The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro were noticeably absent from Google I/O earlier this month. While we weren’t expecting a full-scale launch, we hoped Google would tease its upcoming flagships — much as it did with the Pixel 7 series last year. But since that didn’t happen, this leaked video of the Pixel 8 Pro will have to do instead.
The video comes courtesy of 91mobiles, and looks like a tutorial for a new temperature sensor on the back of the Pixel 8 Pro. That’s right, the Pixel 8 Pro apparently has a thermometer built in, letting users measure their temperature with a phone. Which is, erm, unique, to say the least.
I can sort of see the appeal of being able to measure your body temperature, but it feels like rather an odd feature to include on a smartphone. Thermometers are not expensive, and as we all found in the pandemic infrared thermometers measure temperature almost instantly — and without coming into physical contact with anyone.
Apparently the sensor will also be able to measure the temperature of objects as well, which expands its functionality a bit more. I’d be skeptical of using this sort of sensor on food, due to poor accuracy fears, but it could prove useful on other occasions when buying a dedicated IR or laser thermometer isn’t worth purchasing.
Monitoring temperature is a way for women to track fertility and their menstrual cycle. It's a feature other gadgets, like the Oura Ring and Apple Watch already offer, and this could mark Google's attempt to offer similar services. 91mobiles says all data is store and processed on the devices, meaning it's all completely private — an unfortunately necessary measure in the U.S.'s current political climate.
There potential uses as well, and a few random options are already coming to mind. Checking the temperature of the sidewalk before walking your dog, making sure the stove has cooled down properly, random curiosity and other such occasions. Needless to say, it’ll be interesting how Google justifies such a feature, if it is indeed available on the Pixel 8 Pro. It’s not 2020 anymore.
Google Pixel 8 Pro design first look
The most important thing about this video is that it seems to give us our first proper look at the Pixel 8 Pro’s design. It’s also not particularly surprising either, since it looks remarkably similar to the Pixel 7 Pro.
That includes the metal camera bar and the pill-shaped cutout for the camera lenses themselves. The only difference is this time the cutout includes all three lenses, rather than leaving the telephoto lens on its lonesome. Similarly, the flash module has shifted up slightly to make room for the sheet-white temperature sensor beneath it.
It also looks like the phone might have a flat display, which has me excited. Curved edge-style displays are some of the most hilariously pointless features on a premium phone — or at least that's my opinion. And the sooner phone makers get rid of them the better.
Unfortunately, the video is short, and we don’t get to see much of the Pixel 8 Pro while it's being used. Fortunately, Google’s about as effective at plugging leaks as a dog armed with duct tape, so we’re bound to see a lot more of the phone in the weeks and months ahead. Be sure to keep checking out Pixel 8 hub for all the latest rumors and news between now and launch — which we’re expecting sometime in the fall.