December 23, 2023•568 words
Unlike last year, where I had what I thought was a pretty fun little story to share about getting new phones, I thought this year was going to be a standard, no-news year in tech; I've been happily using my Pixel 7 ever since and saw no need to upgrade to any newer devices at the moment.
Then in early December, Google gave me (and every Gold-level Play Points earners) an offer I couldn't refuse - 40% off a Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, or Pixel Tablet. My wife upgraded from a Pixel 6 to a Pixel 8 a month or so earlier, so I was trying to figure out if I really had any reason to take advantage of this promotion, and there's a reason I landed on a yes (I promise it's dumb): the size of the Pixel 8.
I mentioned last year that the Pixel 5 was probably my favorite phone ever - perfect size, great battery life, good-to-great cameras... - and the Pixel 8 is roughly the same width and depth as that device, just a smidge taller but with phenomenal battery life, even better cameras, and some neat photo editing tricks up its sleeve. The discount plus my Pixel 7 trade-in value made it so I 'd get a Pixel 8 for about $150; I couldn't pass it up.
I've had the phone for two weeks now as I'm writing this, and I don't want to get ahead of myself or say anything too hyperbolic, but I think this is my new favorite phone ever, and I absolutely get why Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) gives it the nod for his Phone of the Year.
Something I hadn't really talked about previously (because why would I, who cares) is device protection. The past couple of phones I've had (Samsung S22, Pixel 7), I've gone with the Leather Case from Bellroy; they're well-made, hold up well to drops, and generally look pretty sharp (though I wish they'd wear to the point of patina-ing a little more). This go-round, however, I'm trying out the Everyday Case from Peak Design, and I have a few reasons for changing it up:
- Google used to make these fabric cases for their earlier Pixel devices, and they were really great cases with a nice feel to them. I missed that.
- Kinda neat that the Peak Design cases for Android devices brings MagSafe accessory support to non-Apple devices.
- Peak's Stand Wallet.
For the most part, I'm of the mindset that one shouldn't carry everything all in one spot; if your phone goes lost or stolen and your ID and credit cards are with it, then you just lost a lot more than you probably ever wanted to in one fell swoop. I started thinking though about the convenience of having a built-in stand, and about how I don't have to keep anything actually or import in the wallet part (if I even cared to carry anything in there at all). And then how it'd be kinda neat to maybe have complimentary colors for the case and the stand...so now here I am, with a pretty sweet looking get-up going (Hazel grey Pixel 8, Sun yellow case, Sage green wallet carrying my 7-Eleven, Kroger, and MJR Theatre rewards cards).
Here's to my 2023 in tech and fashionable tech accessories - can't wait to see how my 2024 fares!