According to a well-placed source, the display is one of the components that's in line to get a significant upgrade on the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, compared with the Pixel 7 handsets that launched last year.
This comes from the usually reliable Kamila Wojciechowska at Android Authority, who says that the Pixel 8 will be upping its maximum refresh rate to 120Hz, up from 90Hz on the Pixel 7. The Pixel 8 Pro sticks at 120Hz like the Pixel 7 Pro, but both phones will offer a greater range of refresh rates overall, which should improve battery life.
Brightness gets a boost as well. On the Pixel 8, the maximum HDR brightness will apparently be 1,400 nits, and that goes up to 1,600 nits for the Pixel 8 Pro. On both the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, the HDR brightness topped out at 1,000 nits.
However, the displays will be getting smaller. The Pixel 8 screen is reportedly shrinking down to 6.17 inches from 6.3 inches (while keeping the same 2400 x 1800 pixel resolution), and the Pixel 8 Pro screen is said to be 6.70 inches rather than 6.71 inches, with a 2992 x 1344 pixel resolution (down from 3120 x 1440 pixels on the Google Pixel 7 Pro).
Curves or no curves
Do the math on those dimensions and resolutions, and you'll see that the pixels-per-inch on the Pixel 8 goes up to 427 from 417, while the Pixel 8 Pro drops down to 490 from 512. Those are relatively small differences that will be difficult to spot.
Part of the reason for these changes seems to be the new display panels that Google is sourcing for these phones. Larger corner radiuses are mentioned (see previous leaks), while the Pixel 8 Pro will switch from a screen with curved edges to a fully flat one (like the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 8, but unlike the Pixel 7 Pro).
We like what we've been hearing about the Google Pixel 8 phones so far, and a substantial boost in the display specs – in terms of refresh rates and brightness at least – is going to give potential buyers another reason to pick one up.
We've already heard rumors about the boost in performance that the Pixel 8 phones are going to bring with them, and the superior camera modules that the handsets will be fitted with. There might even be a built-in thermometer. If Google sticks to its usual schedule, we should see a launch around about October time.
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Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.