There’s a lot to love about Google- ‘Do No Evil’, being the biggest and best search engine, The Internship; all of that– but still, we can’t help but ask the same question as many others before us:
Just why are Pixel phones so expensive?
There are various theories and ideas about the reasoning behind the premium prices of Pixel phones, as we’ll discover in this article today.
However, the one that makes the most sense is the theory surrounding the target market and its competitors. The Google Pixel series was introduced to compete with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy series, after all.
Both of those competitor series belong mostly in the “Premium” level, with probably just one phone in each respective series in the entry-level market.
Naturally, Google felt the need to price its Pixel models in the same range to attract users from the same target market.
Where the problem comes in is that one can argue that Google phones have been found to contain quite a few defects over the years (not entirely untrue).
At the same time, Pixel phones do also have some wonderful, unique features that somewhat make up for these defects- and maybe even justify the price.
We’re going to dive into this topic from both sides in this article, and we’re glad to have you here with us. What do you think?
Why Is The Google Pixel So Expensive?
When you really think about it, It’s not all that surprising that Google Pixel phones are expensive.
As a company with a $1.5 trillion market cap, they’re certainly not wrong in feeling that they belong in at least the same price range as Apple and Samsung smartphones.
Apple and Samsung are Google’s direct competitors in the mobile market, while other brands that use the Android OS are more akin to their partners.
So in one aspect, if Google did focus solely on the entry-level or mid-range smartphones (as it did with the Nexus), the company would be directly affecting the sales of said partners.
Having settled on placing the Pixel as an equal or a better option to the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, Google seemed to be intent on capturing some of their competitors’ markets.
The pricing of Pixel phones therefore could be argued to be more of a marketing strategy than anything else.
Nevertheless, things didn’t quite work out as Google had planned at first.
For one, users began preferring Samsung over Pixel from the outset. Looks do matter, and frankly speaking, the Pixel is rather bland in appearance. The specifications, too, worked in Samsung’s favor.
In 2019, Google figured out that it had to make a few changes and cut down the price of Pixel 3A ($399) and 3A XL. This led to a 50% increase in sales the same year.
The release of Pixel 4 and 4 XL at a higher price didn’t work either, as users continued to buy the Pixel 3A instead even into 2020. Again, by taking $50 off the Pixel 4A price ($349 – $499), the company was able to claw back some of its market shares.
After all, anyone could see that the 4A was better than the 3A at similar prices!
The Pixel 5 was again more expensive ($699) than the Pixel 5A ($449), which was regarded as a mid-range and affordable model. The 5A had even better features and better hardware compared to the 4A.
When the Pixel 6 and 6A arrived in October 2021, the prices rose higher than ever- justified, after all, by the impressive new Tensor chip designed by Google themselves.
The Pixel 6 and 6A truly seem to contain the best of everything, from design and battery life to hardware and software features. The company has made it abundantly clear that the Pixel 6 would be a premium market device in every way imaginable.
To reflect that, Pixel 6 models range between $599 and $1099, competing with the iPhone 12 Pro Max and Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Are Google Pixels Worth Buying?
Google definitely didn’t have it easy with the Pixel line. Building a premium phone from scratch is no simple task, and marketing it is especially difficult when the price touches the clouds.
While Google still has a smaller market share when compared to Apple and Samsung, the Pixel phone has taken off over time. Models like 3A, 4A, and 5A laid a solid foundation and created a favorable impression in a saturated market.
While they definitely have their flaws, one thing to note is that anyone who has tried the Pixel is more than likely to continue with the series and buy the latest model regardless of price.
User-friendliness, camera quality, and the general feeling of familiarity when using the phone all but ensure that Pixel users stay loyal to the brand.
However, non-Pixel users continue to face the dilemma:
Are Pixel phones really worth buying?
If you’re asking me? I’d say yes. Even expensive Pixels are worth the investment, and here are some of the reasons why:
Google Photos With Unlimited Storage
Do you want to backup thousands of pictures in the Cloud without any data cap whatsoever?
Well, with Google Photos, you can.
Moreover, the images will be saved in exactly the state in which they were taken; no forced compression happens here in the name of taking up less space.
Any Pixel released in 2016 and beyond offers high picture quality even when stored in Google Photos.
Even though the actual photo quality does still depend on the phone, you’ll notice in the majority of cases that the images are markedly better.
Top Quality Camera
One thing almost every Pixel user agrees on is the quality of the camera on these phones.
The camera app itself is extremely simple, and yet, takes brilliant pictures.
The detailing, light balance, range, and just about everything else is perfect when you take photos on even more affordable Pixel phones.
No Unwanted Apps
This may be the true answer to many smartphone users’ prayers.
How many times have we all complained about unwanted system apps occupying memory space on the phone that we aren’t allowed to get rid of?
This won’t be the case for you anymore when you pick up a Pixel phone. Google Pixel phones have a neat interface that focuses on improving user experience, with none of the bloats that commonly accompanies other Android phones.
Say No To Spam
Who wants to answer marketing calls when working on a tight deadline, or while off with the family for the weekend?
The Pixel Call Screen app is built in to block automated, marketing, and spam callers from disturbing your peace so that you can enjoy just a few moments without your smartphone.
Access To The Latest Updates
Google has assured that Pixel users would have first access to the latest updates and features released by the company.
Moreover, Pixel users get extra preference as Beta testers for upcoming Android OS functions.
From security features to full OS updates, Pixel users will always be the first to experience and reap the benefits of the newest software advances.
Did you know that Google offers its own mobile carrier services?
Google Fi is a pay-as-you-go service with easy data plans. All Pixel phones are designed to work with Google Fi; it’s really just up to you whether you want to activate it or to stick with your existing network carrier services.
Remember that Pixel phones do have their defects as well and are by no means perfect.
However, odds are that you won’t regret your Pixel purchase once you take the plunge with the model that feels best for your specific requirements.
Argument: Why The Google Pixel Is Better Than The iPhone
Here we are: The section that most readers will no doubt be the most interested in.
The Heavyweight bout.
The final showdown.
In an article discussing whether the Pixel is worth its price point, how could I not compare two of the top brands in the world?
Spoiler Alert: While iPhone users may feel a little disappointed (sorry Jimmy), in my opinion, the Google Pixel is indeed the better product- especially the latest Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
From the Pixel XL to the latest 6 and 6 Pro, the following are some of the reasons why I feel Pixels win one over the iPhone. Let’s compare the Pixel 6 with the iPhone 13, shall we?
Design And Display
Pixel phones no longer look bland or lifeless like they might have in a previous life.
The Pixel 6 is stylish, sleek, and trendy.
And while the iPhone 13 may be slightly thinner than the Pixel 6, the camera bar at the top of the 6 makes it steady and practical, as well as preventing the imbalance that can be caused by having cameras concentrated on just one side of the device.
The Pixel 6 is smaller in size, and yet still has a great display. The fingerprint sensor is a little hard to find the first time, but it works seamlessly. The iPhone 13 no longer has a fingerprint sensor and instead uses Face ID technology for unlocking.
Finally, the Pixel 6 has a refresh rate of 90Hz while iPhone 13 trails at a paltry 60Hz. You’ll find that scrolling and navigating on Pixel phones is a better experience in every single way.
Both the iPhone and Pixel are known for their cameras. Both companies have put extra effort and emphasis into improving the cameras in their latest models.
The Pixel 6 has a 50MP sensor as the main camera with a 12MP ultrawide lens. One area where Apple wins is with low light photography, where the iPhone 13 seems to be more natural with (Apple admittedly did work hard for this).
While the iPhone produces sharper pictures, the Pixel has cleaner images.
Apple also seems to have a better front camera- I concede that too- but Pixel 6 fights back with some never-before-seen photo editing features that haven’t been replicated by anyone else as of yet.
Usage And Performance
The Pixel 6 uses the Tensor chip (designed by Google themselves) instead of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon as in previous Pixel models.
The iPhone 13 obviously has the A15, which is very advanced (a fact that is even accepted by the most loyal Pixel lovers).
While the iPhone 13 has a larger battery that delivers more usage time, it still has 20W wired charging compared to the 30W charger of the Pixel 6.
Features And Software Updates
The final battle is between iOS 15 and Android 12. Guess who wins?
Android, of course.
(No bias at all.)
Given how Pixel phones receive the best of what Android has to offer, you see some fab features in Pixel 6. Check out the real-time Voice Assistant Typing for one- it’s a real treat.
The battle is neck to neck here, but for me, the Pixel wins.
Pixel phones are premium-level devices built by Google to compete with the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy series.
In terms of the question, “Why are Pixel phones so expensive?” This can largely be attributed to Google’s marketing strategy.
However, you’ll find that more affordable models such as the 4A, 5A, and 6 Pro still do have great features and high-quality hardware.
Pixel phones are user-friendly and come with a top-notch camera. Not only that, access to the latest security and Android updates is another reason that the phones are priced how they are.
In my final opinion: While the Pixel offers different strengths and caters to a different crowd, they have definitely now worked themselves up into the upper echelon and therefore deserve the price point that puts them head-to-head with their greatest peers.