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Pixel 8 Series launched: How Google messed up its pricing strategy with the Pixel 8, 8 Pro in India

Google has finally launched the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro in the Indian market. These new 5G smartphones boast a fresh Google flagship chipset and enhanced camera capabilities despite sporting a somewhat familiar design.

The Pixel phones feature a premium and distinctive design, which should be well-received by users. Here’s an overview of the Pixel 8 series in India, including pricing, availability, and other vital details.

Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro: Specifications and Features
The Google Pixel 8 is equipped with a compact 6.2-inch 120Hz OLED display, delivering a peak brightness of 2,000 nits and fortified with Gorilla Glass Victus. This is good news for users seeking a smaller, more manageable phone. Powering the Pixel 8 is Google’s cutting-edge Tensor G3 chipset, coupled with the latest UFS 4.0 storage for swift file access.

In the camera department, the Pixel 8 features a 50-megapixel Octa-PD primary camera with an impressive 8x Super-Res digital zoom and a 12-megapixel sensor with autofocus and macro capabilities. For selfies and video calls, there’s a 10.5-megapixel front camera.

Under the hood, the Pixel 8 packs a 4,575mAh battery that supports 27W fast wired charging. Notably, Google has incorporated 18W wireless charging support, but it’s worth mentioning that a charger is not included in the retail package, in line with the company’s recent practice.

Moving on to the Pixel 8 Pro, it features a larger 6.7-inch QHD+ 120Hz LTPO OLED display, offering a peak brightness of 2,400 nits and protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2. On the front, you’ll find a 10.5-megapixel selfie camera. The rear of the phone hosts three camera sensors, including a 50-megapixel phase-detect autofocus wide camera with OIS, a new 48-megapixel Quad-PD ultrawide sensor, and a 48-megapixel quad-PD 5x zoom camera with up to 30X Super-Res digital zoom. The phone’s design combines glass and metal, similar to the previous year’s Pixel 7 Pro.

Under the Pixel 8 Pro hood, you’ll encounter the same Google Tensor G3 SoC. There’s a 5,050mAh battery powering the device, supporting 30W wired charging and 23W wireless charging. Again, it’s important to note that the charger is not included in the retail package. Notable features include a Titan security chip, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, a temperature monitoring sensor, and an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner.

A unique addition to the Pixel 8 Pro is the dedicated skin temperature sensor alongside the device’s cameras. This sensor, identified as the Melexis MLX90632 unit, is specifically designed for temperature measurement and does not offer photography enhancements like some other sensors on the phone.
Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro: AI features
Google has introduced several exclusive features to the new Pixel series, including the “Best Take” feature, which creates a composite image from a series of photos. The “Magic Editor” in Google Photos utilizes generative AI to assist in repositioning and resizing subjects in photos.

Additionally, an “Audio Magic Eraser” claims to reduce unwanted sounds in videos using advanced machine learning models. Google also offers features like “Photo Unblur” and “Macro Focus.” Notably, the Pro model includes a new “Pro Controls” feature, which is absent in the standard model.

For the first time, Google is extending seven years of software support for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, encompassing OS upgrades, security updates, and regular Feature Drops. Google also offers a complimentary VPN through Google One with the new Pixel 8 series. Both models are IP68-rated for water and dust resistance and come with features such as a fingerprint sensor and face unlock.

Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro: Pricing and offers
The Pixel 8 is set to be priced at a starting point of Rs 75,999, while the Pixel 8 Pro comes with a price tag of Rs 1,06,999. Both of these devices will be up for purchase through Flipkart. The pre-order window is open, enabling interested individuals to acquire these phones.

In terms of sale incentives, an attractive discount offer of Rs 8,000 is available for those using ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, and Axis Bank cards, and this offer applies to the standard Pixel 8 model. On the other hand, buyers of the Pro variant can take advantage of an even more significant discount of Rs 9,000.

How Google messed up its pricing strategy
In India, Google needs to improve its pricing strategy. The Pixel 7 Pro launched in India for Rs 84,999. For the Pixel 8 Pro, Google has jacked up the price by about 100 dollars in the US and about Rs 20,000 in India. Yes, there are a ton of taxes and import duties. But still, the price increase in India needs to be more balanced.

What’s more infuriating is that Google is touting the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, beating all other smartphones because of their AI capabilities. Furthermore, the services are, at least as of now, available only in English, that too in the US. Historically, Google has had a shoddy history of activating special features of the Pixel devices in India.

Then, there is the perennial issue that Google has faced in India. Apart from the fact that getting quality third-party accessories in India is nearly impossible, Google also has a questionable after-sales service in India.

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