Google Pixel 9 Pro vs Pixel 8 Pro: Biggest expected upgrades

Rendered image of alleged Pixel 9 Pro with photo of Pixel 8 Pro in hand.
(Image credit: 91mobiles/OnLeaks/Tom’s Guide)

It's not a lack of information that makes a Google Pixel 9 Pro vs Pixel 8 Pro comparison hard — there's quite a bit to go off of. What makes it hard is how much could be changing between generations.

Going by the name alone, the Pixel 9 Pro sounds like it would a completely standard replacement for the Pixel 8 Pro, but the rumor mill says otherwise. The new Pro Pixel may be substantially smaller, and offer several new abilities alongside the more typical feature upgrades.

To learn more about what this all means, read on for the breakdown of Pixel 9 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro. And if you're hungry for more after that, check out our Pixel 9 vs. Pixel 9 Pro face-off to learn more about the differences to look out for between the standard and Pro models.

Google Pixel 9 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Rumored Specifications

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Pixel 9 Pro (rumored/assumed)Pixel 8 Pro
Display120Hz 6.1-inch OLED120Hz 6.7-inch OLED
Rear cameras50MP main + 48MP ultrawide + 48MP telephoto (5x zoom)50MP main + 48MP ultrawide + 48MP telephoto (5x zoom)
Front camera10.5MP selfie10.5MP selfie
ChipsetGoogle Tensor G4Google Tensor G3
Battery4,575 mAh or less5,050 mAh
Charging30W (wired), 23W (wireless with Pixel Stand), 12W (Qi wireless)30W (wired), 23W (wireless with Pixel Stand), 12W (Qi wireless)

Google Pixel 9 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Price and availability

We're expecting the Pixel 9 Pro to debut in October of 2024, just like the Pixel 8 Pro arrived in October 2023. If we're lucky, Google may tease the Pixel 9 series ahead of time like it has in the past, giving us some nuggets of info, like the official design and colors, ahead of launch day, such as at this year's Google I/O.

The Pixel 8 Pro costs $999/£999/AU$1,699, and it would be a reasonable guess that the Pixel 9 Pro will cost at least as much. But since we're expecting two different Pro Pixels this year (more on that below), perhaps Google will shift its pricing structure around a bit.

Google Pixel 9 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Design and display

Google's currently in its third generation of Pixels with its now familiar rounded corners and horizontal camera bar design, and from the leaked renders we've seen so far of the Pixel 9 series, it looks like that basic look's continuing for at least another year.

Pixel 9 leaked image

An alleged Pixel 9 Pro render. (Image credit: @OnLeaks)

What may change however is the size. The Pixel 8 Pro's 6.8-inch frame may be swapped out for something smaller with the Pixel 9 Pro, possibly as small as 6.1 inches, something that's been rumored as far back as 2022. Instead we may get a new model, called the Pixel 9 Pro XL, that will offer the same features but in a 6.8-inch body like previous Pixel Pro phones.

The Pixel 8 Pro came with what Google dubbed the Super Actua display, a high-brightness panel that also offered the flagship gold standard QHD resolution and 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. There are no specific rumors to go off of here yet, but we can assume there will be some sort of Super Actua Second Gen screen attached to the Pixel 9 Pro that will crank the brightness up to even more thousands of nits.

Google Pixel 9 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Cameras

Rumors in the photography department have been oddly quiet for the Pixel 9 Pro, so all we can really assume for now is that it will probably use the same cameras as the Pixel 8 Pro. That would equate to a 50MP main camera, a 48MP ultrawide camera, a 48MP telephoto with 5x optical zoom, and a 10.5MP selfie camera.

Google Pixel 8 Pro

The Pixel 8 Pro. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The one exception to this is that the Pixel 9 Pro could upgrade its main camera with a variable aperture, allowing greater control over how much light hits the sensor and higher quality images with the option for greater creative control when needed.

Google Pixel 9 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Performance

Google's tipped to be continuing with its own Tensor series of chipsets for the Pixel 9 series, meaning the Pixel 9 Pro will be equipped with a Tensor G4, the successor to the Tensor G3 inside the Pixel 8 Pro. With the G4 claimed to be gaining some extra power thanks to Google's chip partner Samsung, hopefully the Pixel 9 Pro will be more competitive with other Android phones in terms of CPU and graphics performance.

We hope that Google will use at least 12GB RAM again for the Pixel 9 Pro, and offer the same storage capacities. It would be nice if would bump the default storage up to 256GB rather than sticking with 128GB for another year though.

Google Pixel 9 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Battery and charging

Google Pixel 8 Pro held in hand.

(Image credit: Future)

Our initial guess was that the Pixel 9 Pro and Pixel 8 Pro would offer the same battery (a 5,050 mAh one), but the 9 Pro's cell will have to be lower capacity if its body is over half an inch smaller. The Pixel 8, a 6.2-inch phone, has a 4,575 mAh battery, so hopefully we'll see one of a similar capacity in the Pixel 9 Pro.

Accordingly, we expect that the Pixel 9 Pro will share the Pixel 8 Pro's charging capabilities of 30W wired charging and up to 23W wireless charging. And without any rumors to say otherwise, we'll continue to hold this belief.

Google Pixel 9 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Software and special features

The Pixel 8 Pro focused a lot on AI features, such as the generative abilities of the Magic Editor suite, Best Take mode's ability to combine different faces in one shot, Audio Magic Eraser for cleaning up video audio, and the ability to summarize large volumes of text. And that's not to mention the temperature sensor, which can tell you how hot or cold an object (or more recently a person) is.

Pixel 8 Pro temperature sensor to measure body temperature.

The Pixel 8 Pro measuring body temperature (Image credit: Future)

So how could the Pixel 9 Pro build on this? Well the rumor mongers have said a new "Pixie" assistant (via The Information) could be one way. This would be an exclusive AI assistant, taking the Google Assistant we already know and making it more personalized by interpreting user data on the device, the report claims.

Then there are all the benefits that Android 15 might bring. The Pixel 9 series will presumably be the first phones to use it, and take advantage of abilities such as an adaptive touch feature to help keep the screen responsive under different environmental conditions. We'll hopefully learn more about this at Google I/O 2024, when Google presents Android 15 in full to the public for the first time.

Assuming Google sticks to the same promise as last year, the Pixel 9 Pro will also get 7 years of software and security updates like the Pixel 8 Pro. But maybe Google will decide to up the ante again now that Samsung also offers a seven-year upgrade promise. Nine years of updates for the Pixel 9 has a nice ring to it after all…

Google Pixel 9 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Outlook

Pixel 09 renders from OnLeaks and 91Mobiles

An alleged Pixel 9 Pro render (Image credit: @OnLeaks / 91Mobiles)

The Pixel 9 Pro sounds like it'll be better than the Pixel 8 Pro, but also quite different in a number of ways if the rumors concerning the standard Pro and a Pro XL turn out to be true. As well as straight upgrades to the cameras and software features, the Pixel 9 Pro could be a substantial advantage just by offering itself in two sizes. If Google could do something about the power of the Tensor chip, offer a bit more storage by default and increase the battery life, then we could have a perfectly rounded phone on our hands.

But would all these changes be worth the upgrade from your perfectly good Pixel 8 Pro, or worth spending extra for once the outgoing Pixel starts getting discounted? We can't say at this point, so roll on October, and the eventual answer.

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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.