Morning Tech Report for October 19, 2016

Android, Fully Realized

Android, Circa 2008

While yesterday’s flood of reviews gave the new Google Pixel phone the thumbs up, a definite narrative developed. The good: Google controlling both the hardware and software, makes for a fast, fluid phone with an amazing camera, and the Google Assistant is very good and will only get better. The bad: Unoriginal design with no waterproofing and expensive.

The ‘good’ all makes sense. This is Android, fully developed and realized by Google, and after years of trying to get manufacturers to deliver its vision of Android and adopt its update guidelines, Google saw the writing on the wall. The fact that the first fully developed phone by Google is this good is really impressive. Don’t be surprised in two years when the Pixel has a big chunk of the Android market share.

The ‘bad’ makes sense too. There is only so much one can do with phone design. It took Samsung ten years to finally deliver beautiful hardware. Google will make leaps in design over time. The lack of waterproofing will come soon as well. It is unrealistic to expect Google to check off every checkbox on its first try, and it’s a feature Apple just added. But what about cost? For a phone that most reviews peg as equal or better than the iPhone, it has the exact same price as the iPhone. This makes perfect sense. Google is pitching this as a phone that can go toe to toe with Apple, and the positive reviews the phone is getting back that claim. And while tech enthusiasts are used to buying high-end Android phones out right in the $400-$500 range, normal people don’t do this. They go into the carrier and pay $30 a month for a phone.

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