I love the Pixel 8 Pro, but there’s one element of the phone I just haven’t been using, and that’s the temperature sensor.
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Pixel phones have largely focused on providing a simple, smart experience, but Google also hasn’t been shy in trying out some random gimmicks here or there. The Pixel 4 is the biggest example of this, with the device debuting a Soli radar sensor that, while neat, wasn’t super useful and ultimately didn’t make it to any further releases. Ever since that, it’s felt like Google has played it especially safe, but the Pixel 8 Pro does, well, not that.
In a bizarre choice, Google equipped the Pixel 8 Pro with a temperature sensor on the back. The sensor can detect the surface temperature of an object when you’re within a few inches, but that’s really all it does. Google is waiting on FDA approval to capture human body temperatures using the sensor, which could maybe be a little useful, but as it stands today there’s just an app that can detect the surface temperature of an object.
And, folks, I can’t express how useless this has been so far.
In the several weeks I’ve been using the Pixel 8 Pro I’ve used this sensor all of twice, both just to get a sense of how it worked for our review. And, while the sensor works and the app is easy enough to use, there has not been a single valid use case that I’ve thought of. Every once in a while I’m just reminded that the sensor even exists because most of the time it’s far from mind.
Not even Google could come up with a genuinely useful use case for this feature, which is why it’s something that’s just buried. It…
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