Google pointed to the inclusion of a range of AI tools already offered in its highest-end smartphones in the forthcoming Pixel 8a, a device set to be sold at $500 less than its top-of-the-range model at launch.

The Pixel 8a will come with Google’s AI assistant Gemini alongside various related image and sound editing tools which have appeared on previous handsets launched by the company.

Other AI features include Google’s call assistant and out-of-browser search functionality.

Along with elements previously available higher up the range, the new device includes a feature Google calls Audio Emoji, which allows a user to tap a symbol during a phone call to “trigger an audio reaction and visual effect”.

Compared with its previous offering for the cheaper end of the market, the Pixel 7a, the new design has a brighter display and improved refresh rate.

The Pixel 8a uses Google’s latest in-house Tensor G3 chip, has a 6.1-inch display, 4500mAh battery, dual camera with a 64MP main unit and runs Android 14.

Sales begin next week with the device priced from $499. This compares with $999 for the Pixel 8 Pro and $699 for the standard Pixel 8.