Google's Pixel 8 phones make an AI-enhanced splash

With the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, Google earned an Appleseque day of coverage—the high-end smartphones are eagerly awaited and high-end, with 7 years of promised software updates and a lower price tag than the latest iPhones. The AI photo enhancement features are forward in the marketing.

Pixel is even better at understanding the nuances of human speech, so you can talk to it more naturally to get things done. If you take a pause or say "um," it will wait until you're done before responding. Use your voice to quickly type, edit and send messages, even if you speak multiple languages.2

And with improved AI, Call Screen now helps you receive 50% fewer spam calls on average.3 It will silently answer calls from unknown numbers with a more natural-sounding voice to engage the caller. It's also smart enough to separate the calls you want from the calls you don't. And soon, Call Screen will suggest contextual replies for you to tap to quickly respond to simple calls, like appointment confirmations, without having to answer the phone.

Pixel 8 is $699 and Pixel 8 Pro is $999, and you'll get a Pixel Watch 2 thrown in with the latter, which sounds like a fine deal if you're all in on Google stuff.