There has been some excitement amongst the Android faithful over the Pixel 2 smartphones that are due to launch today, and leaks have landed recently giving us an idea what the devices will look like. Those images have already stoked the disappointment in many hopefuls, because the Pixel 2 smartphones have thicker bezels and lack the high-end design touches found in other devices like the Galaxy Note 8 or iPhone 8.
Jean Baptiste Su, principal analyst at Atherton Research has now written that the Pixel 2 lineup will be a major disappointment. Reasons cited for this are a boring design aesthetic shared with the original Pixel devices launched last year. Pixel 2 devices are also expected to have a single rear camera compared to the more appealing dual rear cameras of the competition. The thick bezels won't help with style, but they do allow Google to cram in a pair of front speakers.
The big rub for Google is that while the Pixel 2 devices don't share the features that many fans are looking for that are found on competing devices, the devices will share the same high price tags of these other devices. Pricing is pegged at $649 for the Pixel 2 with 64GB of storage, toss in another $50 and buyers can step into the iPhone 8 and many will.
The same issues are expected for the Pixel 2 XL. It's said to be very similar to LG's own (LG builds the Pixel 2 XL) flagship V30 smartphone, however, Google chose to ditch the microSD card slot for storage expansion and the dual rear camera setup that the V30 offers. The microSD card slot is something that Android buyers really expect today and helps set the Android devices apart from the legendarily closed off iPhone ecosystem.
The big rub is that the Pixel 2 XL will sell for $849 for the 64GB version, which is more expensive than the better equipped LG V30 and only $150 less than the highly anticipated iPhone X.
Su wrote, "So far, the main advantage Google really had over its rivals was that its smartphones were using stock Android, that is, the operating system as Google builds it and unaltered of any additional graphical layer or third-party software on top of it, which allowed Google to be the first to update its devices with the latest version of Android and security patches. But today others are also adopting Google's pure Android strategy like Essential, Lenovo or Nokia and are sometimes even quicker than Google to update their device."
The original Pixel devices didn't sell well, with Forbes reporting less than 3 million units having been shipped since November 2016. Apple sells that many devices in about a week.