Among Stiff Competition, Google Better Bring the Heat With the Pixel 4

Pixel 4 Concepts

We received an email from a reader in our inbox last night,
asking what the Pixel
4
needs to have in order for it be competitive in the
current field of smartphones. They suggested that since Google
faces competition not only externally from the likes of Apple,
Samsung, and OnePlus, but also internally with the launch of the
mid-range Pixel “a” phones, the company would have to deliver
something pretty incredible to gain any traction. 

I agree with this, though, it still remains to be seen if the
Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are or will eat into the larger Pixel 3
and Pixel 3 XL sales. And because Google is Google, we’ll never
know those exact figures. However, what we can determine from the
company’s recent earnings call is that Pixel 3 and 3 XL sales

were not where Google had hoped they would be
. Even with an
enormous marketing campaign behind them, it appears Google must
have had really high hopes for its latest flagship phones. 

Alas, we’re looking forward to its next phone lineup now,
presumably the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. What will these phones need
to include and offer in order for people to spend their money on
them?


Pixel 4 Concepts

What We’d Like to See

Back in March, a couple of Pixel
4 concept renders hit the web
and everyone seemed to get rather
giddy about them. To me, they look like Pixel versions of the
Galaxy S10 lineup, which isn’t a bad thing, but if this is what
Google were to produce, it only confirms that Google is a solid
year behind other leading OEMs in the hardware design
department.

Due to its release schedule, when Google releases a phone with a
massive notch (Pixel 3 XL) or in this conceptual case a front
camera cutout in the display, consumers have already seen this
design for months and it automatically makes the design feel old
and dated. This isn’t the feeling you want to manifest in
customers who are the same people you’re trying to sell an
expensive device to. 

Thankfully, the reader who emailed the initial question also
tossed along a few suggestions of things they’d like to see in
the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. They said it’s time for Google to include a
second rear-facing camera, at least 6GB RAM, and also that the
next-generation Google Assistant ship with the phones. You know,
the one that was highlighted
at this year’s Google I/O


In my mind, all of these things are a given. There is no doubt
that Google heard plenty of feedback from the power users that 4GB
of RAM simply isn’t enough in 2019. For cameras, we’ve praised
Google for having one of the best camera experiences of any
smartphones while only having a single shooter, but the argument
for more versatility from additional lenses is getting stronger.
The single lens can already handle standard and wide shooting
angles, so my recommendation would be for a telephoto lens. It’s
a very handy thing to have. As for the new Assistant, Google
already announced that it’s coming to Pixel phones later this
year, so shipping with the new Pixel 4 and 4 XL or at least getting
it shortly after launch seems like a sure thing. 

As for hardware design, I don’t want Google to step away from
what makes its phones look Googley. The Pixel line has always
looked pretty unique, especially when the company produced the
original Pixel in Really Blue and the Pixel 2 XL in Black &
White. Really, just give us a few unique colors and I’ll be
happy, not including Purple-ish. On a more personal note, I think
that one looks really bland and awful. 


When it comes to cutouts and notches, you have multiple issues
that stem from various features you want to include. These issues
are countered in various ways from different OEMs, but the main
questions are: Where will we place the front camera or stereo
speakers even though people want small bezels? People don’t mind
a notch but ours is too big? Wait, now people don’t want display
cutouts even though we gave them small bezels and no notch? People
don’t want pop-up selfie cameras even though it eliminates bezel
and the display cutouts? 

We know that pleasing everyone is impossible, but for me, I’d
be just fine with a display cutout or pop-up selfie camera. I think
both of those solutions are better than an attached notch. Here’s
a few desired specs to get your brain percolating. 

Desired Specs

  • 90Hz+ OLED Displays
  • Snapdragon 855
  • 6GB+ RAM
  • 128GB+ Storage
  • Dual rear cameras
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Large batteries, at least 3,800mAh for the XL
  • Wireless Charging
  • IP67+ 
  • Headphone Jack
  • Awesome Color Options
  • Maybe a 5G Model?

The Competition is Stiff

While Google will always have those fans that will only buy a
Pixel phone, we have to consider that in order to gain more
marketshare, the company will need to steal customers from other
companies. We’re talking about the Samsung fans that love
everything Samsung does, as well as the OnePlus fans that care a
lot about affordability. It would also be cool to steal a few iOS
people, simply because having more Android fans is never a bad
thing. 

Competition has never been more fierce in the Android space.
Samsung arguably released its best phones ever in the Galaxy S10
lineup and will likely follow that up with the best Galaxy Note to
ever hit the market. The Note 10 will probably be a beast in specs,
and of course, look gorgeous. Recently, two noteworthy Note 10
tidbits made headlines. 1:
The Note 10 may come in multiple sizes
. This is major for
anyone who ever thought the Note was the king of phones, but just a
little too large for their pocket. 2: The Note
10 will have 5G connectivity
. With 5G beginning to pick up and
become available in the US, a phone having 5G could be a
dealbreaker for buyers in those areas. 


Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

And let’s not forget the newly announced OnePlus 7 Pro. It
couples very nice hardware with top tier specs along with a price
that seems almost too good to be true. This phone proves that we
might’ve been overpaying for smartphones, even though it may lack
a few things that people consider must-haves for a smartphone in
2019 — things like an IP rating and headphone jack. The phone is
$669, people! Either way, with OnePlus now on a US carrier, we
can’t deny that people will buy it, as evidenced by OnePlus’
US sales boost of 249%
within the first 30 days of OnePlus 6T
availability. 

On the bright side, Google’s Pixel exclusivity deal with
Verizon could be
coming to an end
. With the Pixel 3a and 3a XL available for
purchase through nearly all major US carriers (basically everywhere
except AT&T), this seems like a good sign that more people will
have access to carrier pricing plans for the Pixel 4. That equates
to more sales, but this all remains unclear and unconfirmed.

Make it Undeniable, Google

Google needs a phone or a pair of phones that are undeniable.
With the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, buyers could quickly point to things
they didn’t care for, such as the XL’s obnoxiously large notch
or both device’s sub-par amount of RAM. It’s things such as
those that can weigh heavily on a decision to purchase, and instead
of that, we need phones that have zero compromises. Honestly, I
don’t care if we have to spend the money in order to make it
happen, let’s just give the people what they want and see what
happens. 

How about you? What do you need to see from the Pixel 4 in order
for you to pull that trigger later this year?

Source: FS – Android
Among Stiff Competition, Google Better Bring the Heat With the Pixel 4