Google Pixel 8 Pro video leak reveals wild new feature — but why now?

Google Pixel 8 Pro video leak reveals wild new feature — but why now?
(Image credit: 91Mobiles)

The Google Pixel 8 is due to arrive this fall and after Google supercharged the affordable Pixel 7a this year. We're curious to see what that means for its next flagship-class phones.

A new video leaked to 91mobiles allegedly shows off the Google Pixel 8 Pro for the first time and it features a very familiar design, but at least one head-scratching new feature (via AndroidPolice). 

The brief video demonstrates a user taking their temperature using a new thermometer sensor immediately below the flash on the rear camera array. They bring the sensor to within less than an inch of their forehead and move it slowly toward their temple over a period of five seconds until it beeps to indicate it's done. 

This would be perhaps the hottest feature of 2020-2022, but I'm not entirely certain that it will get the same reaction in late 2023 when the Pixel 8 Pro arrives. It's unclear what else this sensor will be able to do for users as the first shot shows that they are in a body temperature app or mode, suggesting there are other associated modes. 

I don't think I'd want to dangle my phone over the grill to check the temperature of my burgers, but ambient temperature or other surface temperatures may be useful. If this video is real, it certainly will be a unique feature for the Pixel 8 Pro, but here's hoping Google has a strong narrative and software support to back up the added sensor.

Google Pixel 8 Pro video leak reveals wild new feature — but why now?

(Image credit: 91Mobiles)

Google Pixel 8 Pro design changes

The only other thing to glean from the video are some subtle design changes to the Google Pixel 8 Pro and they are all centered around the camera array. 

The flash was moved slightly to make space for that new cloudy white temperature sensor below it. The telephoto lens rejoins the wide and ultra-wide in a single oval cutout on the camera bar after Google split it out on its own for the Pixel 7 Pro.

Otherwise, it's possible that there are changes to the dimensions that can't be determined from this video, but the volume and power buttons on the right side of the phone remain in the same place. I also looked carefully to verify that there was still a sim card slot on the left and it appears untouched, so the Pixel 8 won't join the iPhone as an e-sim-only phone in 2023.

While the video is convincingly produced, any leak needs to be taken with a grain of salt, particularly from a less proven source. While Google's Pixels have clawed their way to the top of our best smartphones list this year, I'm not sure if a temperature sensor is going to be what keeps them there heading into 2024.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.