How to use the Call Screen feature on your Google Pixel

The Google logo on the Google Pixel 7's display
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Google Assistant is one of the most useful features for some of the best Android phones. Call Screening is one of the most exciting and useful features that is limited to the Google Pixel lineup. It uses automated prompts and the Google Assistant to ask unknown callers why they're calling, without you ever having to pick up the phone. Instead, you get a real-time transcription of the conversation and choose from a handful of follow-up questions to get more information from the caller before answering or hanging up. Luckily, using it is dead simple.

What devices support Call Screen?

Call Screening is a great feature, but it's only available on a limited selection of devices, including all Google Pixel phones and select Android phones that support Google's Phone app.

No matter what device you use Call Screening on, all audio transcriptions happen locally on the device, rather than being uploaded to Google. Your phone also automatically offers to block spam numbers after you reject a call, so with any luck, you'll never need to answer another robocall again!

How to use the Call Screen feature on your Google Pixel

Call Screening is enabled by default on all Pixel phones in the US. It shows up as a third option (along with answer and decline) each time you receive a call. At the very least, you can choose either a male or female voice for the Assistant prompt when speaking to unknown callers.

Users can use Call Screening manually in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US. Here's how you can manually turn the option on in the other regions where the feature is available.

1. Open the Phone app on your Pixel.

2. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner.

3. Select Settings.

4. Tap Spam and Call Screen.

6. Press Call Screen.

7. Look for Unknown call settings and choose Automatically screen. Decline robocalls.

This is also where you can set various options for Call Screen. You can see how Call Screen works, tap to save Call Screen audio, and select various options for Spam, possibly faked numbers, first-time callers, and private numbers. Finally, you can choose what voice to use for Call Screening.

Using Call Screen on a Pixel is straightforward

The next time you receive a call, you will have the option to screen the call depending on your selected choices.

1. Tap Screen call when receiving a phone call.

2. You'll see the Google Assistant script read in real-time, along with a transcription of the caller's responses. Tap one of the options along the bottom to ask for more details.

3. You can also choose prompts that end the call, like "I'll call you back" or "I'll message you."

4. If at any point you'd like to answer or decline the call, tap the corresponding button at the bottom of the screen.

That's all there is to it! If the caller hangs up abruptly during the Call Screen, Google may ask if you'd like to label that phone number as a spam caller and block the number from calling you again.

If you want all the best call-related features such as Call Screen, you really need to have Pixel Call Assist in your life. That's a set of five features bundled under one moniker and it is only available on the best Pixel phones.

Pixel Call Assist not only includes Call Screen, but it also offers you tools and features such as Direct My Call, Hold for Me, Wait Times, and Clear Calling. If you want to use Pixel Call Assist, you'll need one of the Pixel 6 series or Pixel 7 series devices or the Pixel Fold. We recommend the Google Pixel 7 Pro for a well-rounded, top-of-the-line user experience at a fantastic price.

Namerah Saud Fatmi
Senior Editor — Accessories

Namerah enjoys geeking out over accessories, gadgets, and all sorts of smart tech. She spends her time guzzling coffee, writing, casual gaming, and cuddling with her furry best friends. Find her on Twitter @NamerahS.