Google has unveiled its two latest flagship smartphones, claiming the devices are its “most personal and most helpful” phones ever, as it looks to challenge Apple and Samsung.
The £599 Pixel 6 and £849 Pixel 6 Pro are comparatively cheaper than their rivals, and Google is hoping the impressive specs, including big batteries and high-end cameras, will appeal to smartphone users.
The phones have been given a complete redesign on the outside, while also housing Google’s first own-designed processor, Google Tensor.
The tech giant says it has been specifically designed for the Pixel and as a result can better take advantage of Google’s artificial intelligence, which ultimately makes the phone faster and smarter.
The Pixel 6 comes with a 6.4-inch display, while the 6 Pro has a 6.7-inch QHD+ screen, with the latter also supporting a 120Hz refresh rate, which means smoother scrolling and gaming and has increasingly become a key feature on smartphones.
Both devices have a new 50-megapixel camera lens as part of a dual-camera system on the Pixel 6 and a triple-lens set-up on the 6 Pro, and both devices include larger batteries which Google says can mean up to 24-hour battery life on a single charge.
The two phones will also come with the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 12, and will go on sale on October 28.
But industry expert Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight, said he believes Google will continue to struggle to entice customers away from the existing smartphone heavyweights.
“The Google Pixel team undoubtedly has aspirations to take on Apple’s iPhone or Samsung’s flagship Galaxy devices, but the reality is that Apple and Samsung have had decades to build their brands, distribution and consumer loyalty,” he said.
“There is still a huge swathe of consumers who don’t know that Google makes phones or in some cases, that Android is a Google product.
“Google is going to have a spend a small fortune on marketing to move the needle if it wants to be a major smartphone player, just as Huawei did in the past.”
Wood added that while many of the new Pixel range’s features were impressive, the key selling point of using a custom processor for the first time would be a hard sell to potential customers.
“Google is clearly excited about the chip it is offering with the Pixel, but history has shown that mass-market consumers will care little about custom silicon,” he said.
“I can understand why Google is proud of a custom chip and in time it may enable some game-changing apps and experiences, but near term, it’s not the secret sauce that will be a game-changer when it comes to getting consumers interested in Pixel phones.
“The camera has always been a key selling point for Pixel devices and the company continues to lean heavily on computational photography innovations.
“It is also encouraging to see the inclusion of a 4X optical zoom, which keeps the device competitive with the iPhone 13 Pro which has a 3X optical zoom and the Galaxy S21 family which has 3X and 10X optical zoom depending on the model.”