Pixel 9 Pro XL vs Pixel 8 Pro: Google’s Irish twins

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Intro

This August, we’ll get to witness the arrival of the Google Pixel 9 series and the Pixel 9 Pro XL in particular. 

Behind that name hides a proper flagship phone that will succeed the Pixel 8 Pro directly. It’s not a larger and more premium device, it’s simply the top-tier flagship phone.  

But how will the next Pixel square up against the Pixel 8 Pro?

Google Pixel 9 Pro XL vs Pixel 8 Pro differences:

Table of Contents:

Design and Size

Notable differences
The Pixel 9 Pro XL will score a minor but important redesign. Gone will be the slightly curved side frame which boosted ergonomics; instead, we’ll get a fully flat design that’ll be quite similar to what you get with the recent iPhone or the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus. 

Although it’s unclear if Google will join in on the titanium bandwagon, it’s certain the Pixel 9 Pro XL will be a meta-glass sandwich, so it could either adopt stainless-steel or aluminum in 

concert with Gorilla Glass up front and at the back. 

A big change, but merely from a stylistic perspective, will be found at the back: the Pixel 9 Pro XL will get a redesigned camera island which will be more compact and won’t span side to side as on the Pixel 8 Pro.

We expect the Pixel 9 Pro XL to be an IP68-rated device, so just as resistant to the elements as most flagships these days. 

Display Differences

At this point, we don’t really expect many differences in the device department between the two devices. Both the Pixel 9 Pro XL and Pixel 8 Pro will seemingly share the same 6.7-inch OLED panel with QHD+ resolution and smooth 120Hz refresh rate. 

More exciting, however, is the prospect of a higher peak brightness on the Pixel 9 Pro XL. With the Pixel 8 Pro, Google joined the brightness wars with a band, employing a 2,400-nit display, so there’s the chance that the Pixel 9 Pro XL could score a display with even higher peak brightness.

Just like its predecessor, the Pixel 9 Pro XL will have an in-display fingerprint scanner. However, the Pixel 8 Pro had an optical one, which is usually regarded as less accurate and fast, which is why we do hope Google puts an ultrasonic in the upcoming flagship. 

Performance and Software

Two flavors of Tensors
The Pixel 9 Pro XL will come along with the Tensor G4 chipset, which is still based on a 4nm manufacturing process, and will once again shift the focus towards on-device AI. The Tensor G4 will be an octa-core chipset unlike the nona-core Tensor G3. The latter wasn’t a benchmark-buster, but proved to be more than usable in everyday scenarios, so nothing to be concerned about.

The Pixel 9 Pro XL will reportedly utilize some 16GB of RAM, which should provide tons of headroom for AI-related tasks, as these have high hardware requirements. Storage-wise, we’d expect at least 256GB of native storage in the entry-level version of the Pixel 9 Pro XL.

As Google adopted a seven-year software support window with the Pixel 8 series, that one will be supported until the end of the decade. The Pixel 9 Pro XL, on the other hand, will receive software updates and feature drops until 2031, which is superb as far as support goes. 

Camera

Samesies

So far, we don’t really expect any major changes in the camera hardware of the Google Pixel 9 Pro in comparison with the Pixel 8 Pro

This means we expect the same 50MP main camera along with the 48MP ultra-wide and another 48MP telephoto camera with 5.0X optical zoom to be making the rounds. 

That’s the same setup as the one on the Pixel 9 Pro XL, but fret not: although the hardware might be unchanged, leave it to Google to come up with the adequate software touch-ups and enhancements in order to squeeze out the most out of the existing hardware. 

Battery Life and Charging

No changes expected

Rumors claim we’d see a 5,050 or a 5,100mAh battery inside the Pixel 9 Pro XL, so essentially no changes in this regard. Last year’s Pixel 8 Pro was more than a decent phone battery-wise, so we have high expectations of the Pixel 9 Pro XL as well. 

What about charging? Well, it seems we might not get upgraded charging specifics here. This means 33W wired and 23W wireless charging on both phones, which is slightly on the slower side in comparison with most other Android flagships. 

Specs Comparison

 

 

Summary

Overall, the Pixel 9 Pro XL is shaping up to be light on hardware improvements in comparison with the Pixel 8 Pro, but currently, we don’t have the full picture yet. Thus, we can’t really draw conclusions whether the next Pixel is a major or a minor upgrade. 

We’re also missing the software element: Google usually has a ton of new features launched alongside its Pixels, so hardware plays an even smaller role nowadays than it played just a few years ago.

With that in mind, we can only be excited as to what the search giant is prepping for us. We will learn more come August 13.  


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