateful for life daily. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, knitting, reading, and of course, napping and also review some of the best-selling and popular brands and services in the market and also write comprehensive blogs.

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