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Google doesn't know what to do with the Pixel, and we've had enough

Google Pixel 4 XL
Google Pixel 4 XL (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Being a user/fan of Google's Pixel phones is like being on a never-ending rollercoaster. The original Pixel debuted as this exciting new entry into the Android space, but ever since then, it's been an endless tradition of ups and downs. I'm someone that rocks a Pixel 4 XL (opens in new tab) as my daily Android phone, and as much as I love it as a standalone device, understanding and appreciating the Pixel in the bigger picture is rather challenging.

Let's start with a little recap of how we got here and where we're heading.

The regular Pixel 2 was a mostly great phone, but it was plagued by those hilariously large bezels that were outdated even by 2017 standards. You got much more reasonable bezels with the Pixel 2 XL, but it didn't matter given how poor its display was. Google offered substantially better AMOLED screens for the Pixel 3 series, but we also had to put up with weak battery life on the Pixel 3 and that absolutely disgusting notch on the Pixel 3 XL.

Pixel 4 and Pixel 3a

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Enter the Pixel 4 and 4 XL in late-2019, which happily continued that polarization trend. The addition of face unlock and a 90Hz refresh rate was exciting, but even worse battery life made the baseline Pixel 4 virtually unusable with the 4 XL being passable at best.

No Android phone is perfect regardless of who makes it, but especially with the Pixel series, Google tends to have really strong wins and incredibly damning lows. That brings us to 2020, the year in which the Pixel is entirely MIA. Likely due to a mix of the ongoing pandemic and internal issues, trying to guess what's going to happen with the 2020 Pixels has been like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

At the beginning of the year, we were expecting Google to follow a release strategy similar to what it did in 2019 — which would see a Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a XL in May, followed by a Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL in October. According to the latest reports, however, that's not at all what's happening. Now, rumor has it that we're getting a Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and a Pixel 5. It's also mid-July, and we don't have any firm dates as to when they're going to be announced/released. In other words, it's a bit of a mess.

This is a lot to unpack, even for someone like me that's paid to keep tabs on this kind of stuff, so imagine the level of confusion regular customers and fans are feeling right now. On top of the yearly stumbles we're used to seeing with the Pixel series, we're now faced with one of the most convoluted phone launches in recent memory.

Wanting to get a better idea of how this mess is sitting with our readers, I used one of our daily "From the Forums" articles to engage with current Pixel owners and see what they're planning on doing for their next phone purchase. There were a lot of responses, many of which hit on similar themes.

One of the biggest complaints for people is the lack of communication from Google as to what in the world is happening. The industry was prepared for a Pixel 4a launch this May, but we're now inching close to August with no word from Google as to what's going on with it.

Source: mech1164 / Android Central (Image credit: Source: mech1164 / Android Central)

Source: azureus485 / Android Central (Image credit: Source: azureus485 / Android Central)

Source: jlarkins08 / Android Central (Image credit: Source: jlarkins08 / Android Central)

The Pixel 3a was a wild success last year, and given just how darn good it was, a lot of people (myself included) were excited to see how Google would follow it up. The Pixel 4a mysteriously missing its expected launch date with no explanation from Google isn't exactly inspiring for people that were hoping to buy the phone, especially now that the Pixel 3a has been discontinued by Google with its replacement still in release limbo.

There's also the matter of confusion surrounding Google's branding for the upcoming Pixels. Although the Pixel 4a 5G should have a large-ish display size at 6.12-inches, the name doesn't at all convey that it'll be a bigger phone. Even for readers of Android Central, which tend to follow this stuff more closely than your Average Joe, the current train of thought is that there just won't be a proper replacement for the Pixel 3a XL or Pixel 4 XL.

Source: IJKBB10 (Image credit: Source: IJKBB10)

Source: Poseign / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Poseign / Android Central)

Something else that stands to bite Google in the butt with these latest Pixels is its inability to commit to a certain design/feature-set. I'm personally rather fond of face unlock on the Pixel 4, and I'd argue that it's more convenient than a traditional fingerprint sensor.

If I just reach for my phone to pick it up, the Soli radar detects that, enables face unlock, and my phone is at the home screen just like that. Not only is the speed incredible, but face unlock has since expanded to a lot of third-party apps. Just about every app I used to rely on for fingerprint sensor authentication now supports the Pixel 4's face unlock, which is still the only Android phone on the market that has a face unlock system that's useful beyond the lock screen.

As fate would have it, however, Google's backtracking on the whole face unlock thing just a year later and going back to a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. So much for progress, huh?

Source: HoppyNotes / Android Central (Image credit: Source: HoppyNotes / Android Central)

What makes all of this so frustrating is that Google seemed to be on a decent path with the Pixel 4 series. Minus the dreadful battery life, everything else about the phone was nearly perfect. It had a great display, excellent cameras, fast performance, and a sleek design (the Clearly White Pixel 4 is one of my favorite-looking phones of the past few years).

For the Pixel 5, we get to look forward to a less-capable processor, likely the same exact cameras, the removal of face unlock in favor of a fingerprint sensor, and a hole-punch cutout in the display. Yay? I honestly have no idea what Google's end goal is for this year's Pixels is, and I have an inkling that Google itself is scrambling to figure it out, too.

Google Pixel 4 XL long-term review

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

I don't expect Google to make phones that are flawless, but what I do wish is that its phones had a clear identity and purpose. This strategy of constantly changing plans and going back to the drawing board is hurting and turning users away, and given the limited scope of the Pixel brand in the first place, that's not really something Google can afford.

Growing pains in the beginning were to be expected, as they would be for any company trying to make its own smartphone hardware for the first time. It's now been four years, however, and Google seems to be even more lost with the Pixel than it was in 2016.

All of the stumbles and hiccups from past releases have been annoying enough, and with the way Google's treated everything this year, it's getting harder and harder for me to keep defending the phones the way I have a tendency of doing. I absolutely love my Pixel 4 XL and don't envision myself switching to a different Android device anytime soon, but Google has to get things under control.

Google Pixel 5: News, Leaks, Release Date, Specs, and Rumors!

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

  • They should toss their buggy hardware and partner with Samsung to produce a Nexus version of the S series.
  • So, being back Google Play Edition? Because that worked the first time? Gotcha. 🙄
  • Obviously it would be better now, jackass...
  • Not by much though, nexus was never meant to be a flagship device, it always offered just enough to showcase android OS, nothing more. Sorry battery life, mediocre cameras and buggy as all get out.
  • The pixel 4 was the first phone from Google I didn't upgrade too since the very first nexus. Two main reasons. -no finger print we sensor. The face unlock isn't supported by most apps still despite progress. My bank apps, etc....none supposed it. So I'm forced to type pass words. The finger print sensor is like a mouse on a PC. It's may be "old" tech, but it's perfection and doesn't need replacement.
    -they got rid of the burst mode in the camera for that stupid smart shot crap. I don't care how much money you sank into ai. I want to hold a button and take a million snaps and keep the ones I want. Not the ones you think I want.
    - no head phone jack sucks. If the pixel 5 doesnt fix the first two at will be the first time in over a decade that I won't be buying a made by Google phone and jump ship to a one plus or galaxy.
  • Faceunlock/fingerprint works with my banking, and my crypto apps..
  • Does Google even listen to customer feedback?
  • HELL NO!! That would make too much sense.
  • Not for nothing but if the 4a had been released in May they would have ⛵ loads. This left the 🍎 SE with no competition? Google really screwed the pooch with that decision? You made consumers choose other avenues!
  • I was planning on buying the 4a the day you could preorder, but now it's been long enough that I went ahead and bought a refurb 3a to work right now until the main slate of phones come out at the end of the year to decide what to do. (was using the original Pixel)
  • I had enough 2 years ago when I switched from P2XL to Note 9 and never looked back.
  • I'm holding on to see what the Pixel 5 turns out to be when released. If its crap then I will be moving to Apple. Right now by Note 9 is holding strong but I wont buy another Samsung product.
  • My crystal ball says... I'll be crap, as usual... Apple it is... That's what I did. Waiting for it in the mail... Had enough of this Android bs once and for all...
  • I really like the Pixel line because Google is giving Android a nice, clean, and stable OS without all the gimmicks. I have the Pixel 3 and I'm willing to wait it out to see what Google decides to do. I would hate for my current Pixel to be my LAST Pixel device. Come on Google!
  • Google can afford to do whatever they want. They don't have to sell phones to make money. Rest assured they do have a strategy. It's just we don't know what that is at the moment and that is confusing and disheartening to all 7 of us Pixel fans. One theory is that they don't have a desire to make a flagship with Qualcomm's highest end chip right now because they are way too expensive. They know their sales would be lackluster even if they managed to pull off a high-end Pixel 5 without any major issues so they just aren't doing that because it's not cost effective. I think they have a long-term plan for high-end phones that is based around producing their own silicon (something we know is in the works). Doing this allows them to build exactly what they want without having to rely on what Qualcomm is doing and paying them an insane amount per chip. With this in mind it makes sense that their 2020 strategy is based around producing "mid-range" and lower devices that can actually sell at volume. No one is going to miss Soli and face-unlock and the Snapdragon 865 if the price is closer to $700 vs. $1000. This might be the strategy for now until they can start making devices with their own chips. Google is in this for the long haul; they aren't giving up on making high-end hardware they're just in a holding pattern for Pixels until they can execute on their vision. They question is: when will we see a device with Google silicon? 2021, 2022, beyond? Any way you slice it they have the ability to pull it off and if reputation (it's not that good anyway) and sales (they were already bad) suffer in the meantime they don't really care. Because if in a year or two if they can capitalize on the same vertical integration that Apple does they will be in a better position than they are today.
  • Even $700 would be too much for their mid range Pixels, especially when you get more for your money with an iPhone 11 or OnePlus 8 which both use flagship chips but Apple is better value in the long term with their unrivalled software support.
  • Android users probably don't want an iPhone so that's not relevant here. And "more for your money" is subjective anyway. You'll get a worse camera and display with a comparable iPhone but a faster processor. So it really comes down to personal preference. OnePlus is a little more relevant but with OnePlus the major disadvantage vs. Pixel is the camera is not as good. Most people would gladly take the superior camera over a faster processor that may not even be noticeable depending on the use case. And then there is the guaranteed support and day one updates that you get with a Pixel. OnePlus is better than most when it comes to these things but there is a difference and first-party devices will always be better in this regard.
  • "Android users probably don't want an iPhone so that's not relevant here. And "more for your money" is subjective anyway. You'll get a worse camera and display with a comparable iPhone but a faster processor." Err iPhone now has the best camera and has overtaken Google now and worse displays is subjective and iPhones (at least the pro models) have just as good a display as Samsung who after all makes the displays for Apple. And as for OnePlus, yes the camera on a OnePlus phone isn't the best but it's still decent, I have a OnePlus 7T so I know what I'm talking about but when it comes to support, the Pixels are much better than OnePlus but to be fair, OnePlus is better than most OEMs but one in software updates but for security updates, they are not that good with their bimonthly updates and I'm still waiting for the June security updates (they're always a month behind) and I'm sick of this and all the BS , fragmentation along with the poor app optimisation and security issues that have plagued Android (my YouTube premium subscription got hacked and I had to cancel it) and that's just one of a few reasons why I'm going back to iPhone, I wish I'd never left in the first place. Apple is just better will better app quality, far superior software support, user experience (iOS is easier to use) and nothing on Android bears FaceTime, iMessage and the entire Apple ecosystem.
  • It’s better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt!! It’s evident u have never used or owned an iPhone 11 Pro Max. It blows anything Samsung or google has to offer out of the water on screen, battery and matches or exceeds on camera. But you are correct on the chip!! So going back to or just going to Apple won’t be the pulling of the wisdom teeth experience I think you expecting, it will be quite pleasant, trust me. Lol
  • This captures it best. Perhaps, the success of the P4a line surprised Google and had them re-think their strategy. So they're not going to do what they've done before. Good. It wasn't working that well anymore. And face recognition is devisive at best. I for one, look forward to reasonably priced devices that work (yes, they do need to address the battery) and aren't over-engineered (looking at you, Soli). Oh, and once again I got sucked in to another AC clickbait "editorial".
  • That was a great thought and I agree, but that’s going to take years so I fix the problem for Google... I went and bought an iPhone 11 Pro Max, love the phone, I do miss android some but after 6 months, I doubt I would go back to the roller coaster ride you get with android, I like the stability, serviceability and security of Apple. And that’s coming from a android user since 2010.
  • No truer comment than google doesn’t have to sell phones and make a profit. They have proven that year after year, They still can’t make a phone and make a profit, that’s why you get what you pay for. Would you buy a car from a manufacturer that has never made enough cars to make a profit??? And yet you sing googles praises like it’s a reality or truth. Lol, you crack me up. Google has wasted billions on two phone companies endless parades of worthless devices and can’t sell more phones in a year than their competitors do in a day! Lol
  • Interesting that you like the face unlock, that was the worst way to interact with my phone to unlock it, I ever came across. I always wanted a Pixel, besides it flaws I ordered one in June. But the stupid face unlock was a showstopper. It unlocked when it shouldn't (by just picking it up), you can't interact with the locked phone (strange for someone used to Motorola's approach - why should I unlock my phone to read a WhatsApp message?). Given that I had to change the settings, so that I have to tap the screen to then do the face unlock which was so annoyingly slow, that second too much. Plus, no unlock when your phone sits on the desk, etc. The list goes on. Very very sad. Hopefully Google soon finds its strategy. I want a new phone. If they don't deliver, I might have a very close look at the OnePlus Nord. Although I really want a Pixel, it can't be too damn hard to produce a flawless phone, just get the basics right. _mH P.S. Yes, they were many awesome things about the Pixel 4 XL, too. That design, the photos, the recorder app, and much more...
  • Would you buy a really good $700 Pixel or does it turn you off if it doesn't have the SD865 ? I for one don't care since the 700 series is getting so good. If it's fast and has good battery life I don't really care what chip it runs especially if it's hundreds of dollars less. If you need the best performance for graphically intensive games there are plenty of other options. Besides, the latest 700 series chips can run any game you throw at it and run it pretty damn well. So I really don't see any issue with using a "lesser" chip if the real world performance impact is negligible and the price impact is significant. Unless you are chasing specs no one really cares...especially average consumers that don't know/care what chip they have. I also see the move back to a fingerprint sensor as a win (for price as well as usability).
  • I don’t think googles problem is which chip they decide to use, no matter which chip they use, the phone will be discontinued after one year and they’ll service the OS for three years, then it’s that phone you hand down to your kids or it becomes a paper weight. And during that three years u have one headache after another, they can’t fix a problem without creating a Pandora’s box of other problems.
  • Another problem with google is they never perfect nothing, they introduce new things that don’t work and finally they end up just dropping it completely. The main difference between Apple and google is the end product, Apple knows how to perfect something before marketing it and it can also take android ideas and perfect them. Like the face recognition, horrible idea on android phones but on Apple, it works flawlessly, I love it, could never go back to finger sensor. That’s android, when it can’t fix something, they say let’s just go back to old technology! Wow such innovators!
  • Hey, that is simply not true. The face unlock on the Pixel and on an iPhone is pretty similar. I checked it with my friend's iPhone before I had to send my Pixel back. It is a problem of the technology. When you look at your phone, it unlocks. You can't interact with the lock screen. You can't unlock without holding your phone in front of your face, etc. etc. I would say, Google was actually a bit better, because I could decide what happens after the unlock. My friend's iPhone still showed a lock screen you had to swipe up. All much slower than my finger print that I can trigger while I get my phone out of my pocket. And when I look at my phone it is ready to use. So, the old technology is faster and opens up more possibilities, like interaction with the locked phone. Going back makes total sense, the problem was going for the face unlock in the first place, IMHO. mH
  • You're overlooking some things. 1. Whenever a Pixel phone has been really great, it's been mostly due to great software, not hardware. This makes perfect sense, because Google's software capabilities are way beyond their hardware capabilities. Google used software to deliver a 1-lens camera that matched or even beat Apple in photo quality. 2. The Pixel 3a shipped a LOT of units. The Pixel 4... did not. It was very expensive, due to battery killing hardware that wasn't compelling enough for most users. Including me. When I read about the Pixel 4, I was really glad I didn't need a replacement yet. You obviously love yours, but did you have to pay for it? I'm guessing that, as an Android Central Sr. Editor, you did not. Why would you expect Google to keep trying to play the hardware innovation game that depends on creating flagship hardware that very few people will buy. I've also been waiting for the Pixel 5. I do wish it weren't taking so long. BUT, if waiting a few months means there will be something kind of like what we might have expected from a 5a, at a mid-range price, it will have been worth it. Even better if it's 5G ready.
  • I bought the Pixel 3a used for $200 and have been quite happy with it. I prefer the fingerprint sensor and since I rely on my phone for work, battery life is important. I had tried the Pixel 3 prior and battey life along with missing headphone jack (for work) was a deal breaker. Will be interested to see what happens to the Pixel line but sticking to my 3a for now.
  • So these articles are recycled every 48 hours or so. Just to say the 4XL is the best phone I've ever owned. SOLI now works fine for me and is very useful listening to music. Battery is enough for me but needs to be improved. Clearly the company has some important choices to make about future direction.
  • YES, they are
  • So these articles are recycled every 48 hours or so. Just to say the 4XL is the best phone I've ever owned. SOLI now works fine for me and is very useful listening to music. Battery is enough for me but needs to be improved. Clearly the company has some important choices to make about future direction.
  • YES, they are
  • So these articles are recycled every 48 hours or so. Just to say the 4XL is the best phone I've ever owned. SOLI now works fine for me and is very good listening to music. Battery is enough for me but needs to be improved. Clearly the company has some important choices to make about future direction.
  • YES, they are
  • Google has pattern of hardware & software abandonment, with little thought to the customers (e.g.: FANS).
    I've given up on them sticking to anything. I had bought and used the first Galaxy Nexus phone, then bought the Nexus 7 tablet, just to see these devices both abandoned. So I abstained on the Pixel line, knowing it too would come to an end. BTW, I'm still begrudging the abandonment of Picasa ...
  • Those devices were supported by Google for years...I would hardly call that abandoned...
  • Nexus, say no more.
  • The ONLY reason the Pixel exists was corporate ego. They saw Apple's margins and thought they could just release a hardware phone with the Google name stamped on it and it would be a huge success (Nexus). FAIL. The tech press raved, afraid to lose their AdSearch rankings if they did not. So, Google thought the probably was they needed to own the plants so they bought Moto. STILL FAIL and they sold it for a $10 billion loss after 2 years. Then they decided they would buy up HTC designs and stamp their name on it as the Pixel. Their "wild success" with the Pixel 3 is .003% of the smartphone market (they sell about 5 millon phones out 1.56 billion sold ... or to contrast, it takes them a year to sell what Apple sells in 2 DAYS every 2 DAYS). Corporate ego. About $40 billion wasted on hardware for a .003% market share. The new CEO is merely trying to find a graceful way to save face and COVID probably gives them enough cover. It's the Yahoo Search of smartphones.
  • But how do you really feel about it???
  • Google doesn't make their money from selling phones. It's pointless trying to compare their strategy with Apple. Apple makes hardware to sell in order to make money. Google makes hardware to develop their software on and to experiment with because they can.
  • Google also makes their money off selling your information. Apple actually make their money from selling a good phone! Apple not only makes their OS, but also the hardware for the most part. It’s a fine tune piece of work, unlike android which is like a home made car made from every make And model from the salvage yard and pieced together! Big difference.
  • Ditto!! Couldn’t of said it better myself. Lol
  • Maybe they're looking at scrapping the whole hardware scene? Let's face it, if you don't read Android forums you probably never heard of a Pixel phone...unless you just happened to have caught one of their extremely rare commercials some time in the past. In fact, I have never seen a Pixel in the wild, nor do I know anyone who uses one! So they might just be contemplating a tax write off on the already built hardware and just stick to software. Because from what I've read here, and on a few other Android forums, what they're supposedly planning now is upsetting the few people who like their phones and moving them away from the Pixel line. So it's not like they're about to shoot themselves in the foot...looks to me like they already blew off a few toes!
  • That’s why pixel will never amount to anything other than a problem ridden device. Apple and Samsung sell more phones in one day than pixel does in a year. Google isn’t serious about the phone business, it’s just a tax right off and a means to showcase their OS. They lost their camera man, so not only are they going with outdated sub par chips, now I doubt the camera will be that great. I’m kinda scratching my head at why anyone would seriously consider buying a pixel.
  • Smh...the camera is not suddenly going to be terrible. It takes more than one engineer to build all that camera magic and Google employs the best engineers in the world. "outdated sub par chips" That's quite a reach there. For one, they aren't outdated they're current gen, and they're faster than the top of the line from a year ago so hardly sub par.
  • They’re subpar in performance, and trying to hide that is just plain denial on your part. If you choose to be a google fanboy, that’s cool, but google will still be in this mode years from now, we’re right back to the old nexus status, never knowing Fromm year to year what google will produce. That’s why I left google and have no intentions of returning.
  • They're not giving up on hardware...just changing strategy. Google isn't investing in producing it's own silicon for nothing.
  • Google has always had an excuse for their inability to make a decent phone, they have spent billions buying out Motorola, HTC and others and what do they have to show for?? Go ahead and call it a change of strategy but the reality is google is struggling and don’t know what their doing. Samsung was going to make their own chips too and look what happened there. So I wouldn’t hold my breath on that scenario.
  • So I come here and look at some articles and BOOM there I am in the story. Thanks for the shout out. I'm one of those that's comfortable in both camps. That's why I jumped on the Xr (that and a killer deal from Visible). I had all intentions of getting a 4a this year considering that 5G really isn't ready yet. Then we heard about the delays and I/O. May slipped and then July came and gone. Evidence has shown that there are units of the 4a but no one knows what's the hold up. Then the 4aXL is dead but maybe not yet with the 4a5G. After that we get a render of what looks like a 4aXL only it's a Pixel 5 with better materials. I'd love to know what is going on there but for some reason they think it's better to stay silent. Head UP GOOGLE IT"S NOT! I think we can all be understanding that supply chain and manufacturing are FUBAR'ED. What would be good is if they at least had some firm dates and stuck to them. As this is going though I begin to wonder that it really might be that f'd up. Why in the end does this not surprise me?
  • Google should just give up on the Pixels and leave it to Apple and Samsung (through gritted teeth) and everyone else that knows how to make great hardware because Google has shown time and time again that they just can't make good hardware.
  • Even if they're not for you why would you want them to give up? Though they have shortcomings (like every device does) there's also a ton of stuff they do really well and better than the rest. They push other manufacturers to make their stuff better...competition is good for consumers. Your take is naive and short-sided. "Google has shown time and time again that they just can't make good hardware." Actually it's quite the opposite. Google has shown that they have the ability to make really good hardware. They lack in a completeness of vision but the actual hardware they produce is usually top notch. I'm typing this on a Pixelbook right now and even at almost 3 years old this thing is incredible and one of the top laptop designs of all of time.
  • It is beginning to look like Pixel is just a focus group for new features and not a commercial product. We are more a gamma test group than a customer base.
  • This is a fairly accurate statement
  • Absolutely true, that why I moved to Apple, will always have a fond place in my heart for android, but I don’t see ever leaving Apple to go back.
  • Easy to forget that the majority of phone owners/buyers do not follow sites like this and likely are not in tune with release cycles the way "fans" are.
  • The problem with the Pixels is that even though they are decent phones, there are other better Android all price points, from a variety of manufactures. Nevermind that often oftentimes the Pixels are way too expensive. For the asking price of a Pixel, regardless of iteration, there are as mentioned, better options, price and spec wise. In a way, one of the fundamental problems of the Pixel is the fact that it lacks any clear identity of it's own, leading to the question...what exactly is the point of the Pixels? No one, regardless of how one feels about Apple, asks that question of an iPhone. In hindsight, the Pixel seems like an experiment on Google's part, in the spirit of "hey if you can, so can we"... A collection of interesting ideas and good intentions that never quite gelled well together. At this point, pretty much any Android One phone could replace the Pixel. The one I'm currently using surely extinguished any ancillary interest I might have had in the Pixel line.
  • Except those "better" options don't have what Pixels deliver. It's not just about matters and Google is head and shoulders above everyone in this area. Android One phones don't have the Google camera magic, call screening, and a ton of other features you get with a Pixel.
  • The Android One phones have what I need as a customer. I'm not missing any of the "camera magic" or anything from what a Pixel has to offer. Again I'm only speaking for myself. They are not bad devices or anything of the sort. Clearly enough people like them for the time being for Google to still pump them out. I think they are a bit overpriced (not as much as an iPhone) but hey, to those with more disposable income, they are I guess, a perfect fit. For me, they just don't call my attention. But that is just me. As I've said above... personally I don't see the point of these devices. Whatever Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, Sony and others, deliver for Android is more than enough. But if a Pixel fancies your appetite as a consumer, then have at it...who cares what everyone else thinks?
  • Not being rude but I haven’t figured out what pixel supposedly has to offer. A phone series that has not worked for 4 years, they keep reinventing the pixel, so please explain what this mystery machine of wonder supposedly has to offer when it sells about as many phones in a year that Apple and Samsung sell in a day.
  • I'm not really stressing yet, I have a feeling that Google is working on something epic to match with their silicon that they are working on I'm just hoping that it's happens by the time I'm ready to upgrade my Pixel 4 xl or I might have to bite the apple.. as I do not consider any other Android phone worthy
  • I'm in the same boat. I would like to switch over to the pixel,, but as much as I fawn over their camera and software, there always seems to be something that prevents me. A deal breaker as it were. Whether it be a poor screen or ridiculous notch/bezel or on this version, questionable battery. It's hard to leave Apple. Not because of any walled garden, but because the convenience and total experience they offer is a really good package.
  • I feel the same, after five years of waiting for nothing, copying Apple and then digressing I finally after 9 years of android and google, finally bought an Apple, yes iOS isn’t as productive but it works and they service it! After 7 months I don’t ever see myself going back to android, with Apple I get the reliability and security, and I still can use google apps. I will always love android, but it just can’t compete with Apple.
  • That's so true and that's just one of many reasons why I'm going back to iPhone in over 3 weeks time. I'm done with Android and ready to go full on into the Apple ecosystem which Android just can't compare with.
  • So leave already. Your takes are sooooooo bad and one will miss you here I promise.
  • You crack me up with ur brainwashed google nonsense, we’re leaving and going to Apple, the Mercedes of cell phones and you still have a Yugo!! Lol
  • Why do you say iOS is not as productive? Nobody really uses the OS, they use the apps that run on it. In many cases the same app is better on iOS (that can be argued of course). The Android OS is certainly more configurable, but is configuring your OS productive, or just a hobby?
  • They might be referring to the lack of true multitasking, split screen, PIP, terminal emulators, the inferior notification system. Just a guess. But I'm with you I think you can be productive on either platform...just depends on your use case and what services you use.
  • iOS is getting split-screen, PIP and the new iPad ecosystem is WAY WAY more productive than anything Android or (even ChromeOS, I daresay in certain use cases) has to offer for price/performance ratio and integration. But for general file level manipulations - iOS is severely limiting. That being said, I'd say 90% of mobile users never have to worry about it.
  • What I mean is google is better at having more than one way to do something, Siri wouldn’t make a pimple on google assistants behind, google can recognize a phone number in a paragraph and touch it it will dial it. Not so with Apple, it has to be in a certain format or you have to go thru the trouble of copying and then pasting in your diaper. The app tray is light yrs ahead of apple, Apple has such a cluttered look, very unprofessional to me. Those are areas where google is great, unfortunately that’s where it ends.
  • Googles biggest flaws are they can’t secure their OS, they don’t service their product after 1 year, they service their OS for 2 years maybe three, then your investment is nothing more than a paper weight. Apple still makes the 8 and services their iOS for 5 to six years. Plus if you need tech support, good luck with google. You can talk with Apple any day at any hour. Apple doesn’t introduce something today and discontinue it tomorrow like google. If google would focus on copying Apple on how to successfully run a business instead of how to copy phone features they would be more successful!
  • Google's OS is no less secure than Apple's. They just let their users change that. Their support is consistent with that across Android OEMs, and in fact better. The marketing concept drives a lot of that. They are driven by their OS customer's desire to create and sell new devices. My OG Pixel just lost software support this last Oct. That's not bad. In reality I don't think Google can sell their devices for much less. They aren't making it up in volume like Samsung. They could sell their phones as loss leaders and just eat the Engineering and R&D but they are a business. Apple does not still make the 8. They still make the 10r, but Apple historically keeps earlier models to fill out the price brackets. If Google copied Apple's business model, they wouldn't be licensing Android.
  • Wrong my friend, anyone with a brain knows that android can’t compete with Apple in the security dept. android has to get a security patch every month, Apple doesn’t. Apple apples rarely update, google apples update daily. Android will only offer security patches for three years, Apple secures their for 5 to six years.
  • Apple just release a security update for the iPhone 6!!! Six year old phone still running with security, show me a google phone with that kind of service my friend!! And Apple phones don’t slow down nearly as much as android when updating to newer OS updates. No where near the lag, so preach on about this mystery wonder of how great android is.
  • I agree with what you're saying about the support and business model...Apple really has that nailed down and no one is close to competing on their level in that regard. Saying they can't secure the OS is completely might be true if you are talking about the billions of un-updated devices out there but Google's own phones have been shown time and time again to be just as secure as any ios device. I also take issue with the lazy take about cOPyiNg...they all copy from each other and when they do consumers win so just stop with that bs.
  • Android isn't as secure as iOS and Google has shown to be not very good at keeping malware apps out of the Play Store, this is the difference between Apple and Google, Apple has. Clear strategy and business model along with making great products that customers are really happy with and that's why Apple has the best brand recognition and loyalty of any smartphone vendor. Google cannot compare with Apple and show call it quits with the Pixel as they've proven to be crap and making hardware with every Pixel since the 2016 original having some kind of issue whether it be hardware or software. The Google Pixel is a joke and only the camera kept the Pixel in the conversation because without it's great camera, the phone was lacklustre in other aspects.
  • Android has much more to offer than Apple when it comes to use ability, hands down, I use android for 10 years but when it comes to overall customer service ecosystem and security and quality, android and google aren’t even in the race. Android is no where close to Apple in security, it has to receive a monthly security patch because they can’t figure out how to permanently fix the problem. My apple apps rarely update but my google apps update daily! Apple quality is unsurpassed! I’ve own Samsung and google and they have nothing that compares to the iPhone 11 Pro Max In quality, battery life or screen. Apple may not offer as much customizable feature as android but what they do offer works and is stable, they don’t just introduce things on a whim much like google does. And top and foremost, customer service, you can talk to Apple any day any time and talk with them about any problem, not so with google!! I’ve been there so don’t try to blow smoke up any orifice!
  • > they can’t secure their OS You don't know what you're talking. Android is one of the most secure OS and even more than iOS. What you probably intended to say is that Play Store still has malware creeping through but that's a balance problem - either all developers wait for Apple-like restrictions to get in which was expensive and deter small developers at times making app updates more infrequent because of the overheads or let the apps keep flowing in but rely on automated controls to keep it scalable. If you're implying regular security updates - that's again on manufacturers - Google does its part and in pulling more things inside through Project Mainline for the 2B+ devices.
  • Project mainline is a joke, my OnePlus 7T is STILL on the May Security System update for the Google Play System update. Apple is way better with security and updates as we all know.
  • Google can't get out of it's own way. Google just don't seem to get it through their thick skulls that battery life, camera, processing speed, display, are non-negotiable to consumers. These four areas are the very first things consumers are looking for when they looking for a new phone. Google need to poach some engineers from Apple and Samsung. Then the most important, Google needs to stop dismissing what the consumers say.
  • They have pretty much nailed all of those except battery life. Which is probably the most important or second most next to camera.
  • They still use the slowest of NAND and lowest RAM - resulting in lags and constant memory management problems with apps dropping out when you run something heavy like the camera or Navigation or Google Earth. It's an embarrassment frankly.
  • Was getting the 2 4a pixels at launch. Got fed up and bought 2 A71's. Wife and I couldn't be happier.
  • I have a A71 too. They are beasts. Huge screen too. Best quality pictures of any of my many phones.
    Did you get the 8 gig ram version?
  • Come on dude, the A71 cannot compare with the iPhone 11 in camera lol.
  • Bought a Pixel 4 on market place for a good price. Sold it after a week. Horrible battery life, I'm barley on it at work and not even getting 4hrs SOT. Sold it and got an S10+ and love the phone. I'd imagine that a 4xl would've gotten better battery life but the headphone jack and wide angle camera and reverse charging is nice to have and at a cheaper price too. Love Pixel phone software but I'm probably not going to buy one soon unless it's a better deal for the dollar
  • I kinda think they were getting closer, but the poor battery choice of the 4 combined with more power sucking features did it in. The Pixel 3 was on my short list at one time, but I went with something else and don't regret it. It's just an opinion, but in my encounters with the Pixel, it just felt like it had a couple features that "made up" for the rest of the device. Ok, make that one feature; the still photos, that attempted to make up for the rest of the device, and it just didn't balance out in the end. There were other phones that also had a fast and smooth OS experience, but with nicer touches and features, and didn't make you feel like you paid full price for a car with hand crank windows.
  • Just as well I'm going back to iPhone in over weeks time because there's no compelling Android phones I'm interested in and in truth I've had enough of Android, especially Android One, Pixel phones and OnePlus (ok OnePlus is decent and I like my 7T) but to be honest, Google has been shatting the bed with the Pixel for a while now, there's all was a significant issue, whether it's hardware or software related and that's just unacceptable but the Pixel would have been my go to Android secondary phone simply because the one thing the Pixels get right is updates. But that's not enough anymore when I can get 5 years of software support and a much better user experience, better app quality and none of this Android fragmentation bull. I'm done with Android as a daily driver (and will dump Android altogether eventually) and having my YouTube premium subscription hacked was the straw that broke the Camel's back for me.
  • 'Just as well I'm going back to iPhone in over weeks time because there's no compelling Android phones' Another thread in itsaelf but I totally agree with this. Every flagship droid IMO has something that just ruins the overall package.
  • The Pixels would have been my go to Android for the timely updates alone but to be honest, I'm sick of Android and it's shortcomings and I don't customise my phone, sick of the poorly optimised apps and poor software support and have concluded that iPhones suit my needs better along with the fact there is no Android phone that truly interests me thankfully in 9vet 3 weeks time I'll have my iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPad Air.
  • He said "droid" LOL
  • I bought my first iPhone 3GS in 2009 and hated it, went to android and thought I would never look back, but thanks to google, I’m back with Apple with the 11 Pro Max and have no intentions of getting back on the android roller coaster ride, I’m done and enjoy the steady and stable ride of apple.
  • I had A Nexus 4, then a Nexus 5. I had a Nexus 7 tablet. They worked wonderfully alongside each other. I was looking forward to the Nexus 6. But instead came Pixel. Overhyped, Overpriced mid range, not competitive. When my 5 got a cracked screen from a 5 inch drop, I moved to a Huawei Mate 9 (the long battery life was a revelation) , and then to Samsung Notes.
  • ...but there was the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 6p before Pixel so....
  • Nexus 6 was a Motorola phone which had more problems than you could shake a stick at. I had and still have the 6p, it was a decent phone, but even then it had battery issues and update issues too. Neither phone was nothing to write home about.
  • Personally they should look at huawei who have created an identity for the p40 line especially as it has not got the play store. Google need the pixel line to be the showcase for Google android and I don't feel it is at all.
  • Lackluster hardware, middling software...and then Google got creepy. No thanks. As others have already said: Google never needed hardware to do what they do.
  • Nope their software has always been the best Android experience you can get. Sorry try again.
  • I think it is pretty obvious, Google has recognised that they cannot compete in the expensive flagship stakes so is going mid-range with it's special sauce. This just happens to be the year that they make the transition which means that whilst available the 4 and 4XL will remain the best Pixel hardware.
  • I think they're just waiting until they can make phones with their own chipsets. The "midrange" approach is just their transitional strategy and it's probably the right move.
  • Yeah, I used to be a yearly phone upgrader and other than one year with the OnePlus 3T it has always been a Google phone... Currently I am using a Pixel 2. That is the longest I have ever had a cell phone. The Pixel program has been really disappointing. The hardware is way overpriced for the barebones nature and seems to always have issues as if it is in constant beta status. At the same time OnePlus moved away from LED notification lights and they STILL don't have "Always on Display" and their phones are getting too expensive so they no longer interest me. It honestly feels like a really good time to try out an iPhone. The new SE is really tempting. Unfortunately, Apple is in the same boat as OnePlus as far as LED notification light/Always on Display in that they do not use either (which is probably why OnePlus doesn't).
  • Wouldn’t waste my money on a SE, that’s apples cheapest phone that competes with googles best and blows it out of the water. I would say buy the best and keep it for 5 years, you’ll not regret it, Apple is just so much better and more advanced at keeping their phones running on a top notch level even as they get older. Nothing like android.
  • This has been a great opportunity to discuss pixel and Samsung and Apple, but whatever ur preference is for a phone, the hard facts are: there is a reason why there are hundreds of millions of Apple users and just thousands of Google phone users. And until google can reverse those figures, it may be a hard pill to swallow for pixel lovers but the magnificent greatness of pixel is just a figment of ur imagination.
  • I've been a Google customer since Nexus era and currently owner of a Pixel 4. In my opinion, Pixel 4 is a good phone, but when comparing to other phones out there, it is not the most desired phone when the spec, service, and price compared. I really hesitated of buying Pixel 4 when Google announced Pixel 4 will not have unlimited original size photo storage. Google tried to put Pixel as an premium phone like iPhone, but Google does not provide the same service support and build quality like Apple. There are some couple things that Apple for sure stands out. 1. When ordering a brand new phone from Apple, Apple gives customer options for 2 hours delivery, free next day or pick up at Apple store. Google asked customer to pay for 2nd day delivery. There is no option for pickup or 2 hours delivery. 2. Customers can bring the phone to Apple store for service and repair. Google customers can only call. 3. Apple has a better OS support on older models while Google only support Android phones up to 2 years. 4. Apple's phone value is kept a better price than Google's phone (probably due to the above reasons). I believe an used iPhone 7 can be easily sold for $150+ while Google pixel is probably around $90+. I doubt Google cares about their loyal customers, I think I had enough of the pixel BS and will go with Apple for my next phone.
  • Your right on in your comparison, I switch to the Apple 11 Pro Max and can tell you that if you aren’t customizing your phone constantly, there’s no comparison. Google trying to compete with Apple is like a paraplegic trying to compete with a Olympian athlete. But I have to hand it to the google fan club...all four of them, they’re a pretty loyal group. Lol