Pixel smartphones: seven times Google fell behind the train

Pixel smartphones: seven times Google fell behind the train

Based on materials from androidauthority.com

The arrival of the Google Pixel smartphones in 2016 was an important milestone for Google, which sought to be more involved in the development of its devices. And she managed to achieve very good results: first of all, the 'pixels' are known for their top cameras and clean Android. And yet, despite the fact that in the field of creating smartphones, the name Google is associated with progress, and its devices remain desirable for geeks, not everything is so rosy with the company's smartphones. Pixel devices did not always offer the most advanced technologies to their users, at times leaving them without features and characteristics that were already ubiquitous by that time. What are the weaknesses that Google has left in its 'pixels'?

1. Protection against water

Pixel smartphones: seven times Google fell behind the train

The first Pixel lineup was life-changing for the company. Google ditched the Nexus brand to start from scratch. And the first Pixel smartphone was by no means a failure: it had a great camera and fast updates to compete with the competition, but it was not without its omissions. One of the most important among them was protection from water. This drawback cannot be called completely critical, because the first 'pixel' had protection against splashes, but meanwhile, in the eyes of buyers, protection against water quickly turned into a must-have. At the same time, the successful Galaxy S7 line from Samsung and the flagships from Sony from the Xperia line could already boast solid numbers of protection standards. And Google has added IP67 water and dust resistance to the Pixel 2 and subsequently IP68 to the Pixel 3.

2. Optical image stabilization

Pixel smartphones: seven times Google fell behind the train

Another feature that the first Pixel lacked was optical image stabilization. Originally 'pixels' only offered digital image stabilization. The software approach to image stabilization is not a flaw in itself, and Google's solution in terms of photographic capabilities was quite decent. However, optical stabilization could be found in many of the 2016 flagships. At Google, it will subsequently appear in the Pixel 2 lineup in combination with digital stabilization for better video shooting and photography in low light conditions.

3. Wireless charging

Pixel smartphones: seven times Google fell behind the train

Wireless charging is now available in a variety of flagships, moreover, fast wireless charging is becoming available as an option. However, this is another area in which Google lags behind the competition – this feature was missing on the first Pixel and on the Pixel 2. When it finally hit the Pixel 3 lineup, it was the hefty 10W that the Pixel Stand provided. However, the big drawback was that you had to use the Pixel Stand to get those 10 watts, because very few, if any, third-party charging mats supported Google's faster speeds. And if you've used other brands of charging mats, you've had to settle for the more modest 5W.

By the way, Google lagged behind the train and in the case of fast wired charging, the maximum for the Pixel 3 is 18 watts. Not bad, but if not compared with the speeds of 27 W and higher, which are offered by the brave Chinese Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi.

4.6 GB of RAM

Pixel smartphones: seven times Google fell behind the train

A more notable subject of dissatisfaction with the Pixel lineup lately has been that Google is stubborn about not giving users more than 4GB of RAM. And it's not just performance for performance. Pixel 3 users complain about aggressive application management, that is, you can only keep a few applications running at the same time, and everything else, the smartphone 'kills' as if it were unnecessary.

So in the future it will not hurt to add RAM. Many manufacturers offer more for much less money. Luckily, the latest rumors about the Pixel 4 promise a 6GB RAM option.

5. Dual cameras

Pixel smartphones: seven times Google fell behind the train

Google uses its Pixel smartphones as an example of a device for creating so-called 'computational photography', offering features such as Night Sight, HDR +, software portrait mode, and Super Res Zoom, while being hopelessly late to join the multi-camera trend.

More specifically, we are talking about multiple main cameras, since the Pixel 3 lineup has two front cameras (regular and wide-angle). But with the main camera, the company was stuck on one 12-megapixel camera, which was still in the first Pixel, although even then, in 2016, there were smartphones with a dual camera, such as LG G5, Huawei P9 and iPhone 7 Plus. And now in the smartphone market, three main cameras are a competitive advantage.

Fortunately, the Pixel 4 will apparently have two main cameras at least, so Google can finally move away from the tradition of only installing one camera in its smartphones.

6. Budget smartphone

Pixel smartphones: seven times Google fell behind the train

Once, for a short time, Nexus smartphones were affordable solutions for the price, but with the Pixel line, Google aimed at the premium segment – and this was a key factor in the low sales of the Pixel 3, which were disappointing according to Google itself.

However, the company has worked on the bugs and is targeting the budget segment this year with its Pixel 3a. There are predictable trade-offs in the phone, but key Pixel features remain, including clean software, quick updates, great photo quality and Active Edge for quick access to the Google Assistant. The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL even have a headphone jack!

7. Face unlock

Pixel smartphones: seven times Google fell behind the train

Google has announced that it will add 3D face unlocking to the Pixel 4, and this will be the first time the company has offered this type of face unlocking at all on Pixel smartphones. And before that, the lack of this function was disappointing, despite the fact that competitors have had this quick and convenient method available for a couple of years.

It's worth remembering that face unlocking with a selfie camera is one of the least secure methods due to the possibility of tricking a smartphone with a photo, so I'm glad that Google will introduce more advanced 3D unlocking.

And in conclusion, a traditional question for you, dear readers: which of the listed shortcomings could become critical for you? Or is there something else that you think Google's smartphones are missing? Share in the comments!

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