How has Google’s strategy changed?

Google has always wanted to be able to put its smartphones alongside Samsung’s and Apple’s. It’s been four years since the release of the first Pixel model, and during that time, Google’s strategy has changed dramatically and evolved at the same time. Introduced in 2016, the Pixel 1 and the latest Pixel 5 are aimed at different sectors of the smartphone market, while both have different advantages and disadvantages compared to the competition.

Let’s take a closer look at how Google’s strategy has changed in these few years and try to figure out why Google’s line of smartphones has changed so much.


It is first necessary to stop at the most outstanding features and specifications, as this is the area where the strategic shift is most strongly reflected. The original Pixel was very competitive with Samsung and Apple within the price range, both in terms of processor, screen, camera and even price. Google’s first Pixel device was designed specifically for “flagship” customers and this task was definitely a piece of cake. Ultra fast charging, unlimited storage space for photos in the cloud, headphone jack and state-of-the-art cameras. These were the features that made the original Pixel truly top notch.

If we look at the specifications of the latest Pixel today and compare them with the competition, we see that the Pixel lags behind in practically every step. The processor is not as powerful, less memory, less and worse cameras, and even slower charging. Make no mistake, the Pixel 5 is not a bad phone, but it is far from the “flagship” rate we are used to from the major players in the smartphone market today.

This shift from “flagship” to mid-range specs is likely Google’s response to criticism flying at Pixel 5’s predecessors. The Pixel 4 was technically a top-of-the-line smartphone, but it lacked battery life, memory space, quality video recording and we could list more. Only the best or. the most powerful processor was not the right answer. The final assessment is that the Pixel 5 is capable of what its predecessors failed to do, namely mastering the basics.


Pixel has been known for high-end cameras since its inception. Here we are thinking mainly of the original Pixel, which with its camera quality not only stood alongside the best phones, but even beat quite a few of them. Four years later, that is, today, we can see that Google did not make too much effort to significantly change or improve the cameras of its phones in any way. It is true that another camera has now been added, but the quality has practically not changed.

At this pace of development, Google will have a hard time keeping up with the competition. Google waited until 2019 before adding an additional sensor – a 16MP telephoto camera. During this time, the stirrup lens system was the norm. Also last year, Google did not add a third rear camera, but merely replaced the telephoto with an ultra-wide-angle one, which met with quite a bit of criticism. Over the years, Google has added features to its devices such as Portrait mode, Night Sight, Super Res Zoom, astrophotography and Live HDR. By doing so, Google has achieved this by helping obsolete hardware become a feature-rich camera system that has actually progressed light years from the original release.

The biggest change in strategy is seen in the relationship between hardware and software. In the beginning, the Pixel camera had a good sensor and a powerful processor for that time. Such a combination put Pixel ahead of devices that only had good hardware. Today, it is clear that Google has bet everything on the hardware performance of photography, which, apart from Apple, is hardly difficult for any manufacturer to follow.

Position in the square

The original Pixel came out in the US for $ 649 – or $ 769 for the larger Pixel XL – in 2016, the Pixel 5 came out for $ 699, four years later. The smartphone market has changed dramatically over the years. While “flagship” devices cost from $ 1,000 onwards today, the Pixel 5 has remained in the “new category,” the “super mid-range”. It is typical for such devices to compensate for the fastest processors for a good part of the price, while maintaining the elite features we expect from premium devices. Google’s best Pixel is now competing with powerful and affordable “flagship” phones, such as the Apple iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, neither of which is the best version of the series.

Google has changed its strategy since the original release of Pixl and is now no longer comparable to the Android and iPhone elite. This leap in Google’s mindset also had its origins in the poor sales results of previous “high-end” models. Data from The Informant portal revealed last year that Google sold only two million Pixel 4 devices between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020. Unfortunately for Google, Pixl’s poor sales results haven’t changed since the release of the original model.

The biggest change that Google has decided between the Pixel 1 and Pixel 5 is the introduction of the secondary, “low-budget” Pixel phone. I now have Google three Pixel phones that are priced between $ 349- $ 699. Currently the cheapest model Pixel 4a was even labeled as one of the best smartphones in 2020. Google’s cheapest model isn’t even that far removed from the Pixel 5 model when it comes to user experience. It is true that it lacks premium materials, but it has the same quality camera, very similar software and a fairly similar design. Pixel 4a 5G is even closer to the Pixel 5 model.

Does Google “budget” access work? According to the data IDC Google sold 7.2 million phones in 2019, the most of all years. However, it still lags far behind the largest manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi and Oppo. Google is very clearly targeting the U.S., where this mid-range ranking isn’t as charged with competition. Time will tell if Google can take advantage of good form and ever test itself in the development of a “premium” device like the Pixel 1.

The future of Pixel

Pixel 1 was Google’s opportunity to completely overhaul the mobile market. It boasted flagship specifications, clean software and a revolutionary camera. Google was clearly competing with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Apple iPhone 7 at the time. Unlike the Pixel 1, the Pixel 5 is a safe option that covers the basics first, it is a “super mid-range” phone that has somehow created this niche market. The target audience of the Pixla 5 are customers who are looking for a great “all-around” phone and don’t want to ruin their wallet for it.

As it turns out, Google’s entry into the “mid-range” market could be the right decision in the long run. It would be interesting to see how Google would return to the “flagship” level, but at the same time we are looking forward to what Pixel 6 will bring us.

Source: Računalniške – Novice by

*The article has been translated based on the content of Računalniške – Novice by If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!

*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.

*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!