Google telephones: A historic take a look at each system

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Google unveiled Android to the world in 2007, two years after buying the working system for $50 million. Whereas many anticipated the search big to announce its personal cellphone as Apple did with the iPhone, Google’s resolution to make Android freely accessible to any producer was an excellent greater occasion. After all, we now know that the corporate finally entered the {hardware} {industry} and has even discovered success lately with the Pixel collection.

To know how Google managed to carve out a distinct segment for itself within the aggressive smartphone market, let’s go over the corporate’s smartphone journey over the previous 15 years. From the Nexus One to the newest Google Pixel, they’re all right here.

Android Dev Telephone 1

Android Dev Phone 1

Android Dev 1 smartphone

The Android Dev Telephone 1 wasn’t destined for retail cabinets or end-user pockets, nevertheless it was the primary smartphone you can purchase instantly from Google. It was primarily based on the HTC Dream, the first-ever smartphone to run the Android working system. When you may solely purchase the HTC Dream in choose North American and European markets, Google made the Android Dev Telephone 1 extra extensively accessible to builders in 19 worldwide markets.

The Android Dev Telephone 1 was offered publicly, however Google did not advocate shopping for one for each day use.

Google eliminated all restrictions from Android 1.0 on the Dev Telephone 1, which means it shipped with an unlocked bootloader. Put merely, a developer (or handset producer) may flash their very own modified construct of Android. It additionally didn’t embrace copy safety, which meant that sure apps didn’t seem on the system’s Android Market. Google has since rebranded Android Market to the Play Store.

You might purchase the Android Dev Telephone 1 in early 2009 for simply $399. Nonetheless, Google strongly emphasised that it wasn’t meant for use by common prospects and didn’t market the cellphone as such. It was finally succeeded by the Android Dev Telephone 2, which was primarily based on the HTC Magic.

Nexus One: The primary-ever Google smartphone for shoppers

HTC Nexus One

Developer {hardware} apart, the Nexus One was Google’s first-ever smartphone designed for normal, on a regular basis use. As with earlier {hardware} releases, Google partnered with HTC to fabricate the Nexus One.

The Nexus One ran stock Android and never HTC’s modded Sense UI. This additionally meant that the system lacked multi-touch, which producers added to their very own Android skins within the working system’s early days. The Nexus One finally acquired a firmware replace that enabled software-based multi-touch performance.

As for the Nexus One’s inside {hardware}, it used a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1GHz. This allowed the cellphone to increase a efficiency lead over the competitors on the time, at the very least on paper. Nonetheless, the 512MB inside storage didn’t go away a lot room for app downloads and even audio tracks for offline playback. Lastly, the 480×800 decision AMOLED show was one other benefit the Nexus One had on the time.

Google Nexus One quick information:

  • The unlocked model of the Nexus One retailed at $529 in 2010.
  • Google initially offered the Nexus One by its personal internet retailer. Nonetheless, it will definitely deserted that effort and started partnering with third-party storefronts internationally.
  • The Nexus One acquired simply two main Android software program updates, making it the least supported Google smartphone in that facet.
  • The primary-ever Nexus smartphone shipped with Android 2.1 and solely made its option to Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread.

Google Nexus S

Google Nexus S

The Nexus S was the primary smartphone with NFC.

For the Nexus S, Google moved to Samsung for manufacturing. Introduced in December 2010, the cellphone launched lower than a yr after the Nexus One went on sale.

The Nexus S ditched the trackball however gained a bunch of recent {hardware} options. Most notably, it shipped with a 4.0-inch Samsung-made Super AMOLED show — the identical because the one discovered on the unique Galaxy S. Nonetheless, some variants of the Nexus S shipped with an LCD show in areas exterior the US, Canada, and the EU. Samsung additionally used its in-house 1GHz Exynos 3310 SoC within the Nexus S.

General, the Nexus S acquired favorable opinions however the lack of distinctive options made it troublesome to face out within the more and more crowded Android market.

Google Nexus S quick information:

  • The Nexus S was the primary Android smartphone to incorporate Close to Subject Communication (NFC), which laid the groundwork for Android Beam and Google Pay within the coming years.
  • Google up to date the Nexus S for almost two full years. The cellphone shipped with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and acquired the Android 4.1.2 replace in 2012.
  • The cellphone shipped with 16GB of NAND flash storage, a giant step up over its predecessor. Nonetheless, it didn’t provide microSD enlargement.
  • Google offered the Nexus S on the identical worth because the Nexus One ($529), which undercut Apple’s $599 asking worth for the iPhone 4.

Galaxy Nexus

A yr after the Nexus S debuted, we bought the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. By 2011, Samsung had gained a big quantity of market share and a partnership with Google benefited each corporations.

The Galaxy Nexus was the primary system to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the field and launched core options that many people nonetheless use to today. Some examples embrace face unlock, Android Beam NFC file switch, software program navigation buttons, Google Pockets, and the Roboto system font.

Associated: How secure is facial recognition on smartphones?

For the Galaxy Nexus, Google opted for an SoC from Texas Devices moderately than one from Qualcomm or MediaTek. However whereas the OMAP 4460 chip provided first rate compute efficiency on the time, Texas Devices would quickly announce its departure from the smartphone {industry}. This left Google with no alternative however to finish software program help for the Galaxy Nexus two years after its launch.

Galaxy Nexus quick information:

  • Google delayed the announcement of the Galaxy Nexus following the dying of Apple’s co-founder and CEO, Steve Jobs, in October 2011.
  • The Galaxy Nexus’ face unlock didn’t at all times work as anticipated, even failing to work throughout Google’s launch occasion. A number of customers additionally claimed that they might efficiently trick their telephones into unlocking with only a photograph. With the Android Jellybean replace, Google added an optionally available safety characteristic that required you to blink for face unlock.
  • Whereas the unlocked Galaxy Nexus initially offered for $399, the worth shortly dropped to $350.
  • In a lawsuit in opposition to Apple, Samsung’s legal professionals revealed that the Galaxy Nexus didn’t promote significantly effectively. Particularly, it made the corporate simply $250 million in six months and captured 0.5% of market share.

Google Nexus 4

Back of Nexus 4

After years of inconsistent branding, Google lastly returned to utilizing numbers with the Nexus 4. Google partnered with LG this time round, ending its two-year relationship with Samsung. The fourth-generation Nexus system introduced some welcome enhancements in addition to just a few surprises.

The Nexus 4 shared many parts with the LG Optimus G, together with Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon S4 Professional SoC, 2GB of RAM, and a 4.7-inch IPS LCD show. It was additionally the primary Google smartphone to make use of premium supplies like a glass again and Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2 on the entrance.

With the Nexus 4, Google pivoted to competing on worth and worth as effectively. You might purchase the entry-level 8GB mannequin for simply $299, far cheaper than competing smartphones with related specs. This single-handedly allowed the Nexus 4 to develop into considered one of Google’s hottest smartphones — the corporate reportedly offered upwards of three million units in underneath a yr.

Google Nexus 4 quick information:

  • The Nexus 4 lacked 4G LTE connectivity, although the radio {hardware} supported it to some extent. This omission could have helped Google attain its aggressive launch worth.
  • The Nexus 4’s glass sandwich development made it the primary Google cellphone the place customers may now not change the battery with out specialised instruments.
  • Regardless of its affordability, the Nexus 4 gained help for Qi wireless charging — a premium characteristic even on the time.

Google Nexus 5

Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 is a traditional

The success of the Nexus 4 prompted Google to maintain working with LG by 2013. The Nexus 5 caught to its predecessor’s strengths, providing flagship-grade specs at a cheaper price level. It additionally bundled a higher-resolution 1080p 4.95-inch show, a bigger battery, and official help for LTE. The 2 corporations additionally returned to a extra conventional design this time, choosing a soft-touch plastic again as an alternative of glass.

Google began to make software program a precedence with the Nexus 5.

The Nexus 5 additionally marked an inflection level for Google when it comes to software program focus. The cellphone debuted with the Google Now launcher and Hangouts because the default textual content messaging app. However the greater improve got here within the type of HDR+, a brand new software-based digicam characteristic. In a nutshell, it allowed the Nexus 5 to take higher photos by capturing a burst of pictures at completely different exposures and mixing them for a better dynamic range.

In the end, the Nexus 5 held up extremely effectively in opposition to the competitors due to its aggressive worth level, which undercut the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S4 by a whole lot of {dollars}.

Nexus 5 quick information:

  • The Nexus 5 stays considered one of Google’s best-selling Nexus telephones of all time, thanks to raised international availability and its aggressive spec sheet.
  • The Nexus 5 launched with Android 4.4 KitKat and acquired two main software program updates, ending with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
  • Google offered the unlocked 16GB variant of the Nexus 5 for $349, simply $50 greater than the Nexus 4.
  • Although it featured a bigger show and battery, the Nexus 5’s plastic development meant that it was lighter than its predecessor.

Google Nexus 6

Nexus 6 in hand

The Nexus 6’s identify didn’t simply sign Google’s sixth-generation smartphone, it was additionally a nod to the show dimension. At 5.96-inches diagonal, its show appeared large again in 2014 — most smartphone shows got here in underneath 5.5-inches. Google switched producers but once more this technology, favoring Motorola although it offered off the corporate to Lenovo earlier that yr. Google’s producer alternative was on full show because the cellphone’s again featured Motorola’s distinguished brand and dimple. The software program had a delicate Motorola aptitude as effectively, with unique options like an ambient show.

The Nexus 6 appeared like a large Moto X in additional methods than one.

The Nexus 6 packed a formidable spec sheet in comparison with the competitors, with a QHD-class show, Snapdragon 805 SoC, and 3GB of RAM. It was additionally the primary cellphone to launch with Android 5.0 Lollipop and Google’s Materials Design UI. It was additionally the primary Nexus smartphone to have a metallic body, marking the collection’ return to the premium market. The digicam {hardware} bought a lift this technology too, coupled with Google’s enhancing computational photography efforts. Because of this, the Nexus 6 rivaled different 2014 top-end Android smartphones when it comes to imaging.

Nexus 6 quick information:

  • The Nexus 6 launched with Android 5.0 Lollipop with Google promising two years of software program updates and an extra yr of safety patches. The cellphone finally acquired Android 7.1 Nougat as its remaining replace.
  • The Nexus 6 was primarily based on the Moto X (2nd technology), which featured a smaller 5.2-inch show and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 chipset.
  • Google charged a premium for the Nexus 6 in comparison with its direct predecessors. At $649, it was a noticeable step up from the Nexus 5’s aggressive $349 price ticket.
  • The six-inch show dimension and enormous dimensions of the Nexus 6 have been so unusual on the time that the cellphone was known as a “phablet”, a portmanteau of cellphone and pill.

Google Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P

Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P in hand

As their names recommend, Google’s 2015 Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P have been meant to succeed the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6. This additionally marked the primary time Google launched two smartphones in a single yr.

The Nexus 5X, made by LG, provided an improve path to these in search of a smaller and cheaper Google cellphone at $379. The Nexus 6P, however, was made by Huawei and provided higher-end specs and a bigger 5.7-inch show at a aggressive $499 price ticket. Given this dual-manufacturer method, it’s not stunning that the 2 smartphones didn’t actually resemble one another.

See additionally: The Nexus 6P was the blueprint for Google’s Pixel ambitions

Sadly, Nexus 5X and 6P customers discovered themselves plagued with a number of post-launch points, with the most important subject being Qualcomm’s overheating flagship silicon that yr. The Snapdragon 810 (and 808 to a lesser extent) grew to become notorious for reaching its thermal ceiling and throttling CPU efficiency underneath any significant load.

Nexus 5X and 6P quick information:

  • The Nexus 5X and 6P have been the primary within the collection to undertake USB Type-C ports.
  • Each smartphones suffered from widespread bootloop points. It’s nonetheless unclear why this drawback manifested within the first place, however builders discovered that disabling sure CPU cores allowed the telephones as well efficiently.
  • Google and Huawei have been hit with a category motion lawsuit over the bootloop subject and agreed to pay out $9.75 million in settlements, or as much as $400 per cellphone proprietor. Nonetheless, some affected customers acquired a more moderen Pixel XL as a guaranty substitute and a smaller settlement quantity.
  • LG additionally settled a bootloop-related class motion lawsuit in 2018, besides this one lined extra than simply the Nexus 5X. Different affected smartphones included the LG G4, V10, V20, and G5. Affected customers may declare as much as $425.
  • The Nexus 5X and 6P didn’t provide Qi wi-fi charging, marking a pattern reversal for the collection.
  • Although Google stated that the P in Nexus 6P stood for Premium, the smartphone debuted at a cheaper price than its direct predecessor. The unlocked mannequin was $150 cheaper than the Nexus 6 at launch.

Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Google Pixel smartphone in hand

After seven generations of Nexus smartphones, Google determined to shift gears and ditch the branding altogether. The corporate’s new smartphone model, dubbed Google Pixel, would have greater ambitions and never simply cater to Android lovers and builders. This reboot was initially met with skepticism from the Nexus fan base. Nonetheless, sentiment shortly turned constructive because the preliminary wave of opinions praised the Google Pixel for its wonderful digicam efficiency and constant software program expertise.

The Pixel additionally marked a turning level in Google’s design language. Although the corporate partnered with HTC to create the Pixel and Pixel XL, it exercised larger management over the smartphone’s design and {hardware} decisions. This meant that, not like the Nexus 5X and 6P, the common and XL Pixel fashions really appeared like they got here from the identical system household. The telephones featured a metallic physique with a premium-looking glass window on the rear.

With the Pixel collection, Google started claiming management over its smartphones’ design and person expertise.

The Pixel identify was symbolic of Google’s efforts at reaching the perfect digicam efficiency with commodity smartphone {hardware}. On the launch occasion, the corporate highlighted that DxOMark ranked the Pixel because the best smartphone camera, because of Google’s improved HDR+ know-how. The brand new digicam app on the Google Pixel additionally captured a buffer of pictures as quickly because the person opened the digicam app to dramatically cut back shutter lag, one of many final remaining drawbacks of the HDR+ mode.

The Pixel collection additionally debuted the Google Assistant, which remained an unique characteristic for a number of months. Nonetheless, customers may get a style of the Assistant by Google’s new chat app Allo, which additionally got here pre-installed on all Pixel smartphones. In a 2016 interview, Google’s {hardware} chief Rick Osterloh defined, “Basically, we imagine that a whole lot of the innovation that we wish to do now finally ends up requiring controlling the end-to-end person expertise.”

Google Pixel quick information:

  • The Pixel launched a brand new Google-centric software program pores and skin that may finally evolve into the Pixel UI we all know at this time.
  • The Pixel provided limitless cloud storage for pictures and movies through Google Photos.
  • Google was hit with a class-action lawsuit over defective microphones on this technology of telephones and needed to pay $7.25 million in a settlement.
  • The Google Pixel launched with Android 7.1 Nougat and acquired three main software program updates, ending with Android 10.
  • Google commanded a premium asking worth for the Pixel line, ditching the affordability pattern of the Nexus collection as soon as and for all. At $649 for the smaller mannequin, it went toe-to-toe with flagship smartphones just like the Samsung Galaxy S7 when it comes to pricing. The Pixel XL, in the meantime, launched at $769 — or the identical because the Galaxy S7 Edge.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

The second-generation Pixel smartphones provided refinement moderately than a whole overhaul, which helped the collection set up its id. The Pixel 2 stored the dual-tone metallic and glass design however featured smaller bezels and IP67 ingress protection — a premium characteristic that reviewers famous was sorely lacking within the earlier technology.

2017’s Pixel smartphones additionally gained a much-improved digicam sensor, which was helped by a brand new Pixel Visible Core chip. Google additionally launched a variety of software program options with this technology, with the most important highlights being Google Lens and Portrait Mode. Not like competing smartphones which relied on a second lens for the characteristic, the Pixel 2’s Portrait Mode used computational pictures and machine learning to create a blurred background with solely the first digicam. With these enhancements, the smartphone earned the very best DxOMark smartphone digicam rating but once more.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL quick information:

  • The Pixel 2 collection may detect while you squeezed the cellphone. The motion activated Google Assistant.
  • Whereas Google didn’t improve the worth of the bottom mannequin, the Pixel 2 XL debuted at $849 — a full $80 greater than its predecessor.
  • The Pixel 2 collection launched with Android 8.0 Oreo and acquired Android 11 as its remaining main software program replace.
  • With the second-generation Pixel, Google ditched the headphone jack forward of most different Android OEMs. For reference, Samsung would hold the three.5mm audio port round for an extra two years.

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Pixel 3 XL in hand running AOSP showing lockscreen and clock

Gary Sims / Android Authority

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL marked the beginning of Google’s quick controversial period of smartphone releases. The telephones featured moderately lackluster spec sheets by 2018 requirements and Google’s whopping $150 worth hike for the bottom mannequin didn’t go down effectively with followers of the collection. The Pixel 3 featured giant bezels and the XL mannequin’s large notch didn’t look a lot better both. On the identical time, Android producers have been beginning to transfer to greater screen-to-body ratios with smaller notches and even pop-up cameras.

The Pixel 3 smartphones have been controversial for extra causes than one.

Nonetheless, the Pixel 3 collection launched some welcome enhancements to the tried-and-tested Pixel system. The smartphones bought an aspect ratio bump from 16:9 to 18:9, higher IP68 water resistance, and a bigger battery. Nonetheless, the Pixel 3’s largest leap ahead got here when it comes to digicam software program. Google’s Night time Sight characteristic used machine studying to enhance low-light efficiency and provide even higher outcomes than the already-impressive HDR+ mode. This arguably kick-started the industry-wide computational pictures race of the late 2010s. The {hardware} bought a modest improve this technology too, with the Sony IMX363 sensor that may develop into a mainstay of Google smartphones for the following few generations.

Regardless of this technology’s excessive worth, Google reportedly offered extra models of the Pixel 3 than every other Pixel smartphone within the first six months.

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL quick information:

  • The third-generation Google Pixel smartphones debuted with a slew of recent machine learning-enabled options like a sooner Google Assistant, Call Screening, and Google Duplex.
  • The Pixel 3 featured a bigger 5.5-inch show alongside the taller facet ratio, a 0.5-inch bump over the Pixel 2.
  • The Pixel 3 collection dropped the Pixel Visible Core in favor of Google’s Titan M safety chip.
  • Wi-fi charging, a characteristic lacking on Google smartphones for a number of generations, lastly made a comeback with the Pixel 3 collection.

Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

Pixel 3a screen standing on table

Maybe acknowledging the ever-increasing launch costs as a possible pitfall, Google introduced its funds entry within the collection with the Pixel 3a. Priced at $399 for the common mannequin and $470 for the XL, the 2 smartphones provided almost the identical software program expertise at a fraction of the associated fee.

At these decrease costs, Google discovered loads of consumers prepared to miss lacking options and pared-down {hardware}. The Pixel 3a featured a plastic physique, slower SoC, bigger bezels, and no IP score in any respect. Regardless of that, you continue to bought an an identical digicam expertise because the costlier Pixel 3.

Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL quick information:

  • The Pixel 3a discovered nice industrial success, with estimates pegged at over six million models between the 2 fashions.
  • Google didn’t withhold software program options like Night time Sight on the Pixel 3a. For context, Apple nonetheless doesn’t provide Night time mode on the iPhone SE collection.
  • The Pixel 3a was in a league of its personal when it comes to software program help at its worth level. No different producer provided a three-year replace window for a mid-range Android smartphone on the time.

Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL

Google Pixel 4 on tripod

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

With the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Google embraced many smartphone developments without delay. Each fashions gained an extra rear digicam lens, sooner 90Hz shows, and face unlock. Regardless of these enhancements, nonetheless, the telephones have been nearly universally panned for having mediocre battery life and excessive worth relative to their middling spec sheet. Google was additionally criticized for its odd design choices just like the lacking fingerprint reader and the choice to go for a 2x telephoto lens over an ultrawide digicam.

The Pixel 4 collection was nearly universally criticized for its poor battery life and gimmicky options.

Nonetheless, the Pixel 4 launched a handful of revolutionary new options in typical Google style. The headlining characteristic was the Soli radar array, which allowed you to manage the cellphone utilizing gestures. Totally different hand waves allowed you to cease alarms, swap to the following music monitor, and reject cellphone calls. Nonetheless, the characteristic ended up being perceived as a gimmick by most customers and reviewers. And the truth that the sensors demanded an enormous notch meant that the characteristic didn’t return on subsequent Pixel smartphones.

Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL quick information:

  • The Pixel 4 was the primary Google smartphone to characteristic an astrophotography mode.
  • Google didn’t bump the worth of the Pixel 4 collection, sticking with $799 and $949 for the common and XL fashions respectively.
  • The common Pixel 4 bought a barely bigger 5.7-inch show, as in comparison with the Pixel 3’s 5.5-inch show.
  • The Pixel 4 collection launched with Android 10 and acquired its remaining Android 13 replace in 2022.
  • The Soli radar array prevented Google from launching the Pixel 4 in markets like India the place the 60GHz wi-fi frequency isn’t licensed for civilian use.

Google Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a 5G next to box 1

David Imel / Android Authority

Having discovered success within the mid-range market with the Pixel 3a, Google returned with an much more aggressive worth level a yr later. The Pixel 4a was priced $50 decrease than its predecessor however featured large upgrades on almost each entrance. The smartphone additionally adopted Google’s new easier design language from the common Pixel 4. Nonetheless, it didn’t get the Soli array or face unlock options from the full-fledged flagship.

Yr-over-year, the Pixel 4a’s record of upgrades included a bigger show, sooner SoC, double the interior storage, and 50% extra RAM. And regardless of sporting a bigger show, the Pixel 4a was considerably smaller within the hand than the Pixel 3a because of its smaller bezels.

Google Pixel 4a quick information:

  • Google didn’t launch an XL mannequin alongside the Pixel 4a. Whereas the Pixel 4a 5G later crammed that hole with a sooner processor and 5G connectivity, it additionally carried a a lot greater $499 price ticket.
  • The cheaper Pixel 4a featured a noticeably greater screen-to-body ratio than the common Pixel 4 because of the lacking Soli array.
  • The Pixel 4a launched with Android 10 and its software program replace window resulted in late 2022 with Android 13.

Google Pixel 5

google pixel 5 google photos material you widgets android 12

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

After the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4’s blended reception, Google started to rethink its premium pricing technique with the Pixel 5. Not like prior fashions, it solely featured a mid-range Snapdragon 765G processor (the identical because the Pixel 4a 5G). Nonetheless, this allowed Google to drop the worth to $699 as an alternative and concentrate on recapturing the sub-flagship market as an alternative.

The Pixel 5 continues to be the one flagship Google smartphone to characteristic a mid-range processor.

Regardless of the lower-end SoC and cheaper price ticket, the Pixel 5 bought fairly just a few issues proper. Google swapped out the telephoto lens for an ultra-wide digicam, provided extra RAM, and elevated the battery capability to repair its predecessor’s largest Achilles’ heel. It additionally regained the fingerprint sensor as Google did away with the Soli radar array for a better screen-to-body ratio.

Google Pixel 5 quick information:

  • Google skipped the XL variant altogether this technology, releasing the cheaper Pixel 4a 5G on the identical time as an alternative. The latter was barely bigger than the Pixel 5 however lacked premium options like a glass again and wi-fi charging.
  • The Pixel 5 was the primary Google smartphone to characteristic Battery Share — or reverse wireless charging.
  • Launched in 2020, the Pixel 5 debuted with Android 11 and can obtain three years of main software program updates.

Google Pixel 5a

pixel5a vancouver 2

Amid a worldwide chip scarcity, the Pixel 5a was delayed a number of occasions. Even when it did launch, it flew underneath the radar for most individuals because it was merely a barely improved model of the Pixel 4a 5G. And whereas it did begin at a barely decrease $449 worth level, Google didn’t launch a successor to the cheaper, non-5G Pixel 4a.

The Pixel 5a didn’t have many main upgrades. A lot of the enhancements have been delicate, like a brand new IP67 ingress score, a barely bigger show, and a 20% bigger battery.

Google Pixel 5a quick information:

  • Google launched the Pixel 5a in simply two markets: USA and Japan. Google initially deliberate to increase international availability however backed down because the chip scarcity continued to persist.
  • The Pixel 5a launched with Android 11 and can obtain three years of main model updates.

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional

google pixel 6 pro eyeglasses batman

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro marked a return to kind for Google. With a brand-new design language, the in-house Tensor processor, and a slew of recent machine learning-based software program options, the Pixel 6 collection represented maybe the most important year-over-year improve in Google’s smartphone historical past.

The Pixel 6 marked a return to kind for Google.

Not like its predecessor, the Pixel 6 delivered a premium smartphone expertise with flagship-level specs. Regardless of that, Google offered the bottom mannequin Pixel 6 at simply $599 — less expensive than opponents just like the Galaxy S21 and iPhone 13. The bigger Professional mannequin, in the meantime, began at $899 with minor upgrades like a curved display, telephoto lens, and a bigger show.

The cameras bought an enormous improve with the Pixel 6 collection as effectively. Google lastly ditched the Sony IMX363 sensor after three generations in favor of a bigger sensor. This single change modernized the Pixel’s digicam {hardware} and allowed the corporate to flex its computational pictures capabilities even additional. The Pixel 6 launched a bunch of recent camera-related options like Magic Eraser, Face Unblur, and Actual Tone.

Whereas the Pixel 6 was universally praised for its worth and distinctive options, it suffered from network connectivity issues and software program bugs. Nonetheless, the telephones went on to promote extraordinarily effectively — Google finally acknowledged that the Pixel 6 telephones outsold the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 mixed.

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional quick information:

  • At $1,099 for the top-end 512GB mannequin, the Pixel 6 Professional marked the primary time you can spend over $1,000 on a Google smartphone.
  • Because of the in-house SoC, Google promised to ship 5 years of safety patches to the Pixel 6 collection. Nonetheless, the smartphones will nonetheless solely obtain three Android model updates, like earlier entries within the collection.
  • The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional have been the primary Google smartphones to characteristic Wi-Fi 6E connectivity. The Professional mannequin was additionally the primary to incorporate help for Ultra Wideband (UWB).
  • The Pixel 6 collection launched with Android 12 and can obtain its remaining main replace in 2024.

Google Pixel 6a

google pixel 6a up to ear

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Pixel 6a was a big departure from earlier funds Google Pixel telephones. Quite than choosing a mid-range SoC just like the Snapdragon 765G, Google introduced its high-end Tensor chip to the Pixel 6a. The worth didn’t improve both — the Pixel 6a began at $499, no completely different than the Pixel 5a. Google additionally carried over the design language of the Pixel 6 collection to the funds smartphone with the distinctive digicam bar on the rear.

The inclusion of the Tensor SoC meant that the Pixel 6a bought lots of the machine studying options Google debuted with the Pixel 6 collection. In reality, the one main downgrades in comparison with the Pixel 6 have been a smaller, decrease refresh charge show (60Hz vs. 90Hz) and a last-gen digicam setup.

Learn extra: Our Google Pixel 6a review

Google Pixel 6a quick information:

  • The Google Pixel 6a dropped the three.5mm headphone jack. The fingerprint reader additionally moved from the rear to underneath the show for the primary time within the collection’ historical past.
  • The Pixel 6a used the Sony IMX363 digicam sensor present in prior Pixel flagships, together with the Pixel 5.
  • Because of enhancing provide chains, Google managed to increase international availability and went on to launch the Pixel 6a in 13 international locations.

Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Professional: The most recent Google telephones

Google Pixel 7 Pro camera housing

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Quite than reinventing the wheel, Google determined to refine an already profitable system with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. And at first look, it’s evident that Google didn’t change a lot with these telephones. Each Pixel 7 appeared almost an identical to their predecessors, save for the rear digicam bar being made out of aluminum as an alternative of glass.

A lot of the enhancements can as an alternative be discovered underneath the hood within the type of the upgraded Tensor G2 processor and an improved modem for higher mobile connectivity. Google additionally tried to additional differentiate the common and Professional fashions this technology, with the latter gaining autofocus on the ultrawide lens. This enables the Pixel 7 Professional for use for macro pictures. Different notable digicam enhancements included sooner Night time Sight processing, Cinematic Blur for video, and Photograph Unblur.

Learn extra: Google Pixel 7 reviewGoogle Pixel 7 Pro review

Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Professional quick information:

  • With the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Professional, Google regained the arrogance to enter markets like Scandinavia and India. The latter missed out on flagship Pixel releases following the Pixel 3.
  • Google revived facial recognition on the Pixel 7 collection. Nonetheless, the characteristic depends on the front-facing digicam and isn’t thought-about safe sufficient for authenticating funds.
  • House owners of a Pixel 7 collection smartphone get free entry to Google One VPN for the lifetime of the system.
  • The Pixel 7 launched with Android 13 and can obtain main software program updates until 2025.

And with that, you’re now up-to-date on the historical past of Google telephones. Do you might have a favourite? Let u

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