Google announces Pixel 8a – a $500 phone with AI capabilities

Google has announced a new Pixel line smartphone, offering the kind of AI capabilities found in more powerful phones but at a lower price. The Pixel 8a, with a base model starting at $499, will be launched on May 14th.

The phone inherits some of the new features that were announced with its premium class phones, Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, back in October. Notably, both phones had a great camera, which is now incorporated into the Pixel 8a.

The Pixel 8a has a dual rear camera with a 64-megapixel main lens and a 13-megapixel ultrawide lens. It also comes equipped with a 13-megapixel front-facing camera that has a large field of view, says Google.

The phone is powered by Google Tensor G3, which enables picture editing using AI. For instance, one such feature, called “Best Take,” enhances group shots by letting users choose the best expression of people after the shot is taken.

Another notable feature is the “Magic editor,” which positions and resizes subjects or uses presets to make the background pop, while “Audio Magic Eraser” removes distracting sounds in videos, like wind or a car sound.

With the Pixel 8a, Google included AI-powered Pixel call assistant features that help you filter out spammers, know who’s calling before you pick up the phone, estimate waiting time before someone answers, and more.

The phone also comes with a built-in Gemini assistant, which leverages AI to help users with both everyday and work-related tasks.

Google claims that the Actua 6.1-inch display of the phone is now 40% brighter than the one found in Pixel 7a and has a faster 120Hz refresh rate. Pixel 8a, which comes with 8GB of RAM, Titan M2 security chip, and built-in VPN, will receive seven years of software support, including security updates and Android OS upgrades, Google says.

Pixel 8a comes in four colors – light blue, light green, silver, and black. For the first time, there’s a larger storage capacity option at 256GB, according to the company.

The 128GB storage option costs $499, the 256 GB will be $559, while Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a start at $699 and $999, respectively.

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