This Google Pixel 8 price rumor has me really, really worried

Official renders of the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
Google

It seems like the happy days of getting a competitively-priced Pixel smartphone will soon be a thing of the past. Google will launch the Pixel 8 series phones in October, but they might come with a bad sticker price surprise.

Now, what we are about to discuss is the pricing structure for European markets, and they may – or may not – be on par with the asking price of the Pixel 8 duo in the U.S. It would depend on how aggressively Google wants to protect its frugal market share at home with attractive pricing, and how eager it is to expand its overseas hawking stalls.

Oh, and we now have official renders of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, which you can see throughout this article.

The Pixel 8 could get a big price increase

Official render of the pink Google Pixel 8.
Google

Disclaimers aside, Dealabs Magazine claims to have got its hands on the EU-wide pricing of the Google Pixel 8 and its Pro variant. It says the Pixel 8 Pro will start at 799 euros in Europe, which translates to $855 based on current conversion rates. That’s a sweet hike 0f 150 euros compared to the Google Pixel 7 in Europe and nearly a $250 bump compared to the Pixel 7’s $599 sticker price.

Even if one goes with the currency parity formula, a $799 asking price for the Pixel 8 would still be a massive $200 hike vis-a-vis its well-received predecessor. The biggest draw of the Pixel 7 was a standout design, a feature-loaded vanilla Android experience, and terrific cameras. But above all, it was the sweet $599 asking price that put it a cut above the likes of Samsung Galaxy S23 and the iPhone 14 on the pricing ladder.

Frequent price cuts and deals made it an almost irresistible Android phone. But despite the rumored upgrades for the Pixel 8, which include a slightly refined design and a faster chip, paying a $200, or higher, premium for the upcoming phone doesn’t sound particularly appealing.

Dealabs Magazine claims that the Pixel 8’s 256GB storage variant will go for 856 euros (roughly $915 based on existing conversion rates.) Even if Google hits the currency parity for this one, $850 for the Pixel 8 would be close to what U.S. shoppers currently pay for the excellent Pixel 7 Pro. HotUKDeals also corroborates an identical pricing model for the Pixel 8 pair.

“It’s a great smartphone, and although not a huge upgrade over the Pixel 6, the price makes it highly desirable, considering the camera’s ability and the quality software installed,” says our review of the Pixel 7. It seems Google is willing to squander all the goodwill it amassed in the past couple of years. The Pixel 7 Pro wasn’t lauded as generously, but it’s still a bargain compared to Apple and Samsung flagships.

The Pixel 8 Pro isn’t immune, either

Google Pixel 8 official render.
Google

Talking about the Pro models, it looks like Google is finally entering the same luxe domain as Apple and Samsung. The leak claims a dreadful 1,099 euros (approximately $1,180) premium for the Pixel 8 Pro’s base 128GB configuration. To recall, the Pixel 7 Pro started at 899 euros in the European markets and $899 in the U.S.

Google will reportedly charge 1,299 euros (close to $1,390) for the top-tier 512GB model. Even without the currency conversion hit, asking $1,300 for the phone in the U.S. would be hard to swallow. For that premium, the general public gravitates towards the “Pro” iPhones or the “Ultra” Androids by Samsung with all their snazzy camera, stylus, and charging tricks in tow.

Not the changes we need

A composite image of the Google Pixel 8 Pro renders from the 360-degree simulator showing the front screen.
Google

So far, the biggest upgrades we have heard about the Pixel 8 Pro are an upgraded ultrawide camera, a new temperature sensor, and the third-gen Tensor G3 processor by Google. The Pixel 8 doesn’t appear to be in line for any dramatic upgrades and is certainly not worthy of the rumored price hike.

But at the end of the day, it’s all leaked information, so process it as such. Given Google’s sketchy track record with guarding the secrets of unreleased hardware – and the propensity to self-leak its own phones – we will certainly come across more meaty information ahead of the launch event that might also witness the public release of Android 14.

Google raising the price of the Pixel 8 series won’t be a shocker. Apple is reportedly eyeing a similar distasteful surprise with the iPhone 15 Pro. Both brands are following a natural course that keeps making phones inaccessible to the masses while parading upgrades that aren’t always as meaningful in real life as the flashy stage presentations sell them to be.

It’s just unfortunate that right when the Pixels started to feel like the shining star that was Nexus phones back in the day, Google apparently decided to jump into the big leagues where unpleasant sticker price is a recurring trope. Sigh!

But hey, at the very least, Google teased us with official renders of the Pixel 8 lineup. That’s something, right?

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