How the price of Google Pixel phones changed over the years

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Google Pixel phones side by side

Google‘s first smartphone line — the Nexus collection — undoubtedly wasn’t synonymous with ultra-premium design and options. The corporate has tried to vary that notion with its present telephone household, the Google Pixel collection. However that Nexus-to-Pixel identify and technique shift additionally resulted in one other key change — increased costs.

Whereas flawless {hardware} nonetheless isn’t Google’s sturdy swimsuit, the corporate’s software program innovation has taken the Pixel collection from zero to tech-enthusiast hero in simply 4 brief years. By 2020, the Pixel worth vary spans from $349 to $999, which is sort of a departure from the early years. Extra lately, Google’s mid-range “Pixel a” and Pixel 5 collection have put Google {hardware} on the radar for mass shoppers too.

To see how the corporate’s roadmap has modified since 2016, we’ve compiled worth tags and a few key product speaking factors for each Pixel handset up to now.

Learn extra: All Google Pixel telephones launched up to now


Google Pixel worth: $649 – $869

At $649, the unique Pixel appears fairly low-cost in comparison with right this moment’s flagships, however this wasn’t a very reasonably priced debut. Samsung launched its Galaxy S7 flagship for $689. In the meantime, the swanky S7 Edge variant retailed for $779, only a fraction costlier than the Pixel XL’s $769 debut. The 128GB Pixel XL price an eyewatering $869, whereas the ill-fated (see flamable), however way more subtle, Galaxy Notice 7 price $850. The Pixel collection clearly meant to play with the large youngsters from day one.

See additionally: Google Pixel redux assessment: Proof of the facility of software program

Google didn’t shy from charging premium costs, regardless that, frankly, the first-generation Pixel’s {hardware} was scorching rubbish. The metallic and shiny end chipped too simply, the telephone lacked the more and more commonplace IP68 water and dirt resistance ranking, and the rear digital camera didn’t even function OIS. There actually wasn’t a whole lot of {hardware} on provide for such a excessive price ticket.

As a substitute, Google Assistant, the Pixel Launcher, and Google’s spectacular HDR+ images software program gained Google some early followers. To this present day, software program stays probably the most compelling causes to buy a Pixel handset.


Google Pixel 2 worth: $649 – $949

Google sought to maintain the entry level to the Pixel collection moderately reasonably priced with the arrival of the Pixel 2. The corporate caught to its $649 base entry level for 64GB storage and $749 for the 128GB model. Nevertheless, Google noticed room for a worth hike with the Pixel 2 XL. Its base price leaped to $849 and $949 for the 128GB variant, a full $80 greater than its first-generation equal.

See additionally: Google Pixel 4a vs older Google telephones: Do you have to improve?

$80 is hardly the most important worth hike in historical past, however that put the Pixel 2 XL instantly up in opposition to the $850 Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. Maybe not the very best transfer for a telephone that will show to have some battery life and show points, whereas additionally daring to ditch the headphone jack forward of the curve. Google made strides with in-house {hardware} although, introducing the Pixel Visible Core to reinforce the telephone’s AI and picture processing capabilities, giving rise to among the best cameras telephones available on the market.

Even with the significantly excessive price in thoughts, Google did sufficient to refine its unique imaginative and prescient and nearly justify the upper worth. As we mentioned on the time, you don’t purchase a Pixel only for the {hardware}. As a substitute, the Pixel 2 collection was carried by its stellar software program, three years of OS updates, and a best-in-class digital camera system.


Google Pixel Three worth: $799 – $999

After main the best way with 2017’s Pixel 2 XL, it was solely a matter of time till the smaller entry within the collection noticed its worth go up too. That occurred a 12 months later with the $799 Google Pixel 3. That’s a full $150 greater than probably the most primary unique Pixel and Pixel 2.

See additionally: Google Pixel Three XL redux: It hasn’t aged nicely

On the similar time, the Pixel Three XL noticed its worth rise by $50 in comparison with its predecessor. This put the 128GB storage choice proper on the $999 mark. Fairly expensive for a telephone sporting simply 4GB of RAM and a single rear digital camera. This was the 12 months that Apple and Samsung normalized the thought of $1,000+ smartphones, which induced loads of backlash on the time. Maybe Google felt justified holding tempo with the large gamers.

The Pixel 3’s $150 worth hike is Google’s most controversial (up to now).

Google did make efforts to justify its increased worth with extra aggressive {hardware} this time round although. An IP68 water and dirt resistance ranking, a cracking P-OLED show, a wide-angle selfie digital camera, wi-fi charging, and a revamped premium look launched the Pixel collection from a flawed however plucky underdog right into a mainstream worthy smartphone. Simply don’t point out the unpleasant “bathtub” notch on the Pixel Three XL or the doubtful battery life.


Google Pixel 3a worth: $399

Pixel 3a screen standing on table

2019’s Pixel 3a marked a serious shift in Google’s smartphone technique. With an reasonably priced $399 price ticket ($479 for the 3a XL), the Pixel 3a halved the price of entry into Google’s ecosystem.

Google’s lower than excellent {hardware} was simpler to miss at this worth level. Plastic our bodies, thicker bezels, and slower reminiscence have been all completely acceptable trade-offs. This was very true as a result of the Pixel 3a packed in a lot of Google’s beforehand high-end software program options, together with its industry-leading digital camera capabilities. Higher nonetheless, the decrease finish specs helped guarantee Google’s extra reasonably priced telephones may simply final a full day of use.

Total, the Pixel 3a XL could have been a tad on the costly aspect, particularly in markets with loads of reasonably priced alternate options. However the smaller and cheaper Pixel 3a was a extremely aggressive bundle, priced good for Western audiences.


Google Pixel Four worth: $799 – $999

google pixel 4 xl revisited assistant

After testing its followers with the Pixel Three collection, there was a collective sigh of reduction when Google held off on any additional worth will increase with the Pixel Four and Four XL. Each fashions and storage variants price precisely the identical because the earlier era. In a 12 months of $1,000 smartphones, the Pixel 4’s stagnant worth technique defied the broader {industry}.

On the similar time, the Pixel Four and Four XL packed in additional {hardware} than ever earlier than. The telephones featured dual-rear cameras and a wide-angle rear lens for the primary time. Show high quality led the sphere and Google was fast onto the 90Hz show development. The Pixel Four collection additionally launched Google’s Movement Sense and Soli radar system. Whereas maybe not well worth the hit to already weak battery life, Movement Sense showcased Google’s continued efforts to marry distinctive {hardware} with improved software program experiences.

See additionally: Google Pixel Four vs Pixel 4a – Which do you have to purchase?

Google’s willingness to experiment continued to be its best energy and weak point. Whereas the Pixel Four supplied among the greatest digital camera and software program options round, its different options couldn’t fairly shake that lack of polish that plagued early Pixels. Till that’s addressed, a flagship Pixel above $1,000 could be a tricky promote.


Google Pixel 4a worth: $349 – $499

Google Pixel 4a review header

This brings us to considered one of Google’s newest choices — the Pixel 4a. Priced at $50 lower than the Pixel 3a, that is the primary time Google has really lowered the asking worth for a brand new era. And discuss a cut price.

Higher processing {hardware} does away with the 3a’s occasional jitters, the digital camera is elegant, and there’s Google’s top-class software program, in fact. All that for a 3rd of the price of some flagships. As we mentioned in our assessment, it presents the very best Google expertise for means much less money.

Nevertheless, the Pixel 4a has much more competitors this 12 months. The Apple iPhone SE, the OnePlus Nord (outdoors the US), and the Samsung Galaxy A51 are all preventing it out at related worth factors. Not forgetting a slew of different reasonably priced telephones from manufacturers like Xiaomi and Realme in Europe and Asia. However the Pixel 4a’s slight worth minimize offers it an edge on this more and more busy market phase.

There’s no XL mannequin this era. As a substitute, there’s the bigger Google Pixel 4a 5G, which additionally helps 5G sub-6GHz information and a sooner Snapdragon 765G processor. This telephone retails for $499, making it $20 greater than final 12 months’s 3a XL, and costlier than the 5G-enabled OnePlus Nord. $20 shouldn’t be an enormous mark-up for 5G, but it surely undoubtedly places the telephone in a unique market phase to the 4a. The $150 worth hole with the Pixel 4a is Google’s greatest but. We’ll must see if the Pixel 4a 5G’s {hardware} does sufficient to persuade shoppers of its worth proposition.

Learn extra: Google Pixel 4a 5G: Every part it is advisable to know


Google Pixel 5 worth: $699

google pixel 5 pixel 4a 5g event release date

Google’s newest flagship smartphone is the Pixel 5. It breaks away from the corporate’s beforehand premium pricing technique. Priced at $699 within the US, the Pixel 5 is cheaper than each the Pixel Three and Pixel Four and is barely any costlier than the OG Pixel. Nevertheless, Google needed to ditch numerous high-end options to hit this worth level.

This lower cost tag nets you a mid-tier Snapdragon 765G processor, an IP68 ranking, wi-fi charging, Google’s 12MP rear digital camera with a brand new 16MP wide-angle lens, and 5G with mmWave assist for US prospects. That’s a really complete bundle that gives critical worth for cash, however a couple of premium options that debuted with the Pixel 4, equivalent to Face ID, have disappeared.

The transfer to a extra reasonably priced worth level is smart within the broader image of lackluster Pixel Four gross sales and the much better reception of the Pixel 3a collection. With 5G pushing costs up, Google switched to a “simply works” somewhat than full bells and whistles method with the Pixel 5. Time will inform if this technique pays off.

Learn on: Google Pixel 5 vs Pixel 4a 5G vs Pixel 4a: Which do you have to purchase?


Google Pixel worth historical past: The massive image

Whereas the most affordable Pixel Four choice prices $150 greater than the unique Pixel’s launch 4 years in the past, the Pixel 5 has introduced the price of entry tumbling again down. Years of consecutive markups that adopted broader {industry} pricing traits have been set nearly straight again to sq. one. Google’s Pixel vary is now far more competitively priced than flagships from rivals Apple and Samsung, which proceed to push four-figure sums.

Even the very best spec entries within the Pixel collection haven’t dared but enterprise north of the $1,000 mark, and Google doesn’t look like approaching the road anytime quickly. However, it’s nonetheless attainable we may see an ultra-premium product from Google in 2021.

The Pixel collection was changing into more and more costly, which whereas controversial did provide a transparent minimize distinction between the extra reasonably priced Pixel “a” vary. The strains between premium and reasonably priced are somewhat blurry following the arrival of the Pixel 5.

Google’s reasonably priced collection has develop into cheaper although. The Pixel 4a is a crisp $50 cheaper than the Pixel 3a and comes with some much-improved {hardware} and Google’s mix of software program excellence. The Pixel 4a 5G retails at $499, making it Google’s most costly mid-range telephone but. But, on the similar time, its additionally a really reasonably priced entry level into the 5G market and Google’s ecosystem.

Google’s product portfolio has beforehand tried to please everybody. Costly flagships for the lovers and reasonably priced variations for the extra budget-conscious. The Mountain View firm doesn’t like to speak gross sales, however the “Pixel a” vary appears to be the extra commercially profitable of the 2 approaches. With that in thoughts, it’s not stunning that the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 are extra aggressively priced this 12 months. Though we’ll must see if the dearth of an ultra-premium product helps or hinders the Pixel smartphone model going ahead.


What do you consider Google Pixel pricing and its two-tier method to gadgets over the previous 4 years?

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