• The Pixel 8a is in line to get Gemini Nano support.
  • The on-device AI will power two features on the phone.
  • Users will have to enable Gemini Nano from the phone’s Developer Options.

The Pixel 8a is packed with AI features, including some that trickle down from the flagship Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. Besides camera-centric AI features like Best Take, Magic Editor, and Audio Magic Eraser, the Pixel 8a also features AI-powered Circle to Search, Pixel Call Assist, and Summarize in the Recorder app.

Interestingly, the Pixel 8a is the first phone under $500 to come with Google’s on-device AI model — Gemini Nano. That means the phone is capable of processing certain AI tasks without having to connect to the internet or a cloud service. We asked Google and the company confirmed that, at present, Gemini Nano is only capable of powering on-device recorder summaries and Smart Replies in Gboard.

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Summarize in the Recorder app is a feature that first appeared on the Pixel 8 Pro with the December 2023 feature drop. It lets users generate AI summaries of recorded conversations, interviews, presentations, and more without a network connection. Your recordings don’t ever have to leave your phone. Meanwhile, Smart Replies in Gboard are designed to save you time by suggesting responses with conversational awareness. They are currently supported on WhatsApp, Line, and KakaoTalk.

Google could add more Gemini Nano-powered on-device AI features for the Pixel 8a in the future, but for now, these two are the only Nano-based features you get on the device.

Google Pixel 8a

Google Pixel 8a

Google Pixel 8a

Powerful chipset • Now with 256GB storage • Value for the price

Best possible Pixel experience for the best possible price

With the Pixel 8A, Google put all of its focus on value. A 6.1-inch display is backed by the Tensor G3 chip and decent specifications, a 64MP main camera is backed by most of Google’s latest AI-powered features, and a 7-year update promise will keep this moderately-priced phone ticking for years to come.

Gemini Nano not available on the Pixel 8a at launch

If you were hoping to try out Gemini Nano on your Pixel 8a from day one, you’re out of luck. Google says the option to use the on-device AI will be added to the phone with a future Pixel feature drop. You’ll have to enable it from the Developer Options should you want to use it. Google took the same approach for the vanilla Pixel 8, likely due to the limited RAM available on the phone. The Pixel 8a is also restricted to 8GB of RAM so running an on-device AI model might not be something every user wants. Hence, Google is giving users an option to enable it should they absolutely want to experience the tech. The company could possibly add Gemini Nano to the Pixel 8a and Pixel 8 with the same feature drop.

More mid-range phones to get Gemini Nano

In February, MediaTek announced that its mid-range Dimensity 8300 chip supports Google’s Gemini Nano model. The POCO X6 Pro is the only phone launched globally with this processor, but it still doesn’t have support for the AI. However, as time passes, we expect more mid-range phones to support Gemini Nano. These should also include devices powered by Qualcomm and Samsung processors.

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