5th place here, was late to the game!
and why are phones so expensive now?!
The pricing of handsets is indeed getting higher and higher it seems, at least for flagships. But what must be remembered is the R&D, manpower and technology required to essentially put a computer, more powerful than anything that was in your home just a few years ago, in the palm of your hand.
The demo of the instantaneous translation using the Pixel 2 and the Google Pixel Buds was mind blowing; truly like something out of Star Trek.
The fact that Google makes millions (more likely billions) on other products and services really has nothing to do with pricing of their handsets. Rogers doesn't say, "we had huge profits last year, let's reduce the cost of our plans for our customers". It also doesn't negate the fact that what I said is true; you're holding in your hand a device with more power, and more storage than was even thought possible only a few years ago.
The Pixel + Google Translate lets you hold a conversation, in real time, with someone in any of 40 different languages, even though you may know not a single word of that language. If that doesn't impress you, then nothing will. That kind of technology costs money to develop.