Pixel 8 specs leak suggests Google might finally prioritize power

Google Pixel 7 Pro phone
A Google Pixel 7 Pro (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

We’re not expecting the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro to launch until October 2023, and yet we’re already hearing things about these phones, with the latest leak revealing their possible codenames and some potential specs.

WinFuture – via Phone Arena – has found some “publicly available code sources” that mention two new Google device codenames. These are "Shiba" and “Husky”, which are broadly in line with the codenames used by the Pixel 7 line; as the Pixel 7 was known as Panther and the Pixel 7 Pro as Cheetah. So big cats rather than dogs, but close enough.

That’s not the only evidence that these codenames might be attached to the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro though, as the code shows these devices running Android 14 and having a chipset codenamed “Zuma”, which has the same modem as the Tensor G2, used in the Pixel 7 line.

That rounds things down a bit, but there are also screen details, which all but confirm we’re looking at smartphones here. Apparently the Shiba has a 1080 x 2268 display, while the Husky has a 1344 x 2822 screen.

So, the Husky is higher resolution, and is probably therefore the Pixel 8 Pro, with the Shiba being the standard Pixel 8. Those resolutions are marginally lower than their Pixel 7 siblings, but in the same ballpark, and are the sorts of counts you’ll commonly see on current smartphones.

There’s one final spec here too, and it’s the same on both devices. Apparently, they’ll both have a hefty 12GB of RAM – though, of course, it’s possible there will be other configurations too.

We'd take all of this with a pinch of salt, and even if these devices are real, it’s possible they’re something other than the Pixel 8 line, but those phones seem the obvious fit.

A press render of the Google Tensor G2 chipset

The Tensor G2 chipset used in the Pixel 7 line (Image credit: Google)

Analysis: 12GB of RAM would be a big upgrade for the Pixel 8

While the Pixel 7 Pro already comes with 12GB of RAM, buyers of the standard Pixel 7 are limited to just 8GB, so a move to 12GB for the Google Pixel 8 would be a substantial upgrade.

It would also suggest that Google is perhaps putting more of a focus on power in its phones, which is sure to be welcomed, as while the Pixel 7 line excels in a lot of ways, the Tensor G2 chipset these phones use isn’t as powerful as its rivals.

Indeed, it’s the chipset that’s lacking more than the RAM, but a move to more RAM won't hurt, and there’s a chance that this is part of a wider strategy from Google to prioritize power; which might mean the Tensor G3 – or whatever the Pixel 8’s chipset ends up being called – is significantly beefier than the G2.

That’s just speculation for now, but it’s certainly a possibility. It’s also possible that – if the Pixel 8 does come with 12GB of RAM – there might be a version of the Pixel 8 Pro with 16GB of RAM, to help differentiate the models.

We probably won’t find out for sure until late 2023, but from what we’ve heard so far these are already shaping up to be some of the best phones of that year.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.