It can be said that 2020 is a particularly sad year of Pixel. Not only is it affected by Covid-19 as the whole market, Google also seems to be having supply problems when it is unable to launch Pixel 4a to replace the recently deceased 3a duo. At the time of launch, the Pixel 4 series was also criticized by countless technology news sites “landing on the field”. On technology forums, Pixel 4 has been complained of countless errors: for unlocking when the user is closed, the screen is dotted, the mic stops working, etc.
Most notably, in May, Google’s Pixel manager and chief camera engineer left the company. This can be considered as a signal that Pixel is in a wide-ranging crisis, and Google is struggling to find a foothold for its high-end smartphone line.
Everything would have been a lot simpler. Google is the boss of Android, the world’s No. 1 mobile operating system. Google is powered by Motorola’s patent arsenal, HTC’s talented team, and of course the powerful brain drain from businesses that dominate the world (Search, YouTube, Maps). Why is Pixel so shallow?
The true role of Android: Tools to popularize Google applications / services.
To see the answer, let’s first look back at the true role of Android. Although the operating system dominates the mobile market, Android practically does not bring direct revenue because it is free for all stages of installation, customization and use. In contrast, this operating system is primarily used to integrate Google applications / services, thereby promoting Google’s main source of life – advertising. Every manufacturer can sign up for authentication and use Android for free if they accept Google’s terms – which includes the full installation of Google Mobile Services and Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Play app market …
This role of Android has created a difficult situation for Google’s hardware array. Because Android is shared by billions of devices around the globe – and because these devices indirectly generate the main revenue for Google, an irony happened: even if the owner of Android, Google could not Creating an Android version is truly its own. The search giant can’t customize Android as deeply as Apple does iOS. Google’s smartphones cannot carry a separate hardware / software architecture, because doing so would ruin the meaning of Android’s “universal application engine”.
Keep an eye out and you’ll find every new version of Android, published by Google every June, is incredibly boring. Past Google-branded smartphones have also been surprisingly boring. The entire Nexus portfolio can only attract customers with cheap prices and the original Android experience. The Motorola 3 years under Google’s hands also stand out the most … the wooden back cover.
Created by the “father” of Android, the Pixel can hardly own its own strength compared to “regular” Android smartphones.
Pixel does not have to accept the same fate. True to its name, Pixel promises to outperform previous Android smartphones with cameras. Without racing the number of cameras, sensor size or generally physical components, Google chooses a very-Google way to make cameras: using its own custom chips and superior algorithms to reproduce physical effects . For years, Google’s single-camera-defocused camera has always been considered to have more accurate bokeh than Apple’s or Samsung’s dual cameras. By algorithm, Google can zoom with almost the same quality as optical zoom,
The Pixel can even do things that “normal” smartphones and cameras can’t do: HDR in real time, and pulls light for completely separate shadow / highlight areas. With the 4-minute “package” algorithm at 16 seconds, Google can even create photos of the night sky.
But other Android makers have set a trap that Google, as a latecomer, will not be able to avoid. It is a trap of numbers. When they share Google’s operating system together, they only have a way of making a difference in hardware. The “as much as possible” mentality is ingrained in the minds of users. Google’s AI miracles can’t beat Samsung’s, Huawei or Xiaomi’s bigger numbers.
Because of its software strength, Google also chooses software (AI) as its core competitive strength for Pixel …
… but in the Android world, the new digital race is the prerequisite to success.
DxOMark Score is a prime example. Few people remember that Google was one of the first forces to put DxOMark on the global map when showing DxO points for the first Pixel model in 2016. But Google’s pioneering position was quickly captured by Samsung and Huawei. keep. These manufacturers use hardware – the area Google is just a dreamer, to beat the Pixel. Google’s Night Sight can’t beat a sensor that’s twice the size. Super Res Zoom does not win over zoom lenses.
Of course, Google lost not only in the camera hardware war, but also in terms of configuration parameters. Despite claiming to be Google’s own (and not generic) Android experience, buyers will simply consider the Pixel to be one of the countless Android smartphones available on the market. Pixel will still be judged in the same way: fans of the green robot will still carry the chip, RAM, memory, number of cameras and prices compared. And Pixel still only uses Snapdragon, still has less RAM than Chinese smartphones, is still as expensive as the iPhone.
Finally, we cannot ignore the countless quality problems caused by Google itself. But above all, what Google really needs to do right now is to find a reason for Pixel’s existence. On the hardware side, what Pixel has, Galaxy, Huawei or Mi all have, even more.
Google’s hardware is not only lackluster but also too many quality issues …
On the software side, Google has set itself up for years: when it released an operating system for the world to do together, the search giant made global users forget the important role. of the software. As long as that mentality persists, Pixel will only be a supporting actor on his home turf.