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Fourth Time’s The Charm? An Opinion Piece on Pixel Phones

The Google Pixel 4 is about to drop in less than two weeks and everyone’s wondering what the fourth iteration has in store. To be honest though, not a lot has been left to the imagination with this device. Thanks to the numerous renders and leaks being posted online almost daily (including this very convincing video, many of us already know what it looks like and what can be expected of it in terms of specs as well as features. The real question though, will this fourth revision finally hit the nail for Google’s flagship phone?

To recap real quick, the first Pixel phone was highly anticipated by fans and enthusiasts alike, thanks in part to the unfortunate demise of the Nexus devices even though the soul successor to that has been the Android One lineup. The fact that Google would now have their own iPhones, for android that is, had the ‘Apple Snob’ haters jumping with joy. The phone of course, had its fair share of shortcomings and those were very much expected considering that it was the first ever of its kind.

The Pixel 2 did a lot to address the concerns raised by the first edition but unfortunately brought in newer ones all the same. Still, it is my favourite of the lot even now, all thanks to the unbelievably amazing camera that it packed.

The Third from the line of Pixels was a disappointment to be honest, hardly much changed from the second one to warrant an upgrade for its owners. Even for those with non-Google flagships and mid-rangers, their were many more lucrative options floating around. Again, for whatever little it was worth, the camera was the saving grace.

Even the ‘budget-phone’ attempt by Google in the form of the Pixel 3a didn’t find too many takers; especially in markets such as India where the pricing of it was rather terrible amidst spec-heavy, feature rich yet affordable phones that launch almost on a monthly basis. And once again, it was the camera that somewhat helped them justify the existence of yet another Pixel phone.

Now, I’m not trying to bash the Pixel, far from it. I actually like the Pixel phones, obviously for the camera (Yes, a single camera) as a photographer and for the clean and minimal software experience as someone who prefers to keep things simple as they can be. (Fun fact: I pretty much hate every custom skinned android variant except for the likes of OxygenOS, Pixel Experience ROM and all; you get the picture). But, I’m in the minority here. The masses would rather flaunt their 48 megapixel shooters with dual or triple lenses, backed by 8GB of RAM that they have no use for. All this while the software experience and capability (in case of the cameras) has already gone to shit.

Meanwhile, the humble Pixel trudges along with its 12 megapixel single-lens camera and a measly 4GB of RAM (Pun Intended).

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