During the announcement, Google said the “Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are the most beautiful phones we’ve ever made,” and we’ve mostly found that to be the case. An interview with the Pixel designers focuses on several key aspects, like the 8 Pro’s matte glass back.
Google’s The Keyword spoke to Ivy Ross (Hardware Design and research VP), Claude Zellweger (director of Industrial Design and Wearables Design), and Isabelle Olsson (Colors, Material and Finish VP).
In talking about the matte back first introduced with the Pixel 4, Olsson said, “Sometimes, we have to put ideas on the shelf and then revisit them later when everything aligns,” like “time, supply chain logistics, engineering needs, and technical specifications.” It seems like the design team recognized that the finish had its advantages for grip, feel, and fingerprint resistance and were keen to bring matte glass back, which it did with Pixel Fold and Pixel 8 Pro. Hopefully, this continues going forward.
Meanwhile, Google’s designers want to “make sure there isn’t anything intimidating about Pixel.” Zellweger credits “engineering partners,” presumably Corning and/or the party responsible for the metal frame, as making possible the improved “fit and finish to complement the phones’ smoother surfaces.”
With something that you’re constantly holding, wearing or putting up to your ear, it’s critical to be comfortable visually and physically.
There’s a subconscious undertone there that we might not even realize we respond to with a curved surface.
While everything about the Pixel 8 series is very rounded, the Camera Bar remains “very precise” and with “sharp angles,” with Zellweger stating, “that contrast that makes for compelling design that draws the eye in.”
Both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro feature contrasting glass and metal finishes which help to visually highlight the camera.
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