Google's Pixel-exclusive Call Screen feature debuted with the Pixel 3, but it came to the older Pixels several weeks later. In our experience, it can sometimes be useful, though most people just think it's a voicemail greeting and hang up. Nonetheless, in the event that you are able to get the caller to play along with Call Screen, it turns out that you can actually hear what he/she is saying with the press of a volume button.
While Google's live transcriptions are usually accurate, they're not 100% all the time. Plus, if the caller is speaking in another language, Google won't have any idea what's going on. It turns out that you can just press a volume button (either is fine) and have the caller's voice come out through the earpiece — you know, like in a normal phone call.
This seems to be functional for most Pixel owners; Artem and I both used it on our Pixel 3 XLs, and Ryne did on his Pixel 3. However, it is worth noting that a few people in the reddit thread below weren't able to get it to work. We're not sure why Google hasn't mentioned this option at all, but it's definitely handy.
The folks at XDA Developers have discovered that a software button may be coming that provides the same functionality. In fact, they were even able to enable it in the current software — likely via a flag associated with one of Google's apps.
Note the new speaker icon and button at the bottom right. Image via XDA Developers.
When it lands, the new feature will be a lot more obvious than pressing one of the volume buttons. After all, it took the world months to figure out that was an option (assuming it was always there).
- Max Weinbach