Skip to main content

Are you surprised how popular Google's Pixel phones are?

Since the launch of the original Pixel in the fall of 2016, Google's been hard at work to ensure its Pixel brand gets in front of as many people's eyes as possible. It's facing stiff competition on all fronts, but thanks to the success of last year's Pixel 2, sales are increasing at a steady rate.

The Pixel lineup may not be as profitable as Samsung's Galaxy phones or Apple's iPhones, but even if you're not super invested into the technology space, there's a good chance you've heard about the Pixel phones at one point or another — whether it be in a Verizon store or through an ad on TV.

One of our users recently created a thread in the Android Central forums asking if anyone was surprised about how popular Google's Pixel lineup has become, and these are a few of the responses.

Nope. Especially playing up the camera in the marketing. Camera is important to a lot of customers. Not OS updates. Not security updates. Not SD cards. Not removable batteries. Not unlocked, no carrier.

Ry

I'm not shocked. Google has Verizon helping with the advertising. For the US that's a big player to be advertising & putting your phone in their store displays.

Almeuit

Not really, they partnered with Verizon for advertising. They used Samsungs strategy to get Verizon to push their phones and it worked. Had this phone not gotten the carrier support and heavy advertising, it would of just been another Nexus in terms of sales.

L0n3N1nja

I'm pleasantly surprised with its prevalence. In today's land of Samsung and Apple, it's nice to have a third player in the game.

Morty2264

Now, we'd like to hear from you — Are you surprised about the Pixel's popularity?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

74 Comments
  • Given the fact this is Google we are talking about, not OnePlus or Xiaomi, I am not so impressed. Google is one of world's most recognized brands, they have the best designers and engineers in the world working for them, almost unlimited funds and access to every store and carrier in the world. So why are their products so average, but expensive? Less then average quality control, and available in so few countries? Services network is almost non-existent.
  • Xiaomi phones are FAR more popular than pixels. I am curious where Oneplus for on a scale of Essential to Pixel though. Also if Google do have the best designers in the world, it's a shame their products don't reflect it lol.
  • Google isn't magic and neither are their employees. No Android phone gets more compliments from reviewers about software performance than the Pixel.
  • Pixel phone sales will only get better and better! The sheep are starting to wake up!
  • Wait until it's on all carriers
  • Exactly. When the other carriers get it........its a wrap
  • So in partnering with one carrier, is a Google pulling an Apple? I mean this in the context of the early days of the iPhone, and no Verizon support. Then when it came to every carrier it blew up a second time. Is Google building momentum, and then say once they get to eight million (next year), the following year they go to all carriers?
  • Yes
  • But it's available on all carriers...it's just not sold directly through the other guys.
  • The pixels work on all carriers. If you're waiting for a promotion just so you can get trapped by a carrier like Verizon the problem is on your end.
  • The award for "most ironic comment" goes to...
  • Seriously... Is the word "sheep" necessary in your comment?
    Every consumer has their own preference and/or brand loyalty. It's called choice.
    Calling people "sheep" is unnecessary and derogatory.
  • Saying sheep for me it's just saying people are sleeping on the Pixel. I could careless about what anyone buys!
  • Not really, most are sheep. It's not really a preference thing. They just buy apple because they trust it and never tried anything else. Also, but they don't want to be different.. It's a sheep mentality. Not everyone obviously, but the vast majority.
  • Relax, “Sheep” just a name they use to call people. Sheep isn’t “Unnesessary” or “Derogatory.”
  • Yes,for a phone with so many issues. But Google has plenty of cash to push it on folks.
  • Every phone has issues. Every one doesn't experience those issues. Name a phone, I can name an issue it had/has.
  • Agreed. Google is lucky the pixel 2 series did not get a wider release and that more of the general public bought them. There would have be more damage to the brand with all the HW and SW bugs they had. As it is, in the tech community it did not get a good rep, is it any surprise the Essential had similar issues?
  • I still haven't seen a pixel 2 in the wild. But I would have one right now if pricing wasn't so high. Ended up buying 2 s8 with a bogo but if given the chance I would love a Google pixel 2xl. Although Samsung pay has me hooked.
  • I've seen a lot.. It's just behind Samsung and iPhone
  • Same here. I've kept an eye out for what phones people are using, and I have yet to see even a single Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. I see tons of Samsung phones and iPhones, and that's about it. There have been a couple of phones (literally about 2) that I couldn't identify, but they weren't Pixels.
  • pricing is really high for what the hardware is and it's weird, they don't drop them like other mfrs do as time goes on. they may be trying for "premium" branding, but the have premium price you have to have QA Google doesn't appear to care about.
  • I saw just one Pixel so far, but that's true for any phone that isn't Samsung or Apple.
  • Not surprised, but happy it's going in the right direction. Remember with the Nexus program, year to year there would be questions if a new one was coming. And yes Google is a recognized brand...for search. People don't even know Google makes the software on Samsung phones. Now let's hope this year's XL version comes packed with a better screen.
  • Many think all "Androids" are the same and buy Samsung because it's the most advertised and has a lot of bogo deals too.
  • No, this is what people always wanted whether they realized it or not. The mysterious failures of htc and lg and the likes are no mystery at all. Keep it simple, keep it up to date, and give it a good camera (and unfortunately must be available from carriers). Also, limit the choices, having multiple product lines with odd naming will fail every time. The Nexus line would have been much more popular with some advertising and carrier support.
  • I don't mind choice and competition. I think that's why Android phones have more features. But now that there is a Google made Pixel, that is really really good at the basics, I'm willing to ignore other phones even if they have more features.
  • What popularity? I mean, they’re great devices, but the marketing seems to have dropped off, and I have yet to see one in the wild, ever... even going back to the original one. That might seem anecdotal, and is to a point. But I’ve owned way too many phones over the years so I always notice what random people in public are using. My local Best Buy said they rarely sell one and they’re one of the top Best Buy’s in my relatively large metro area (DFW). Any news we’ve seen about increased sales has been, while technically true, based on paltry numbers. Yes you’re going to get supportive comments here on *android*central. And again, I think they’re great devices. But the average consumer doesn’t really care about them. It’s android. There are 50 other options for the average consumer to purchase at significantly lower prices. The only people buying the Pixel line are those that are “in the know” in the android world, or the one-offs that have the money and are actually told about it when they go in a Best Buy and Verizon. As much as we hate to admit it, until they’re available and marketed beyond Verizon (like on the other “big three”), they’re never going to become mainstream. So the title of this article feels extremely forced... though I guessed it’s just based on a forum user’s comment, and not much else.
  • oops, typo... *guess
  • The one thing that doesn't surprise me is that AC would post an article based on such an obviously false premise just because it's a Google phone.
  • Google can do no wrong.
  • Google invented fire you know ;)
  • Google is our daddy.
  • Seriously contemplating pulling the trigger on an og pixel for about $220 on ebay...I just really wanted my next phone to have wireless charging! But the smoothness and updates and da camera...so tempting.
  • With Rick Osterloh at the helm, the Pixel is Steadily gaining traction. If you can remember the Vastly Underrated Moto X....you can see where this is hopefully headed. The emphasis then, was Usability....and the Pixel 2 is exceptionally User Friendly and woven into my daily life. The Moto X shunned Top-of-the-line Specs, in favor of a better Overall experience....like lower screen resolution to improve Battery Life. I hope the Pixel series continues in a similar vein....and while Apple has seemingly abandoned "It just works" in favor of gadgets.....this phone looks to fill that space nicely. It is a Symbiotic Experience. It's also Very Important that while Google is finally getting control of the Hardware....Solid Build, Great Camera, Good Battery....it's Ultimately just a vehicle for the Software. The thing I have the Most trouble explaining to friends....is the Google Assistant and AI integration into this phone. My phone "Anticipates" many things due to the emerging "Google Ecosystem"....a term you will begin to hear more and more. You can only understand this completely.... if you use the phone.
  • Is the Pixel popular? Considering the company behind it, I'd say it's sales figures have been quite poor thus far.
  • A forum user said it was, so... yes.
  • I'm surprised Indeed. I wasn't impressed with any of the designs or features. There were so many other phones that offered more for less, yet Pixels are surprisingly persistent and people are starting to take notice. It's weird
  • I'm based in the UK and I have yet to see a Pixel out in the wild. That includes the original Pixel! Great phones, paltry numbers.
  • I wouldn't say the pixels are popular at all yet. I do hope they become that way over time though. They need to do more than just a good camera to justify the prices. Only a few care about having the latest operating letter or the latest date for their security patch. 95% of the people I know don't ever check for updates or even check for app updates at all. All devices nowadays have good cameras. But I'm glad to see any Android device chip away at crapple.
  • Agree. Outside of us types, that dwell on these sites, I have never met anyone that cares.
  • Not sure how AC got this "fact". Perhaps it's another alternative fact. From all the people I have know, met, and talked to (colleagues, neighbors, relatives, and friends), NONE has a pixel phone. I guess you can substract ~200-300 people from your list of "Pixel owners"!
    Have one office that provides tons of alternative facts is enough. We don't need another one.
  • Honestly compared to the major players they aren't selling a lot of phones. Compared to Essential they are a hot item. How do their sales compare to Motorola or LG? However I do think if Google will hang in there they will find ever greater success.
  • Are they popular? I think success in smartphone sales comes down to a few things, but only because the majority getting them do not have the same tech savvy approach that we have. The salesmen make the difference in the stores and on the phones, as does habit. Go into a store, and listen to the sales staff, it is quite frightening just how basic their knowledge is. I usually end up disagreeing with them if they start talking to me, and I frequently want to put them straight when they are spouting ignorant nonsense. Most in my circle just upgrade for a better experience, but the Apple lot stay Apple. That is in spite of the fact that the phones they get continually have screen breakages etc. They routinely sign up for more. Because they are seen as the best/coolest devices. As for the Pixel, a lot of the public would not notice many of the issues, and that camera is boss! The fact that it lacks the basics like wireless charging or a headphone jack won't always be concerning Joe public. Samsung will be on top for a long while, as long as the others don't notice that Samsung ticks all the boxes. Top quality screens, wireless charging, 3.5mm headphone jack, decent cameras, decent specs. Name another manufacturer that includes those. LG are closest, but their screen and cameras are sub-par. The rest miss multiple features.
  • Are you surprised how popular Google's Pixel phones are? No...... Oh wait!!! I get it... This one small trick makes the Pixel the best phone! Apple hates the new Google phone.. you will be shocked when you find out why!
  • Taboola, the worst company, with the crappiest "product", ever. They really are below people that steal from dead bodies.
  • A-freakin-men. Taboola, Outbrain, Revcontent... they all need to die. It honestly worries me that they still exist, because that means there is a large segment of the population that clicks on their crap.
  • AC: Are you surprised how popular Google's Pixel phones are? Also AC: HTC's smartphone president has resigned following ten quarters of losses
  • "Google's Pixel line of phones is one of the youngest in the market, but it's already become one of the most popular around." One of the most popular? Let's do a little cipherin' to see what that means. As of August 2017, Pixels had about 0.7% market share in the USA (active users, not phones shipped). In a US market of 228,000,000 active smart phones, that's about 1,590,000 active Pixel phones after almost a year. https://www.recode.net/2017/10/4/16418170/google-pixel-market-share-2017... In January 2017, LG had about 10% US active market share, Motorola had 4.3% and HTC had 2.3%. https://icdn2.digitaltrends.com/image/comscore-smartphone-market-share-j... One of the most popular around, huh? Maybe it's an ancient Chinese secret.
  • Actually never heard or saw a pixel other than on this website.
  • How can that be possible? It's the best Android phone you can buy, and it's one of the most popular around. /s
  • Popular? That's a stretch. Google doesn't break out US vs worldwide sales, but their total worldwide sales last year would have amounted to less than 3% of the US smartphone market. Apple sells more phones in the US in a week than Google sold worldwide all year. Even worse, comparing year over year sales reveals just how poorly the Pixel line is really doing: Google sold only twice as many phones in all of 2017 as it did in a couple of months of 2016. Monthly sales volume was far worse in 2017 than in 2016, indicating a declining market, not a growing one.
  • I bought a Pixel for three reasons - the camera, fast security updates, and Google Fi for International travel. It doesn't have the flashiest design or anywhere close to the best screen, and Google is never going to market it like Samsung does their phones. This phone works for me because I don't like Samsung software and want nothing to do with Bixby, even though I think their hardware is probably the best among Android manufacturers. And since I wanted Google Fi compatability, it was either Pixel or Moto X4. The X4 failed on camera and security updates in my opinion. Pixels are never going to be market leaders unless Google changes their approach dramatically. . I don't see that happening as it would alienate all the other Android manufacturers.
  • "I don't see that happening as it would alienate all the other Android manufacturers." Exactly. That's one of the most important points anyone has made.
  • At this point, what does it matter if they alienate their partners by marketing their own phone? Samsung could either try harder to compete or build their own operating system and try to own a piece of the market like Microsoft.
  • No. Google advertises quite a bit. I don't think they'e all that popular either. I am using an original Pixel for two reasons. One is because Google makes it easy to unlock the bootloader and the second is that Google isn't a Chinese company. If either of those things changed I would switch to another phone and never look back.
  • I see more Pixel ads on social media than any other phone. Even the Samsung ads I see aren't from Samsung - they're from 3rd parties advertising stuff like apps for Samsung phones.
  • Social media ads are tailored to you based on ad tracking, so they basically feed your echo chamber and aren't necessarily a good gauge of how frequently the ads are being pushed to all people. IMHO TV spots are a better gauge - and when those TV spots occur (prime time, early morning, etc.).
  • Ad tracking pushes ads in a category of products you follow, like smart phones. It doesn't push one particular brand. But you're right that TV spots would be a better gauge. Hulu ran constant Pixel ads, though, back when I had Hulu Plus.
  • I saw plenty of Pixel ads when the Pixel 2 phones were introduced. Most of them from Verizon, not Google. I see an occasional Pixel ad these days, but not often. In addition to advertising, lack of availability in carrier stores is probably a major issue, though. The vast majority of American consumers buy their phones at carrier stores or Big Box stores like Best Buy, Costco, and the like. If they want an Android phone, and aren't already on Verizon, they're never going to see the Pixel. And even in a Verizon store they're probably more likely to be steered to a Samsung phone they're already familiar with than a Pixel.
  • Growing in popularity is people understanding they need a PHONE that looks and feels good in the hand, timely updates, photographs well and simply works. Best phone I've ever used to date.
  • I have seen many TV commercial's with the pixal XL2. It's been along time coming. I'm sure as rain this has helped sales of the pixal's. The more marketing the better!
  • Pixel is best Android experience. Period. You fanboys can keep your Galaxies, your LGs or whatever non stock Android device you use. I loved the Nexus so I know I'm gonna love the Pixel. Can't wait to get my Pixel 2 XL
  • Yes, I do intend to keep my Galaxy phone & will continue using my sd card,wireless charging, aux port. Plus a beautiful screen with a beautiful body to boot, unlike these fugly pixels. This site should change it's name to Pixel Central since they seem to continually push this phone over all others.
  • Shocked they aren't more popular. An ad company that doesn't know how to advertise their own products....
  • Lol, seriously. Google is a terrible advertiser for itself
  • Right!! If I see one more "you can take a selfie by saying 'take a selfie" pixel ad, I will buy a pixel just to throw it at the tv.
    They need better ads imo
  • Advertising is the only thing stopping the Pixel from fully competing with Samsung and Apple. IMO the Pixel offers a better experience than both those devices and before any Apple Sheep tells me otherwise why is Apple being sued again? Oh wait they're being sued before they admit slowing down older iPhones so they can sell more of their newest iPhones 😂😂😂 seriously the Pixel is the best thing to happen to Android since Android it's self.
  • Why do you have to call people names, "fanboys", "sheep" ? Can't you make a comment without degrading others?
  • errr, never seen a pixel 2 in the "wild" ie non tech enthusiast, so pretty sure they aren't that popular. What was the latest statistic, 2 or 3 percent of the market counting total phones sold in the US market? Not even counting how many of those were returns for various reasons, it is NOT that big a number. Come on AC you guys can do better than these clickbait articles, I know you are good writers.
  • No I'm not surprised. I got the pixel 2 and love it. It's very fast and enough for my pocket.
  • Stock android buttery smooth performance & the most updates. The absolute best performing camera. Here in the US let all carrier's handle them. Plus worldwide distribution. Sounds simple, so why don't they do it? Is Google in the business of selling phone. They certainly don't act like it. If you get it in the hands of consumer's they just might sell boatloads!
  • Best damn phone.
  • I am surprised to an extent. The hardware (minus the cameras) seem overpriced on these phones, at least from my point of view. It does go a long way to prove that people will buy whatever the carriers are pushing. Verizon is pushing Pixels hard!