2017 is going to be another exciting year when it comes to smartphones, and you can see all of the major players not giving a single inch of elbow room to their competitors. Google is fresh from stopping all Pixel Chromebooks in the immediate future, preferring instead to have the Pixel brand name concentrate on smartphones, and nothing else. This will inevitably lead to the Google Pixel 2, a smartphone that will be 2017’s flagship from the tech giant while continuing to make its mark on the premium, high end, or flagship category.
Google senior VP of hardware, Rick Osterloh, has confirmed that there will be a successor to the original Pixel smartphone, and the exact word used to described this particular category to AndroidPIT? The upcoming Pixel 2 will remain nestled within the “premium” category of smartphones, no negotiating around that.
It would make perfect sense for Google to step up to the plate and try to assert themselves in this premium smartphone category, and we would not be surprised if the Pixel 2 (or whatever else it will be called, nothing is finalized at the moment) were to compete on a similar price point as well -- which would certainly break the $1,000 mark. That is simply insane when you think about it! Well, pricing it considerably less would not do any favors for the brand name, and neither would it then qualify for the “premium” smartphone category.
Of course, we do expect the Pixel 2 from Google to go up against the other heavyweights in its class, such as the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 that is set to arrive with virtual buttons, or the iPhone 8 that will sport a curved OLED display and the possibility of ditching its Lightning port in exchange for USB 3.0 connectivity. That is only to be expected, and it would be the true test of one’s mettle if the Pixel 2 were able to come up tops against these two heavyweights, or perhaps at least best either device in selected categories. One thing is for sure -- the imaging performance of the Pixel 2 will certainly be scrutinized, and to see whether it is able to continue establishing itself in this category.
In terms of when the Google Pixel 2 will be launched, Osterloh did not reveal too much, other than mentioning that there is an “annual rhythm” to the smartphone industry. As for us industry watchers and smartphone fans? We are expected to just go with the flow of this particular “annual rhythm”. That is the equivalent of saying something without saying anything at all. If history were to be of any indicator, then the new Pixel smartphone ought to be released within the same time as its predecessor, which was in October 2016. This would mean the Samsung Galaxy S8 would be first out of the market, before the iPhone 8.
Would Google see how the industry pans out with regard to the iPhone 8’s release date, or will they chart their own course regardless of its rivals?