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Hook your Pixel 8 up to a big screen with new DisplayPort support

Finally, your Pixel 8's USB-C port can be used for more than charging and data.
By

Published onJune 11, 2024

TL;DR
  • As part of the June Feature Drop, the Google Pixel 8 Pro, Pixel 8, and Pixel 8a gain DisplayPort functionality over USB-C.
  • You can connect your monitor with a USB-C to USB-C cable or USB-C to HDMI adapter.
  • It doesn’t appear that a full desktop mode is supported just yet, only basic display mirroring.

Following months of leaks, hack attempts, and what-ifs, Google is finally bringing official external DisplayPort support to its latest flagship smartphones. As part of the June 2024 Pixel Feature Drop, the Pixel 8 Pro, Pixel 8, and Pixel 8a will all gain DisplayPort functionality over USB-C, allowing you to bring your Android apps to bigger screens.

We’d previously discovered that the Pixel 8 series supported DisplayPort functionality at the USB-C level, but the feature was locked away, only accessible after rooting around in more recent Android betas. Likewise, we’d also spotted support on the Pixel 8a series back in May, but again, the feature was locked out without some very low-level tinkering that made it inaccessible to most users. But now, external display support is ready for prime time.

Pixel8a Display Port Support

Google says that users can use a secondary monitor to enjoy their favorite movies and shows on a larger screen by simply connecting a Pixel phone to a secondary display via a USB-C cable.

Based on our experience with the pre-release feature, you can use a simple USB-C to USB-C cable or USB-C to HDMI adapter, depending on what connector your monitor supports. If you need a cable, we suggest this one on Amazon. Once connected, we were shown the little prompt to “mirror to external display,” essentially copying whatever is currently on your phone directly to the connected screen. It is basic but functional for playing video or games on a bigger screen.

Now, Google has long had a “desktop mode” supported in Android and has been working on an enhanced desktop mode for Android 15, but the current experience leaves a lot to be desired. It’s certainly no Samsung Dex rival, yet. With the June Pixel Feature Drop, we don’t believe desktop mode will be enabled over USB-C by default, leaving users with a pretty basic large-screen experience. A revamped desktop mode might arrive with the upcoming Pixel 9 series and could hit current devices once Android 15 lands in due course. Fingers crossed.

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