Google Pixel Phones Will be a Huge Hit
Just wait for Pixel 4 or 5 for the right moment to buy.
This is not a PR post or any kind of a product recommendation (I don’t do affiliate links) and just represents my own opinion.
I’ll admit it, I was quite skeptical of Google’s entry into the smartphone market. The strength of their Pixel 3a model really boosted their credibility, I think, even as rumors of Pixel 4 are now flashing green.
Given Android, Maps and Google Assistant, it’s actually starting to make sense to own a Pixel phone.
As a futurist, I don’t really cover gadgets as much as I’d like. I’m usually thinking about ideological big issue things like how the Ad giants are holding us hostage in a corrupt internet that’s promoting things like wealth inequality.
But as a product, Pixel phones are becoming better. There’s going to be a serious case to own one, I think, by about Pixel 5. In part, it’s all about how Google is learning to do this right.
Google itself has been teasing the Pixel 4 more than any flagship maker has in recent years. You’d hope that an Ad giant like Alphabet would know how to promote its own products. Sadly for Google, this hasn’t always been the case. Their marketing is usually pretty poor, but this product I can now say has a great deal of potential.
When the original Pixel was unveiled by Google in October 2016, many questioned why the Mountain View company was entering the business of designing, building, and selling phones. Amid resistance and lackluster sales, it didn’t always look bright, but things are slowly starting to turn around.
Google entering the Cloud and smartphone market, might, in the end, become two of their brighter decisions in recent times.
This is also because of how the U.S. Government is targeting and dealing with Huawei. With Huawei basically absent from the U.S. market, Apple is already so powerful but leaves room for Google to learn how to do phones better.
Google can invest in potential failures and claims to be serious about its hardware business, but the Pixel phones are still available in only a limited number of countries, through a limited number of carriers and the evolution, while promising, is also painful to watch.
Pixel 4 with an advanced facial-recognition system and hand-motion gesture controls powered by radar tech that Google has worked on for five years in an internal project called “Soli”, just feels like the right move for Pixel’s evolution. By Pixel 5, this will be a product I’m ready to try.
It was tempting to declare the Pixel irrelevant simply because it wasn’t selling in large quantities. But Google can afford to burn cash to get things right and has the right idea in doing so.
The Pixel 4 will have a large “forehead” — or top bezel — where a stack on technology and sensors will sit. This could make Pixel 4 a fun gadget to own. I’m intrigued by the more innovative rumors that Pixel will try out. I think with phone saturation, the market is ready for different takes on what a phone can be.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Pixel line will amount to something. Google is learning, fast — even if sales are not spectacular.
For most of Android’s history, Google didn’t care much about selling its own phones. In the age of 5G and IoT and the strength of Google Assistant and Alphabet’s expertise in NLP in being a conversational interface, this all has to change!
Apple can no longer claim to have the best camera on a phone. Google gets to say that. Huawei’s camera is also getting pretty good. The evolution of the Pixel (in spite of really bad commercials) is now a fun thing to watch. Steep discounts of the Pixel 3a may have saved this brand.
However, what happens with Pixel 4 & 5 will be the real pivot that’s exciting for me as a prospective smartphone owner. I want a new experience on my phone and I think Google has some ability to give that to me.
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