Pixel 8 Pro leak suggests Google’s adding a feature no one will care about

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

The Google Pixel 8 Pro might benefit from a new built-in thermometer, if the latest leak from the grapevine proves correct.

Android Police spotted a leaked video, purportedly of the next-gen Pixel Pro, which comes from 91mobiles and @Za_Raczke on Twitter, showing off the handset front and back – and that new sensor.

The video clip - which has now been removed from YouTube - details how the sensor measures your body temperature; you apparently use it by holding it close to your skin, then moving it across your forehead to your temple.

The smartphone’s temperature sensor can reportedly be used on objects, too, not just your body.

Based on this video at least, the Pixel 8 Pro's design is very much in the same vein as that of the Pixel 7 Pro. There are slight differences, for instance the rear camera configuration has all the cameras grouped together in the pill housing; the raised strip across the back with the cameras in it remains the same, however.

We can expect more leaks on the Google Pixel 8 range in the near future as @Za_Raczke tells us that “this is only the beginning”.

Analysis: Tepid take

This is a bit of an odd one. The leak tells us Google is pretty much treading the same path as the Pixel 7 Pro with the 8 Pro, and the major addition into the mix here is one that’s, well, of dubious value – or at least a niche thing.

Okay, so there are times when it’s useful to take your temperature. But you can just use a standard thermometer on those occasions – it doesn't exactly seem like a must-have feature. 

That said, a scanning thermometer is a quicker and more convenient method than the old-school under-the-tongue method, providing you don’t get misreads. Accuracy will, of course, be key to how this new feature goes down, and past implementations of temperature sensors on phones haven’t exactly been a big hit (like the Galaxy S4, way, way back).

In short, this all seems a bit out of left field. Is a thermometer top of your wish-list for the next Google Pixel Pro? Is it even on your wish-list at all? Nope, ours neither. Then again, it could be helpful if you're one of the Pixel owners struggling with the Pixel 6 or Pixel 7 overheating.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).