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Pixel 8 Won't Get Google's Gemini Nano AI Model

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Google has a big AI push when it launched the Pixel 8 (review) series last year. However, it has also made some AI features exclusive to the Pixel 8 Pro from the beginning. It is now confirmed by the company that the Pixel 8 won't receive Gemini Nano after all, leaving a few AI tools powered by the AI model missing from the smaller Pixel handset.

For starters, Gemini Nano is the scaled down model of Google's LLM (Large Language Model) for mobile which taps on the Android AICore architecture. It enables other AI features on the Pixel 8 Pro (review) such as Summarize in the Recorder app and smart reply function when using Gboard in a few messaging apps.

No Gemini Nano for the Google Pixel 8

In the latest Android Show episode (via 9to5Google), a Google engineer said that Gemini Nano won't make it to the Pixel 8. The reason given was due to “hardware limitations” on the handset. While it' did not dive deeper into the details, the bottleneck is likely due to the smaller 8 GB RAM of the Pixel 8 compared to 12 GB on the Pixel 8 Pro.

Interestingly, the standard Samsung Galaxy S24 (review) model also uses Gemini Nano comes with 8 GB of RAM. However, it should be noted that Samsung's flagship phones are powered by a more capable Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Exynos 2400 chipsets while the Pixel 8 is equipped with Google's Tensor G3. Hence, it's likely that the NPU capabilities of the latter chip has been a limiting factor, too.

The person recognition doesn't quite as claimed.
Google's Summarize AI tool on the Pixel 8 Pro. / © nextpit

However, it's not a complete dead end for Pixel 8 users, as there is the possibility that Google will bring these exclusive features to the device and even to much older Pixel phone models by releasing versions that run on the cloud.

As if today, Google's Pixel 9 with Tensor G4 SoC is tipped to be released this fall and will most likely feature support for Gemini Nano as well as the Pixel 9 Pro and Pixel Fold 2. It's unclear if the upcoming mid-range Pixel 8a that is touted to debut this summer will take advantage of the said AI model to supercharge its capabilities.

Apart from a few exclusive AI additions, the smaller Pixel 8 already enjoys other AI-based tools like Circle to Search and Magic Compose on top of existing features.

Why do you think Google is limiting Gemini Nano on the Pixel 8 Pro? We want to hear your opinion. Let's discuss in the comments.

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Jade Bryan

Jade Bryan
Junior Editor

I still remember how amazed I was when I first got hold of the Nokia 3210 back when I was a kid, and it was during that time I developed my love for technology, particularly for mobile phones. I started sharing my knowledge through writing in different blogs and forums back in Nokia Nseries era. I even make videos before where I put different phones side-by-side. Today, I'm still an avid enthusiast of smartphones, but my interests have evolved into smart devices and electric vehicles.

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