Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro had benchmarking app restrictions?

It has been suggested that Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro had benchmarking app restrictions so that comparisons with other smartphones could not be made.

| Updated on: Oct 16 2023, 17:33 IST
Upcoming smartphones in 2023: iPhone 15, Pixel 8 and more
1/7 iPhone 15 series: Apple’s brand new generation of iPhones is set to launch in September. The launch date could be September 12. The company will be launching four new variants: iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. There are various rumours surrounding the smartphone’s specs, features and design that are keeping the expectations of users high. (Unsplash)
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3/7 Google Pixel 8 series: We can expect the launch of new Google smartphones this fall. It is suggested that there will be two variants: Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. However, this has not yet been confirmed by the company. The information is based on leaks and rumours shared by tipsters. (Smartprix)
4/7 The Google Pixel 8 may feature a temperature sensor and they will be launched with Android 14. WinFuture revealed that the smartphones can feature 12 GB RAM. It is being said that the new smartphone will be similar to Pixel 7 and 7 Pro in terms of design. Additionally, a tipster,  Yogesh Brar shared that it may come with a 50MP main camera and a 12 MP ultrawide camera. (Unsplash)
5/7 OnePlus foldable: There is very little known about this new foldable smartphone by OnePlus. However, it is expected that it will launch by the end of this year. The company will soon reveal the details of its launch.  (Twitter)
6/7 So far, MySmartPrice shared that the OnePlus foldable may come with a 7.8-inch internal screen. Additionally, it is expected to support a triple-setup camera that can include a 48MP wide and ultrawide lens along with a 64MP telephoto lens. It may also feature a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. (HT Tech)
7/7 iQOO Neo 8 series: Two smartphones to be launched under this series, One the iQOO Neo 8 and another iQOO Neo 8 Pro. According to 91Mobiles, the series may feature a 6.78-inch display. It may support Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor coupled with 12GB RAM. Additionally, it is expected to feature a 50MP main camera. The smartphone is suspected to be in September. (iQOO)
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Notably, Google has now removed the block on benchmark apps on both Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. (REUTERS)

In an unexpected twist, Google has removed the restrictions it had allegedly placed on the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro devices. Now, users can freely install popular benchmarking apps like Geekbench and 3D Mark. This move, which initially baffled tech enthusiasts, was implemented during the review embargo period for the Pixel 8 series phones prior to their official release. The peculiar decision hindered them from conducting comprehensive tests on Google's claims about the Tensor G3 chip powering the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro devices, unless they were well-versed in manually sideloading the apps.

Surprising Continuation of the Block

What raised further eyebrows was the continuation of this restriction even after the official launch of the devices and the conclusion of the review embargo period. Regular Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro customers found themselves unable to install benchmarking apps through the Play Store. However, following a report on the matter by NotebookCheck, Google swiftly removed the restriction, granting users the freedom to install benchmarking apps through the Play Store.

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Google's Focus on AI Over Raw Performance

In recent Pixel releases, Google has attempted to shift the focus away from raw performance and towards highlighting the AI features of its devices. This strategy was somewhat forced upon the company, given that its partner, Samsung Foundry, had struggled to maximise the performance potential of Google's Tensor designs. The Tensor G3 was seen as a potential solution to the performance and efficiency challenges, as it utilised a more contemporary architecture compared to its predecessor, the Tensor G2.

However, as the results from benchmarking apps such as Geekbench (measuring CPU performance) and 3D Mark (evaluating GPU performance) have emerged, it has become evident that the performance is not up to scratch. The Tensor G3, despite its software-based AI enhancements, falls short of claims.

In lifting the benchmarking app restrictions, Google seems to acknowledge the importance of transparency and the need for objective evaluations of its device's performance. Users and reviewers alike can now freely assess the true capabilities of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, shedding light on the effectiveness of the Tensor G3 chip and its AI-driven enhancements.

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First Published Date: 16 Oct, 16:34 IST