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Lower-cost Pixels aren’t in the works, Google VP says

Published Oct 9th, 2023 3:54PM EDT
Google Pixel 8 Pro Back
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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With the reveals of the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and Pixel Watch now behind us, plenty of Google fans are looking forward to seeing what the company does with its Android hardware lineup next. If you’ve been holding out for a low-cost Pixel to make a return, then I’ve got bad news – lower-cost phones aren’t on Google’s agenda right now.

The news came from Google’s Vice President of Mobile Business, Nanda Ramachandran, who told the Austrian newspaper Der Standart that a Pixel device priced around 200 euros ($200 or so) is not on the roadmap for Google at the moment. The reasoning? There are just too many compromises to make the device reach that price point.

Google Pixel 8 Pro FrontImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

“It’s pretty unlikely we’ll go in that direction,” Ramachandran told the newspaper, which Android Police also reported on. Ramachandran also justified the increase of the Pixel 8’s price compared to the Pixel 7 – the newer Pixel was revealed at $100 more than its predecessor. Ramachandran says that the improved displays, newer cameras, and more powerful Tensor G3 chip more than equate to the $100 increase.

While a low-cost Pixel might not be on Google’s agenda right now, it could very well happen down the line, and there have been speculations of a mid-range Pixel 8a, which could be available for much cheaper than the Pixel 8, which currently retails at flagship pricing. Of course, that would still be roughly $400 to $500, depending on where Google decides to make sacrifices.

It isn’t surprising to see Google moving more towards flagship prices, though. The more budget-friendly Nexus lineup, which the Pixel lineup evolved from, was very much a niche device, and Google clearly wants to take a piece of the proverbial Android pie for itself with the newer Pixels. And to do that, the company has to offer flagship devices that appeal to customers.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

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