Google has been making Pixel smartphones for years, but it’s only now starting to enter some kind of flow. After a major change of pace for the Pixel 6 series in 2021 – crafting an in-house chipset, introducing a new design, and finally an overhaul of the camera system – in 2022 Time for some old-fashioned refining.
So the Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro are powerful and full-fledged smartphones, and the Pixel Watch and upcoming Pixel Tablet make their supporting lineup look almost complete.
Google is taking it step by step, but it’s undeniably doing a good job. So let’s take a look at Google’s 2021 winners and losers.
Winner: Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7
The Pixel 7 series may not be the best-selling flagships, but they are among the most important . Although Google made them a bit conservative – no satcom capabilities, no extreme zoom cameras, no folding parts. The Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7 are truly great phones, and it all starts with their software, developed by the makers of Android itself.
It continues to use the iconic Pixel camera, which many people love. Add some recognizable (maybe even iconic?) design and enticing pre-order bonuses — free Pixel Watch and Pro, Pixel Buds Pro and vanilla — and these two are outright winners.
WINNER: Pixel 6a
Google Pixel 6a is part of an insider winning series. Pixel “a” devices are thriving, especially in markets like the US, where most Chinese mid-range devices are unavailable. But the Pixel 6a is more than just an affordable smartphone. It has features that most Galaxy A devices don’t have. Like its larger Pixel siblings, the 6a has a fun-colored visor design and brings the signature Pixel camera experience. It also uses the same in-house Tensor chip as the Pixel 6 series.
One of the unique things about the Pixel 6a is its size. It’s one of the few powerful compact phones in the world. Combine that with the excellent battery life of the Pixel 6a and it’s really a win-win for small phone owners.
Loser: Pixel Watch
Google Pixel Watch is Google’s first smartwatch, featuring a unique design, Google’s own Wear OS And a tight integration with Fitbit debuted to appeal to the now-Google-owned fitness brand’s loyal fans.
But the Pixel Watch didn’t really make a mark on the market. Whether the Galaxy Watch becomes the first choice for people to buy a Wear OS watch, Wear OS is second fiddle to the Apple Watch, which is late to market, or whether people don’t use Google Fit doesn’t really matter. The fact remains that, even with those preorder bonuses, the Pixel Watch wasn’t very popular.
Loser: Pixel Fold
For the second year in a row, we expected the Pixel Fold to materialize, but it didn’t for the second year. Last year, Pixel Fold went from “just around the corner” to officially scrapped, and this year it went from “reborn” to “maybe next year.” There’s no denying that the Pixel Fold is coming, we’ve seen it tested on Geekbench, and we even have a good idea of what it will look like. But it doesn’t come in 2021.
Must be next year, right?