Google has recently removed the restrictions it had imposed on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, allowing users to freely install popular benchmarking applications such as Geekbench and 3D Mark. This unusual decision by Google had initially put a hold on these apps during the review embargo period for the Pixel 8 series phones before their public release. This move prevented reviewers from accurately evaluating Google’s marketing claims about the performance of the Tensor G3 chip in the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro devices, unless they were well-versed in manually sideloading the apps.
Surprisingly, even after the official launch of the devices and the conclusion of the review embargo period, the restrictions remained intact. Regular users of Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro devices were also unable to access benchmarking apps through the Play Store. However, following the exposure of this issue in our recent article, Google has now lifted the restrictions, allowing users to freely install benchmarking apps through the Play Store. It appears that the inadvertent continuation of the block for regular users after the devices went on sale was a stark contrast to Google’s deliberate efforts to restrict reviewers.
In recent Pixel product launches, Google has shifted its focus away from pure performance, instead emphasizing the AI features of its devices. This strategic shift was somewhat compelled by the fact that Google’s partner, Samsung Foundry, faced limitations in fully realizing the performance potential of Google’s Tensor designs. There was hope that the Tensor G3 would address performance and efficiency shortcomings, as it features a more modern architecture compared to the previous Tensor G2.
However, as results from benchmarking tests like Geekbench (CPU performance) and 3D Mark (GPU performance) have surfaced, it has become evident that Google went to extraordinary lengths to suppress the widespread dissemination of these results. The Tensor G3, despite Google’s usual software-based AI enhancements, falls short of delivering on Google’s promises of being “super fast and efficient,” as it has in the past.