The Pixel Is Not Google’s First High-Priced Smartphone

The Google Pixel and the Pixel XL have definitely been the main talking points during and after the company's hardware keynote held in San Francisco yesterday. Besides their incredible camera capabilities, impressive hardware specifications, Google's promise of unlimited cloud storage, and the fact these are the first two smartphones infused with the Google Assistant and marketed as being exclusively 'made by Google', the Pixel and Pixel XL have also prompted a lot of discussion regarding their pricing. Namely, given how the 32GB version of the smaller Google Pixel starts at $649 and the fact that the larger Pixel XL will retail for $769.99. Pricing which led to some people being quite surprised that the Mountain View-based tech giant opted for such premium price tags. The reaction to the prices of the upcoming Pixel phones is mostly the result of the memories of their Nexus predecessors, which were always hailed as affordable smartphones and therefore, offered good value for money.

However, the surprise at the aforementioned price tags is just a byproduct of revisionism as Google has already released a couple of high-end flagships at premium prices. For instance, the 2011 Galaxy Nexus and the 2014 Motorola Nexus 6, both also hit the market priced at $649. Interestingly enough, in addition to the unlocked variants, both of these premium flagships were also sold by Verizon, who also happens to be the US wireless carrier partnering with Google this time with the Pixel. Yes, the other six Nexus phones were all priced under $530 but that amount would only net you a device with 16GB of internal storage - or less in two-thirds of those cases. In other words, Google hasn't really upped the price of its new devices that much. As a matter of fact, it hasn't really pushed the threshold at all - as far as the 5-inch Google Pixel is concerned.

Last but not least, considering the fact that Google claims both of its upcoming smartphones will boast unprecedented camera capabilities and all of its users will get access to unlimited cloud storage for all of their full-resolution pictures and videos, the pricing definitely doesn't seem unfair. A notion which is further reinforced by the fact that the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are meant to compete with the very best modern flagships and aren't being marketed as Nexus successors. The jury is still out on whether the two phones will offer good value for money, but we should know more soon enough with both devices set to hit the market from October 20.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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