New findings reveal the Pixel 8 series actually supports display output

Hands-on with the Google Pixel 8 Pro
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Mishaal Rahman shares a new video revealing the Pixel 8 device supporting DisplayPort.
  • The Pixel 8 models, however, need to be rooted to see the feature work.
  • While Google apparently chose to disable it, the feature hints at a possible desktop mode experience for future Android releases.

Google Pixel 8 series is reportedly capable of supporting a display output, although the company seems to have chosen to hide the fact.

Display output via the USB-C ports is showcased in a video by Mishaal Rahman, showing the feature working on the new Pixel 8 Pro. He further points out that Google has apparently disabled it on the software front, while the hardware appears to be definitely capable.

It seems that in order for the feature to work, the device needs to be rooted, notes Rahman. He has also shared the process to enable the feature, which didn't work in his case but worked for his tester. The reason is still unclear, but Rahman believes it could be something related to the USB-C to HDMI (for TV) cable used to test the DisplayPort feature. Another tester seem to have used a different USB-C to USB-C cable to connect the Pixel 8 device to their monitor, which appeared to be DisplayPort compatible.

According to Rahman, version 2.0 of USB Gadget HAL, which came with Android 14, is responsible for detecting the right USB-C cable to support the DisplayPort Alternate mode. Additionally, the Pixel 8 Pro running Android 14 QPR1 version also supported the feature with the same cable (USB-C to HDMI) when connected to a different monitor.

Pixel 8 seen supporting DisplayPort

(Image credit: Mishaal Rahman)

While the feature is still not a full-fledged desktop experience and is limited to mirroring your Pixel 8 models' screen, these instances confirm the Pixel 8 series is at least capable of display output. This is a good sign for Pixel users who have been asking for this feature, such as our reviewer, Nicholas Sutrich, who was disappointed in the lack of display output support.

The new hidden feature points to Google's upcoming intentions to improve the Android desktop mode experience similar to what Samsung does with its Dex, notes Rahman. It is still believed to be a work in progress and is expected to become official with Android 15 next year.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.