The Nexus brand is dead. In its place is the Google Pixel. But what does 2017 have in store for Google’s next Pixel release?
I’ve used the Google Pixel XL for almost a year now. In this time I have tested a bunch of other handsets – the LG G6, the BlackBerry KEYone, the Huawei P10, the Galaxy S8 – and yet I keep coming back to my trusty old Pixel XL.
The Google Pixel – or Pixel XL, in my case – is not perfect. Not by a long stretch. There is plenty of room for improvement. But the Pixel XL does all the main things right.
The battery is superb and so too is the camera. It doesn’t look very good, especially compared the the Galaxy S8, but this doesn’t bother me. I’d drop good looks for pure, unadulterated Android any day of the week (and twice on Sunday).
I used to use Nexus phones for this reason, but also because they got updates direct from Google fresh out of the oven. You can install custom ROMs on Android phones, true, but I’m not really into this. I basically want iPhone-grade software support with all the benefits of Android.
But the reason for this is that the Pixel 2 is nearing its launch, which brings me to my next point: what will the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel XL 2 bring to the party?
New specs, improved imaging, better displays, and improved design are all standard updates. These will happen and their implementation will be greatly appreciated.
For me, though, something like SD-support, water and dust-proofing and a decent audio DAC, while superfluous in the eyes of many Google execs, would also be excellent additions.
Leaks have confirmed that Google is bringing an edge-to-edge display this year as well, meaning the Google Pixel 2 will look a lot closer to Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Apple’s incoming iPhone 8 than it does to the current model.
To be honest, if Google augmented the design – i.e. made it more interesting –, added dust and waterproofing, SD-support and more storage (make 64GB the base model and add in options for 128GB and 256GB), I’d be more or less happy to upgrade.
RAM, chipsets and all that jazz are just par for the course these days. The key areas where Google, Apple and Samsung will begin differentiating their products is to do with things like personal assistants, camera technology and, FINALLY, battery life.
Finally, things like AR are going to be the big driving factors of change, revenue and market share in years to come. Expect to hear A LOT about AR in the coming months and years and, more specifically, how it will change your life.
VR hasn’t taken off just yet; not really. And the reason for this is that its applications, while impressive, are limited compared to AR, which offers up unlimited applications to big advertising companies like Google.
The first place AR will be experimented with is on phones. This is why Google has Tango and it is also why Apple is buying up AR firms left, right and centre. I cannot wait to see some of the stuff that happens in this niche during 2018/19, as this is the period in which AR will be more mainstream.
For my money, though, I’d be more than happy with a modified design, improved camera, more storage, and water and dust proofing, as well as some improvements to overall sound quality of the handset (better speakers) and a decent, high quality DAC.