Robert Triggs / Android Authority
A rocky start will hardly come as a surprise if you’ve followed any of Google’s hardware launches over the past decade. The company has rightly earned a reputation for hit and miss hardware; The Pixel 6 is the latest in a long list of annoying devices that are by no means limited to smartphones. While launches are sometimes slippery, we certainly expected better from Google, especially when spending up to $1,099 on the 512GB Pixel 6 Pro model.
Our Verdict: Google Pixel 6 Pro Review | google pixel 6 review
Don’t get me wrong, I still rate the Google Pixel 6 Pro highly and it remains my daily driver (for now). But when it comes to spending your hard earned money, there’s no doubt that Google’s more affordable alternatives have been the better buy in recent years. Likewise, if you’re talking premium cash, there are often better phones to choose from than Google’s most expensive option.
Google Pixel: Warning History
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
The Pixel 6 Pro gets a lot going in the hardware department, in fact, it’s Google’s best flagship package yet. But between fingerprint scanners, good but not surprising cameras, limited 5G mmWave support, and performance that lags slightly behind industry leaders, the Pixel 6 Pro’s hardware was never in the same league as the most expensive handsets in the business. Tangled updates are the ultimate need for a phone, with software serving as Google’s unique selling point.
Looking back, we can make similar complaints about Google’s other premium-tier Pixels. The $999 Pixel 4 XL had poor battery life, limited storage, and poor use of its Soli Radar unique selling point. It also prevented the phone from being sold in India, one of Google’s major markets. Not to mention a camera package that was already falling behind the flexibility of its rivals.
The history of Pixel phones is short of perfect hardware.
2019’s $999 Pixel 3 XL was definitely a lot compared to the competition, as it didn’t offer much major changes compared to its predecessor. And before that, the Pixel 2 suffered a selection of screen problems, microphone dropouts, and earpiece bugs. Even the first Pixel XL wasn’t quite there, with only an IP53 rating and no wireless charging or OIS for its camera.
While the best of Google has been good, it has never been ultra-premium. Each model has some obvious flaws that Google loyalists can ignore but presented a notable list of caveats compared to the Apple and Samsung flagships. Of course, Google’s focus on software has been a major factor in helping the series punch above its weight. But it’s only once we save a few hundred dollars off a premium price tag that suddenly Google’s Pixel series offers some of the best phones to grace the market.
Affordable phone fixed
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
Turning to Google’s more affordable portfolio, it’s stacked with highly recommended phones to rafters. The $299 Pixel 3a introduced budget phone consumers to Google’s camera prowess and software ecosystem, even when compromising on waterproofing and wireless charging. But while other budget makers often forget about their phones after they leave the factory, Google offered a flagship-level update pledge that will make their phones better at long-term purchases.
Google perfected this formula with the Pixel 4a, bundling an excellent display, camera, and more memory for a very reasonable $350, while the 4a 5G was priced at $499. It was certainly as good as Apple’s $399 iPhone SE, which was a hot seller of 2020. The recent Google Pixel 5a and 5a 5G (pictured above) continue a similar trend, mixing solid hardware with excellent value.
Our Verdict: google pixel 5a review
The company was confident enough to hang the Pixel ‘flagship’ lineup entirely on a more affordable option in 2020 with the Pixel 5 – a $699 phone that was never built to offer all the bells and whistles. While enthusiasts lamented the lack of state-of-the-art processing power and an aging camera, the Pixel 5 offered wireless charging, an IP68 rating, a great display, and solid battery life in a package decorated with Google’s best software and update plz. It’s everything you need for a great smartphone experience and as a result it’s well-reviewed. This appears to be the key to Google’s mid-range success – ample hardware at a compelling price with premium software and expanded ecosystem experience.
Solid enough hardware, a compelling price, and a premium software—that’s the Google recipe for mid-range success.
At $599, the Pixel 6 ticks the same box with the bonus of a more powerful processor, better rear camera, and faster-charging features fans were clamoring for. Not to mention a cheap price tag, so why made it of android authority 2021 Editor’s Choice. The Pixel 6 is Samsung’s entry point as well as a more attractive phone than OnePlus and similar affordable flagships. At this price, so many fingerprint scanners and weird software bugs are all too easy to ignore, as long as they’re patched reasonably quickly.
related: Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 5 – What’s the difference and should you upgrade?
The value for money and subsequent success of Google’s more affordable products have earned it a lot of goodwill from both customers and pundits. But only one bad release is needed to undo years of praise.
Why does Google insist on trying Premium?
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Getting to the bottom of the matter, mid-range phones from Google offer a little bit of everything you could want. Sufficient performance, a good camera, solid battery life, and updated support that will last for quite as long as you intend to keep the phone. All at a cost that won’t break the bank. But the same cannot be said about its premium phones, which don’t have the best of performance, cameras, charging, or other bells and whistles. So why not double down on what Google is good at and focus exclusively on the mid-tier?
See all: Google Pixel 6a — All the Rumors
Ultimately, Google still feels the need to see it compete with high-end players, especially in the US where premium brand recognition is king. Apple is consolidating its lead with this strategy and Google doesn’t want to be seen as the “cheap” option, even if it already does. Although the Pixel 6 Pro might not be exactly cutting edge, it’s still a showcase for Android 12 and what Google can do with a big budget. Not to forget that pundits get to talk about the phone’s unique features, such as Live Transcription and Magic Eraser, which are also available on the more affordable Pixel 6. Will the industry pay as much attention to Google if it only sells budget phones? Maybe not.
The Pixel 6 Pro’s hardware and software problems are hurting not only Google’s dominant reputation, but it’s affordable as well.
But launching a product is one thing, making it successful is another. Google’s hardware issues and software bugs, especially in its high-end Pixel 6 Pro, are hurting its reputation. Customers don’t want to buy premium phones that require months of software patches to get up to speed – just ask OnePlus. Pixels are already known for having so much hardware but buggy software could be the nail in the coffin for Google’s premium and possibly more affordable ambitions. Besides, will anyone have the confidence to buy an expensive Google foldable phone in the future?
I’m not advocating that Google relinquish expensive hardware altogether, but if the company wants to continue, the segment needs to get additional attention and resources to make its products truly premium and uncompromising. is – or as close as possible. The Pixel series has redefined what a great mid-range phone looks like, but perfecting a premium combination of hardware, software and support is less forgiving.
The half-baked high-profile release isn’t worth the damage to Google’s affordable handset reputation.
One day, Google may defy history and debut a flawless premium-level smartphone. With its new custom processor and its unique vision for machine learning integration, Google is still clearly in the same league as Apple and Samsung in terms of innovation. But premium products also have to provide an uncompromising high-end experience. Even though we’re at five premium Pixels, Google still has a lot to learn.