The Google Pixel 8a is here after months of rumors and leaks. On paper, this is the most impressive Pixel A series Google has released to date and one of the best mid-range Android phones available to buy today. And at a time when other startups are rushing to release half-baked AI hardware, it’s refreshing to see a phone made for normal people that works the way it’s supposed to and without breaking the bank.

But there’s something utterly ‘uninteresting’ about the Pixel 8a, despite how good it is. Just look at its announcement: It came without any fanfare from Google. No press conference, just a blog post. The company didn’t dedicate a 15-minute chunk of its yearly Google I/O presentation to announce this latest budget entry. Even if this phone is supposed to bring Google’s Android vision to the masses, it’s almost as if the Pixel 8a is insignificant in Google’s eyes — at least when compared to the bigger AI picture looming in the background.