Google may be bucking trends with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro as recent leaks suggest the new flagship series will be sticking to smaller storage sizes.
This information comes from German tech news site WinFuture whose sources claim the standard Pixel 8 model will be available in two options: 128GB and 256GB. The Pixel 8 Pro will have the same configurations but also offer a 512GB option. This means the company will be sticking to the exact same storage spaces it’s been using for the past two years on Pixel 6 and Pixel 7. It is surprising to see Google go down this route because, as 9to5Google points out in their report, the industry at large is shifting towards putting larger storage drives into flagship smartphones.
For instance, the Galaxy S23 Plus and S23 Ultra don’t offer sizes smaller than 256GB. Only the standard Galaxy S23 has the 128GB option. Additionally, we should point out a leak from April 2023 hinting that Samsung soon may have 256GB as the default for most models.
Keeping the price tag low
So now the question is why is Google opting for smaller sizes? Obviously, it’s hard to say for sure since this is all leaked information without official confirmation, but there is a theory. WinFuture believes keeping the older storage capacities could be a bid by Google to keep prices low. If they were to increase the size of the drive, the Pixel 8 line could shoot up in price, and during these tough economic times, it could kill interest in the phone.
9to5Google also puts forth the idea that Google may be purposely holding back the Pixel 8’s hardware to achieve this. The publication points to another leak stating the flagship devices will come equipped with a Tensor G3 chip. Without getting too deep into the details, all you need to know is the chip supports UFS 4.0, which is a technology allowing for faster and more efficient storage. This feature, according to 9to5Google, is not “widely available in 128GB sizes.” So the idea is Pixel 8 will curtail UFS 4.0 support to have smaller storage sizes resulting in a lower price tag but will keep the Tensor G3 to use its power elsewhere. Namely, in providing high-quality graphics and processing for on-device gaming.
Of course, this is all speculation. Take these leaks with a grain of salt. Besides the storage size, WinFuture mentions some of the colors both phones will be available in. The Pixel 8 will be in Licorice, Peony, and Haze which we take to mean black (since licorice candy is black), pink, and gray. The Pixel 8 Pro is said to come in Licorice as well, Porcelain, plus Sky. Porcelain is presumably white whereas Sky could refer to a shade of light blue.
The Google Pixel 8 is rumored to release this October, so pretty soon. Stay tuned for our coverage of the launch. In the meantime, check out TechRadar’s list of the best Pixel phones for 2023.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.