Safer, smarter, cheaper: Pixel 8 Pro is going through changes

Google Pixel 8
Pictured: Google Pixel 8 Pro
// Who says you can't teach an old phone a few new tricks?
Fergus Halliday
Dec 08, 2023
bullet2 min read

Published on December 07, 2023

The Pixel 8 Pro has picked up new features tied to Google's newly-unveiled Gemini AI models earlier this week.

While the Pixel 8 Pro is running the most slimmed-down of the three ChatGPT competitors that Google announced, those who own the device will still be getting a few new tricks that can't be found elsewhere. Some of these features have been teased or talked up in the past, such as video boost. Others are entirely new.

In any case, the idea that this year's Pixel devices could act as vehicles for AI-powered tech that gets better over time was a key part of the selling point so it's nice to see some follow-through sooner rather than later.

If you're short on time, you can find a full rundown of everything in this month's feature drop in the video below.

Play Video

For the productivity crowd, the two big additions here are going to be the ability to generate summaries of transcripts made using the Google Recorder app and support for Gmail-style Smart Reply suggestions within Gboard itself. Other software features being introduced with this update include the ability to clean up dirty receipts and support for passkeys within Google's password manager.

Meanwhile, photographers drawn to Google's Pixel hardware for the camera have more than a few things to celebrate. This month's feature drop brings with it support for Night Sight Video and Video Boost.

These specific features aren't handled entirely on-device. Instead, your video content gets uploaded to Google's own cloud servers and optimised at that end before being returned with better colour, stabilisation and noise reduction than it would have otherwise.

Other camera-centric value-adds include support for Night Sight timelapses, a better portrait mode and unblurring of pets plus the ability to use your Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro as a webcam in a pinch.

Last but not least, Google is also introducing a new repair mode that allows you to cordon off and limit access to your personal data whenever your phone is out of your hands or in for repair. If you're someone wary of parting ways with your handset after reading stories online about support technicians going rogue, that's going to offer some peace of mind.

This almost certainly won't be the last feature drop that Google's flagship gets but it sets a pretty high standard for what to expect going forward. This year's Google Pixel 8 Pro was already a great buy. Now it's an even smarter one.

If you're won over, now's also a great time to pick up a Pixel 8 Pro (or the standard Pixel 8) on a SIM-0nly plan as there's a ton of great pre-Christmas deals going around. Check out the widget for the cheapest options.

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Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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