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Pixel 5a and more: 2 big questions about Google Pixel’s future plans

Pixel 5a and more: 2 big questions about Google Pixel's future plans

There are many things that he likes about Google’s new Pixel 5a phone and a lot to think about its widespread importance.

After months of leaks, searches and geeking, Google’s latest and best Pixel phone is finally here.

No, it is not that one . I’m talking about Pixel 5a or «Google Pixel 5a with 5G», if you want to use its full name strangely. (I, ahem, no.)

Pixel 5a, as we will call it from now on, made its way into the world through a discreet announcement at at begining of the week. The phone will start shipping in the US and Japan in a week from today, August 26.

Now, I know: this is not the 2021 pixel for which it is intended for everyone Really excited. He is Pixel 6 which is the beauty of two models with a striking new design, a number of new camera capabilities and a homemade Google processor that could introduce some new items incredible interesting in the equation. In comparison, this Pixel is quite boring. It’s simple and emotionless. And, strangely enough, that’s part of what makes it attractive.


Pixel 5a, in all its splendor.

At $ 449, the Pixel 5a is an incredible value. I’ve been using a device loan review unit for the last few days and it really is an Android experience as solid as I could ask for. It’s almost everything anyone has forever ordered on a phone at this price, in fact – impressive performance, an exceptional screen, better than ever, battery life and the best camera configuration associated with pure Google software and a unmatched warranty of timely and reliable operating system updates. In addition, it even has a premium body (ooh, baby), with an elegant metal case and the rare jewel of the headphone jack, to start.

But you don’t need me to tell you all this. This muscle of our interior is full of page Yes page of good reviews thinking . I cannot add much more to this discussion which has not already been said.

Instead, what I want to focus on here is the puzzle with bigger images and some suggestive questions that Pixel 5a raises about Google’s plans for the future. As we think about the last dizzying change As to what the Pixel brand is and where it fits into the larger Android ecosystem, these questions will make us think about a few important points about what’s next and where things are going here.

So, put on your meditative hat, get your favorite reflection drink and let’s start thinking.

Pixel question no. 1: What will next year’s Pixel «a» look like?

It may seem like a simple question, but one I come back to whenever I think of this current crop of Pixel phones. And your answer is incredibly important when it comes to the future of Pixel.

Remember: flagship pixels may be the most interesting gadgets to miss and the subject of all our geeky cravings from Google, but in the real world, Pixel «a» phones are the ones that the most of mammals looking to buy phones. From year to year, the signs constantly suggest that Pixel options at a lower and more modest price are moving at a fairly pleasant pace, while flagship Pixel products at a higher price remain largely niche products. .

Well, this year is Pixel 5a an awkward season in which I saw Two Pixel phones «a», apparently the result of a later thought caused by a pandemic. And as a result, this year’s Pixel «a» phone looks and feels like a subtle leap forward. strangely the similar 5G Pixel 4a of the year the last one (Gesundheit!).

Meanwhile, the next 6 pixels have a completely new visual language and feel like a ( not reinvention) of what the brand represents pixels. Perhaps most critically, it also has that homemade Google chip (processor, not the tortilla variety), which should go a long way in differentiating the phone both by its capacity and by its long-term support capacity.

So with this new reboot and all the new Pixel 6 elements, what will Google consider appropriate to do with Pixel? The 6th next summer? Will the phone retain the current Pixel «a» visual identity and frame, or will it become a reduction in the configuration of the Pixel 6 a year later? Will we see a new mid-range processor manufactured by Google that will power it and could bring an extended window of software support to the mid-level level?

One way or another, the Pixel «a» domain will certainly be a place to see as the current evolution of the Pixel continues.

And that brings us to the second big question about Pixel …

Pixel Question no. 2: How long until we get the Pixel ‘b’ line?

By this year, the Pixel «a» phone had been at the top end of the budget. The original «a» Pixel model, Pixel 3a from 2019, sold for $ 399 at launch. Regular tracking of the Pixel 4a last year dropped that price to $ 349.

Both phones were built to be accessible , with low-end interiors and a beautiful but visible plastic frame, rather than the glass or aluminum exterior that state-of-the-art phones tend to have. And let’s be honest: this positioning was a big part of its appeal and its relative bestsellers.

Meanwhile, the Pixel 5a essentially takes the place of the Pixel 4a. 5G from last year , with its state-of-the-art internal elements, aluminum construction and a tailor-made average price. Now, $ 449 may not be look a giant jump from $ 349 or especially $ 399, but something about moving to that $ 400 range causes a phone to stay significantly less accessible. Of course, it’s a matter of interpretation, but in my opinion, once you’ve exceeded the $ 400 threshold, you have no budget and you’re not in the middle.

So if the Pixel 5a is more average, the 2021 equivalent of last year’s 4a 5G offering, will Google fill that spot with a firmly budgeted alternative in 2022?

If you ask me, it certainly seems less a matter of Yes and more a matter of When . Google has made no secret of the fact that it wants Pixel to become a major player in terms of its overall market share. And both Google’s previous statistics and the general trends in the smartphone market make it undeniable that this price range is the easiest. ask her to OnePlus .

Long ago, when I first heard rumors about the plans for a mid-range Pixel, I said that it seemed inevitable that such a move would be just the tip of the iceberg . Oops, gadget rating device:

The question we should ask ourselves is not whether a mid-range Pixel phone will come true. It is the time it takes for that device to be available everywhere and the time it takes to appear the Next new model, either at a different price or with another shape-oriented distinction.

Three years have passed since then and now we are looking at a range in which we have a top flagship, probably over $ 1,000 and a middle alternative of $ 449, but still premium.

For now, Google has said that «Wait» keep selling last year Pixel 4a as long as you can provide all the necessary parts. Clearly, this is not a long-term solution and comes with the warning to potential buyers that the phone is already a full year old and therefore has less than two years of support left.

An obvious piece is still missing from this puzzle. And if I were a gamer, I’d say it’s only a matter of time before we see a low-end Pixel «b» phone to fill the Pixel image and fill the last remaining gap.

Things are getting interesting here in the country of Google and all the signs suggest that what we see now is just the beginning of the story.