Google Pixel 8 teardown reveals similar design mistake to iPhone 15 Pro

Google Pixel 8 back showing camera
(Image credit: Future)

The Google Pixel 8 has been official for barely a day but PBKReviews has already published a teardown of the new standard Pixel model, giving us an entertaining and informative look inside the device.

I find it fascinating to see a phone taken apart, seeing parts like the cameras or the motherboard detached and shown off by themselves. But these teardowns can also reveal potential design issues with a phone, and there's one particular element (or rather lack of it) that leaker Revegnus happened to note.

That missing element is a vapor chamber, a cooling component found in other flagship phones like the Samsung Galaxy S23 series or the OnePlus 11. There's a little copper tape at the bottom of the display, graphite film on top of the battery and motherboard, plus a thermal pad and more graphite tape on key parts of the motherboard like the RAM and the Tensor G3 processor, but no sign of the lengthy copper piping that indicates vapor cooling.

A screenshot of a Google Pixel 8 teardown video, showing the phone's display panel

(Image credit: PBK reviews)

Having no vapor chamber didn't seem to pose a problem for last year's Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, which used near-identical cooling features. But with a lot of recent attention on the iPhone 15 Pro's tendency to overheat, apparently due in part to a design with inadequate cooling, we can only hope that Google's Tensor G3 chip runs far cooler than Apple's A17 Pro chip. Otherwise, Pixel buyers could also find themselves with a phone that's too hot to handle.

A screenshot of a Google Pixel 8 teardown video, showing the phone's main body under the display

(Image credit: PBK reviews)

On a more positive note, the Pixel 8 receives a decent repairability rating of 7/10 from PBK near the end of the video. He notes how easy it is to remove and replace the Pixel 8's display, and to get spare parts in general thanks to Google's partnership with iFixit. However, because of elements like the soldered-on charging port and the difficulty of removing the battery, it doesn't score higher according to PBK's rubric.

Our Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro reviews aren't finished yet, but in our hands-on with the new phones, we found plenty of features worthy of praise, like the brighter displays, lengthy software update schedule bounty of new AI-enhanced features for photography, productivity and more. Come back soon for our final verdicts, but chances are we've got a pair of contenders for the best phones of the year here.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.