The regular Google Pixel 8 will miss out the Pro version's on-device AI

The bright display on the Google Pixel 8 Pro
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google confirmed that the standard Pixel 8 won't have Gemini Nano, unlike its Pro counterpart, citing unspecified hardware limitations.
  • The only performance distinction between the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro lies in RAM—8GB for the Pixel 8 and 12GB for the Pro. Both share the Tensor G3 processor.
  • While the Pixel 8 won't have Gemini Nano, Google plans to extend the AI to more mobile devices, specifically high-end Android phones.

Google has confirmed that the regular Pixel 8 won't get Gemini Nano, unlike its Pro sibling.

In the latest episode of The Android Show, Terence Zhang, a Google developer relations engineer, revealed that Gemini Nano won't be coming to the standard Google Pixel 8 due to "some hardware limitations," as spotted by Mishaal Rahman.

The main performance gap between the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro is the RAM. The Pixel 8 packs 8GB, while its bigger sibling includes 12GB. Other than that, they're twins with the same powerhouse processor under the hood—the Google Tensor G3.

However, Zhang didn't mention the specific hardware hurdles keeping Gemini Nano from working its magic on the Pixel 8.

We've reached out to Google for clarification and will update this article when we hear back.

Gemini Nano, Google's smallest large language model, is designed to handle AI tasks right on your device. All the heavy lifting happens locally, giving users the peace of mind that their data won't be spilling out through any cloud-related mishaps.

Yet, Gemini Nano's on-device nature is a double-edged sword; it relies on your device's hardware to do its thing. Unfortunately, that's why the Pixel 8 misses out. This downside also means Gemini Nano will forever lag behind the Pro and Ultra, which tap into external servers for some extra oomph.

Even though the Pixel 8 won't get a taste of Gemini Nano, the AI is expected to hit other devices. Zhang revealed that Google plans to bring the LLM to more mobile devices, although it is strictly for high-end Android phones only.

The MediaTek Dimensity 8300 and 9300 chipsets received an update last month to welcome Gemini Nano.

This means phones like the POCO X6 Pro and OPPO Reno 12, which are powered by a Dimensity 8300 SoC, and flagship models like the Vivo X100 series, OPPO Find X7, and TECNO Phantom V2 Fold with the beefier Dimensity 9300 might just be in line to snag Gemini Nano in the future.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.