Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7 — all the biggest upgrades

google pixel 7 on left and google pixel 8 on right
(Image credit: Future)

Our Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7 comparison is here to spell out the biggest differences and upgrades with the new Google phone, especially now that we've had a chance to test the device for our Google Pixel 8 review.

From our time with the phone, the Pixel 8 feels like a real step up from its predecessor, with a brighter display, higher refresh rate, the more advanced Tensor G3 chipset and more. And now we have the numbers to back up just how substantial those Pixel 8 improvements are compared to the Pixel 7.

Here’s how a Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7 comparison shakes down.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: Specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Google Pixel 8Google Pixel 7
Display6.2 inches6.3 inches
Refresh rate60-120Hz90Hz
Rear cameras50MP main (f/1.65), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2)50MP main (f/1.85),12MP ultrawide (f/2.2.)
Front camera10.5MP10.8MP
ChipsetTensor G3Tensor G2
Storage128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB
Battery4,485 mAh4,355 mAh

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: Price and availability

Google Pixel 8 taking photos

(Image credit: Future)

The Google Pixel 7 started at an impressively low $599 / £599/ AU$999. That got you a model with 128GB of storage, though 256GB models were also available for $699 / £699 / AU$1129. But the phone could regularly be found for a discount in the U.S. in the months following its release. The Google Store still lists the Pixel 7 at its old $599 starting price, but you may be able to get a lower price thanks to any remaining Pixel 7 deals.

For the most part, though, the focus now falls on the Pixel 8, which costs $699 for the 128GB version. Yes, that's $100 more than the Pixel 7. A 256GB Pixel 8 costs $60 more than the base model. Both 128GB and 256GB versions come in Obsidian, Hazel and Rose, and the phone went on sale on October 12; check out the best Pixel 8 deals for any discounts or special offers.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: Design and display

Google Pixel 7 review

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You'll see some notable differences between the Pixel 8 and Pixel 7 in terms of the design and display. Most notably, the Pixel 8 is slightly smaller than its predecessor with a 6.2-inch panel compared to the 6.3-inch screen on the Pixel 7. The smaller screen means a more compact phone that we've found easier to hold and operate with one hand.

Otherwise, the look of the Pixel 8 hasn't changed at all. You get the same polished glass back found on the Pixel 7 — it's the Pixel 8 Pro that adds a matte finish — and the camera bar still stretches across the back of the phone.

There's another big change to the Pixel 8 display that comes in the form of Google's new "Actua" panel. This display is rated for 1,400 nits of HDR brightness, and a peak brightness of 2,000 nits. That means the Pixel 8’s screen has almost double the brightness of the Pixel 7 and has the same peak brightness as the iPhone 15. 

When we tested the Pixel 8 with a light meter, we got a maximum reading of 1,349 nits. That's not approaching the listed maximum brightness, but it's well ahead of the 971-nit reading we recorded for the Pixel 7. The Pixel 8 also features an increased range of colors on its display, capturing 89.7% of the DCI-P3 color gamut to 77.4% for the Pixel 7. Colors are slightly more accurate on the Pixel 8 panel, too, based on Delta-E scores.

The Pixel 7 offered a 90HZ refresh rate, but the Pixel 8 boosts that to 120HZ. The refresh rate slows down to 60Hz to preserve battery, so if you want a the wider 1Hz to 120Hz range, turn to the Pixel 8 Pro.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: Colors

google pixel 8 colors on blue background

(Image credit: GOogle)

Google mixed things up with the Pixel 7 colors last year, keeping the required black (Obsidian) and white (Snow) options but adding in Lemongrass, a kind of semi-gold that offered up a great contrast to the silver camera bar. 

The Pixel 8 changes things up once again, with Google offering the phone in Obsidian (black), Hazel (gray) and Rose (pink). You can add a splash of color with an official Google Pixel 8 case. Those are available in Obsidian, Rose, Hazel, Mint (green) and Coral — the same orangey pink color that we saw on the Pixel 7a.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: Cameras

Google Pixel 7

(Image credit: Future)

The Pixel 7 is capable of taking some terrific photos, especially in low-light conditions. The software on board the Pixel 7 in particular proved itself to be some of the best around, squeezing some incredible photos out of the dual lens camera — made up of a 50MP main lens, 12MP ultrawide and a 10.8MP selfie cam.

The Pixel 8 delivers great things as well, with a larger aperture on its main camera — f/1.68 compared to f/1.85 — which allows the phone to capture more light. The 12MP ultrawide lens has a wider field of view now, too (125.8° vs 114°). While the resolution on the front camera of the Pixel 8 has dropped to 10.5MP from 10.8MP, Google's new phone has a wider field of view for its selfie cam.

The Google Pixel 8 in Rose

(Image credit: Google)

Video capabilities look mostly unchanged, with the option to shoot in up to 4K or 1080p at 60FPS. The Pixel 8 also has an added 24 FPS mode.

Naturally both phones have a number of Pixel-exclusive camera features, and the Pixel 8 comes with all the same features as the Pixel 7 — plus a few new ones. Magic Eraser and Photo Unblur are joined by Magic Editor, a more sophisticated editing tool that can change the lighting and composition of shots. You can also lift and place the subject in different areas of the photo. Best Take solves the challenges of group shots by letting you lift faces from different photos so that everyone's smiling and looking at the camera in the finished image.

On the video front, the Pixel 8's Magic Audio Eraser tool separates audio into different layers, so that you can easily remove distracting background noise while retaining the audio you want the video to include.

All told, the Pixel 8 yields some pretty impressive photos, even ones that you don't edit with the AI-powered photo-processing tools There's a reason we include this device among the best camera phones you can buy.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: Performance

Google Pixel 8 shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Tensor chipsets are not the most powerful in the world, and the previous two Piel models have been easily beaten on speed tests by the likes of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 series and Apple’s A-series chipsets. That hasn't really changed with the Tensor G3 powering the Pixel 8.

Google has made some architectural changes to its silicon with an eye toward performance, and the result is a faster chip. On Geekbench, the Pixel 8 produced a single core score of 1,569 and a multicore score of 3,744, topping the Pixel 7's respective scores of 1,054 and 3,021. There was an even bigger improvement to graphics tests, with the Pixel 8 upping the frames per second on 3DMark's Wild Life Unlimited to 54 fps; the Pixel 7 tallied a paltry 40.3 fps.

As nice as these gains are over the previous generation, we need to point out that the Pixel 8 still trails Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered phones like the Galaxy S23 and Apple A16 Bionic-powered iPhone 15.

Instead, the Tensor G3 continues to place the focus on on-device machine learning with a faster Tensor Processing Unit compared to the Tensor G2. That enables a number of new features, like the photo-processing improvements discussed above plus some new software experiences we'll look at a little bit later in this Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7 comparison.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: Battery

Google Pixel 8 shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Pixel 7 did not have a good battery life, and there’s no way to sugar coat it. In fact, during our exhaustive battery life testing, we found that the Pixel 7 only managed to last 7 hours and 13 minutes. The Samsung Galaxy S23 lasted 10:27 in adaptive screen mode and 11:20 in 60Hz mode. 

The good news is that the Pixel 8 addresses that — to an extent. Our Pixel 8 battery tests found that the new phone can last 9 hours and 50, a two hour-plus improvement over what the Pixel 7 did on the same test. Before you pop the champagne corks, though, note that the Pixel 8 results came with the screen set to 60Hz. There's a chance the result could be worse when we test with the Pixel 8's adaptive display feature enabled.

Even at 9:50, the Pixel 8's time is only near the average result for smartphones. It still doesn't last as long as rival devices like the iPhone 15 and Galaxy S23, even if it comes closer to those devices than the Pixel 7 did.

Pixel 8 charging speed has also had an increase from the Pixel 7, rising from 23W to 27W — provided you have a suitable 30W charger with USB-PD 3.0. Google says this will restore your phone to 50% charge in around 30 minutes. In our testing, the Pixel 8 reached 60% after 30 minutes, a great result.

Wireless charging on the Pixel 8 remains limited to 12W with a standard Qi wireless charger, or 18W if you have a Pixel Stand 2.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: Software

Google Pixel 8 shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Pixel 8 arrives running Android 14 out of the box, but Pixel 7 owners can upgrade to the new OS as well.

The bigger difference between the phones comes from a bunch of exclusive features for the Pixel 8 enabled by that phone's Tensor G3 chipset. These include an improved call screening feature with a more natural sounding assistant, who not only fields incoming calls but is smart enough to figure out what the person is calling about and relay that information to you. A future Pixel Feature Drop will let you confirm appointments with a tap, saving you from having to pick up the phone.

The Pixel 8 can summarize web pages with the press of a button, breaking things down to a few bullet points. There's a new proofreading button on the keyboard as well to catch errors that you make.

The most important thing to note on the software side is that the Pixel 8 offers an unprecedented seven years of full Android support for the Pixel 8. In contrast, the Pixel 7 only offers three years of OS updates, plus security updates for a further two years. According to Google, this seven year period covers everything from feature drops, new versions of Android and security updates.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: Outlook

Google Pixel 8 shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

From a specs perspective, the Google Pixel 8 offers some big leaps forward from the Pixel 7. The cameras are better, the screen — while smaller — is brighter, and the new chipset allows you to do things the Pixel 7 simply can't. Current Pixel 7 owners will likely want to hold on to their still-powerful phones, but if you've been waiting for some big changes to consider the Pixel phone, the Pixel 8 has a lot to offer.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.