Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Goggle Pixel 8 Lands in SG

Google launched their latest and greatest Pixel smartphone today. It’s the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro. There are a couple of new features worth mentioning, but perhaps something also quite interesting is the pricing.

Let me first talk about some of the features that have piqued my interest.

This is a big one for me. 7 years of OS updates, security updates, and feature drops. There’s no ambiguity in the language. You get 7 years of Android version updates. This Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones will still get updates around the time Pixel 15 launches, if that’s still something Google decides to call their smartphones. That’s really quite cool. There’s a chance, of course, that the hardware dies before then. 7 years of update is a meaningful upgrade not just from what Google has been offering in past Pixel smartphones, but also goes beyond what the competition like Samsung offers on their flagship devices.

The Pixel 8 Pro, especially, has a bunch of hardware upgrades like better camera sensors and a new temperature sensor. The dual PD selfie camera will allow both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro to support biometric face unlock.

It’s nice to see a flat front glass now, as well as support for refresh rates from 120 Hz all the way down to 1 Hz on the Pixel 8 Pro.

The bigger upgrades are, as you might expect with Google, in software. Zoom Enhance will use generative AI to make up details in your image as you zoom in. It’s like how we joke about crime investigators who can infinitely zoom into a photo or video to get more and more detail that could not have been captured. It is a little gimmicky, but it might be useful.

Clearly in the gimmickier territory is Best Take. The use case behind Best Take is about taking group photos. You know how it is often difficult if not impossible to get everyone looking just right in the same shot. Someone is always looking away, eyes are blinking, or they are caught with an awkward expression. Best Take lets you swap out faces with those from another frame, so you get a perfect group shot. Basically, this actual shot never happened. It is made up by Google’s magic. Yet, I think this would be quite a fun thing to have, and we’ll have to see how well it really works.

There’s also stuff like Audio Magic Eraser, like the one that removes unwanted people from photos, except this is for audio.

I’ll have a more thorough review of the Pixel 8 Pro in a week or two.

So let’s talk about price. Both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro starts at US$100 more in the US, $699 and $999 respectively. In the US, you will get it bundled with a Pixel Watch 2, which is valued at US$350. That makes the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, actually, awfully cheap, at least if the Pixel Watch 2 is something worth that much to you.

In Singapore, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are priced at S$1099 and S$1549 respectively. That seems like quite a hike. There’s no Pixel Watch 2 bundle. Instead, Google Singapore offers a S$250 and S$549 store voucher for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro respectively if you purchase from their online store, along with a limited-edition pouch. If you take the store voucher at face value, then the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro start at S$849 and S$1000 respectively. The PIxel 8 Pro looks to be pretty good value, as long as you can find something in the Google Store to spend the S$549 voucher on. (Aside: The SG Google Store seems to carry far too few Google products, and far too many phone cases.)

There are other varying promotions from Shopee and other retailers that discount the retail price by way of direct cash discount, store vouchers, or platform rewards.

Amazon SG does offer a promotion with a simple cash discount of S$250, plus a bit more depending on your payment method (e.g. S$10 with Citibank Mastercard, or a 1% off with PayNow).

The best deal, though, seems to be the one offered by SingTel. You can snag the Pixel 8 Pro with an instant S$400 voucher (or S$250 voucher with the Pixel 8), so that you pay only S$1149 at checkout for the Pixel 8 Pro 128 GB model. There seems to be no gimmicks: no contract, no line, just the smartphone. I’m sure there are others like me who much prefer a plain simple cash discount.

As a GOMO customer, I saw that they also offered a further S$30 discount by way of a S$10 discount off 5G plans for three months.

I’m not sure if there’s a better deal than that. If you do know, please feel free to share in the comments!

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