Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: the key differences

The Google Pixel 8 is one of our favourite compact flagship phones of 2023, offering a capable all-round package for a reasonable price. But how does it compare to its immediate predecessor, the Pixel 7?

With Google continuing to sell the Pixel 7 as new, and with excellent deals to be had for the older device, it’s a potential thorn in the side for its pricier successor.

That’s why we thought we’d take a closer look at how the Pixel 8 differs and indeed improves upon the Pixel 7. Is it the usual incremental year-on-year improvement, or has Google made a breakthrough with its 2023 flagship?

In a practical sense, even if the Pixel 8 is the better phone of the two, is the Pixel 7 a better buy? Let’s indulge this high-class family feud.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: specs comparison

Here’s an overview of how the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 7 match up, spec for spec. There are some interesting points of difference to be gleaned, as well as some telling similarities.

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Google Pixel 8Google Pixel 7
Dimensions:150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9mm155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7mm
Display:6.2-inch 20:9 adaptive 60Hz to 120Hz 'Actua' OLED6.3-inch 20:9 adaptive 90Hz AMOLED
Resolution: 1080 x 24001080 x 2400
Chipset:Google Tensor G3Google Tensor G2
Storage:128GB, 256GB (UFS 3.1)128GB, 256GB
Rear cameras: 50MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide50MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide
Front camera: 10.5MP10.8MP
Charging:27W wired, 18W wireless (2nd-gen Pixel Stand), 12W wireless (Qi)20W wired, 20W wireless (2nd-gen Pixel Stand), 12W wireless (Qi)
Colors:Obsidian, Hazel, RoseObsidian, Snow, Lemongrass

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: price and availability

Google Pixel 7 review with Pixel Buds Pro and Pixel Watch

The Google Pixel 7, original Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds Pro (Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)

What with these two phones being part of the same lineage, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that there’s almost exactly a year in between them. The Pixel 7 hit the market on October 6, 2022, while the Pixel 8 arrived on October 4, 2023.

Pricing for the Pixel 8 starts at $699 / £699 / AU$1,199 for the 128GB model, while the 256GB variant costs $759 / £759 / AU$1,299.

That represents a significant price bump over the the Pixel 7, which starts at $599 / £599 / AU$999 for the 128GB model. The 256GB upgrade comes in at $699 / £699 / AU$1,129, which is the same price as the entry-level 128GB Pixel 8 model.

Google still technically sells the Pixel 7 at its launch price today, though you’ll be able to find it for significantly cheaper if you shop around.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: design and display

Google Pixel 8 review back angled

Pixel 8 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Take a quick glance at either of these phones in isolation, and you might mistake each for the other. It’s only when you look a little closer that the subtle differences start to add up.

Google has developed a distinct design language over the past three iterations of its Pixel line. Both of these phones have that signature width-spanning camera bar, which melds into a rounded aluminum side frame.

Google Pixel 7 review hero 16:9

Pixel 7 (Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)

Even here there’s one noticeable difference, with the Pixel 8 having a larger and more expressive camera lens cutout.

The rounded split rear glass section is very similar across these two phones, though the Pixel 8 has more rounded corners than its predecessor. It makes the newer phone feel softer and more approachable.

The Pixel 8 is also better for one-handed use, and that’s because it’s smaller than the Pixel 7. Google’s latest is about 5mm shorter and 1.5mm narrower, and it weighs a whole 10g less. The Pixel 7 is thinner, but only by 0.2mm.

Google Pixel 8 review front angled squared

Pixel 8 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

One byproduct (or possibly cause) of this shrinking process is a smaller display. While the Pixel 7 gave you a 6.3-inch screen, the Pixel 8 gives you a 6.2-inch panel.

Both are punchy OLEDs with an identical 1080 x 2400 (Full HD+) resolution, but the Pixel 8 increases the peak refresh rate to 120Hz. It’s a flagship-level spec after the Pixel 7’s halfway house 90Hz refresh rate.

Another area where the Pixel 8 screen earns its upgrade status is with its peak brightness, which stretches right up to an impressive 2,000 nits. The Pixel 7 can only manage 1,400 nits.

All in all, the Pixel 8’s design and display essentially represent a more refined take on the Pixel 7 formula. The differences aren’t huge, but they make the Pixel 8 more worthy of the flagship moniker than its predecessor.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 7: cameras

Google Pixel 8 review camera

Pixel 8 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Google hasn’t changed things up much in the camera hardware department. Both of these phones give you 1/1.31-inch 50MP main sensors with dual pixel PDAF (phase detection autofocus), laser autofocus assistance, and OIS (optical image stabilization). Both back this spec up with a 1/2.9-inch 12MP ultra-wide too.

One difference between the main sensors is a slightly wider f/1.7 aperture for the Pixel 8 (vs f/1.9 in the Pixel 7), meaning it lets more light in. Meanwhile, the the Pixel 8’s ultra-wide now supports autofocus, meaning that it gains the macro mode that the Pixel 7 missed out on.

Around front, the Pixel 8 has a slightly different 10.8MP selfie camera, which appears to be lifted from the Pixel 7 Pro, rather than the 10.5MP sensor Pixel 7.

Google Pixel 7 review camera

Pixel 7 (Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)

Of course, hardware has never been the key factor in making Pixel phones take such great pictures. That would be Google’s special photographic sauce, which is a cocktail of advanced algorithms and machine learning tricks, empowered by custom Google silicon.

In this case, the Pixel 8’s more capable Tensor G3 chip results in superior images, though the difference isn’t night and day.

Google Pixel 7 camera samples

Google Pixel 8 camera samples