Google says a budget Pixel phone is not in the cards

The Google Pixel 7a's metal camera bar up close
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • It doesn't like Google will give us a budget-friendly Pixel device any time soon.
  • Google's VP of mobile business Nanda Ramachandran told Der Standard that that it would involve making too comprises.
  • But with the Pixel 8a on its way, we'll see how the upcoming addition to the Pixel A series will balance price and performance.

Google just recently launched the Pixel 8 series. But while the Pixel 8a could reach us sometime within the next year, new intel has indicated that the chances that we could get a budget-friendly phone to round out the Pixel series are pretty slim.

The company’s VP of mobile business, Nanda Ramachandran, told the Austria-based daily newspaper Der Standard that there are currently no plans for a low-cost Pixel phone. According to Ramachandran, it would involve making too many compromises.

If you look at the Pixel 7a — like many devices in the Pixel A series — the phone is known to address the balance between price and performance, as it adorns a camera hardware upgrade, 90Hz display, and the Tensor G2 chip — and the phone still manages to come in at a starting retail price of $499 / £449 / AU $749. 

Nevertheless, Ramachandran explains that what makes the new lineup of Pixel smartphones stand out is its combination of attributes such as AI capabilities, robust camera functions, and accompanying security updates. The Google executive points out that maintaining these features while keeping a device to €200 / $211 would be nearly impossible as “we would have to make too many compromises for that.” 

The Pixel 8, for instance, may have seen a significant price increase, but the latest iteration packs better displays, new camera functions, and an upgraded Tensor G3 chip. Ramachandran sees this as justified, noting that “if you look at the Pixel 8, we have renewed almost everything compared to the Pixel 7."

Ramachandran also highlighted the tech giant’s plans to expand the Pixel series to more markets, including Europe and Asia, in attempts to boost the brand’s global recognition and increase sales.

In the meantime, users have their pick of some of the best budget Android Phones  —  with the Pixel 7a at the top of the list as it impressively balances pricing and features  — that is until we find more about how the Pixel 8a will address the price-performance ratio.