Google update adds a handy health feature to the Pixel 8 Pro

Close up shot of Google Pixel 8 Pro from its launch focusing on the temperature sensor
(Image credit: Google)

The Google Pixel 8 Pro is now able to measure body temperature. Previously the phone’s temperature sensor was only able to scan objects while Google awaited FDA approval for the body temperature functionality – that approval has now been granted.

The sensor was one of the features touted at the Pixel 8 Pro’s announcement back in October. But at the phone's launch, the sensor could only take the temperature of objects not humans. Now, body temperature measurement is one of the new updates included in the latest feature drop, with Google referring to it as a “medical-grade feature”.

Users can scan their foreheads using the pre-installed thermometer app, and the temperature data will then be saved to their Fitbit profile, adding an extra layer of information for health-conscious users. Just bear in mind the feature is only available on the Pixel 8 Pro. The update is being rolled out now, but it may be a few weeks before the update lands on your phone. 

The thermometer app in use on the Google Pixel 8 Pro

(Image credit: Google)

The Pixel 8 Pro is believed to use the Melexis MLX90632 temperature sensor, and Google states it can detect heat of up to 392F / 200C or as cold as -4F / -20C by measuring the infrared radiation emitted by the subject.

According to a Reddit user, the thermal infrared sensor may also have some difficulty reading from shiny or reflective surfaces, or in high humidity, and could receive interference from other sources that may confuse the sensor, unless Google has taken specific steps to overcome these problems since the Pixel 8 Pro's release. 

This is the first time Google has included a temperature sensor in its Pixel line-up. Google claims the feature has many practical applications, including baby feeding, checking on pets, checking bath temperature, scanning overheating devices, and seeing if cooked food has cooled.

Time will tell whether the temperature sensor proves to be a valuable health tool or a gimmick – and whether we see its widespread adoption in other devices, or it ends up heading to the Google graveyard

You may also like

Staff Writer, Mobile Computing

James Ide is a writer for TechRadar specializing in phones and tablets, having previously worked at The Daily Mirror since 2016, covering news and reviews.  

James loves messing with the latest tech, especially phones due to their incredibly rapid pace of development.

When not surrounded by various devices and/or tinkering with gadgets while putting them through their paces, James has a love of handheld consoles.

He is almost the textbook definition of a geek, who loves sci-fi, comics, games and of course, all things tech. If you think you have a story for him or just want to challenge him at Smash Bros, get in touch.