We’re less than a month away from Google’s next hardware event, scheduled for October 4th. It’s old news by this point that we’re expecting the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro alongside the new, updated Pixel Watch 2 as well. Although the rumor mill has been churning out leaks and speculations for months at this point, Google seems to be curiously clumsy with multiple “accidental” leaks this time around as we approach the finish line.
The Pixel 8 Pro Simulator Unveiled
Recently, Google released a 360-degree simulator for the Pixel Phones, giving users a centralized place to learn more about their phones and discover the hardware of each device via interactive 3D renders. And wouldn’t you know it, the Pixel 8 Pro “accidentally” made an appearance and was spotted by José Rubén and highlighted by Mishaal Rahman on Twitter/X.
What we can learn from this “leak”
Color Palette: The simulator confirmed that the Pixel 8 Pro will be available in three colors: Sky, Porcelain, and Licorice. This is a departure from last year’s Pixel 7 Pro, which featured Lemongrass and Snow. Google seems to be leaning into earthier and darker tones this year, and the blue shown off here for Sky looks considerably darker than what we saw on the Pixel 7a and the Porcelain is far different (darker) than what we have on the Pixel Fold.
The SIM Card is still here: There were murmurs that Google might transition to eSIM only, doing away with the physical SIM card slot. The simulator, however, shows that the SIM card slot is here to stay, at least for the Pixel 8 Pro and likely for the Pixel 8 as well.
Temperature sensor confirmed: Arguably the most intriguing reveal is the addition of a new temperature sensor on the back of the phone, beside the cameras. While details are scant, this marks an interesting addition to the smartphone’s toolkit. What the sensor aims to achieve or measure is still under wraps, and Google’s simulator was not giving up the goods on that front.
Design and display: Finally, we do get a full view of the final design: including the completely flat display. We knew this was coming, but it’s great to see Google’s move back to a flat screen on their flagship this year for certain.
This feels like a coordinated slip up
If you ask me, this is all a bit convenient isn’t it? With full renders and specs already out on the web for months at this point, isn’t it a bit on the nose that Google slips up once again on their own website right as Apple is starting to tease their own iPhone event? Don’t get me wrong, I get what’s happening; I just don’t buy it as a legitimate “leak” this time around.
Perhaps the previous Google-initiated look at the Pixel 8 Pro was an actual accident as it was in a spot on the Google Store that wasn’t exactly front and center. With this one, someone at Google clearly flipped the switch on the entire Pixel 8 Pro experience and I have a very hard time beleiveing the people who run any web property at Google aren’t competent enough to know when they have or have not published a fairly massive addition to their site.
For me, I much prefer Google slipping out details here and there prior to the event on purpose like they did with the previous 2 Pixel releases. They’ve done well to undermine leak culture with previous devices, and it feels a bit like they forgot all about that strategy this time around. Perhaps they’ve learned that playing into the spreading of leaks and rumors is more effective, and, if so, decided to just stick to that more-organic route of early discovery. If that is the case, I say go with what works, but be a bit more sly about it next time you decide to “leak” something so clearly on purpose.