Google Pixel 8 series: All display specs revealed

According to an insider from Google, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will see numerous changes to the displays.
Google Pixel 8

It takes a great display to build a brilliant smartphone. The current Google Pixel smartphones do well in this regard, especially when it comes to realistic color reproduction. However, they could never quite keep up with the best smartphones in some important areas such as peak brightness and dynamic refresh rates.

Google has often installed older panels, presumably to save some money and to be able to market its products more aggressively. The panel of the last flagship, the Google Pixel 7 Pro, shone with accurate color reproduction. Unfortunately, in some situations it just wasn’t bright enough. Just like the Pixel 8 camera leak earlier this week, a source within Google has once again revealed various details about the display specs and features of the upcoming Google Pixel 8 series. And it looks like things are about to change.

Finally flat edges for the Pixel 8 Pro

The perfect smartphone size has been an ongoing debate for years, and it will probably stay with us for a while. The Pixel series offers two different display sizes – a smaller one on the non-Pro models (6.3 inches on the Pixel 6 and 7) and a larger, curved one on the Pro models (6.7 inches on the Pixel 6 Pro and 7 Pro). With the Pixel 8 series, the entry-level model shrinks to 6.17 inches, while the Pixel 8 Pro maintains its 6.7-inch size. In return, the panel is now flat and therefore there are no longer any curved pixels.

Google also revised the rounded corners of both models, more than doubling the corner radius in both cases. That means the displays are a little less square than before and a little more rounded in the corners.

Brighter displays for HDR

Google has always used OLED displays for its Pixel smartphones, and the Pixel 8 series will continue to do so. What could change, however, is the manufacturer of the panels. In the last few Pixel generations, only Samsung panels were used. The exception was a mysterious, unreleased device, codenamed G10, which featured a BOE display instead.

Rumor has it that Google tested the BOE panel to assess reliability. And the results seem to have convinced the Californians. While the larger Pixel 8 Pro gets a Samsung panel like previous generations, the regular Pixel 8 has both Samsung and BOE displays. The Pro also changes resolution for the first time since the Pixel 6 series. Google has opted for a slightly smaller resolution of 2,992 x 1,344 pixels instead of the old 3,120 x 1,440 standard. That gives a pixel-per-inch density (ppi) of 490 versus 512.

The resolution of the Pixel 8, on the other hand, remains unchanged. In combination with the smaller display, this leads to a slightly higher pixel density of 427 instead of 417. The brightness of both Google cell phones has also been significantly improved. According to the values given in the code, the Pixel 8 achieves up to 1,400 nits of peak brightness with HDR content versus 1,000 nits for the Pixel 7. The Pixel 8 Pro has also been updated. It now glows at up to 1,600 nits in HDR mode versus 1,000 nits on the 7 Pro.

Advanced variable refresh rate for the Pixel 8 Pro

Since the Pixel 6 series, Google has used refresh rate as a differentiator between its products. For example, in the Pixel 6 series, the Pixel 6a updated at 60Hz, the Pixel 6 at 90Hz, and the Pixel 6 Pro at 120Hz. The Pixel 7 series upped the Pixel 7a’s frequency to 90Hz. The regular Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro, on the other hand, stayed at 90 and 120 Hz respectively. This will change with the upcoming models and the regular Pixel 8 will also get a 120 Hz display.

The Pixel 8 Pro, on the other hand, gets another notable upgrade: a more variable refresh rate. According to the tip, the Pro can change the refresh rate continuously between 60 and 120 Hz. The 7 series, on the other hand, only supported a few predefined rates of 30, 60 and 90/120 Hz. The advantage of this approach is that the refresh rate can be better tailored to different content. For example, 24 fps content could now be scaled to 72 Hz instead of having to go straight to 120 Hz.

The feature could also be used for games. If Google implements it, the display could keep up with a game’s higher frame rates and completely eliminate tearing, similar to AMD’s FreeSync or Qualcomm’s Q-SYNC. In addition, the new displays clock down to 5 Hz, which saves power when the screen is not actively updating content.

Just like the last leaks on the new main camera of the Pixel 8 series and the Tensor G3 chipset, today’s tip also indicates significant improvements. We are excited what comes next.

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