The Morning After: Our verdict on Google’s Pixel 8 Pro

And the Pixel 8.


The reviews keep coming this week. After all the AI tricks, rock-climbing and specification barrage we saw at Google’s big Pixel reveal event, how do Google’s flagship smartphones stack up?

Pretty well, according to our reviews of both the Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8. The surprise highlight is AI, using machine learning and its homemade Tensor G3 chip in a tangible and practical way compared to services like ChatGPT or Midjourney. This includes making your photos look better, videos sound better and adds interactive robo-voice panache to call screening.


Both devices once again have incredibly capable cameras, with 5x optical zoom on the Pixel 8 Pro (matching the iPhone 15 Pro Max) and new pro controls too. According to Engadget’s Sam Rutherford, the Pixel 8 Pro feels like the most powerful smartphone camera on the market.

If there is one caveat, both the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro cost $100 more than their predecessors. In the review, we break down all the new AI features and test the cameras out at that classic photo event — a coworker’s wedding.

(We also reviewed the Pixel Watch 2, but it’s less of a ringing endorsement.)

— Mat Smith

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California’s right to repair bill is now California’s right to repair law

Governor Newsom signed the legislation Tuesday.

Phone-Service-Centre via Getty Images

California is the third state to pass a right to repair consumer protection law, following Minnesota and New York. The California Right to Repair bill was originally introduced in 2019.

“This is a victory for consumers and the planet, and it just makes sense,” Jenn Engstrom, state director of CALPIRG, told iFixit. “Right now, we mine the planet’s precious minerals, use them to make amazing phones and other electronics, ship these products across the world and then toss them away after just a few years’ use.”

There are exceptions to the rules. No, it doesn’t cover your PS5 — not even that new skinny one. Nor are alarm systems or heavy industrial equipment that “vitally affects the general economy of the state, the public interest and the public welfare.”

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EU official gives Mark Zuckerberg 24 hours to respond to Israel misinformation concerns

It comes a day after a similar letter to X owner Elon Musk.

The European Union’s regulatory commissioner posted a single-page correspondence to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, giving the Facebook founder 24 hours to respond. The letter acknowledges areas where Meta’s content moderation has improved but raises concerns about misinformation (including deepfakes) on the company’s social platforms as the Israel–Hamas conflict continues.

The EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) requires social companies, like Meta, to moderate and remove illegal and harmful content. The law requires platforms operating in the EU to police malicious material proactively. It can levy fines of up to six percent of any infringing companies’ total revenue.

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NASA reveals what it found on the asteroid Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx even returned ‘bonus asteroid material.’


In a livestream show-and-tell, NASA scientists outlined what they’ve discovered so far. The big news here is that samples from the 4.5-billion-year-old Bennu asteroid contain not only carbon, but also water. These are the building blocks of life on Earth and, likely, everywhere else. These samples have only been on the planet since September 25, and initial studies just began. NASA also noted it got “bonus asteroid material” covering the outside of the collector head, canister lid and base.

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Microsoft might owe $28.9 billion in back taxes

It needs to check its spreadsheets again.

Microsoft owes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) $28.9 billion in back taxes, not including penalties and interest, at least according to the tax authority. The tech giant has revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it received a series of Notices of Proposed Adjustment (NOPAs) from the IRS for the tax years 2004 to 2013. Microsoft has been working with the IRS for nearly a decade to address the questions about how it distributed its profits among countries and jurisdictions. The result is this multi-billion-dollar tax bill. The company disagrees, as expected, and said newer tax laws could reduce the back taxes it owes from this particular audit by $10 billion. That’s still $18.9 billion, though.

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