It’s possibly just a matter of days before Google’s first 5G-ready phones, the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a (5G) are announced.
The phones will reportedly be powered by the Snapdragon 765G and 128GB of storage, and they will have an identical dual-camera array with a 12.2MP main sensor and a 16MP ultra wide-angle unit, and the same 8MP front camera.
Pixel 4a (5G)’s price of $499 is already known, and the Pixel 5 was previously expected to be priced between $649 and $699.
Leaker Jon Prosser, who doesn’t exactly have a pristine track record, now claims that the phone will retail for $699. He is pretty confident about the scoop, and it is in line with an alleged Google survey.
This price tag could be a downer for several reasons.
First off, the Pixel 5 will not be a lot different than the Pixel 4a (5G), if you count out dissimilarities such as the former’s rumored 90Hz screen, 8GB of RAM as opposed to 6GB on the later, a slightly larger battery with support for wireless charging, Gorilla Glass 6, and IP68 certification.
Will consumers be willing to pay a $200 premium for these add-ons? Let’s not forget that Pixel sales were reportedly buoyed by the Pixel 3a in 2019, and not Pixel 4, despite the fact that the later has all the makings of a premium phone.
The pandemic has ravaged the economy, and this has affected consumer spending habits drastically. Other smartphone makers have adapted themselves accordingly. For instance, the newly revealed Samsung Galaxy S20 FE offers high-end specs for $699. The iPhone SE 2020, which has the same flagship chip as the iPhone 11, starts at $399.
And unfortunately for Google, it’s apparently about to get worse. The upcoming iPhone 12 may start at $699 or less, and the baseline OnePlus 8T could retail for €599 in Europe and $650-$700 in the US.
The biggest draw of Pixel phones is the camera, and this could have worked in Pixel 5’s favor if the upgraded camera array was exclusive to it. Now that it’s expected to have the same camera specs as the Pixel 4a (5G), the phone will not just face competition from non-Google devices, but also the fellow midrange.