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How to take someone’s temperature

The back of a Google Pixel 8 Pro with a lake in the background.

Taking your temperature with an oral thermometer is becoming outdated. It’s accurate, but who wants to stick a glass tube full of mercury in their mouth? Even if this isn’t true, oral temperature taking feels unhygienic. Instead, use your Google Pixel 8 Pro to take your temperature digitally.

Google Pixel to the rescue

The Google Pixel 8 Pro is a state-of-the-art smartphone with a built-in temperature sensor. On the camera bar, to the right of the optics module, the infrared sensor awaits a close but contactless pass to a forehead. It records this value and passes it to the newly incorporated Tensor G3 chip to be processed by AI. Thus, artificially cogitated upon, the body reading pops up on the Thermometer app.

Whether you’re feeling under the weather or not, a deeper, more objective explanation regarding the steps needed to take your temperature is called for, so pick up your Pixel 8 Pro and locate a willing forehead.

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Pulling up the Thermometer app

Now FDA-certified, the Thermometer app uses an infrared sensor located below the camera flash to monitor body temperature. The app icon looks like an old-school thermometer. Launch it with a tap or go to the Play Store for an update. Otherwise, you’ll only see the older, object-only recording version. It’s good for measuring formula bottles to see if they’re too hot or the heat coming out of a hot cup of coffee. Object Temperature is not the entry you’re after.

Follow these steps to update the Thermometer app:

  1. Click the Play Store app.
  2. Click your Profile in the upper-right corner.
  3. A list of possible actions pops up.
  4. Tap Manage apps and devices.
  5. Tap Updates Available.
  6. Update the Thermometer app.

Newly updated to correspond to FDA standards, the infrared sensors app has a body temperature measuring section. It works with a scanning pass of your Pixel 8 Pro across a forehead.

The sensor is located close to the camera. It’s the opening below the flash. Sweeping the camera bar slowly over the forehead of your subject does the trick. According to human biology, infrared energies are radiated from the arteries below the skin above a person’s eyebrows, so that’s the sweet spot of temperature monitoring to seek out.

To monitor body temperature:

  1. Update the Thermometer app if it isn’t the latest version.
  2. Locate it in the App Drawer.
  3. Tap the Thermometer app. It looks like an oral thermometer.
  4. For the best results, follow the guidance of the next dialog box.
  5. Hold the sensor no more than two inches from the forehead.
  6. Do not touch the skin with the phone. This is a contactless process.
  7. Sweep the phone across the forehead.
  8. Read the temperature on the monitor and consult a medical professional if a fever is indicated.

Everyone’s body is like a small furnace, and the heat radiated from one person to the next is different. Use a 97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit temperature spread for adults. With children, expect a slightly higher range, between 97.9 F and 100.4 F.

Android Police is not a medical website, and we do not provide medical guidance. The Google Pixel 8 Pro should not be used in place of a medical device. Please contact your family physician if you have questions about any health issues. If you or someone you love is
experiencing a medical emergency, call 911
or your local emergency medical services telephone number.

Diving into the readout screen:

  • In the center of the screen is the Tap to measure button.
  • The readout replaces this disc in large, easy-to-read numbers.
  • The numbers use one single decimal place accuracy.
  • Below the readout is the curling circle of the retake readout button.
  • At the top of the screen, there’s the option to switch between °F and °C.
  • The temperature readings are taken in the Default mode. Press this button to access different materials to measure.

If the Thermometer app picks up a reading of over 100°F, the person being monitored likely has a fever. Compare the readout to a traditional oral thermometer or an FDA-approved no-touch digital thermometer. According to Google, the Pixel 8 Pro body temperature reading feature is accurate within a fraction of a degree.

There are some questions about sensor distance. The time taken to pass over the forehead and the distance of the sensor from the skin is also important for an accurate reading.

Google hardware developers have solved this issue by employing the LDAF (laser detection autofocus) sensor, as mentioned in the specs for the device’s rear camera. That can be seen about a third of the way down the Google Pixel 8 Pro specs listing.

This sensor is used to bring subjects into sharp, quick focus on the rear camera, but it has been repurposed to work with the smartphone’s infrared temperature sensor. It makes the forehead scanning process a foolproof step, all the better to ensure consistent, accurate passes.


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Applying the LDAF sensor to the scan:

  1. Open the Thermometer app and conduct a forehead scan as normal.
  2. Keep the rear camera close to the skin.
  3. Feel the device haptics and listen to audio instructions.
  4. Use those instructions to avoid contact, but keep the sensor close.

Although not covered in much detail, it’s known that the data recorded from a person’s body will be exported to Fitbit. This is an important detail, for the human body experiences temperature variations throughout the day. The same can be said for the human body when it’s exercising.

Working out and entering a cardio phase in your exercise regimen, whether it’s leg day or upper body day, can cause your body temperature to fluctuate. Fitbit can track these temperature changes and provide insights into how your body responds to different workouts and activities, courtesy of the Pixel 8 Pro’s temperature monitoring feature.

Hot workouts and cool data

There are several entries in the Best Fitbit category. If you want a smartphone and not a smartwatch, this could be the purchase you’re looking for from Google. Perhaps you prefer mechanical watches or classic timepieces. Regardless, if you own a new Pixel 8 Pro, possibly the new Mint edition, you have the perfect body temperature monitor on the back of your phone.

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