Something is wrong with the release schedule of Android phones…
For starters, some 2021 and 2022 phones have been literally missing for months, such as the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, expected to be a serious contender for the best camera phone of 2022, and the OnePlus 10, which everyone expected to see next to the OnePlus 10 Pro in January, but instead we got one minute.Apart from the multitude of missing phones, Samsung’s Galaxy S21 FE was delayed for about half a year and was finally released in January 2022, about a month before the launch of the Galaxy S21 FE Galaxy S22, which put Samsung’s flagship killer in a bizarre position.
This resulted in a staggering drop in price and trade-in value for the Galaxy S21 FE, as a brand new unit can now be yours for less than €500 or €350 when you shop on eBay (Europe). That’s less than $750 at launch.
And of course, Google had to jump in, so today we’ll be talking about another device that’s already been announced but hasn’t been released yet, and that’s the latest mid-range phone coming straight out of Mountain View: the Google Pixel 6A.
Google Pixel 6A might be the best mid-range phone of 2022, but will it be out too late?
The Google Pixel 6A will be a tough competitor for the best mid-range phone of 2022. The company’s budget offer for this year brings:
- Google’s latest signature design, introduced with Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro
- Google’s own Tensor chip that also powers the $900 Pixel 6 Pro
- Probably the best camera system on any mid-range phone from $400-450
- Android 13 when it releases in Fall 2022
- IP67 water and dust resistance (rare at this price)
It’s that simple! Except it’s not…
Look, the first A-series Pixel, the Pixel 3A, was released in early May. Then the Pixel 4A came out in August, just like the Pixel 5A, and now we’ve got the Pixel 6A, which goes on sale on June 28 – practically August again.
So releasing a brand new mid-range device 2-3 months before the launch of its new flagship phones isn’t exactly new to Google. But for once, I’m willing to argue that the company may want to change things up and change its current release schedule.
Let me explain…
Pixel 6A comes from the same line of phones as the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro (but comes out 10 months later)
For starters, the Pixel 6A now more than ever looks like it belongs to the same lineup of flagship and premium flagship phones that Google is launching in the fall. That’s because the Pixel 6A has an identical design to the Pixel 6 and Tensor – the same flagship chip found in Google’s $900 Pixel 6 Pro.
Pixel 6A is priced too close to Pixel 6 and Pixel 7
While the Pixel 6A is very attractively priced at $450, most customers would be more confused about their purchase of a new Google phone. First, at $450, the Pixel 6A would be only about $100 cheaper than the Pixel 6 after discounts in the US, UK and Europe.
However, here we have a situation reminiscent of Samsung’s confusing Galaxy S21 FE – Galaxy S22 launch earlier this year…
When the The Pixel 7 will be released in October and since it keeps its $600 price tag, Google’s brand new flagship would be just $150 more expensive than what is basically Google’s mid-range phone from last year – Pixel 6A will run on the first-generation Tensor chip. and use older camera sensors and design.
Pixel 7 Series and Pixel 8 Series: Finding the Best Fix for Google’s Pixel Release Schedule Kerfuffle
Google Pixel 7A: Google scraps its old formula and adopts an iPhone SE release strategy
One solution to Google’s bizarre release schedule will undoubtedly be Apple’s strategy with the iPhone SE. And no, by that I don’t mean releasing a $430 Pixel with a 2017 design. Relax!
What would make more sense is if Google released next year’s Pixel 7A in March 2023 instead of August 2023. That would be six months after the flagship Pixel 7 series and a whopping five months earlier than Google’s current release plan. , which sends the budget Pixel clashing with last year’s vanilla model and the next-generation flagship Pixel. All at once.
Google Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8A: The mid-range Pixel will join Google’s flagship in the fall
Of course the other most obvious and (in my opinion) better solution would be having one simple set of phones. However, since that’s clearly not Google’s plan for 2021-2022, the change should take effect in 2023 – with the launch of the Pixel 8 series. That way, we’d get three Pixel 8 phones in the fall — Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and Pixel 8A, which would also be a better match for Apple’s four iPhones as a competitor (if that’s anything to consider). Not to mention that such a move could give Google a better chance of selling the more premium Pixel 8.
Google’s hypothetical new release schedule wouldn’t come without its challenges, though, and by far the biggest headache for phone makers who release more than two phones a year is the distinction between the budget and premium models.
Google’s pricing options if it had one line of Pixel 8 phones by 2023
This is the pricing strategy that most appeals to buyers, as it is the best in terms of total value across all models:
- Pixel 8 Pro – $900 (same as Pixel 6 Pro, and presumably Pixel 7 Pro)
- Pixel 8 – $600 (same as Pixel 6 and presumably Pixel 7)
- Pixel 8A – $400 ($50 less compared to Pixel 6A and presumably Pixel 7A)
A more realistic possibility for the pricing of the Pixel 8 series if Pixel 8A were to join the flagship series at launch:
- Pixel 8 Pro – $900 (same as Pixel 6 Pro, and presumably Pixel 7 Pro)
- Pixel 8 – $700 ($100 more than Pixel 6, and presumably Pixel 7)
- Pixel 8A – $500 ($50 more compared to Pixel 6A and presumably Pixel 7A)
The first thing to note here is that such a result would make budget phone buyers less happy.
What is certain is that phones from competing brands (Apple and Samsung) are already more expensive than Google’s offerings. Not to mention that Apple is expected to raise iPhone prices for the first time since 2017, starting in September with the iPhone 14 Pro.
Ultimately, should Google change its way of working?
While it may seem like a minor thing, as mentioned at first, I believe that some Android phone manufacturers’ hardware release schedules are rather questionable. And if there is a problem, Google is there too! The incredibly limited availability of the Pixel around the world doesn’t help Google, but a budget A-series Pixel that comes out ten months later than its flagship counterparts and two months before Google’s new flagship won’t help Google’s budget-conscious user base. makes for the company as it should.
In the end, we can’t forget that before the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, it was precisely Google’s budget phones that brought the company the most sales, brand recognition and thus success. In a world of apples and Samsungs, every company in Google’s underdog position should count its blessings! Do not you think?
So tell me… Would you buy a Pixel 6A in August, or would you get a Pixel 6 instead? Or wait… You’d probably wait another two months for the Pixel 7 before making a decision?
Look, that’s what I mean! Google makes it more complicated than it should be.