As the Pixel 8 launch date edges closer, leaks concerning Google’s next smartphone are coming thick and fast.
The latest batch is a mixture of good and bad news, so let’s start with the good.
Earlier reports suggested that the Pixel 8 might follow in the iPhone 14’s footsteps and go eSIM only, but according to 9to5Google’s sources, that’s not the case. The piece says this is “simply not happening, and the SIM tray will remain (on the left edge) as usual.”
What’s more, the report cites a new rumored upgrade for those planning to opt for the Pixel 8 Pro: the introduction of Night Sight video. As the name suggests, this will improve video capture in low-light conditions, and 9to5Google suggests it could be the highlight of the new camera array.
A Pixel 8 price bump?
But there’s bad news elsewhere, with a report from The Tech Outlook claiming that the Pixel 8 family of phones will see a massive European price increase from their current reasonable MSRPs.
In fact, the prices are such a steep increase, that we would suggest treating them with extreme skepticism. While price rises seem likely given rampant inflation everywhere, this kind of leap would be commercial suicide for a company still struggling to establish itself as a big seller in the world of phone hardware.
Citing listings on an unnamed European retailer, the site highlights a 128GB Pixel 8 as costing €874.25 (~$944), rising to €1,235.72 (~$1,334) for a Pixel 8 Pro with the same storage capacity.
True, that includes VAT at 23 percent (suggesting the retail listing is from Poland, Ireland or Portugal), but even without tax, these numbers feel like a stretch. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro start at €649/$599 and €899/$899, and with these numbers the 512GB Pixel 8 Pro would come out at €1,461.24 (~$1,578). That’s closing in on the Pixel Fold’s €1,899 (~$2,050) starting point in the region.
Even taken on their own terms, the decimalized figures don't feel right either. Google, like every other smartphone manufacturer, likes nice round numbers for its MSRPs, and these figures are certainly not that.
So while price rises aren’t to be ruled out, we’d guess that $699 and $999 starting points sound more realistic. We'll find out soon enough.
But whether these are placeholder numbers or an individual site setting its own high prices, the listings' storage and colors do feel likely, however.
Capacities of 128, 256 and 512GB should be expected, given Google hasn’t historically included expandable storage in its Pixel phones. Colorwise, Obsidian and Mint are listed as being available for both models, with Hazel and Rose (regular Pixel 8) or Bay and Porcelain (Pixel 8 Pro) available too.
Pixel Buds Pro to match?
What’s missing is the sky blue model of Pixel 8 Pro that appeared in the leaked Audio Magic Eraser video last month. And in one final bit of Pixel news, the leaker Paras Guglani claims that this shade will be matched on another accessory soon.
Exclusive: Pixel Buds Pro will get two new Color options- Porcelain- Sky Blue launching along with Pixel 8 series on 4th October! #PixelBudsPro #Pixel8 #Pixel8Pro #GoogleSeptember 1, 2023
According to the leaker, Google will release special versions of its Pixel Buds Pro to match two of the Pixel 8 Pro’s hues: Sky Blue and Porcelain. These will apparently join the existing shades — Charcoal, Lemongrass, Fog and Coral — later this year.
The Google Event is scheduled for October 4, so we’ll find out what the company has in store soon enough. Alongside the Tensor 3-powered Pixel 8 handsets, we’re expecting the arrival of the Pixel Watch 2 with a far more modern processor for improved speed and battery life.