If Google loses the Pixel's camera advantage, the product line will die

Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL
Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL (Image credit: Android Central)

It was recently made public that the head of Google's camera team for the past few years, Mark Levoy, left the company — which quickly sent people into a panic mode about the future of the Pixel's camera capabilities. Now I don't actually believe that Levoy leaving Google will suddenly torpedo the Pixel's camera, because the company is full of brilliant engineers that worked with Levoy and there will certainly be a continuity of thought there.

But it is worth thinking about just how important his departure is, and what it could mean for Google if there's a noticeable impact in camera quality, when you take into account that the camera is the reason to buy a Pixel over other phones.

Shot-for-shot, the Pixel's camera still outperforms every other Android.

Sure you can toss caveats on that, if you want to try and knock the Pixel down a peg, because it doesn't have an ultra-wide lens, crazy zoom levels, or several advanced shooting modes. But there's no argument that shot-for-shot the Pixel does a better job than any other Android phone, when it comes to color accuracy, clarity, HDR, and most importantly consistency. And of course when you add in Night Sight for low-light photos, it just steps further ahead. Its strength in front-facing camera quality is also often lost in the discussion — the Pixel 4 takes excellent selfies, and has the best selfie portrait mode in the business.

And Google's darn lucky that its camera technology is that far ahead of the competition, because the rest of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, on the whole, can't stand up to scrutiny without it. If Pixels had no camera quality advantage over other phones, it would put even more emphasis on its battery life, specs and display quality that are clearly behind the best Android competition. It would put more weight on Google's decision to not have an ultra-wide camera on the back, and just a 2X "telephoto" camera. It would have even more people asking why they would have a reason to buy a Google phone over a Samsung — although at this point only a tiny fraction of people are even asking that question, let alone siding with Google in the end.

Google is ever-so-close to not even being in the conversation to pull the camera trump card.

Currently, every discussion of the Pixel compared to other phones basically comes down to "yeah, but the camera is amazing!" — and it's true, it is amazing. But Google is ever-so-close to not even being in the conversation to play that trump card and win people over. The camera is, for many people, the only reason the Pixel is considered on the same level as its peers; without it, it will slide even further into irrelevance. Whether you believe the specificity of the latest Pixel sales numbers reports (word has it Google sold just 2 million phones in 6 months (opens in new tab)) or not, it's clear Google's market share is, and always has been, absolutely tiny. It needs to be able to leverage the one major selling point it's enjoyed for four generations now.

I'm currently using a Pixel 4 XL as my primary phone because the cameras are so great. I could be using the OnePlus 8 Pro and get about double the battery life, or the Galaxy S20 Ultra for its superior hardware and great ultra-wide-angle photos. But I don't, because the Pixel 4 XL's camera is so damn good. From random point-and-shoot shots to well-thought-out night scenes, I'm never disappointed by the Pixel — whereas I'm regularly frustrated by little quirks and shortcomings of every other smartphone camera I have available right now.

Even without Levoy at the helm, I'm very bullish on the Pixel team's ability to ship another fantastic camera in the Pixel 5 — and hey, maybe we'll even be surprised by the addition of an ultra-wide camera. Despite all of its struggles elsewhere, Google has managed to ship extraordinary cameras in every Pixel, and I don't see that changing. But over time, if Google slows its advancement and the competition catches up, it's game over for the Pixel as a product.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • I loved the Nexus phones for the up to date software and what felt like great value. I've not owned any of the Pixels as they cost too much for the specs and performance I care about. As the camera isn't a deciding factor for me, I see no reason to pay the asking price compared to the other flagships.
    If Google could get their ecosystem up to par with Samsung (phone, watch, ear buds) to work almost flawlessly and be truly state of the art (or close to it), I would gladly spend money with them again.
  • I agree with you and only have a pixel as a spare phone. Maybe soon or on the 4a some of the issues will be ironed out, although my wife is now using my spare pixel 2 as a daily and has no complaints
  • Google will end the pixel line just like their other products that they end a couple months/years in. 
  • This folks is what we call a terrible take
  • It's a realistic presumption based on past Google moves.
  • Anyone with half a brain can look back and see how Google has abandoned products and apps in the past and see it is very realistic. But keep drinking the Kool-Aid.. 
  • This is not the same as some random app they develop. Google is going to keep making phones as long as Android is a thing. If only for the simple fact that they have to have a reference device to build new versions of Android for.
  • Lol whatever you say. They did fine before the nexus line launched. 
  • When was that? G1?
  • Devices can be virtualized (for example: Android Studio). If the Pixel line were to be dropped, I'm sure an OEM or Qualcomm would provide devices.
  • I hate Kool-aid. Never liked it as a kid and I cant stand it now lol. I really like my Pixel phones. I have had the 1, 2, and now the 3a XL. But the full price pixels are just too much. The "A" series I see as the only chance going forward. 
  • If Pixel phones don't sell well, the line will eventually die anyway, regardless of the camera.
  • They have the money to burn and are currently dumping even more into R&D to develop their own silicon. As long as Android is a thing Google will keep making phones...they have to have a reference device to build new versions of Android for. Sure they would love to sell more phones but they don't have to in order to keep making phones the same as other companies do,
  • they never have sold "well" have they ?
  • I don't think so. I've never liked vanilla Android. Apple centric deserters tend to like it from what I can tell.
  • I have yet to see a pixel in the wild. It’s usually iPhones or Samsung phones
  • I have seen a few. Not counting both my parents Pixel 3a and 2XL, and someone at work got the Pixel 4 on sale. But as far as people I don't personally know, I have seen 2 that I can recall, ever. 
  • Here in the UK, in London, it's all about the iPhone, I barely see any Android phones let alone a Pixel, and when I do see am Android phone it's always Samsung.
  • I love Huawei phones, still got my P20 Pro. The camera still great and the phone I've had without any return for repair unlike my previous Samsungs and HTCs. Certain things I like is the knuckle gestures to grab a screenshot, long battery life. But unlikely to buy another one without Google Services.Four people I know had Pixels and they all encounted problems, glitches with the screen, not booting up or whatever.
  • I did buy Pixels 1 and 2 for the camera, but also to get the stock/latest Android. I switched to Samsung for the hardware design plus themes (good camera, too). Not sure I'd go back to Pixel.
  • I think those knuckleheads at Google are listening to phone reviews too damn much!! They should actually start listening to customers and what we want. A decent camera, (not the best but good), 8 gigs of RAM, 128 gigs internal storage, external memory up to 512 gigs, earphone jack with good dac, and surprise, and a removable battery!! Good colors, NO MORE GLASS BACKS OR CURVED SCREEN!! A $300 to $400 price tag then I will buy four at a time!!!
  • Any why won't Mercedes make a great car for about $10k? I'd buy four of them at a time!
  • That's a big ask for not much money...
  • I just described the Moto G Stylus without the removable battery or timely updates for $300!!
  • With a non decent camera sensor.
  • I agree with everything you said but not the expandable storage, it's meant to be the iPhone of Android so no expandable storage (which I don't care about) but everything else and it must absolutely keep it's camera advantages.
  • Wow my dream pixel sir
  • BWAHAHAHA! Did you really say removable batteries LMAO? Do you want pull up antennas too? No wait, you probably want the ability to have a pager feature too right? Man get the hell out of here with that. People ain't asking for half the stuff you put up there. I have a 64g Google pixel 4xl and still can't figure out how to use the 20+ gigs I have left. But, I do get that a base model with larger memory is optimal. Removable storage? Aaahhh no! I don't wanna be flipping little memory cards every other day. Headphone jack? Wait what! Why? There are Bluetooth headphones that sound damn near as good as wired ones. Man catch up with technology please! I do not think the Google pixel is the best phone out here, but it's more than its cameras by far. Timely updates are BIG for me. I also use the hell out of my Google assistant. I literally fumble around iPhones and the goofy way you need to get to its settings. I do not need a damn knuckle gesture... Seriously? The cameras on the pixels are great, but the speakers sound really good too! The screen is amazing and the brightness problem was definitely fixed. It's still just as snappy as it was the first day I bought it. I could go on, but I'm tired.. lol!
  • Well said, anyone who wants removable batteries and the iPhone expandable storage is living in the past, especially for removable batteries lol, and timely updates are also important and I thought OnePlus (I have a OnePlus 7T and love Oxygen OS) were good with that and Android One as well and and I've been letdown by both so while I'm switching back to iPhone in August (I plan on being fully in the Apple ecosystem), for my own reasons like better apps, global updates etc, on the Android side I realize that Pixels are best for timely updates and are almost as good as Apple so my next phone will be a Pixel or whatever Google ends up calling it next.
  • If the 4a has the proposed 6gb's of ram, 128gb's of storage and an asking price of 349.00, guess what? Their gonna sell ⛵ loads especially at that price point, night sight, the jack, the upgraded 730processer & the 📷, move over 🍎 SE?
  • I think so too, but this will certainly tell us one way or the other. If the 4A doesn't sell, I would be surprised to see the line continue personally.
  • For my opinion it will be huge hit with 349
  • The SE still has the A13 bionic chip which is currently in the iPhone 11 series and 5 years of software support and but for 128GB and a cheaper price then yes the Pixel 4a will give the Pixel line hope.
  • Eh Apple will still sell more iphone SE's. Most normal consumers do not care about specs and they will learn towards apple over google for brand recognition alone. Most outside of those who read these sites even know that Google makes phones. 
  • Might there be concerns about mediocre battery life for average users
  • I agree, that's why I said the possible lower price of the Pixel 4a will give the Pixel line hope.
  • Eventually, I think the whole pixel line will become "budget". That's if they decide to continue to throw money at it.
  • So I don't totally agree with this article. While I do think the line can't move forward in the same manner, I think it could make huge gains if it just caters more to what enthusiasts are asking for. Bigger battery, larger screens, more ram, and less bezels. If Google produced a 6.7 inch, bezel-free phone with 8-12 gb ram and a 4500 mah battery, running stock, they can leave the current camera hardware/software and most would be all over it!
  • When you say "enthusiasts", you mean "me". Enthusiasts clearly *are* asking for stellar cameras, since Apple and Samsung have pushed so hard to compete in this area. And I don't know where you get the idea that the mass market is clamouring for a 6.7" phone, especially one that's that big but neglects the camera.
  • It'll be interesting to see how the 5 shakes out. You'd figure it would have 5G capability, 128 GB of storage, minimum 8GB processor and a 4000 mAh battery. Camera would be slightly improved.
    Price it around $700 and it may actually sell.
    Who's going to pay $1,000+ for a phone during these times?
  • Google always skimps on battery. 
  • Spot on article. Exactly my thoughts.
  • The Pixel line is already dead even with it's camera advantages because not enough people were interested in average hardware at flagship prices and buggy software along with the anemic battery and RAM.
  • It may not be thriving but it's far from dead. See there is this thing called Android that is a pretty big deal. Google makes Android and in order to build new versions of Android it must have a reference device to build it for. Google wants to sell more Pixels and have more consumer interest in their phones but that is not their primary motivation. They want Android (any Android) in as many hands as possible because that means more eyeballs on Google services and more data to collect, which ultimately leads to a more attractive product to sell to advertisers. Android (and by necessity making phones to build Android for) is purely a means to an end.
  • People have had enough of overpaying fot mediocre hardware, buggy software along with poor battery life and the great camera and timely software and security updates aren't enough anymore, the Pixel line done and if the Pixel 4a fails then Google should just call it a day with the Pixel line.
  • I can't believe I just read that from Beno who once thought pixel phone was the best thing to happen since sliced bread. Lol. If one of the pixels'biggest evangelist back in the day says it's over for the pixel line, I'm putting my money on that 😊
  • He's a what I use is the second coming type of guy. This week it's his new iPhone.
  • @kojackjku I like both platforms I'm not that guy anymore although I slightly prefer Apple's software optimisation and approach.
  • Mid-range phones are selling like hotcakes because the sweet spot now are phones between $250 and $350. As a tech nerd always wanted the latest and greatest but I started looking at my bank account every year and said this is stupid!! I finally got me a Moto G Power and couldn't been happier!! The only thing I'm going to miss is timely updates and that doesn't mean as much to me anymore. I don't need wireless charging, I don't need NFC and I don't need waterproofing. I don't want glass backs nor curved screens. I just want a decent phone that runs great.
  • I would buy one of the G phones, but their poor camera's keep me from pulling the trigger.
  • Motorola aren't on my list of phones because of their bad updates record and my OnePlus 7T which I'm enjoying will probably be my last OnePlus phone because of their flakiness with updates which most reviewers gloss on because oxygen OS is so darn good but that doesn't mean OnePlus should be given a pass for late updates just because they making great hard and software and that's one of a number of reasons why I'm going but to iPhones and having an Android One (Nokia) phone as a secondary phone.
  • I'm fine with the Pixel line going down. Honestly, one stand out feature is nowhere near enough. Even then, they only excel at still shots; their video flat out stinks. They are overpriced for what you get; and please don't harp on the updates....I can't tell you how many DO NOT CARE about having the latest update the day it's released. Only a select few nerds (I consider myself a nerd but am fine with waiting a few months for a stable release) care about getting the latest right away. Sorry but if you are going to spend $800+, then you better be getting top of the line everything offered at that time AND at least 3 years of updates (including OS upgrades). Really no android fits that description; the closest is Samsung and OnePlus.
  • Pixel I know people who have a pixel and have no special interest in the camera - it certainly wasn't the main reason they bought it.
  • And that's why they aren't selling as much. Apart from android central nerds, the user on the street likes a great camera and other wow factors. They don't care about stock android, latest updates and minuscule ram speeds that see no difference in daily usage. A flat, phone with thick bezels, poor battery whose only redeeming qualities are fast updates and camera quality at flagship prices certainly don't cut it.
  • I bought my Pixel 2 XL because of the updates and cameras but then o haven't bought another Pixel since and it's because of the horrors stories about the hardware which had proven to be true and no about of updates and Havi a creative camera is Eno anymore. People are no longer willing to put up with anemic hardware, poor battery life so if the Pixel line dies nobody should be surprised, which is a shame because I really liked my Pixel 2 XL which remains one of the best phones I've ever owned but I think it's important that Google keeps it's camera advantages, whether or not Google ditches the Pixel line for something else and I hope they don't add a Manuel more because Google has no equal when it comes to computational photography so they don't need a manual mode, Google just needs to give people better hardware by following the OnePlus approach because as things stand the Pixel line has no future regardless of their camera advantages.
  • I have the 2XL and no issues what so ever..... at least so far. I came from BB10 to the Dtek 60. After about a year with it I wanted a phone with the best camera available on a smartphone, stock Android with no skin or bloatware, get the latest OS platform updates and monthly security updates which only the Pixel has. It's not perfect but fills in almost all the checks except for the screen which is much better on the Pixel 3 and 4 as there made by Samsung. I was about to upgrade to the orange Pixel 4 XL but realized the price for it which lacked the fingerprint sensor and ultra wide camera wasn't worth it. The main reason why the phones haven't sold as many besides the mistakes they ve made since it's debut has been their price. The phones would have sold still alot more if the price wasn't so high for they're flagship models. The regular 4 and XL should have been cheaper by a few hundred dollars on the release date and they would have sold as well as keep that price all year long. Alot of ppl in here said just wait a few months and they'll lower they re price which I think they did for a little while. They can't compete with Samsung and Apple at that high price like those two can. I get it they want their phones to have that premium reputation bec they want to be like the Apple of Android but it's hurting them in sales. Maybe the Pixel 5's price will change that by going with the SD 765 /768 cpu instead of the more expensive SD 865
  • What is I say make as good as video performance as an iPhone and photos are still fine for me for atleast next year or so and i'd be happy with it
  • Yawn. The root cause - one of them anyway - is that Pixels aren't marketed at Android fans. They are marketed at iPhone fans. Android fans want two things.
    1. The best specs
    2. The best price If you don't offer 1. - like Samsung Galaxy S - then you had better offer 2. - like Samsung Galaxy A and every other Android phones that actually sells. Google's strategy with the Pixel line was never to compete Samsung and the others for customers who want Android phones. Their strategy was to lure iPhone shoppers to switch. Google has been listening to the criticisms of Apple fans towards Android - 99% of which is insincere to begin with - and has been making the Pixel line to address the complaints of ... people who don't like Android phones and won't buy them. Of course, it utterly fails. People who make up crackpot excuses not to buy Android phones - do they even realize that Samsung actually "controls more of the process" than Apple does because they manufacture the components used to make the phones themselves, components that Apple has to buy from Samsung? - aren't going to buy Pixel phones no matter how much Google imitates them. They are going to buy the cheapest Android phone available or they will buy Samsung, the only Android brand that they respect. The people who buy Pixels are Android fans who want to like Pixel phones for what Nexus phones used to be. And it is those people that Google let down year after year. Until Google stops acting like the self-conscious little brother or stepchild and start acting like the company that created the most successful operating system, browser, search engine and web platform in history - and did it in a fraction of the time and with much less resources than it took Apple, Microsoft, Nokia and the other established players to - then they are just going to keep flailing around with wannabe iPhone/iPad/MacBook products instead of achieving what their products can actually be in their own right.
  • Not really but cool story
  • Not really but that's your opinion but it isn't a fact, it doesn't matter if it's Google or Samsung, there are iPhone users who just aren't interested in Android no matter what nerdy specs they have and are happy with iPhones and I'm sorry but some of what people say about Android is true, there's no cohesion in the ecosystem or lack of ecosystem and Apple may not make it's chips or screens directly but it designs them and Samsung or whoever has to design them to Apple's specifications and Samsung doesn't even control the software on its phones it has to rely on Google for that, like everyone else who makes Android phones and this is where Apple's advantage comes into play, because they make both the hardware and software, they can support their phones and iPads as long as they want and are more optimised than any Android phone because Android has never been and never will be unified like iOS due to the amount of the devices that developers have to code their apps for which is a pain for developers so they don't care about the Android platform as much because of it and it shows with apps and games being better on iOS most of the time through better optimisation and it helps that developers don't have as many devices to code for on iOS.
  • The Pixel needs to have a top tier camera. It has little else going for it. It's the only phone I've crossed off my shopping list because it was ugly. iPhone has better video, looks, and support. Samsung has a more rounded feature set. LG has better video features and audio. A Pixel without a top camera is like a Dodge Viper with a slant six.
  • How can it die when it never truly lived?
  • So tell me why do consumers only want 2 phone choices?
  • Okay, so the camera guru quit. Does that really mean they can no longer produce stellar cameras? They've got his code - and, presumably other developers who worked under him and learned a thing or two. It's odd, though that this guy quit just because the P4 had some fatal flaws. The 4a is looking like a great course correction.. Maybe, though, he was fighting for a second lens on the 4a, and got fed up...
  • I suppose if I bought a phone "only" because of the camera, then I would probably buy a car "only" because it looks so good. Never mind if the rest of the car is a clunker and runs unevenly and lacking other desirable features, but hey, it looks good!
  • I'm sick to death that the only thing people (here and on some other forums) care about anymore on a PHONE is the stupid camera. WHO CARES? They all can take great pictures that look great on a 6 inch screen. Certainly the general public doesn't care because if they did then Pixel's would be flying off of the shelves...but guess what...they're not...OMG!
    People on the street buy Samsung for Android and iPhone for...well...iPhone's.
    I have never seen even one Pixel in the wild...never one. So if their marvelously divine camera were to die an ignominious death..the number of people who would really care can probably fit in my back yard.
    Sometime I wish the OEM's would all be forced to put the same camera in every phone...say one from about 5 years ago. Then maybe the competition would stop being on which PHONE takes the best picture (subjective at best) and we could focus on more important things like...OH I don't know...maybe cell signal, or WiFi, or Bluetooth..you know, how well does the PHONE communicate for us when we really need it to! Not which wide angle selfie another teenager can take while driving down the expressway. Rant over for now.
  • Amen. Tech reviewers are the only people in the world who take a photo with a phone and then spend 4 hours examining it in detail on a large monitor. On YouTube reviews I always skip past the camera section, I just want to know if it's terrible or not.
  • Amen my brother from another mother!
  • Camera, shamera. What sets the Pixel apart, and the Nexus before that, were clean Android and quick updates. Nothing else matters.
  • Lmao, clean Android... Stock android has always followed Samsung's lead.
  • The camera is the #1 feature I look at when choosing a phone, so Marc Levoy's departure is very disappointing for the future of Pixels. However, I suspect the 4a and probably the 5 will carry on with class-leading camera quality. Frankly, almost none of the other specs matter much to me, except size! I want a smaller phone, and nobody on the Android side cares anymore, which may drive me to move to an iPhone for a great camera and a smaller size.
  • The Pixel phones are a disaster. Levoy was forced out... You can't offer big compensation to a guy in charge of a product that does not sell. The real world is about results, the bottom line, not a camera. 5G is a joke... A phone that supports the new WiFi 6 is more important than 5G for 99.9% of consumers, who use their phones for most of their personal use, at home running on their home WiFi network.
  • And the Galaxy S20 Ultra has been a disaster as well, with it being fragile especially with that camera which is crap by the way.
  • I was a Nexus guy. Jumped off the Google train because of the Pixel price. Google made me do something I thought I'd never do - get a Samsung (on sale). I'm hoping the Pixel 4a has 5G (A long shot I know). I don't think I can hold out long enough to see what the Pixel 5 will look like. I'll go Samsung or OnePlus.
  • Can’t hold out for a whole 5 months? Sure, whatever, Lol.
  • Yep, a fool and his money are soon parted.
  • A fool and their money that pays for Samsung with all that bloatware and only 3 years of updates, no thanks, if I'm buying my phone outright or on contract (in my case with the iPhone 11) I would to keep my phone for ,3-4 years and I expect software support to last as long and only Apple meet my criteria and I'll be sticking with Apple not just for the long software support but better app quality, ecosystem, FaceTime, iMessage and customer service and overall better privacy and security which all matter to me, with Apple I have certainty, with Android I don't.
  • I meant only 2 years of software support for all those mostly useless"specs" @Norther Arbiter the resident Samsung shill.
  • Disagree. 4XL is an excellent phone and I'll stick with it. Very good software too.
  • Who needs a great camera since Pixel phones have their highly touted stock Android presentation and speedy updates😀 ? Which sales figures (for the past 3 years) confirm most people aren't overly concerned about
  • Eh. Good riddance.
  • And yet there'll be less choice for people who like stock Android and in my case value fast updates because Android One was supposed to be the cheaper alternative to the Pixels is failing as well with late updates which brings bugs and performance issues and is making me more determined to go back to iPhone and the Apple ecosystem because it's Apple that can give me what I'm looking for, fast updates from day one and long term software support, ok no longer going to be buying phones every 18 months to 2 years, I want to use my phone for at least 4 years with the software support to match and app quality is still better on iOS too. That's not to say I'm abandoning Android, because I'm not as I'll have Android as a secondary phone but the Pixels look like they're doomed and I like my fast updates and OnePlus fails ijn that regard so it's looking like it's gonna be Android One and Nokia for me.
  • OMG Beno, let go of the bone.
  • No i won't because I know what I want and it took 2 years of me using Android to figure it out, I want fast updates and w great camera and so far the Pixel despite the barebones software ticks almost all the boxes for me and except in battery life and RAM but overall I'll have what I want with Apple (I'm switching back to iPhone in the summer), which is fast updates, better app quality and a proper ecosystem which no Android phone can offer including Samsung (yeah they have Dex and their watches and tablets but can't touch Apple) but nothing on the Android side can compare with the iPad and the Apple Watch which I've always been interested in so yeah I actually want to be locked in the Apple ecosystem but want Android just for watching shows that aren't available on Netflix and Amazon but updates are important and Android One was supposed to change that but that's been a letdown eobill most likely get a Google phone because as far as update and security updates and Google is the only on the Android side to give me most of what I'm looking for but so I'm going with Google which most likely won't be called Pixel anymore but only if they lower the price and start making better hardware that has bigger batteries.
  • Google slapped a good camera on a poorly designed, overpriced phone thinking the Google name would sell itself. Now with poor timing, continued software and hardware issues they are losing out more to the competition. Time to scrap the Pixel and come out with a new well designed model.
  • Maybe it's because I haven't used a pixel camera in a couple years but I see nothing special in most of the review photos, colors don't look accurate to me and the HDR often looks fake. It's a great phone camera no doubt, but it isn't miles ahead of the iPhone or Galaxys like so many claim and it's camera app is severely lacking for anything beyond point and shoot.
  • And that's what I liked about the Pixels and iPhones as well, I don't even use the manual mode on my OnePlus 7T that's how much I don't care for it and my next phone being an iPhone 11 I will relish not having a stupid manual mode. I just want to point and shoot and that's what most consumers who buy an iPhone want to do too.
  • You're forgetting security and Android version updates. But really, if Google want the Pixel to go mainstream literally all they have to do is ship it with expandable storage. Their stubborn refusal to adapt to how non-Bay Area/NYC/Chicago Loop people use their devices is why nobody buys their phones.
  • I don't care about expandable storage, iPhones sell a tone, more than Android flagships and don't have to be expandable storage so that should tell you something, not everyone wants expandable storage, so there needs to be a choice for these people, only Android enthusiasm on here care about expandable storage, I never have and never will and I've been that way ever since I first owned am iPhone which I'm switching back to in the summer because Android bores me and you people bore on this site but because I like Android and technology I will always have an interest in Android but not as a daily driver only as a secondary phone because I want to be in the Apple ecosystem.
  • Not sure iPhones sell more than Android flagships, check the numbers And looking at the way you write and think, you're a young child: "you people bore on this site". Well it's not supposed to be entertaining, it's a news website...
  • How quickly we seem to forget. It was just a month ago everyone on of Android hype sites were super excited about the news that Google would be developing their own SoC for the Pixel 6. The Pixel camera will be fine without Mark Levoy, it takes a team of people to develop and engineer these amazing projects and Sony now has the camera image sensor with AI processing system built right into the hardware that Google's hardware team can leverage with their software chops. I feel like this is so indicative of society, we want instant results right now. Google has been designing and manufacturing their own phones for less than 5 years...I have no doubt they will catch up
  • Five years is a nice run for Levoy, given the disastrous sales figures. The man didn't leave.... Lmao, he was thrown out because of non-performance of the Pixel.
  • That don't make sense. He was responsible for the Pixel's best feature not the worst ones. You fire the ones responsible for the worse rather than the better. It just might have been the right time for him to move on, nothing more than that.
  • His job was the camera. Every camera he made was praised and ranked top 3. Are you missing a brain ?
  • The only line I can see dying is the flagship line. The midrange is the new battleground, less money in people's pockets now and once they realise they actually don't NEED flagship specs for day to day use, flagship phones will become niche. The Pixel's camera advantage in the midrange is HUGE, so it won't be going anywhere soon. Especially with the rumoured lower price the 4a is coming in at. And if Google really are developing it's own SoC for 2021, the Pixel definitely won't be going anywhere. Google's computational photography threw a curve ball at the smartphone industry which is still trying to catch up with it. Who knows what else they've got up their sleeve.
  • The Pixel line has no future and will end up like Windows Phone but Google will just rebrand it as something else and hopefully lower the prices but they must have a budget line and a flagship line that has specs to compete with the likes of OnePlus and Samsung for them to sell anywhere near as much as Samsung but until Google starts to listen to consumers then the flagship Pixels are finished.
  • Google isn't even trying to keep up. Google's political stance is getting in the way of their bread and butter. It's not just about the camera. All phone cameras are good enough. Google has me considering the dark side... apple. That was unthinkable two years ago.
  • I'm already going back to Apple because their ecosystem is better than not just Google's in terms of devices but everything on the Android side although I prefer Google services over Apple's except Apple Music and their mail app on iOS which over still has better app quality but Android app quality is much better than it was 5 years ago.
  • Google should just kill the pixel. They will never compete with Apple or samsung.
  • So you excepted them to compete with 2 of the top 5 manufacturers in a few years ? Pixels are starting to get a name in some countries. They should just improve the battery life of the main series, keep the a series (or merge it with the main like it seems they'll do witht he 5), and more importantly sell in more countries and physically in shops (carriers...).
  • Let's face it , cameras are now good enough on most middle to top end phones. What they need are new angles. A great starting point would be five years security updates. Coming from BlackBerry where my phones got regular updates for 8 & 5 years respectively, at which point died, to be getting only three years is really crap.