iFixit pries open Google Pixel 8 Pro with clamps and picks
Could be easier to get into, but check out that 7-year update commitment
Not satisfied with ripping apart the Meta Quest 3, the iFixit team has turned its clamps and picks to Google's latest and greatest: the Pixel 8 Pro.
As tends to be the norm, the way into this handset is through the screen, which is securely glued in place. The iFixit team noted that the adhesive was easier to get through than the rival iPhone 15 Pro, but a clamp and a pick were still needed to lift the panel out of the way gingerly.
Once flipped back, the lack of screws to remove the screen received praise, as did the care that had gone into the construction of the Pixel 8 Pro - although the iFixit crew remarked that the device lacked the compact and efficient design seen in the interior of iPhones.
Things did not go so well when removing the 19.25Wh battery, with alcohol being needed to release the unit from its glue prison despite the provision of plastic tabs that should have - in theory - made extracting the battery easier.
Going further, the 10-megapixel front-facing camera came next, followed by the stars of the show – the 50-megapixel main camera, the 48-megapixel ultrawide optics, and the 48-megapixel 5x optical zoom telescopic camera. It's a chunky thing – the iFixit team noted that the housing was roughly the same size as the S23's 10-megapixel 10x optical zoom camera and nearly twice the size of the iPhone 15 Pro's 12-megapixel 5x periscope camera.
Before hitting the camera's mainboard, iFixit paused to take a look at the Pixel 8 Pro's unique feature - its (non-FDA approved) temperature sensor. Alas, according to the team, it was all a little anticlimactic and consisted of little more than a tiny thermal sensor.
The board contains Google's Tensor G3 processor, and 12 GB of RAM is available. But what most impressed the iFixit team was the company's commitment to seven years of security updates, which compares favorably to the no-commitment average of five to six years from Apple and of only four years from Samsung, according to iFixit.
- Google introduces phone-shaped housing for its AI tech
- Meta Quest 3 is a virtual reality of repair insanity
- Teardown reveals iPhone 15 to be series of questionable design decisions
- EU right to repair updates pass latest hurdle
Sure, the phone could be easier to get into, and getting the battery out was a pain, but iFixit noted that the components were free of software locks – a plague that afflicts a growing number of iPhone components.
In conclusion: "The biggest win of all, in my opinion, is the commitment to seven years of security and software updates. When paired with the availability of OEM parts, manuals, and a non-hostile approach to DIY repair, this should empower Pixel owners to keep their devices running for longer."
iFixit admitted that it had a partnership with Google for spare parts but insisted that the ad slinger had had no input into its teardown and the team had bought the sacrificial devices itself. ®