The last Google-branded smartphone to support video output over a USB cable was the Nexus 5, which was released in 2013. But a decade later Google has released a new set of phones that do have the hardware to support video output.

Unfortunately that doesn’t mean you can just plug a monitor into the USB-C port on your shiny new Google Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro smartphone, because that functionality is still disabled by default. Since its disabled via software rather than hardware though, it turns out there’s a workaround for folks willing to root their phones.

Google Pixel 8 Pro USB-C port

This summer Kamila Wojciechowska found clues hinting that the Pixel 8 series hardware would be able to support video output, and a few weeks ago Mishaal Rahman suggested a method for enabling DisplayPort Alt Mode (video output over USB-C) on Pixel 8 series devices. Now that method’s been confirmed to work, at least in some situations.

Xda-developers forum member Freak07 has even released a Magisk module that should make it easy to enable video output on a rooted Pixel 8 phone, after posting a short video showing the feature in action.

Rahman notes that there’s a chance that some USB-C cables and/or USB-C docks with display output may work better than others, as some folks have had trouble getting things to work with the hardware they have on hand.

Since Google disables video output over the USB-C port via software rather than hardware, it’s possible that the company could be planning to add official support via a future software update. But for now, you do need root access, since the only known way to enable the feature is to modify a system configuration file that’s normally protected.

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  1. It wants to be like Apple and adjusts the pace of development. the race is who will be the first to implement usb4, will get more customers. Nowadays m.2 nvme + usb4 is the holy grail Coming soon to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas 🙂

  2. My wife uses an S23+ due to this restriction on Pixel devices. It has to be costing them other sales too.

  3. It’s sold with 7 years of stupid promise, it’s so heartbreaking for humanity.
    My thoughts are with the families of Pixels’ owners.

    1. It will last, but it won’t age well.
      Something like the QC 8g2 should have lots of iGPU grunt, but will show it’s age when it comes to efficiency and single-core/burst performance.

      Seven years ago, we would have chipsets like the QSD 625, QSD 650, QSD 653, QSD 820, and Exynos 8890. That last one would barely be okay in 2023, but the QSD 820 will be competing against low-end phones like the QC 4g2.

      So there’s little reason to be excited by the Pixel 8. Maybe if their next chipset, in 12 months time, can surpass the QC 8g2 then that would be exciting. The same rules apply to the Fairphone 5, and that has a pretty midrange chipset that will feel dated within 4-Years time.

      Guess we will have to come back to this comment in many years time and see how my predictions went. They’re usually more accurate than not.

      1. Don’t get me wrong Google has ambitions for 2030, but it needs funding and above all inference (customers since pixel 6) to maintain its R&D.

        That’s why the Pixel has been at odds with the competition for a while now, and I almost fell for the Pixel Mania because they were selling dreams.

        To attract customers, Google spreads rumours and leaves people waiting for an update. It’s such an abuse of people’s credulity that in the end customers end up with a phone that has the same functionality as the last decade but is crammed with stock “AI” or Pixel-certified apps.

        These applications require the most intrusive authorisations at the outset, with contracts to exploit your data and constantly monitor your life and that of those around you in order to improve their services.

        At $800 or $1,100 a model, my advice is: get out!

  4. Sorry Google. No video out, no go for me. I use desktop mode and my AR glasses way too much.

    I’m not rooting my phone just so I can do something that I can do out-of-the-box on my Samsung.

    1. Jason, I think you may have missed the whole point, the article clearly informs us that the Pixel 8 has Video out HW, dont worry, if rooting is too complicated for you, just wait they will bring out a childs version with android 15, Samsungs Bixby can look after you in the mean time.

      1. not everyone wants to root their phone (or can’t, because rooting breaks some important apps and “hide my root” features are pretty hit-or-miss in my experience). it’s still a valid criticism that google has chosen to make a supported hardware feature unavailable with software. there’s no need to be a dick about it.

      2. I am more than capable of rooting. I choose not to for work app/profile compatibility and security. And my point is that you shouldn’t HAVE TO root to get what is a basic feature on EVERY other flagship Android phone.

        But thanks for your non-value added condescending response. Have a great day.