Google's Pixels have long been a top choice for technology enthusiasts. For people who understand the importance of simple software and a phone that offers an experience that is greater than the sum of its parts. And for people who love an easy-to-use, yet exceptionally powerful smartphone camera.
However, Google kept encountering a major obstacle: no one would actually try a Pixel phone to find out how great it was because it was too expensive. The first four generations of pixels were comparable to the latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones. And when people faced that choice, they left with the sure thing: the big name they already knew.
With the Pixel 3a in 2019 and its successor 4a released a few months ago, Google finally figured it out: people will appreciate what Google has to offer, it just needs to bring the price down a little. And now that we have the supposedly higher quality Pixel 5 and the larger Pixel 4a 5G, we know that Google has taken the idea to heart that it has to be incredibly affordable.
For some, including me, the old Pixel model of making a high-end phone and charging a high-end price was fine, but that's because I love what Google is up to with its pixels Bring the table and I'm ready to pay However, everyone else honestly saw boring hardware, a data sheet with a few nooks and crannies, and lots of "extras" found on other phones that were missing here.
Instead of trying to follow the same system as before, Google has set new standards and changed its strategy – even for the top-end Pixel 5. While this is the best Google phone of the year, it's only $ 700 . The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra costs $ 1,400 and Apple's iPhone 12 Pro is expected to cost $ 1,000.
Now Samsung and Apple obviously have inexpensive phones for the Pixel 5, as do LG, OnePlus, Motorola and countless international brands such as Xiaomi and Oppo. But they are all sub-flagship phones and now compete with Google's flagship phone. All of them have cut corners and less than flagship specs, just like the Pixel 5. They don't have the best screen or top-down features.
At that $ 699 price tag, Google's Pixel 5 kills these phones in two areas: camera and software.
Google's camera capability is the be-all and end-all of the Pixel 5. We get the tried and tested 12-megapixel camera again, which can take incredible photos day and night without thinking about it thanks to advanced image processing. The Pixel 5 now also has a secondary ultra-wide camera for breathtaking shots. It was an opportunity that the competition had to offer in imaging. Add in incredible video stabilization, top-notch portrait mode effects, and an awesome selfie camera, and it's a complete package. The Pixel 5 simply outperforms the top-of-the-range competition, let alone cell phones at the same price.
Once you lower the price, the Pixel wins the discussion about cameras and software.
This lower price also gives you a better understanding of the software approach and overall user experience. When corners are trimmed to save price, companies often make the wrong decisions – they keep features that make phones easier to sell, but aren't necessarily the best combination for using the phones. Google primarily cares about this post-purchase experience. Android 11 is simple and powerful, has no superfluous apps or bloatware and Google's “intelligent” additions with Assistant and other A.I. Features delight you regularly.
The Pixel 5 has more than enough processing power to keep everything running smoothly. A dozen other phones using the Snapdragon 765 processor this year showed us that there is nothing to worry about. With 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the phone is well positioned to handle Google's three year guaranteed software updates.
It's true that the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G are still boring phones in many ways. They don't have the flash and whiz-bang features that would make them jump out and scream, "I'm cool, buy me!" like some other phones. But that was never Google's intention, and I'm glad it didn't give in to this short-sighted strategy. Instead, it has simply doubled its strengths and made the right decision to lower its prices to ensure more people have the opportunity to try its phones – and mostly love them.