Google Pixel 8 Pro review – Powerful Android smartphone with seven years of updates

The optical zoom allows for up to 5x and digital zoom goes up to 30x. Of course, the pure digital zoom isn’t perfect, but compared to those of the competitors, the pictures look really good. Starting from 15x zoom, there is an additional digital view finder. At this zoom level, the electronic image stabilization (EIS) also comes in powerfully. While it initially seems very stable, some smaller movements with the camera are implemented with some delay, which also goes for the Live View. This surely could have been implemented better.

Google advertises many AI functions for the Pixel 8 Pro. We already know the Magic Eraser for photos from the Pixel 7 Pro. Now the smartphone is also able to correct faces in group pictures, so no one will look away or have their eyes closed in the wrong moment anymore. To correct this, the phone will search for other pictures on the device and those created by Top Photo, and you can then simply replace the face. This works really well but also takes quite a while (10 to 15 seconds).

An additional feature is the Magical Editor, which only works when the pictures were first saved in the Google Cloud. There, persons or objects can then be masked specifically, in order to move them to other places, enlarge them, or make them smaller. Most of the time, the automatic selection works fairly well, but sometimes it can also happen that some parts of the person aren’t captured completely. This feature works better and simpler with an iPhone and even without a cloud connection.

With Android 14, Ultra HDR is also used for photos for the first time, so it isn’t an exclusive feature only for Pixel smartphones. The corresponding information for this is added to the picture, allowing compatible programs to transmit it to an HDR-capable display, so that it can adjust the brightness for the image areas correspondingly. With the right output devices, this leads to even more vibrant photos.

Videos can be recorded in Ultra HD and 16:9 format at up to 60 FPS. Those who want to record HDR directly can choose between 30 and 24 FPS. In addition, the Pixel 8 Pro offers the Softening and Panning modes. While the first can create soft and blurry backgrounds (max. Full HD, 24 FPS), the latter allows you to create stable panning shots (max. Ultra HD, 30 FPS) using an automatic time lapse.