I used to have a Pixel 5. It was getting old – battery life was poor, it was getting slower and little of its 128GB storage remained free. But worse than those was the fact that guaranteed Android updates ended in October 2023, making the phone a dead end. (Some minor patches have been released since then anyway, but the Pixel 5 has been excluded from the quarterly feature updates.)

I looked around and there were few comparable phones available. I wanted something in a similar size, with decent hardware and a fairly stock build of Android. The thing that was closest to fitting the bill was the Pixel 8, but I had some reservations about its weight (187g, compared to the 151g of the Pixel 5). I saw a good deal on a 256GB Pixel 8, though, so I thought I’d give it a try anyway.

The verdict? I don’t miss my Pixel 5 at all. I got a very slim case, and I seem to have adapted to the extra weight, the lack of a rear fingerprint reader and the slightly larger size fine. (One thing that caught me out when setting up my Pixel 8 was that, after it transferred my data from my Pixel 5, it didn’t mention that it hadn’t copied the Google Photos ‘locked folder’. I has forgotten about it, and so it was wiped when I reset my Pixel 5. Luckily there was nothing important in it.)

One thing I have noticed since moving to the Pixel 8, however, is that the discover feed has adverts. (The discover feed, if you’re not familiar with it, is a feed of articles that appears after swiping right on the home screen.) While there are some reports online of adverts in the Pixel discover feed going back a while, I had never seen one on my Pixel 5 in the UK. On the Pixel 8, the ads started off as a rare occurrence – I saw one in December, and then no more until January. Now, though, there are multiple adverts in the feed on a daily basis.

If that wasn’t bad enough, a few days ago this ad popped up:

A screenshot of the Google Pixel discover feed showing an advert for a deal on a Pixel 8 and Pixel Buds Pro bundle.
It looks like Google has invented adception

It’s an advert for a Pixel 8, on my Pixel 8. Time to find another launcher and ditch this feed.