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From the Editor's Desk: Google's looming Pixel 4 disappointment

It's been three years since Google first launched its Pixel series of devices. In that time, despite lackluster sales, the company's phone brand has managed to carve out its own niche around quality photography and software purity. There's no denying Google's Android software is more enjoyable to use than anyone else's, and that its HDR+ camera is in a league of its own.

But with flagging Pixel 3 sales, it's also evident that the Pixel series as a whole has been far from a resounding success. A big part of the reason why the Pixels have failed to enjoy success beyond a niche audience is that Google seems to have its head in the sand when it comes to what the Pixel line actually is.

You can attribute the Pixels' lack of barnstorming success to occasionally sluggish software or ho-hum hardware designs, but in my view one of the Pixel brand's most significant weaknesses is Google's stubborn insistence that the normal rules of high-end smartphones do not apply to it. See: generic hardware build and no water resistance in 2016. Bad screens in 2017. 4GB of RAM and single cameras in 2018. And in 2019, only two cameras, no fingerprint sensor and hefty top screen borders.

Pixel 4

In other words, Google is trying to be Apple. Now Cupertino, with its reality distortion field and near trillion dollar value, along with its own custom silicon and supply chain dominance, is one of the few players who really do exist outside the norm. Google, however, is for all intents and purposes just another Android smartphone maker, with access to largely the same components as everyone else — outside of its unique Pixel Visual Core chip.

The obvious counter-argument is that regular consumers don't care about specifications. You buy a phone for what it does, not numbers in a spec sheet. Yet the Pixels' current weaknesses go beyond mere figures on a page. Lackluster battery capacities compared to its peers put the Pixel 3 line at a disadvantage compared to the Galaxy Note 9s and Mate 20 Pros on neighboring store shelves in 2018. The dismal multitasking capabilities of the Pixel 3 XL make for easy one-sided comparison videos. And the single camera, however impressive, can't take true telephoto or ultrawide shots.

Google's assumption that its software secret sauce can counteract rivals' hardware dominance has failed to play out in the market.

And so it's frustrating to witness the early stages of such disappointment in the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. As rivals like the OnePlus 7 Pro adopt space-age designs, Google insists upon face authentication with chunky forehead bezels. As even Apple looks set to adopt triple cameras, Google reportedly will feature only two — a standard and telephoto, as if t'were 2016.

And in parts of the world where you find yourself wearing sunglasses 12 months a year, good luck getting by without fingerprint unlock.

I'd love to be proven wrong this October, but the Pixel series still seems like something of a hobby project for Google. Even after having gobbled up the remains of HTC, working directly with Foxconn on device manufacturing and with the benefit of three and a half generations of experience, I'm still expecting to be at least somewhat let down by the Pixel 4 range later in the year.

Here's hoping I'm wrong.

Other odds and ends for a working Sunday:

  • While I'm giving Google a hard time, it's pulling some last-minute shenanigans to fix up Android Q's terrible gesture controls. Q's back gesture in particular has been problematic, breaking slide-out menu functionality in many applications including Google's own apps. Google's answer? A new peek and slide gesture, along with exclusion areas in certain apps.
  • Huawei is supposedly off the hook for the moment, with regards to its current predicament around access to U.S. technology. ICYMI, President Trump announced last weekend that he'd permit the Chinese firm to do business with American companies. However the situation is murky as ever, with the timeline for Huawei's normalization in question, and plenty of room for doubt as to what form the Mate 30 will take when it eventually emerges. Trump has promised to allow Huawei access to U.S. businesses, yet the company remains on the Department of Commerce's Entity List, meaning in practice, for the time being, nothing has changed. Let's see what happens as the immediate August 19 deadline approaches.
  • Apparently the Galaxy Note 10 and 10+ will feature real, actual buttons after all, as Samsung has reportedly ditched plans to include HTC U12+-style digital non-buttons. Given the teething problems experienced by HTC last year, that's not too surprising. Though it's probably a case of if, not when someone solves the usability problems around digital keys. Nevertheless, the Note always has been Samsung's enthusiast phone, and the emergence of two models this year perhaps liberates the company to shoot for a higher-specced, more expensive offering in the Note 10+.
  • Vodafone UK has a compelling 5G offering, with packages announced this week focusing on unlimited data and capped speeds rather than the reverse. The country's second 5G rollout remains limited to a handful of larger cities, but certainly brings the heat to EE, whose 5G service has data caps broadly in line with its 4G plans.

That's it for another couple of weeks. Catch you guys in the run up to Note 10 season!

-Alex

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

106 Comments
  • "...regular consumers don't care about specifications". Really? A phone can only do so much based on the specifications. If someone just needs a device to make phone calls, send texts and browse the internet, they could do that easily on a very cheap phone. I don't believe that people just enjoy paying $700 or more for a phone without caring what specifications are attached to it.
  • "If someone just needs a device to make phone calls, send texts and browse the internet, they could do that easily on a very cheap phone." This is exactly what he is considering as a regular consumer. My mom and dad fit the bill. They make phone calls, check Facebook and Messenger and that's just about it. I can tell you with 100% certainty that neither of them checked the specs of either of their devices before they bought them.
  • They aren't spending big $$$ on "specs" they're spending it on "flagships". They want the latest and greatest Galaxy, iPhone etc. They are clueless about specs for the most part
  • They spend big money on experiences. Average Joe doesn't care what processor is in the S10+, or how it compares to the Pixel 4. What he does care about is the following:
    1. Is it faster?
    2. Is the camera better?
    3. Is it worth the price? Do better specs contribute to that? Absolutely. But Average Joe is not on Android Central reading the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processors that are being put in the latest phones. He just does not care.
  • It'll be ok, chicken little. As a BlackBerry Key2 user that plays around on his wife's Pixel 2, I have to say it's a great phone. Fast, looks good, and amazing photos. Normally people don't need the latest spec and 12gb of RAM. I have a dream that Google will make a physical keyboard, and if that came true, I would switch in a heartbeat
  • They also care what it looks like and if it is recognizable. You think people pay $1000 for an analogue watch because it works 500x as well as a $20 one? Nah. This also means that most people will buy what they are sold on. Apple and Samsung don't spend millions of dollars on physical presence and carrier deals because customers would rather pay more for a phone online.
  • Clearly you know nothing about watch enthusiasts and why they (we - I am one) would but $1000+ watches over $20 watches... Not about looks at all...
  • Totally agree. And the fact that people for the most part, use about 50-75% of their phones resources. As far as battery capacity goes, I have no issue with my 3 XL. I buy an experience, and Google doesn't let me down. Samsung has, never again. As far as bezels go, not a concern for me. It's a gimmick as it doesn't enhance viewing or usability. In fact, one could argue that edge to edge screens are a waste due to black bars and apps that don't utilize custom form factors.
  • I would add:
    "1. Is it faster?
    2. Is the camera better?
    3. Is it worth the price?
    4. Will it last me XX months/years?" There's something to be said about feeling better about a higher price if the consumer believes that will yield more longevity.
  • Go ask any iPhone user what the specs of their phone is. I'd be surprised if one in ten have any idea. The vast majority of people either buy an iPhone or they buy an Android phone because of price. After ten years why is this still a surprise to people? I get that there are a lot of us that do understand phones and want a high spec, feature rich, Google made, phone. But most of the world listens to advertising and just buys an iPhone. I've meet so many people that have no idea even what model iPhone they own. It's sad, but that is the world we live in.
  • I love how Android users still think they are above iPhone users in intelligence. I guarantee you just as many Android users have no idea about their phone or what version of Android it runs. Heck most people say Samsung when I ask them what version of Android they are using...lol. So get off your high horse about iPhone users. People that visit sites like this are into specs and such but the majority of users, whether Android or iOS, do not know or care as long as their phone does what it needs to. I also guarantee you that you are not as smart as you think you are.
  • It seems you converse with a tremendous amount of morons if "Samsung" is the typical response you receive for that question from "most people"... it may be time to make some new, more intelligent acquaintances... unless, of course, you're just making this up ;-)...
  • Don't forget the rumor that dual front firing speakers might be absent from the Pixel 4 as well
  • What???? Seriously? What source exactly.... I didn't catch that one. If that's going to be true... I'm out.
  • https://www.cnet.com/news/pixel-4-leaked-renders-show-rear-cameras-botto... Just some rumor so hopefully P4 does indeed have FFS tho
  • Front firing speakers are completely irrelevant now that they can produce sound from the earpiece along with a single speaker at the bottom. Why anyone wants more bezels for overrated front firing speakers is beyond me...
  • I disagree. A bottom firing speaker is useless laying in bed with your phone resting on your chest.
  • Quite a refreshing take on a device line that's usually untouchable in the eyes of tech bloggers and journo's. The one piece of hardware that sets the pixel apart was also shown to be not worth all that much by their own 3a and 3a XL. Do you really think Google's Android skin is better than OxygenOS, though?
  • The only reason I have a pixel is because I couldn't get on oxygenOS with Verizon. Not gonna lie though, I love the pixel 3 xl; big upgrade from Samsung.
  • Hahaha.... Name the Samsung model the Pixel 3XL is an upgrade from.... You can't possibly mean the Note 9 or S9.
  • Yes I do, even though I like Oxygen OS, I prefer the Pixel launcher, hell even my Quickstep launcher on my Android One phone (Nokia 8.1) over the Oxygen OS launcher, I just don't like 3rd party skins but this article has some valid points, in the design and RAM aspects, 4GB RAM is not really enough anymore given the issues that have plagued the Pixel 3 series but other than that, the Pixel phones in particular and Android One phones have what I need and I don't need anything else as long as my Android software is clean, pure Android that's smooth, bloat free with no bloatware, unnecessary apps and gimmicky features with all that Google goodness, I don't care if it doesn't sell as well as a Samsung, Pixel phones have what I want and that's what matters.
  • Cool, have fun overpaying for less features (both hardware and software)... smart...
  • I don't care about having a gazillion features I care about the experience and performance and timely updates, you have fun with your ugly bloated skinned Android while I have the best Android experience from Google with none of those annoyances. You made your choice and iade mine, that's the beauty of Android, choice.
  • Sure, some prefer to get what they pay for, and then some, with a polished and speedy interface with lots of useful options, and some prefer an overpriced beta test phone with almost no interesting options whatsoever... the beauty of choice, indeed... enjoy your updates...
  • Lol you sound butt hurt that someone chose what suited them. Geez
  • I've never cared about specs, software is more important to me along with timely updates which only Google can provide with the Pixel and Android One. So I feel I'm getting what I pay for which I don't want any additional services or pre installed apps or an ugly bloated skin I like mg Android to be clean, bloatware free and Googlebfied with only Google apps and services.
  • Yes I do, there's something about the Pixel launcher I love more than any other Android skin, including OnePlus which looks bland but I like the philosophy of OnePlus but not enough for me to prefer their software and launcher over Google's which is my absolute favorite.
  • I’ve pre-ordered every generation of Pixel, but this year I’ll be waiting until the Black Friday/Christmas to check things out for a month or two. That will allow me to see the inevitable initial bugs (and the rectification of the major ones in the first month or two), and see if Google starts handing out deals like Christmas candy almost as soon as the phones are available as they did with the Pixel 3’s.
  • I pre-ordered my first gen pixel, but the Bluetooth never quite worked right in the first few years so I was more wait and see after that. Next year the 2 lost headphones and got a bigger screen, and then had hardware/firmware issues. Then the 3 was basically the same phone with a slightly bigger screen (note, I didn't get the XL because I don't WANT a big screen) and a not noticably better processor. So I waited even more. Even on sale I couldn't justify the 3. Eventually my battery got so bad I had to do something but a moto g7 power, while a mostly mediocre phone, wasn't really substantially substandard in comparison sans camera and was cheaper than a 3a AND has an honest to goodness 2 full hard use day battery (probably 3 or 4 for normal, non AR playing, non "hours on the 'net" people). If the 4 kept the features from the 3, but expanded battery, memory, and traded for a smaller screen on a thicker phone to accomplish all that, I would probably grab one, even if it came in at the $500+ price tag even on sale (you can bet the ship has sailed on pre-order for me). So far it looks like they another non-upgrade though, so they can't be surprised when people... well, don't "upgrade".
  • Could have predicted that 3 years ago. The Pixel is just an overpriced Nexus device, lacking everything people wanna see in a modern $1000 phone. No sd card, no wireless charging (until recently), not waterproof, no headphone Jack, crappy screen, and a horrible cheap looking design - all for a price tag that makes your eyes water! Only Android fan boys will be, let's say, naive enough to cough up that kind of money! The rest goes for a Samsung. Heck, I never liked Sammy but can't imagine a different phone now after owning a Note once. Pixel? No thanks!
  • It's an overpriced Nexus, and a huge issue with that is: at Pixel prices, the hardware/software bugs are unforgivable. Pixel is Google's reference device; Google's vision of what a Google phone should be. And yet...they can't seem to get even a basic Android phone down.
  • Lol what, half your complaints aren't even true? As you said it has wireless charging so why mention it? It's not waterproof, but neither is any other phone? Just ip68 like the rest. Going forward only lg phones will have a headphone jack. The screen is fine. I think the design on the back is great, the front I agree is pretty bad. Sure no sd card, but three years of unlimited photo storage is really nice. Plus I've had plenty of sd cards fail for me on Samsung phones.
  • Never had an SD card fail on me in any Samsung phone... or any phone... ever
  • Fact check please.....lots of malarkey here
  • Keep your Samsung, I like what the Pixel phones offers and yes it's overpriced, but so is every phone, but the Pixel phones offers me what I want, clean, pure, bloatware free with no unnecessary apps or ugly skin ruining the experience with the quickest updates which no other OEM can offer me and only my Android One phone (Nokia 8.1) can match the Pixel if not quite in the speed of updates. You can keep your bloatware infested, Samsung UI and a that crap that comes with it. pixel all day long for me. #teampixel #teamandroidone #teampureandroid
  • That sounds super smart... #illogicalGenius
  • I like what I like, you have your preference and I have mine. There is nothing illogical about my love of stock Android (Pixel or Android One) and I will continue to defend the Pixel and Android One.
  • See my above response...
  • Your response doesn't matter to me, you have your preference and opinion and I have mine. #teampixel #teamandroidone I'm a Google and stock Android fanboy and proud of it.
  • Front facing firing speakers or two speakers should be a STANDARD on all flagship phones! I have a very difficult time in comprehending that one year they have them, the next year they do away with them. This doesn't only apply to Google of course but yet it doesn't surprise me when Google decides to do this. I also think the Pixel 4 should come with 8gigs and not 6 rumored. When some people keep their phones for 2 years if not longer this is a big failure at future proofing
  • I agree with this entire article. I loved my Pixel 3 XL's software, but I was disappointed with the hardware. I moved over to the S10+ because of the killer hardware. But I find higher value in the hardware specs-to-price ratio. Since the Pixel 4 is finally entering where all other Android devices were in 2016, I don't find value in that. I'll be getting either the Note 10 (highly likely) or iPhone 11 (or whatever they call it). I'm not even thinking about the Pixel this year.
  • Praise be....I'm a believer again
  • Same here. I had a P2XL for over a year and loved it. But a few months ago I got a deal on a pristine Note 9, and I haven't looked back. Samsung UI has come a looooong way since Touchwiz days, and is no longer a lagfest. The P2XL takes better photos; but the difference isn't enough to ditch everything else the Note does better. The Spen opens a new world of possibilities, the battery life is outstanding, the audio jack is irreplaceable (imo), and the expandable storage is definitely a plus. I thought the curved display would get annoying but it really hasn't bothered me (I disabled the edge features). The Pixel 4 must have some phenomenal features to bring me back to TeamPixel.
  • There is nothing that Samsung could offer that would make me leave team Pixel (preferably) or Android One (which I'm currently using a Nokia 8.1), updates and the clean, bloatware free software and timely updates are too important to me and the Note series is better to you but not to me, it's make that clear, the Note series is better to YOU. We stock Android users are already limited in our choice of phones apart from the Pixel and Android One phones and I'm not willing to put up with no bloatware, unnecessary apps and services and am ugly bloated Android skin. So you can keep your gimmicky features and
    ugly Android skins to yourself. #teampixel
  • Gotta agree on this...though I hope Google NEVER joins the curved screen crowd, it's the one big thing that keeps me on Pixel's rather than S or Notes. I'll likely end up with both a Note 10 and a Pixel 4...which I keep long term will be another story.
  • That right. Consumers are no longer ready to pay huge sums for brand names that have features and spec sheets comparable to cheaper phones. Worst case is that the flagship features are even better functioning on the cheaper brands.
  • I think it is the fact that they are charging a premium amount for a phone which isn't if you compare to a samsung or iPhone there is no competition. Plus apple can charge what they want as if you want an apple device it's your only option, where if you don't like the pixel you could buy a Samsung, Huawei, LG, Sony etc
  • I will buy a Pixel as it's the only one who offers me what I want with Android One my only other option as I don't care for what Samsung, Sony, LG or any other non Pixel or Android One device is selling because I'm an Android purist, always have and always will be. But those brands are there if they value useless features and gimmicks along with ugly and bloated Android skins at the expense of performance.
  • I've got the Pixel 2 XL and love it. It was a huge step up from the S7 Edge. Got tired of bloatware and this was a good move, and I'm big on updates.
    The Pixel 3 was a minor upgrade from 2 - not worth it. Google had made it clear they thought their software was impervious to hardware limits, but hopefully found out differently. Which proves their current phones are not future proof. Consumers know this and will adjust as necessary.
    People tend to look at fundamental moves to see what was the companies motivation and then hopefully make an informed decision.
    This year - I'm going to wait to see what the 4 has to offer and to see what Apple has to offer too.
    The camera on my phone is great - but it is not the only reason why I buy a smart phone. If I'm going to shell out top money for a phone - it had better do - all - things extremely well.
  • I've only had my 3xl about a month now and it's mostly a great phone. Moving from the Huawei Mate 20 Pro I've found it noticebly slower (I thought stock Android was supposed to be silky smooth and fast?), the battery is OK but nowhere near as long lasting as the Mate and it's a lot harder to use with one hand. The Mate is slimmer and has a great One Handed Mode. Why on earth the Pixel still doesn't have this is beyond me. It's a basic feature all large phones should have.
  • “There's no denying Google's Android software is more enjoyable to use than anyone else's” The pixel 3 was a software disaster for like 6 months post launch. If google can’t get that right then wtf are they doing? “and that its HDR+ camera is in a league of its own.” Not really. Everyone else has caught up. The pixel is not the most capable camera from a technical perspective nor is its overly cool white balance pleasing and it’s basically useless for video without using a 3rd party app that will give you better processing but you are still limited in resolution and frame rate options compared to literally everyone else. People really need to get of this bandwagon. The pixels faults are fine on a $300 3a, but the pixel 3 pricing is delusional.
  • Nothing better than stock Android on great hardware. They'd corner the market, if they weren't trying so hard to make iPhones. It's like loving a schizophrenic.
  • Couple things: 1. Where are you getting the idea the pixel 4 won't have an in screen FPS? AC itself wrote in the leak stories that you all are expecting an in-screen FPS. 2. You breathlessly imply that if the Pixel 4 includes facial recognition a la Apple that wearing sunglasses somehow makes it inoperable (even though the article you link to has nothing whatsoever to do with that subject), when that is not the case. Apple's system 'learns' the more you use it, and also allows for training of alternate appearances for things like sunglasses to speed up the process. Just like the Pixel's fingerprint sensor does with fingerprint readings. I get the tone of the article, but there are a lot of assumptions here that contradict what is reported on your own website.
  • Spot on....everyone is getting excited over speculation
  • Agreed. Sunglasses work just fine if they use facial recognition tech that is similar to what Apple uses.
  • No wide angle lens= no sale
  • I thought this would be the year of a non-ugly Pixel, but I guess not! To be fair though, the Panda version didn't look too bad. Alex, how come you make it sound like HTC turned the lights out after Google acquired some of their engineers? They are still in operation and will be releasing a followup to the successful Exodus phone, which will be based on the U13+ (or whatever it's called). Anyway, previous Pixels were on my short list, but passed because they were ugly AND had boring software. The Pixel 4 does not look to be a winner in the looks department either, with the stove top bump on one side that WILL make the phone wobble all over unless they add a bump in the other corner to balance it. I get the speed thing, but you can't tell the difference between the Pixel 3 and some of the fast phones out there. I'm not eager to be first in line for bugs either, and there's been no shortage of those.
  • Google has disappointed me since the Pixel 3 😔
  • Google just needs to stay true to it's objectives. Listening to naysayers and pundits will just have them making some kinda frankenphone. Not even sure what Alex's point is here. "Prepare yourself for disappointment, because I am already 4 months ahead of launch."? Bit of a strange editorial, IMO.
  • Lame reporting...he needed an article by July first... This was it.
  • Strange?.... You're too kind....absurd is more like it
  • "frankenphone" What's wrong with people wanting great hardware? If we're spending $1,000+ on a phone, it damn well better have the best hardware specs on the market. Google charges $1K for the Pixel 3 XL and it has absolutely nothing the competition has, such as wide-angle camera lens, telephoto lens, reverse wireless charging, ToF cameras, more RAM, or any other great hardware options. Providing a single camera with great software isn't enough anymore.
  • The Pixel 3 offered as much as any other premium device in 2018. Their hardware is competitive and offers similar experiences that other premium OEM's offer for the same generation of phone. Premium materials... wireless charging... fast charging.. IP68... Best SoC available... Pixel Visual Core for an industry defining camera experience... Titan M Security Chip to fortify the best security of any Android OEM, without question.
  • I bought a Pixel 3 for $400 new for Googles Anniversary sale and that price still felt a bit high for that phone to me. Call it premium materials all you like but that phone felt like a step up from a Nexbit Robin. Needless to say, sold it after 3 weeks because I couldn't stand how cheap it felt - especially if you were holding it while sound was playing.
  • That's a personal opinion and all of us have a right to that. However, that doesn't take away from the objective truth of their hardware. I mean, is glass NOT considered a premium material now or something? You may not see the worth, but we all see things differently.
  • If you guys don't like the phone don't buy it plan an simple. Hardware is the vessel for software and with software the hardware would not comply. Google is heading in the rite direction putting hardware to the back and software and AI to the front. Ppl have been ranting far to long about hardware faults with the pixel line. " this hardware that" oh it doesn't do this or it doesn't do that I mean come on who buys a phone purely based off looks ? I'll wait🤔.... If your one of those ppl then you know nothing about tech. The experience doesn't lye within the looks and specs of a phone It's the software and support that gives the experience. Only real tech heads know that. Y'all all sound like kids
  • The only looming disappointment here is the content of your articles. Coming soon you'll be filling the pages of your website with links on how to speed the pixel 4 up, how to make the battery last longer and a host of other lackluster articles. But yeah... Go ahead and pick the pixel apart.
  • I don't think Alex has ever liked the Pixels much. Usually Andrew writes pro-pixel articles.
  • Spot on Alex. I agree 100% with all of this. It is refreshing to see a more honest take on a phone line that is often given too wide a berth in the tech blogs. Thanks for some straight up honesty around here.
  • Which phone has 100% comparable night mode camera to Pixel NightSight? I have been using Pixel XL since beginning of 2017 and thinking about changing it to Pixel 4. But with this negative review, it's quite true. However, I am truly impressed and almost can't live without NightSight because I almost always take photos of my 1 month old baby at night. Any suggestion?
  • Er, how can you have a negative review on a phone that isn't out yet?!
  • Only comparable Night mode seems to be Mate 20/P30 but with the issues over the US government might not be a decent choice.
  • The Pixel 4 is going to need to show me something special to get me to pay the huge premium over a 3a XL.
  • The OnePlus 7 Pro sets the standards for performance. Google needs to step up already!!!
  • I honestly believe that Google purposely does not make their phones great to try and prevent themselves from becoming a monopoly. They've admitted in the past that the whole point of Android is to have a range of companies and apps working together. Or else they just truly suck at it.
  • Wanna make a world-beating Pixel? Pair the Pixel camera with everything else OnePlus. Charge $200 under iPhone and Samsung. Done.
  • Pixel 4 will include a telephoto lens: https://www.androidcentral.com/latest-google-camera-app-reveals-pixel-4-...
  • Pixel 2 and 3 have 1 camera lens- and i bet you complained about it too, yet they're the best in phone camera photos.
    And who is really bothered by a bit of bezel? Because manufacturers say zero bezels is the way to go, so we all should jump to that idea, eh? Why do we prefer notches and holes over a bit of bezel ( they are not "chunky" jeeez don't be dramatic) that maintain the symmetry and unobstructed rectagular-ness of the screen again? Because they say so. (max eye roll)
  • PIxel 3's cameras have been surpassed by the S10+, S10 5G, P30 Pro...
  • So your argument is that Pixels don't sell because of it packs too little RAM, not enough cameras and the existence of screen borders, and Apple is doing well doing the same thing because it has a 'reality distortion field' (seriously...) and a trillion dollar valuATION (valuation, NOT value my dear). That's some solid reasoning out there. Yeah, it totally makes sense.
  • Apple is not doing the same thing at all. Hasnt for two years.
  • Assuming google is consistent with their patterns and failing tech this means the pixel line will be abandoned in about 1 or 2 years and they will move on to some other experimental tech. Pixel eye glasses maybe?
  • To be honest I haven't found the whole Pixel device line that exciting to start with. Their top tier devices are as far as I can see flagship handsets that look like budget or entry level ones. There's nothing wrong with that for sure. But if the idea is that you pay extra to get the top of the line, I don't think the Pixels cut it. For example, I look at the lineup of Nokia devices which HMD Global put out over the past two years or so, and any one of them looks as good or better than the Pixels. And mind you, that is just one alternative from the myriad of available models from other manufacturers. And if the packaging and internals aren't the selling point but the pure Android experience...well if you have an Android One device like myself... in that case, that selling point for a Pixel kind of goes away as well...
  • I agree with you.
  • both Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 didn't get me to upgrade from my OG Pixel XL, as Pixel 4 will be subpar hardware again and, even more important, most likely not available officially and/or iPhone level expensive in my region, I will move on to my smartphone life's (HTC, HTC, Samsung, Samsung, Google) logical conclusion: iPhone
  • This article seems more like click-bait. It worked.
  • I know this an editorial, not opinion, the android central review for the pixel 3 was amazing. I got the phone based on this this! Quote below from their review: 'I will have no hesitation in recommending the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL to anyone who asks me what the best Android phone is. I can recommend them without qualms or caveats, because they're just so good at doing the things everyone wants from a modern smartphone — whether they're a novice or an expert — without show-stopping issues, problems, or tricks to learn. That's the beauty of buying a Google Pixel' Also, the gestures work with a swipe from the left or the right, so the point about the hamburger menus is partially moot
  • I'm excited just to be able to get a Pixel this go around. Now that they will offer them through Sprint. And I'm really thinking it's time to give one a shot. I've used LG V30+ the past year and a half and while I like the phone a few things are really starting to bug me. First - I'm currently still on Android 8.0 not a decimal higher. May security patch.. Yay. Lol. 2nd - I use the gcam apk almost always now for regular picture taking. However, I sincerely love the LG dedicated wide angle rear camera. Nothing can make up for that I pics and the correct videos.
    But, Google and pixel can probably pull off that and many of the other camera features I enjoy from the LG products if they are in fact adding additional cameras on the new device. (sounds like only a telephoto addition, which I'm sure I'll enjoy, but not the same as being used to wide-angle lens)
    But again maybe Google has more tricks up its sleeves with the combination of two + sensors. Either way..
    Timely updates, slim non bloated and what appears to be the best photo software currently, I'm definitely more inclined to purchase my first pixel device - Pixel 4.
  • "Google, however, is for all intents and purposes just another Android smartphone maker, with access to largely the same components as everyone else -- outside of its unique Pixel Visual Core chip." So true. When the average phone buyers (in the USA) walks into a carrier store, the Pixel has very little to distinguish it from the Samsung Galaxys on the shelf.
  • You can guarantee any Pixel device will be slagged off when it comes out but condemning it before it's released takes tech journalism to a new level. If you don't like it don't buy it.
  • Google ruined it with the Nexus line. Low cost pure(ish) Android handsets that sold like hotcakes... well, to be anyway. Oh, and they worked (mostly). Maybe they need to cede the handset market to Samsung as well as the tablet market and just stick to the OS.
  • Remember the Nexus? That made sense. A way to demonstrate & present the good new ideas in Android to the techi-user & developer community. Pixel added a quality rider & higher price to that. But it only works if the PRODUCT really rocks. Unfortunately Google have not been delivering wonderful products. The Pixel 2XL was actually so crap that real GEEKS avoided it! Only the new cheaper Pixel begins to change things - but it's NOT good enough. It's just not! If they don't deliver a really great phone this time. Why even bother doing it? Every decent Android phone should have full prompt OS & security updates for THREE years. Achieve THAT Google (Alphabet) - then Android & Pixel can really be the shop window for the world's most popular OS. Just look at the hardware other world class companies have produced for the past few years. At least aim that high.
  • Sure, you can pick on Google for being three generations deep and still not having it all together, but there was a point where Apple was three generations deep before they got Copy/Paste functionality. I really feel like people take their smartphone choices wayyyyy too seriously
  • So true. I just sold my Xs Max and bought a Pixel 3a, because...I can't justify the feedback loop of 1000 phones FOR ME anymore. Seriously enjoy the device, hitting all the right boxes, except maybe storage. But from what I hear OTG is supported so...eh, whatever.
  • I just got the 3a. Pretty happy with the device. My needs are fundamental though. On the design side, I like the understated nature of it all. I especially like Google's first party cases.
  • "There's no denying Google's Android software is more enjoyable to use than anyone else's" Huh? I can think of 3 brands off the top of my head that offer better software than Google's stock.
  • Don't oass your opinion, as factbut to me, nothing beats Google's stock Android experience, you can keep your ugly skins and useless features. Pixel and Android One all the way ! preferably Pixel) #teampixel #teamandroidone
  • There is no more vocal a minority of smart phone buyers than Pixel owners..... The are like the whack a mole game when their under speed. Over priced phones are subjected to criticism. The Pixel 4 will be a fine phone..... Just nowhere near its asking price, in comparison to the competition.
  • Phones in general are overpriced buddy. My $1500 512GB Xmax freezes and drops frames left and right even tho it has ZOMG Bionic A1000 Chip with Neural Power Quadrants. It's a f'n sham all the same. 3a was a $200 sham, Xs Max $1500 sham.
  • Well lets be honest what phone is anywhere near worth the asking price ??? Most of this tech is mature at this point shouldn’t prices start dropping across the board ?
  • "There's no denying Google's Android software is more enjoyable to use than anyone else's" Speak for yourself. I have never understood the cult of 'stock Android'. I'll take One UI over 'stock' any day of the week.
  • And I've never understood the cult of Android skins I'd take Google's stock Android software over any bloated, ugly "OneUI" or any other Android skin any day of the week. My Nokia 8.1 has better software that all Android skins because it's stock Android.
  • It's not a cult, it called "enjoying features". I appreciate fast software, but some people find the Pixel software is too basic for them. And some phones, with the extra features, are almost impossible to tell from a Pixel in the speed department. To each his own and I'm just glad we have choices. But putting all that aside, I'm glad they are taking the functional route and giving us slim bezels instead of notches and holes in the screen.
  • « Now Cupertino, with its reality distortion field and near trillion dollar value, along with its own custom silicon and supply chain dominance«  With how google overhyped its camera it has its own distortion field. And you forget about Apple software which is unique « As rivals like the OnePlus 7 Pro adopt space-age designs«  Nothing space age about oneplus design, it just took another compromise than a notch, a cut out or a bezel « As even Apple » Which had touch id or face id years before Android... even Apple implies it’s always behind, it’s far from being objective or true « And in parts of the world where you find yourself wearing sunglasses 12 months a year, good luck getting by without fingerprint unlock«  Face id and google version i guess works with most sunglasses though! Many approximations in this opinion paper
  • Hmm, I have not been on the forums for awhile...I completely missed that my Pixel 2XL and Pixel 3 sucked so bad...Are we really still talking about the Pixel 2XL's screen? It really puts things in perspective...In my real world reality no one I ever meet takes pic's as well as my daughter and I...Majority do not even know if they have Google Photo's or not installed and do not which way to hold their phones when they do take photo's. They all have some crappy phone the carrier pushed on them. In addition why would anyone care about how successful a company does selling phones ? Unless you own stock in that company. I care about this, I am on the August 5th security update, it charges really fast, I use it for everything from watching arlo cameras to GPS, to every form of audio and visual entertainment..Bezels could care less. New features? Sure whatever.
  • Just dumped my pixel 3 for the note 10 + and glad I did. The note is light years ahead of the pixel.