Since their inception, Google Pixel phones have gained recognition for their long-term software support and exceptional cameras. Every year, the new Pixels tend to offer some of the best results when taking photos in most situations, even without using the largest or most modern sensors, thanks to advances in Google’s computational photography.

However, it appears that Google’s practice of reusing the same main sensor for several years is now a thing of the past. While the company is still not using the newest or most powerful sensors, the last couple of Pixel generations have differed in hardware choice. The Pixel 6 and 7 series used the Samsung ISOCELL GN1 sensor, while the new Google Pixel 8 series integrates the ISOCELL GN2.

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That said, image processing software has always played a fundamental role in the brand’s mobile devices, not only to generate the final images, but to offer useful and innovative additional options. The Google Pixel 8 series is no exception, as it debuts its own set of exclusive camera features to improve the experience.

But the improvements are not limited to just the cameras. There are also other features that enhance the overall user experience with these devices.

The new and improved Google Pixel 8 series camera features

In this section, we’ll check out all the new camera improvements and features Google has brought with to the Pixel 8 duo.

Camera hardware improvements

Starting from the camera hardware improvements, the new Pixel 8 series main sensor has a wider aperture compared to the Pixel 7 series (f/1.7 vs f/1.9). This means it can capture more light, improving photos in environments where the lighting is not the best. Also, the new ultra-wide sensor now supports Macro Focus (at a distance of up to 2 cm) on both devices.

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The standard Pixel 8 also benefits from a notable improvement in its ultra-wide sensor, allowing for a larger Field of View (FOV) compared to the Pixel 7 (126˚ vs. 114˚). But, the Pixel 8 Pro stands out even more in this section by replacing the Pixel 7 Pro 12 MP ultra-wide sensor with a 48 MP one that also has a larger aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.2). Even the new Pixel 8 Pro periscope lens offers a much larger aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.5).

Likewise, the 10.5 MP front camera of both devices receives an improvement this year, now supporting autofocus (f/2.2 aperture).

New shared camera software features

‘Best Take’ is one of the most useful (and creepy) features in the Pixel 8 series camera. When taking a group photo, the devices will actually quickly take multiple ones that will capture the different facial expressions that subjects make during the process. Facial expressions will then be analyzed to generate different options to choose from to replace the current picture facial expressions.

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This is especially useful in situations such as subjects who have closed their eyes or who have moved a little when taking the photo, avoiding having to take it again. You will only have to select the facial expression that you like the most and replace it in the final image, with a touch.

‘Magic Editor’ is not a completely new feature, as it was originally introduced in May of this year. It’s a feature built into Google Photos that uses generative AI technology to take editing possibilities further. For example, it allows you to select a subject or object and change its placement in the photo, or even automatically generate the missing part of an object.

Magic Editor: Before and after

Magic Editor is still being touted as an experimental feature in the early stages, so it’s exciting to think about what it will be able to do in the future. Also, it will be able to take advantage of the improved Tensor G3 chipset AI processing to generate images even faster.

‘Audio Magic Eraser’ is another AI-powered feature that will be very useful for both casual users and content creators. When recording a video, you can eliminate annoying background noise that should not be there according to your preferences (people talking, wind sound, etc.).

Pixel 8 Pro exclusive camera features

‘Zoom Enhance’ will arrive later and will allow you to wide zoom or crop on taken photos, ‘rebuilding’ the image (using generative AI) so that it is as sharp as possible. While the Pixel 8 Pro already offers a powerful 5x optical zoom, this feature will take the zoom capabilities in pictures even further.

‘Magic Eraser’ is not a new feature either, but the Pixel 8 Pro will get an exclusive improved version. Now, it will be able to more effectively remove elements such as shadows or objects attached to others.

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This model supports ‘Pro Controls’ that will allow you to manually tweak parameters like shutter speed, ISO, JPEG-RAW switch, and more. Lastly, there is an exclusive ‘Video Boost’ feature that enables ‘Night Sight Video’ mode to noticeably improve video recording in night or low-light scenarios.

Google Pixel 8 series new software features

‘Summarize’ is a feature that will offer a summary of the webpage you are visiting to save you time and make navigation more effective, helping you find exactly what you want. The phones can even translate and read the content of the website to make things even easier for you.

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The improved human speech understanding allows for more natural voice commands when executing actions. For instance, Google claims that if you pause and say ‘um…’ while you were giving a voice command, the phone will wait for you to finish the sentence before responding. This will also help offer better voice-to-text capabilities for sending (or even editing) messages without touching the phone.

‘Call Screen’ is another existing feature that receives improvements, reducing spam calls by up to 50% on average (according to Google). Furthermore, in the future, Call Screen will offer contextual response suggestions for calls in specific situations, which you can select with a simple tap, such as confirming an appointment.

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As we covered, Pixel 8 series Face Unlock feature can be used for biometric verification in payments and banking apps. To top it off, Google also boasts up to 7 years of software support for the new lineup.

Featured Image: Google

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Jean Leon
1613 Posts

A tech enthusiast since ever. I like to always be up to date on the latest news in the industry and write about it. Twitter: @jean_ERdC

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