April 17, 2024
A person holding the Google Pixel 8 Pro.
Google Pixel 8 Professional Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

I actually just like the Google Pixel 8 Professional, however it doesn’t really feel like a $1,000 smartphone. It makes me miss the Pixel 7 Professional and pine to return to the unbelievably high-quality Samsung Galaxy S24 Extremely that I left behind little greater than per week in the past.

Nonetheless, for now, I’m staying with Google’s newest flagship. And there’s one easy purpose why.

What ought to a $1,000 cellphone really feel like?

The Google Pixel 8 Pro and Google Pixel 7 Pro's screens.
Google Pixel 8 Professional (left) and Google Pixel 7 Professional, displaying the distinction in display screen curvature. Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

The Pixel 7 Professional was controversial, as some homeowners skilled crippling software program issues that ruined the cellphone. However I managed to keep away from something like that, and it was nearly utterly dependable each time I used it. It meant I might benefit from the tremendous digital camera, the clear and easy software program, and the fantastic design. It nonetheless seems wonderful, and my mannequin’s white and polished metal look actually stands out. It value $900 when it was launched.

However while you decide it up together with the Pixel 8 Professional, which prices $1,000, there’s a disappointing distinction in in-hand really feel, and lots of that is right down to the change from a curved display screen to a flat display screen. The Pixel 7 Professional has a delicate curve down the perimeters, with the glass assembly the body in a means that comfortably fits how we maintain a cellphone with one hand. It minimizes the visible impression of the facet bezels, too.

The Google Pixel 8 Pro and Google Pixel 7 Pro's screens.
Google Pixel 8 Professional (left) and Google Pixel 7 Professional, displaying the distinction in display screen curvature Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

This isn’t the case with the Pixel 8 Professional, which has a flat display screen and no contoured circulation between it and the body. It’s not uncomfortable as such, however it’s not very ergonomic, and the bezels across the display screen are there for all to see. Curved screens are as controversial because the Pixel 7 Professional’s reliability, with a transparent break up between people who love them and people who don’t. I believe curved screens are extra enticing, extra ergonomic, and a extra pleasing design selection that works to justify the value of a contemporary smartphone.

The display screen issues don’t cease there

The back of the Google Pixel 8 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.
Google Pixel 8 Professional (left) and Samsung Galaxy S24 Extremely Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

However not all flat screens have to come back straight out of 2019 just like the Pixel 8 Professional’s, and the proof is correct there within the Samsung Galaxy S24 Extremely. Though technically flat, the display screen nonetheless flows into the curved titanium body, which has been designed to really feel nice in your hand. It’s a totally totally different and much superior different to full curved glass. It’s additionally consultant of the S24 Extremely’s huge $1,300 worth.

The Pixel 8 Professional’s total design continues to be nice, and whereas the digital camera module has much more occurring than earlier than, it’s nonetheless a fancy-looking gadget. However the flat display screen and the disregard for ergonomics is a backward step and really disappointing on a cellphone that prices $100 greater than its predecessor. Samsung reveals that adopting a flat display screen doesn’t have to come back with that one large downside of decreased consolation, and it has resulted in a cellphone that’s way more trendy than you’d count on.

The screen on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Google Pixel 8 Pro.
The distinction in display screen reflection on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Extremely (left) and Google Pixel 8 Professional Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

The Pixel’s display screen issues don’t finish there both, as coming from the massive, shiny, and reflection-free Galaxy S24 Extremely, the Pixel 8 Professional’s display screen isn’t fairly as nice to make use of. The S24 Extremely’s Corning Gorilla Armor glass’s anti-reflection properties aren’t advertising and marketing nonsense, and it actually reveals when it’s alongside the Pixel 8 Professional outdoors.

Sensible in its simplicity

The back of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, Google Pixel 8 Pro, and Google Pixel 7 Pro.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Extremely (left) Google Pixel 8 Professional, and Google Pixel 7 Professional Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

But right here I’m, with the Pixel 8 Professional nonetheless in my hand, regardless of not being that impressed with the design or the display screen, particularly as a result of I do know I can do higher. Why am I “struggling” like this?

As soon as once more, I’ve had no software program issues with the Pixel 8 Professional — which appears to be a much more dependable cellphone generally — and admire Android 14’s design and effectivity enhancements. However as I discussed earlier, there’s a easy purpose why the Pixel 8 Professional is staying put, and it’s precisely that: simplicity,

The Galaxy S24 Extremely is improbable, however it’s additionally completely filled with options, instruments, and distractions. There’s all the time one thing to do and take a look at, and to simply use the fundamental options feels nearly like a waste. Between the Galaxy AI instruments, the S Pen stylus, and the monstrous energy, it could typically appear to be the smartphone equal of shopping for a completely kitted-out Mac Professional solely to jot down buying lists in Notes. There’s nothing unsuitable with that, however it’s undeniably overkill.

I don’t really feel like that with the Pixel 8 Professional. It does every part I would like with out argument, and at a really quick pace, and isn’t crammed with different options I hardly ever use. It’s superbly easy in one of the best ways attainable, because the issues it does — software program, digital camera, apps, video games, and calls — it does extraordinarily nicely, and I hardly ever need extra.

The most important drawback of all

The Pixel 8's camera module
Google Pixel 8 Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

I’m having fun with the Pixel 8 Professional, offered I ignore the very fact it’s slightly uncomfortable to carry, and I’m within the strategy of evaluating the digital camera to the Galaxy S24 Extremely to see which one is healthier. However no matter how that check seems, I can’t get the thought that there’s one other very comparable smartphone on the market that might seemingly fulfill me simply as a lot out of my head, and it reinforces the very fact the Pixel 8 Professional prices an excessive amount of cash.

It’s the non-Professional Google Pixel 8, which is appropriately priced at $700 but nonetheless has the identical processor, IP68 water resistance, selfie digital camera, software program, and replace promise, plus its personal good major digital camera. That’s a major $300 financial savings, and whereas the Pixel 8 Professional is clearly the upper specification gadget, the Pixel 8 is a greater worth contemplating the similarities. Once I reviewed the Pixel 8, I puzzled how significantly better the Pixel 8 Professional could possibly be, and now I’ve the reply. It’s higher, however I don’t assume it’s $300 higher.

The additional drawback for the Pixel 8 Professional is that I believe the Samsung Galaxy S24 Extremely is $300 higher than the Pixel 8 Professional, because it’s jam-packed with options and tech the Pixel doesn’t have. It leaves the Pixel 8 Professional someplace within the center, competing with the also-excellent Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus.

However on these days and weeks after I simply desire a actually good, delightfully easy smartphone with a killer digital camera and software program, the Pixel 8 Professional is tough to beat. It’s simply $100 costlier than it actually must be.

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