The Evolution of Google Pixel Telephones: From 2016 to Current


While you consider shopping for an Android cellphone, the Google Pixel collection might be not the primary one which involves thoughts. Regardless of being a tech big, Google’s smartphone market share is near negligible. In a means, this is smart as a result of Google just isn’t a {hardware} firm, however a software program firm.


Regardless, its journey has been one thing value monitoring. And with the newest Google Pixel 6 being a supposed game-changer, the corporate is aiming to steal a few of that pie. Let us take a look at what led the Google Pixel collection this far.


2016: The First All-Google Cellphone

Technically, the primary Google cellphone was not the Google Pixel however the Nexus One. It was manufactured by HTC in 2010. Actually, the entire Nexus collection was made in collaboration with different manufacturers reminiscent of HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and Huawei.

Launched in 2016, the Pixel and the Pixel XL have been Google’s first native in-house smartphones that got here with Android 7.1 out of the field. Proper from the get-go, Google’s strategy to the Pixel was very clear: clear software program, nice digicam, and limitless cloud storage for Google Images. It was a fairly candy deal.

And for a very long time, the Pixel household remained one of the best digicam telephones you could possibly purchase. With nice colours, correct bokeh impact, excessive dynamic vary, and that iconic high-contrast assured look, the Pixel had all of it. That was till its personal successor one-upped it.

2017: The Black and White “Panda Pixel”

The Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL have been but once more one of the best inventory Android telephones available on the market on the time. The Pixel 2 XL variant got here with a black and white design—nicknamed by many because the “Panda Pixel”.

The Pixel 2 household got here with Android 8.0, and it was the primary time a Pixel machine supplied optimum picture stabilization in the principle digicam unit. The bottom storage was now elevated to 64GB as a substitute of the 32GB on the predecessor.

The battery life on the Pixel 2 household was nonetheless a bummer, although. The vanilla Pixel 2 capped at 2700mAh (the primary Pixel had 2770mAh), whereas the Pixel 2 XL noticed a negligible bump at 3520mAh capability (the Pixel XL had 3450mAh). The coloured energy button on the aspect positively added taste to its design, although.

2018: The Notorious Bathtub Notch

The Pixel 3 household launched with two gadgets in 2018: the vanilla Pixel 3 and the premium Pixel 3 XL. Later in 2019, Google added on the Pixel 3 household with a brand new reasonably priced Pixel 3a and the affordable-premium mashup Pixel 3a XL. It was a large number.

Including to that mess, the Pixel 3 XL was by far probably the most awkward and hated design we have seen on the collection resulting from that enormous notch on the high of the display. Followers generally referred to it because the “bathtub notch” given its comically massive width and form.

Though we might take the Panda Pixel any day over the notch-city Pixel 3 XL, the latter did have some noticeable enhancements. The Pixel 3 household got here with an IP68 score, a Snapdragon 845 chip, Android 9, and wi-fi charging. Sadly, the battery life remained a bummer on each gadgets.

2019: The Nearly Tolerable Pixel

By 2017, most producers had already moved to a twin or a triple digicam setup. However Google caught to its single important digicam setup till 2018.

When requested, Google mentioned it discovered including a second lens pointless as its machine studying tech and computational images have been sufficient. The corporate even made an advert mocking Apple for including a second lens.

Not lengthy after, Google did what most firms do after mocking Apple: take again their phrases and faux it by no means occurred. Nearing 2019, Google took down the advert and launched the Pixel 4—Google’s first twin important digicam cellphone.

However earlier than you get all excited, do observe that the second important lens was not an ultra-wide lens, however a telephoto one. Google mentioned it thought the latter is extra necessary. Now, we’re not essentially disagreeing, however do needless to say you may’t widen a photograph after taking it, however you may zoom in. Simply saying.

Design-wise, you’d assume that after that ridiculous bathtub notch, Google would’ve labored to create a greater display. However nope, as a substitute of a tub notch, the Pixel 4 had a large high bezel which was additionally a lot bigger than the one on the backside—giving the machine an ungainly look.

Google’s justification for that enormous notch was all the brand new sensors that it housed together with the selfie digicam, infrared projector, receiver, and radar. Though the sensors did assist make face unlock quicker, the added options and total execution have been means too clumsy to be helpful and never value shedding display property for.

2020: A Cautious Improve

If we needed to describe the Pixel 5 in a single phrase, it would be cautious. The machine just isn’t attempting to show to be one thing that it isn’t. The Pixel 5 lastly introduced a design we might stay with within the type of a minimalistic punch-hole entrance digicam.

Add to that the brand new ultra-wide important digicam, no gimmicky radar options, extra RAM, a decent 4080mAh battery, fingerprint sensor on the again, reverse charging, and most significantly, a less expensive price ticket.

Associated: Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Google Pixel 5: Which Flagship Is Higher?

In a whole lot of methods, the Pixel 5 made far more sense for a mainstream purchaser versus simply fans and tech geeks. Nevertheless, 2020 was additionally the 12 months when Google launched the Pixel 4a which carried a lot of the options of the Pixel 5 however value solely half as a lot.

Naturally, the Pixel 4a drew extra consideration than the Pixel 5, regardless of not having an ultra-wide digicam and worse battery life. Google telephones will not be precisely identified for his or her {hardware} anyway, so it isn’t stunning that the cheaper machine that may home all of Google’s software program ended up being most popular extra.

2021: A Leap of Religion

As nice as Pixel gadgets are with their digicam glory and particular Google options, they’ve been onerous to advocate given their apparent compromises. For common shoppers, shopping for a cellphone is extra so about reliability and worth for cash than flashy options.

That is the place Google Pixel telephones could not stay as much as the expectations because of the poor {hardware}, questionable design selections, and an total lack of enhancements. To date, the Google Pixel collection has principally focused fans—as evident by their poor gross sales.

In 2021, Google needs to vary that with the Pixel 6 household. This time, the gadgets not solely have a serious design refresh (allegedly impressed by the Nexus 6P) but additionally include Android 12 out of the field with a recent new UI known as Materials You.

With the Pixel 6, Google is promising three years of main Android updates and 5 years of safety updates to sit down alongside a brand new all-Google customized processor, higher digicam efficiency, tons of latest software program options, a quicker charging velocity, and extra. The machine is full of important enhancements together with strong {hardware} and the gold ol’ inventory Android.

The Finest Software program on an Android

Google’s journey within the smartphone trade hasn’t been probably the most dramatic, nevertheless it has positively been value conserving a watch over. With each new Pixel, we get to see the newest and best of Android. Whereas Pixel gadgets have suffered previously, the Pixel 6 is a breath of recent air.



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