Google’s new Pixel smartphone has impressed experts and analysts but some believe star features like the camera may not be enough to lure people away from Apple and Samsung’s stronghold.
The firm revealed the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL on Tuesday, boasting its ability to take astronomical photos of the night sky among the roster of improvements.
Early reaction has praised the device but some feel it missed an opportunity to capitalise on Huawei’s current issues under a US trade ban.
“It is becoming increasingly hard for providers to differentiate in a cut throat market,” said Paolo Pescatore, analyst at PP Foresight.
“There are opportunities in light of Huawei’s challenges – among others – but swaying Apple and Samsung customers will not be easy.
“Google needs to start making a dent into its rivals market share in order to be a serious player in this competitive landscape.”
Rob Baillie, from comparemymobile.com, believes the company may be able to attract some new buyers but warned the next-level camera “fails to paper over the other cracks in the phone” and doesn’t justify the price tag.
“This, I’m sure, will entice some punters to purchase the phone, but by focusing so intently on the feature that the Pixels are known best for, Google may have failed to improve other, more fundamental, facets of the handset,” he said.
Expanded distribution of the device to include all US carriers was highlighted as a positive sign, though globally it remains limited, CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber explained.
“With Huawei facing huge challenges, particularly in Europe, now is the time for Google if it’s serious about moving the needle with Pixel.”
Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, said consumers were currently enjoying a “golden age for smartphones” because rivalry is forcing mobile makers to up their game.
“Consumers looking for a new phone are reaping the rewards of the fierce competition between some titans of the industry at the moment,” he said.
“Previous Pixel phones boasted top-of-the-line cameras despite only having one lens.
“Rivals like the iPhone and Samsung’s Note series now cram in up to three lenses, so it was about time that Google unveiled a second lens for the device.”