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Is Pixel 8 Pro’s Video Boost and Night Sight Google’s Winning Card? Explained

Google Pixel 8 Pro: Introducing Video Boost

Since the announcement of the Google Pixel 6, everyone’s favorite Search giant nestled itself even more comfortably among the most competitive smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and Apple. For some time now, it has been easy to call these the big three of the mobile tech world.

Since 2016, when the first Pixel launched, Google has continued to deliver some of the best photos made with a phone and software has always played a huge role to make that a reality. That being said, shooting video simply wasn’t on par with the quality you could get out of a Pixel snap.

Recently, Google announced its latest flagship generation, the Pixel 8 series, and while both models have substantially improved when it comes to their camera systems, the Pixel 8 Pro comes with a new feature called Video Boost — once again turning to a software solution — which just might be the next big thing to bring phone-shot videos to the next level.

What is Video Boost on the Pixel 8 Pro?

Video Boost on the Pixel 8 Pro is a new feature that further enhances a video, visibly improving the image quality by utilizing Google’s cloud infrastructure and AI (artificial intelligence) models.

How does Video Boost on Pixel work?

Let’s begin with how you shoot with Video Boost. It’s actually pretty simple — you just turn on the camera and switch to Video Boost in settings. Turning Video Boost on will enable the phone to produce two copies of the video that’s been shot: a regular one with a smaller size file with your usual on-device editing applied, and another with a larger file that has more information stored in it, which is sent to Google’s cloud infrastructure.

The file that goes to the cloud is then processed by Google’s AI and is sent back to your phone when ready. It seems that the processing that’s been done behind the scenes improves almost all aspects making up a good image, including detail and sharpness, color vividness, contrast, as well as the way subjects in the shot are lit (HDR).

Once the video is ready, it will automatically show up in your Google Photos library. Of course, you need a connection for this process to happen.

During Google’s event, we had the chance to ask about a few more details related to Video Boost. One thing we learned was that while you will be able to record using the Video Boost feature on Pixel 8 Pro in both 4K and 1080p, you won’t be able to change the frame rate, which is locked at 30fps. However, it was stated that there are plans to change this in the future.

Additionally, we were also told that you can shoot using Video Boost with any of the cameras, including the main 50MP wide snapper, the 48MP telephoto, and 48MP ultra-wide!

Night Sight for video enabled by Video Boost

Night Sight is the name Google gave to its low-light mode inside the camera app for the Pixel, and it has been available since the Pixel 3 (released 2018). But so far you could only use Night Sight while shooting photos. Now, Video Boost on the Pixel 8 Pro, automatically enables Night Sight for video too!

Here are some screen captures from Google’s demo of Night Sight Video:

As you can see, the image becomes better lit, with the darker areas going from full black to actually showing details. And the best part is that this happens without over-brightening the darker parts of the shot, so scene that is recorded during the night still shows that it was. The highlights are also preserved, and the contrast is increased to make everything pop up.

One small thing we noticed is that the “boosted” image is cropped in a little, which is probably done to increase the stabilization. This a small detail but one the user should probably know and take into account while shooting.

When is Video Boost coming to the Pixel 8 Pro?

Google has not specified exactly when we can expect Video Boost to come to the Pixel 8 Pro, but it did say we can expect it “later this year,” so our honest guess is sometime this December.

Is Video Boost coming to other Pixel phones?

Google has not given any clear statement that the new Video Boost feature will be coming to any other Pixel phones so far. However, the company has shared that Video Boost requires the latest Google Tensor G3 chipset in order to work, so we don’t expect to see it on any phones older than the current Google Pixel 8 series.

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