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.
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.