Thursday, May 19, 2022

Google Pixel: A device with so much potential, simply ignored by Google

If you are looking for a phone to purchase, Google Pixel is one of the best options available right now. Whether you are going for the latest and greatest Pixel 6 Pro or something a little older, these are good phones that run on the cleanest version of Google’s Android operating system. Each of the Pixel typically offers top-end cameras in a smaller as well as easier build than the competition. 

Google Pixel: A device with so much potential, simply ignored by Google
Google Pixel: A device with so much potential, simply ignored by Google

The Google Pixel 6 Pro is arguably the first truly top-end phone Google has ever made; it certainly is the first one in a while. The design is new, very different from other phones on the market. It might not be to everyone’s taste with its big visor-like camera block, few may feel it is futuristic and elegant, while others may just find it ugly, however, it most certainly will turn heads. 

Google has also taken the unusual route of equipping the Pixel 6 Pro with their chipset called the Google Tensor. This has been designed with AI and machine learning in mind, it’s been built specifically for the Pixel 6 range. 

Add in a versatile triple-lens camera, with a 50MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 48MP telephoto (with 4x optical zoom), which is probably the best you can get in a smartphone right now. On top of that, a 6.71-inch QHD+ screen with a 120Hz refresh rate makes the Pixel 6 Pro an enormously exciting handset. 

Google Pixel and its Problems 

Despite saying all of that, I believe that Google is using Pixel as a placeholder, just to stand in the smartphone market. What do I mean by that? It is so that if any big companies like Apple or Samsung fall within a short period like Nokia, Google will have a phone to replace them in the market. Google does the same with all their apps, that’s the reason you see a lot of Google apps are launched and are killed frequently. 

For all its glory, being the cutting edge of Android has its demerits as well. The Pixels are usually the first phones to receive a new Android version, any minor/major update, as well as any new Google or Android feature. On top of that of having problems such as display flickers, fingerprint slowness, odd bugs, and more notably, a random calling bug and many Wi-Fi connectivity problems, Google hasn’t been as reactive in fixing the issues as expected for a flagship.  

Even though Pixel 6 Pro when considered in totality feels like the best the company is willing to offer, there are regions where the flaws are undeniable. The Pixel 6 Pro is a top-heavy phone, thanks to that huge camera bump, which makes it harder to handle the device. The problem is further compounded by the slick as well as slippery finish. The Pixel 6 Pro is nearly unusable without a case unless your hands somehow have a perfect level of moisture. A case would solve the slippery problem; however, cases are annoying with the curved display, which would not make them an ideal solution.   

The camera could use a few improvements. Its ultrawide lens is not wide enough (114-degree FoV) when compared to other flagships like the 120-degree FoV on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra as well as the iPhone 13 Pro.  

When compared Dollar for dollar, the Pixel 6 ($599) is a better value. Yes, you sacrifice the zoom lens, the QHD+ 120Hz display for an FHD+ 90Hz panel, the 12GB of RAM (though 8GB is more than you’d need for daily life), and the UWB chip. You also get a downgrade to the selfie camera. On the flip side a bonus, you save $300 while getting a slightly smaller phone with a flat front panel. 

The Tensor chip’s performance when released was already lagging behind the Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100, the situation has gotten worse after half a year has passed. The Pixel 6 Pro has 30W wired charging. Even though, in daily use, both the charging speed as well as performance aren’t a concern, as Google and Android’s crown jewel, the Pixel series should do better.  

A Pixel What if? 

What if smartphone companies released phones with the best they can offer from a technological and design standpoint, rather than an upgraded chip to increase playback time, or new camera modes (Want to know whom I am talking about, click here.) What if Google made Pixel to the best of its abilities.  

Calling one of the best phones you can buy in 2022 a stand-in, is in no way a knock on the gadget or the company, it is to arise a question, is this the best colossal tech company like Google can offer. 

Google.com is the most visited website in the world, it has 92.5B monthly visitors, which is nearly 2.7 times that of YouTube which occupies the second place with 34.6B. With data being an important factor for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, taking into consideration the enormous amounts of data Google has, it would be fair to imagine Google would have figured something in the AI field that awaits deployment, as the Google Tensor chip is designed with AI and machine learning in mind.  

Google is known for notoriously releasing as well as killing apps. A lot of the apps that are killed by the company provide useful features, however, are killed due to not gaining enough traction, whereas others are released as competitors for already existing apps like Facebook.  

I feel, Goggle has an idea of what the people want, however, it is reluctant to provide, as it is being saved for the future when the rest of the competitors make huge moves.  

A Bright Future for the Pixel? 

Despite how I feel regarding the Pixel line, or what Google could do if it wanted to, there is no denying that the Pixel 6 was a significant leap from the 5. The seventh generation of Pixels is only half a year away and if rumors are to be trusted, it will be reiterating last year’s phones (designs as well as sizes). However, it will come with an upgraded Tensor 2 chip. 

Add to that the Android 13 Developer Preview being available to be tested, which points towards the future. 

It all boils down to a simple fact that the period for major technological advancements in smartphones of a smartphone has increased to at least 3 years. The competition has been cutthroat more on releasing new phones every year, than on technological advancements.  

Well, as consumers all we can do is wait for the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro to release, then talk about our disappointments or satisfactions. 

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