While the Pixel 8 series isn’t exactly known gaming-centric performance, it looks like Google’s newest update has provided the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro with some much-needed improvements, especially in terms of gaming. The update is featured in the December 2023 Feature Drop for the Pixel devices, which has begun rolling out for different regions.
More specifically, the December Feature Drop includes an updated driver for the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro’s Arm Mali GPU, which gives the phones a considerable increase in performance when gaming. As a result, some users are reporting better frame rates in graphics-intensive games like Genshin Impact, going as high as 45 fps (from 25 fps).
The December 2023 Feature Drop update brings a much newer Arm Mali GPU kernel driver to Tensor Pixels, which users report significantly improves performance in games like Genshin Impact and Fortnite!
The GPU kernel driver has been upgraded from r38p1 released on August 18, 2022… pic.twitter.com/uG8DXrLmUw
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) December 6, 2023
With that being said, the main highlight of the December 2023 Pixel Drop is the addition of features such as Video Boost for the Pixel 8 Pro, as well as Gemini Nano, which Google has touted as a competitor to other AI-based software features like GPT-4.
Going back to the Pixel’s graphical capabilities, the phone was never known to be a gaming device, especially with the 8 series’ Tensor G3 being easily outclassed by rival chipsets such as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Apple A17 Pro, for example. The new update should provide an improved experience, at least as far as mobile gaming is concerned.