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Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 8: Should you upgrade?

Is it time to trade-in that Pixel 6?
By
October 9, 2023
Google Pixel 8
MSRP: $699.00
Check price
Positives
Solid cameras
Faster wired charging
Industry-leading update promise
Unique AI features
Compact size
Negatives
Tensor G3 lags behind in benchmarks
Missing features reserved for the Pixel 8 Pro
No telephoto camera
Google Pixel 6
MSRP: $599.00
Check price
Positives
Premium, unique design
Great display
Long battery life
Negatives
Pokey fingerprint sensor
No telephoto camera
Tensor chip may not be powerful

When it debuted in 2021, the Pixel 6 represented a major shift for Google as it adopted a new design language and introduced its own in-house Tensor SoC. Two years later, Google continues to embrace a similar philosophy. Is the latest Pixel worth an upgrade or are you better off sticking with the Pixel 6 for a bit longer? Let’s take a closer look in this Pixel 6 vs Pixel 8 comparison.

Google Pixel 8Google Pixel 8
AA Recommended
Google Pixel 8
Bright display • Upgraded face-unlock • Improved camera
MSRP: $699.00
A bright display from Google's 2023 flagship phone
The Google Pixel 8 introduces the new Actua display, a 6.2-inch panel that's 42% brighter than the Pixel 7. Backed by the fully updated Tensor G3 chipset, and a new 50MP camera, this promises to be one of the more exciting Pixel phones.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 8: At a glance

  • The Pixel 6 is a slightly larger phone than the Pixel 8.
  • The Pixel 8 has a much faster and improved SoC.
  • The Pixel 8 has a much better software update policy than older Pixels.
  • The Pixel 8 has a higher refresh rate at 120Hz.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 8: Specs

Google Pixel 6Google Pixel 8
Display
Google Pixel 6
6.4-inch OLED
20:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution
2,400 x 1,080
411ppi
90Hz refresh rate
HDR support
24-bit depth

Gorilla Glass Victus front
Gorilla Glass 6 back
Google Pixel 8
6.2-inch OLED
2,400 x 1,080 resolution
428ppi
20:9 aspect ratio
60-120Hz refresh rate
1,400 nits brightness (HDR)
2,000 nits brightness (peak)
HDR support
Gorilla Glass Victus
Processor
Google Pixel 6
Google Tensor
Titan M2 security
Google Pixel 8
Google Tensor G3
Titan M2 security
RAM
Google Pixel 6
8GB LPDDR5
Google Pixel 8
8GB LPDDR5X
Internal storage
Google Pixel 6
128GB or 256GB
UFS 3.1
Google Pixel 8
128 or 256GB
UFS 3.1
Battery and power
Google Pixel 6
4,600mAh (typical)
Fast wired charging
USB-PD 3.0 (PPS)
21W wireless charging (w/ Pixel Stand)
12W Qi wireless charging
Battery share

No charger in box
Google Pixel 8
4,575mAh (typical)
27W wired charging (USB-PD 3.0 PPS)
Qi wireless charging
Cameras
Google Pixel 6
Rear:
- 50MP main
1.2 μm, ƒ/1.85, 82-degree FoV
1/1.31-inch sensor
LDAF, OIS, and EIS
- 12MP ultra-wide
1.25 μm, ƒ/2.2, 114-degree FoV
- Laser AF

Front:
- 8MP single
1.12 μm, ƒ/2.0, 84-degree FoV
Google Pixel 8
Rear:
- 50MP wide (1.2μm pixel width, ƒ/1.68 aperture, 82-degree FoV, 1/1.31-inch sensor, AF, OIS, EIS)
- 12MP ultrawide (1.25μm pixel width, ƒ/2.2 aperture, 125.8-degree FoV, AF)
- Single-zone laser-detect auto-focus (LDAF) sensor

Front:
- 10.5MP (1.22μm pixel width, ƒ/2.2 aperture, 95-degree FoV, FF)

Camera app does not have pro controls
Video
Google Pixel 6
Rear:
4K at 30/60FPS
1080p at 30/60FPS

Front:
1080p at 30FPS
Google Pixel 8
Rear:
4K (24, 30, or 60fps)
1080p (24, 30, or 60fps)

Front:
4K (24, 30, or 60fps)

Supports: Macro Focus Video, 10-bit HDR, Cinematic Blur/Pan, Slo-Mo up to 240fps, 4K timelapse, Astrophotography timelapse, OIS, digital zoom up to 7x, HEVC (H.265), AVC (H.264)
Audio
Google Pixel 6
Stereo speakers
Triple mics
Bluetooth 5.2
No 3.5mm port
Google Pixel 8
Stereo speakers
Triple-microphone
Spatial audio support
Security
Google Pixel 6
In-display fingerprint
Titan M2 chip



Google Pixel 8
Titan M2 security chip
Under-display fingerprint sensor
Face Unlock (Class 3, highest tier)
Buttons and ports
Google Pixel 6
USB-C 3.1 Gen 1
Power button
Volume rocker
Dual SIM (single nano and eSIM)
Google Pixel 8
USB-C 3.2
Power button
Volume rocker
Dual-SIM (1x nano SIM and 1x eSIM)
Connectivity
Google Pixel 6
Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Google Pixel 8
Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be)
2x2+2x2 MIMO
NFC
Bluetooth 5.3
Bands
Google Pixel 6
[5G Sub 6GHz] Model GB7N6
GSM/EDGE: Quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS/HSPA+/HSDPA: Bands 1,2,4,5,6,8,19 LTE: Bands
B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13
14/17/18/19/20/25/26
28/29/30/32/38/39/40/
41/42/46/48/66/71
5G Sub-62: Bands
n1/2/3/5/7/8/12/14
20/25/28/30/38/40
41/48/66/71/77/78
eSIM

[5G mmWave + Sub 6GHz] Model G9S9B3
GSM/EDGE: Quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS/HSPA+/HSDPA: Bands 1,2,4,5,6,8,19
LTE: Bands
B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/14
17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29
30/32/38/39/40/41/42
46/48/66/71
5G Sub-6: Bands
n1/2/3/5/7/8/12/14
20/25/28/30/38/40
41/48/66/71/77/78
5G mmWave: Bands n257/n258/n260/n261
eSIM
Google Pixel 8
Model G9BQD (US and CA)
- GSM/EDGE: Quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz)
- UMTS/HSPA+/HSDPA: Bands 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 19
- LTE: Bands B1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5/ 7 / 8 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 25 / 26 / 28 / 29 / 30 / 38 / 40 / 41 / 46 / 48 / 66 / 71
- 5G Sub-6: Bands n1 / 2 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 8 / 12 / 20 / 25 / 26 / 28 / 29 / 30 / 38 / 40 / 41 / 48 / 66 / 70 / 71 / 77 / 78

Model GKWS622 (US and CA):
- GSM/EDGE: Quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz)
- UMTS/HSPA+/HSDPA: Bands 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 19
- LTE: Bands B1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 8 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 25 / 26 / 28 / 29 / 30 / 38 / 40 / 41 / 46 / 48 / 66 / 71
- 5G Sub-6: Bands n1 / 2 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 8 / 12 / 20 / 25 / 26 / 28 / 29 / 30 / 38 / 40 / 41 / 48 / 66 / 70 / 71 / 77 / 78
- 5G mmWave: Bands n258 / 260 / 261

Model GZPFO (JP):
- GSM/EDGE: Quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz)
- UMTS/HSPA+/HSDPA: Bands 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 19
- LTE: Bands B1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 8 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 25 / 26 / 28 / 30 / 32 / 38 / 39 / 40 / 41 / 42 / 46 / 48 / 66 / 71
- 5G Sub-6: Bands n1 / 2 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 8 / 12 / 20 / 25 / 28 / 30 / 38 / 40 / 41 / 66 / 71 / 75 / 76 / 77 / 78 / 79
- FeliCa

Model GPJ41 (All other countries):
- GSM/EDGE: Quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz)
- UMTS/HSPA+/HSDPA: Bands 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 19
- LTE: Bands B1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 8 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 25 / 26 / 28 / 30 / 32 / 38 / 40 / 41 / 42 / 46 / 48 / 66 / 71
- 5G Sub-6: Bands n1 / 2 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 8 / 12 / 20 / 25 / 26 / 28 / 30 / 38 / 40 / 41 / 66 / 71 / 75 / 76 / 77 / 78
Software
Google Pixel 6
Android 12
3 years of OS upgrades
5 years of security patches
Google Pixel 8
Android 14
7 years of OS upgrades
7 years of security patches
7 years of feature drops
Dimensions and weight
Google Pixel 6
158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9mm
207g
Google Pixel 8
150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9mm
187g
Durability
Google Pixel 6
IP68-rated
Google Pixel 8
IP68-rated
Colors
Google Pixel 6
Stormy Black, Kinda Coral, Sorta Seafoam
Google Pixel 8
Obsidian (black), Hazel (blue-gray), Rose (pink)
In-box contents
Google Pixel 6
1m USB-C to USB-C cable (USB 2.0)
Quick Switch adapter
SIM tool
Paperwork

No charger in box

(*France has charger and headphones included per local laws)
Google Pixel 8
Google Pixel 8
1m USB-C to USB-C cable (USB 2.0 speed)
Quick Switch adapter
SIM tool
Paperwork

Two years is a long time when it comes to mobile hardware, though the Pixel 6 and Pixel 8 still share quite a bit of DNA. There’s the same storage configuration and RAM size, though the latter model upgrades to LPDDR5X memory. Even the battery and charging speeds aren’t all that different, though we’ll get into that a bit later. Of course one of the biggest differences is the processor powering them.

The Pixel 6 is powered by the very first Tensor SoC, which introduced a lot of great machine learning and AI features that were unrivaled at the time. While it was a solid processor, the latest Tensor G3 is a major step forward. It not only packs the latest generation of ARM CPUs and an upgraded GPU, but there’s also a new ISP and imaging DSP. There’s even a next-gen TPU, which will take machine learning to the next level.

google pixel 8 rear rose 4
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The display has also shrunk a bit since the Pixel 6 was introduced. The Pixel 8 packs a 6.2-inch OLED, which is .2-inches smaller than the two-year-old Pixel. The newer display also has improved peak brightness and a higher refresh rate.

Software support is another key difference between the two. The Pixel 8 comes with Android 14 out of the box, whereas the Pixel 6 launched with Android 12 but is currently upgradeable all the way to Android 14. They might run the same software but the Pixel 8 has the advantage of much longer support. 

The Google Pixel 6 in Sorta Seafoam color in hand showing the home screen and display
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Pixel 6 will likely receive its last Android update next year, with security patches lasting until mid-2027. Meanwhile, the Pixel 8 is just starting out and will see support for OS updates, security patches, and feature drops for seven years. This new update commitment is a much stronger policy than the 3 years of OS updates and five years of security patches the Pixel 6 promised.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 8: Size comparison

The Pixel 6 is larger than the latest Pixel, measuring 158.6 x 74.8 with a thickness of 8.9mm. In contrast, the Pixel 8 shrinks down to 150.5 x 70.8 while retaining the same thickness. The smaller design also shaves off 20g from the Pixel 6, coming in at 187g total.

In our Pixel 8 hands-on coverage, we immediately noticed the phone feels great. It’s not too big or too small.

Moving past the size, the design language differs as well. While both phones have a glass rear with a camera bar at the top, the Pixel 6 had a two-tone paint job that divided opinions but certainly made it stand out. The Pixel 8 replaces the glass bar with metal and positions the camera in a pill-shaped window.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 8: Camera

google pixel 8 rear rose 3
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

While the Pixel 7 didn’t introduce significant changes to the camera experience compared to the Pixel 6, the Pixel 8 features a new main sensor. It retains the 50MP resolution but now boasts an improved aperture of ƒ/1.68, a notable upgrade from the ƒ/1.85 aperture on the Pixel 6. This enhancement is expected to deliver sharper details in well-lit conditions and improved image quality, even in low-light situations. Additionally, the 12MP ultrawide lens offers a broader field of view, now at 125.8 degrees.

We have yet to put the Pixel 8 through it’s paces, but it’s safe to say it offers a much-improved camera experience. This is a major compliment, considering the Pixel 6 is still a great camera phone even today.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 8: Battery life and charging

pixel 6 androidauth

The Pixel 6 had a 4,575mAh battery with 21W wired charging and up to 21W wireless charging with the Pixel Stand. This hasn’t changed too much for the Pixel 8. It now has a slightly larger 4,600mAh battery and faster 27W wired charging, at least.

It’s too early to have any actual data on how long the Pixel 8 lasts, though we’d expect it to make it through a day reasonably easily.

Interestingly, it’s actually a bit slower on the wireless front. The Pixel 8 supports up to 18W charging with the 2nd-gen Pixel Stand ($79 at Amazon), while the Pixel 6 can wirelessly charge up to 21W with the Pixel Stand.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 8: Price and availability

Made By Google 2023 pixel 8 price
Google
  • Pixel 8 (128GB): $699
  • Pixel 8 (256GB): $759
  • Google Pixel 6 (128GB): $599
  • Google Pixel 6 (256GB): $699

The Pixel 8 sees the first major price increase for the Pixel series in years, moving up $100. Of course, you also get an improved camera, a better processor, an impressive update policy, and many other upgrades. You can currently pre-order the Pixel 8 right now, though it won’t start shipping until October 12.

The Pixel 6 ($359 at Amazon) can still be purchased through retailers like Amazon for as little as $350.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 8: Should you upgrade?

google pixel 8 rear rose and hazel 3
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

We wouldn’t imagine recommending buying a Pixel 6 in 2023 even if you can get it for cheap, as the Pixel 7a ($477 at Amazon) would be a better budget pick due to longer software support.

For existing Pixel 6 owners, the Pixel 8 is a pretty solid jump forward and the Pixel 9 is rumored to be a relatively minor upgrade. If you really feel like you need a newer phone, it would be a decent upgrade and there are plenty of trade-in deals and promotions that can let you upgrade for free or cheap.

Do you actually need to upgrade so soon? Honestly, no. The Pixel 6 is still an excellent phone and should at least see Android 15 before it stops receiving new OS updates, with security patches to follow until late 2026. Even if the Pixel 9 isn’t rumored to be a major upgrade, there are plenty of upcoming phones on the horizon. One of the most anticipated is the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S24. In other words, you shouldn’t be in a rush to replace the Pixel 6 just yet unless you have your heart set on the Pixel 8.

Google Pixel 8Google Pixel 8
AA Recommended
Google Pixel 8
Bright display • Upgraded face-unlock • Improved camera
MSRP: $699.00
A bright display from Google's 2023 flagship phone
The Google Pixel 8 introduces the new Actua display, a 6.2-inch panel that's 42% brighter than the Pixel 7. Backed by the fully updated Tensor G3 chipset, and a new 50MP camera, this promises to be one of the more exciting Pixel phones.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 8: FAQ

Yes, both phones have an IP68 rating. You can learn more about IP ratings in our guide.

No, the Pixel series has never had SD expandable storage.

Yes, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 8 both have a physical nanoSIM slot and an eSIM slot.

Yes, though only select models have Ultrawideband support for networks like Verizon.