Exclusive: Google Pixel 8 series will have bigger batteries, faster charging

Google Pixel 7 Pro and official Google charger

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Over the past few weeks, we have discovered most of the major features coming with the Google Pixel 8 series. There is a much improved Tensor G3 processor, an improved camera system, brand new displays, support for USB DisplayPort Alternate Mode, and even new wallpapers. There are, however, many more Pixel 8 specs and other tidbits of information that didn’t quite fit into any of our previous coverages.

So, for the last time, thanks to a source inside Google, we can share some of the remaining unknowns about the Pixel 8 series.

Faster charging and slightly larger batteries

Over the last few generations, Pixels have lagged behind in charging speeds. Chinese manufacturers have included support for incredibly high power levels (most recently reaching absurd heights of 240W), and even global giants like Samsung have started supporting faster charging on its premium Android phones. But the Pixels stuck with a relatively modest 23W, and that’s only if you have the Pro model.

Unfortunately, Google is still Google, and the Pixel 8 series’ speeds still leave a lot to be desired, but at least we’re getting a small upgrade. Both the regular Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro see a small 4W increase in charging power, the devices now supporting 24W and 27W charging respectively.

Pixels 7 Pixels 8 Pixel8 Pro Pixel7 Pro

Wired charging

Pixels 7

20W

Pixels 8

24W

Pixel8 Pro

27W

Pixel7 Pro

23W

Wireless charging

Pixels 7

20W (proprietary)
12W (Qi)

Pixels 8

20W (proprietary)
12W (Qi)

Pixel8 Pro

23W (proprietary)
12W (Qi)

Pixel7 Pro

23W (proprietary)
12W (Qi)

Battery capacity

Pixels 7

4,270mAh

Pixels 8

4,485mAh

Pixel8 Pro

4,950mAh

Pixel7 Pro

4,926mAh

One thing that remains unchanged is wireless charging. As far as we know based on current information, Google hasn’t changed the wireless charging support from the 20W and 23W we have in the Pixel 7 series.

However, there have been minor changes to the battery capabilities. Google’s Pixel 8 gets a bigger 4,485mAh cell instead of the older 4,270mAh, and the Pixel 8 Pro gets 4,950mAh, up from the Pixel 7 Pro’s 4,926mAh.

Wi-Fi 7 support coming soon

Turn on/off Google Pixel 7 Wi-Fi

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Since moving to semi-custom Tensor chips in the Google Pixel 6 series, Google has chosen Broadcom as a partner for the combined Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chips. The Pixel 6 included a flagship BCM4389 chip that supported the Wi-Fi 6E standard, which was the best you could get at the time. The Pixel 7 kept the same component.

Now, Google is updating the chip to BCM4398, which supports Wi-Fi 7, for both Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. The new standard is based on Wi-Fi 6 and 6E and offers improved speed, latency and reliability, while while remaining backwards compatible with previous standards. It is worth mentioning that the standard has not been formally finalized, but commercial products already support the first implementations.

UWB remains exclusive to the Pro

Ultra-wideband UWB switch

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Ultra-wideband (UWB) is a fairly recent wireless technology that allows highly accurate distance measurement between devices. A great example of this is the Apple AirTag, which can navigate a user of a UWB-enabled iPhone directly to her location.

Google first introduced the feature in the Pixel 6 Pro and kept it for the Pixel 7 Pro. Google’s latest devices that feature UWB include the Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold. The feature was notably missing in non-Pro Pixels.

Pixels 7 Pixels 8 Pixel8 Pro Pixel7 Pro

UWB support

Pixels 7

NO

Pixels 8

NO

Pixel8 Pro

Yes (module updated)

Pixel7 Pro

YES

This is sadly not changing with the Pixel 8 series. While the Pixel 8 Pro will include a UWB module, an updated one is still missing from the smaller Pixel 8. This is especially disappointing considering that Google is working on features that will use the technology, such as an alleged first-party UWB. -alternative AirTag enabled which will connect to its advanced network Find my device. Along with a feature that will allow users to seamlessly transfer media playback to a docked Pixel Tablet, similar to what is already possible in the Apple ecosystem with the HomePod.

The Pixel 8 could be (slightly) easier to get your hands on

Google Pixel 7a held out in hand, with a city street and bridge in the background

Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

The availability of Google Pixel devices leaves a lot to be desired. According to Google’s documentation, Pixel devices are available in 17 countries (even less in the case of some devices like the Pixel Fold, which is only officially available in 4 countries). This is very different from other manufacturers. For example, Apple officially distributes its devices in about 139 countries (potentially more, that’s just the number of regions available on its website). If you live in a smaller country (like I do here in Poland) and want to buy a Pixel, your only options are to either buy it from an unofficial distribution and overpay a lot or import it yourself and have no warranty or support to speak of.

While Google’s business plans are obviously something very few people have access to, there are ways we can speculate about them. Since the Pixel 7 series, Google has included electronic warranty terms on its phones. By comparing the list of languages ​​in which they are available on the Pixel 8 versus the Pixel 7, we can deduce where we might see additional official distribution of the phones. The languages ​​are:

  • Austria
  • Swiss
  • Belgium
  • Portugal

Even if these regions get an official release, that’s still a pretty disappointing number, though it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Hopefully, Google will further expand the list for future models of its phones.


That concludes our exclusive look at the Pixel 8 series for now. The phones are bringing some really exciting updates, don’t you think?

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Image Source : www.androidauthority.com

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