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Sunday, February 11, 2024

Is Google stealing from Apple once more?

We nonetheless have over eight months to go earlier than we anticipate to see the Pixel 9 sequence. Nonetheless, because of dependable leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer (aka OnLeaks), we have already got renders for the telephones.

These leaks are definitely attention-grabbing to see this early within the cycle. Extra importantly, although, they inform a model new story for the Pixel line as an entire. I wish to break down that story right here (and within the video above) to see what Google’s objectives could be in 2024.

Primarily based on present leaks, are you shopping for a Pixel 9 telephone?

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Google Pixel 9 leaked renders

Google Pixel 9 Pro MySmartPrice 2

Earlier than I get too deep into issues, I wish to give just a little refresh on the renders themselves. You possibly can see the alleged Google Pixel 9 Professional above and the common Pixel 9 beneath.

The very first thing you’ll discover with the Pixel 9 Professional leak are the flat sides across the telephone. That is one thing you may say is “borrowed” from the iPhone, however we’ll contact extra on that in a bit. You’ll additionally discover that the digital camera bar has been up to date. The curved corners of the digital camera bar remind me of the Materials Design language that you simply see all through the Android working system itself. That is little doubt deliberate, as Google controls Pixel {hardware} and Android, so it’s making an attempt to make these look extra cohesive.

google pixel 9 5k 4

Subsequent up, we’ve got leaked renders for the Pixel 9. These had been probably the most shocking renders of the batch as a result of they give the impression of being almost an identical to the Pixel 9 Professional. Essentially the most important distinction between them is measurement: The Pixel 9 needs to be about the identical measurement because the Pixel 8, whereas the Pixel 9 Professional renders are about the identical measurement because the Pixel 8 Professional. So this is able to be a compact flagship with what appears to be the identical triple-lens digital camera that we noticed on the Pixel 9 Professional leaks. If these renders show correct, this is able to be the primary time ever {that a} Professional-level Pixel and the non-Professional counterpart have been this related.

So what’s the story right here?

Why the flat sides, Google?

apple iphone 15 volume buttons and mute switch

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

When these renders first got here out, individuals had been very fast to level out that flat sides are an iPhone factor. In 2020, Apple launched the iPhone 12 sequence, and that introduced again flat sides to smartphones. Since then, we’ve seen plenty of corporations observe swimsuit. The Galaxy S24 sequence, for instance, has flat sides throughout all fashions. The ASUS Zenfone 10 additionally has flat sides. And each telephone that Nothing has launched to date — the Nothing Telephone 1 and Nothing Telephone 2 — has flat sides as nicely.

It could be very simple to say that Google is simply copying Apple and that Samsung, ASUS, and Nothing are all doing the identical. Nonetheless, I wish to carry up one thing Carl Pei (Nothing’s CEO and co-founder) stated some time again. When his firm launched the primary telephone in its roster, the Nothing Telephone 1, individuals criticized it as a result of it appeared an excessive amount of like an iPhone, particularly due to its flat sides.

Pei defended this choice by arguing that flat sides are merely probably the most environment friendly technique to design a smartphone. You possibly can see what he means within the photographs above. When you’ve got a field, it could match a specific amount of issues inside. However should you curve the perimeters of the field throughout, now you’ll be able to match much less stuff in it. Smartphones work the identical manner. Should you begin including curves throughout the perimeters of the telephone, you gained’t be capable of put as many elements in it as you’ll a extra squared-off telephone.

Flat sides are iPhone-like, however in addition they permit for extra environment friendly use of area in a smartphone.

After all, the trade-off right here is that the telephone is rather less ergonomic in your hand. However it is a worthwhile trade-off since you’re going to have the ability to match larger batteries, bigger or the next variety of cameras, extra cooling, and all types of different elements that you simply wish to put in your smartphones these days.

In the long run, you will have to resolve what you assume Google is actually doing right here. Is Google designing these Pixel 9 telephones with effectivity in thoughts, as Carl Pei would counsel? Or is Google simply copying Apple as a result of that’s what Android OEMs do? I’m of the opinion that it’s just a little little bit of Column A and just a little little bit of Column B. I believe Google is trying to Apple and saying, “Hey, that design actually sells,” and in addition saying, “Hey, with this design, we are able to match extra elements into the telephone than with our earlier designs.” It’s a win-win.

Ultimately, you’ll be able to select to purchase a Pixel 9 or purchase one other telephone should you worth higher ergonomics and also you don’t need your telephone to look an excessive amount of like an Apple machine. However I don’t assume this is so simple as Google simply copying Apple.

Pixel 9 Professional and Pixel 9 Professional Max?

Pixel 8 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro in hand

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The flat sides of the leaked renders inform a brand new story, however so does the concept that the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Professional are basically the identical telephone, with one simply being smaller than the opposite. That is one more factor that Apple has accomplished for a few years now. The iPhone 15 Professional, for instance, is only a smaller model of the iPhone 15 Professional Max. Clearly, the Professional Max does provide some further options, most notably the higher-tier telephoto lens. It’s additionally bodily larger, so it has a bigger show and a bigger battery. However for all intents and functions, the Professional and Professional Max are the identical.

If the Pixel 9 is known as a Pixel 9 Professional and the Pixel 9 Professional is known as a Pixel 9 Professional Max, that can be a giant shift for Android.

Despite the fact that this has been Apple’s technique for years, Android hasn’t actually adopted swimsuit. Let’s look once more on the Galaxy S24 sequence for example. The bottom Galaxy S24 is just not a Professional-level telephone, and the Galaxy S24 Plus is only a larger and barely extra highly effective model of it. You should go to the Galaxy S24 Extremely to get all of the options that you’d anticipate from what we’d think about a Professional-level telephone, together with that extra highly effective 5x telephoto lens. Neither the Galaxy S24 nor the S24 Plus is a extra compact model of the Galaxy S24 Extremely. That is very true exterior of the USA, the place the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus have an Exynos processor as an alternative of the mighty Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

The identical factor goes with the Pixel line. The Pixel 8 isn’t only a smaller model of the Pixel 8 Professional; it’s lacking too many Professional options to be that.

So, within the Android world, you could decide: do I need a Professional-level telephone that’s big, or do I need a not-so-Professional-level telephone that’s extra compact? iPhone customers haven’t needed to make this choice. They’ll get an iPhone 15 Professional and obtain virtually all of the options of the Professional Max however in a smaller (and cheaper) chassis. So, if Google does mimic this technique with the Pixel 9 sequence, it could be a brand new strategy for the Android ecosystem — a minimum of when wanting on the market over the previous 5 years or so.

Professional-level telephones get Professional-level costs

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro vs Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max 1

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

These two important doable modifications for the Pixel 9 sequence begin to paint a brand new concept of the upcoming Pixel household and its worth, which brings me to pricing.

If the Pixel 9 has the identical triple-lens digital camera because the Pixel 9 Professional and most, if not all, of the Professional options that we anticipate to additionally see on the Pixel 9 Professional, then that telephone is not going to be a $700 flagship. A telephone just like the Pixel 9 that we’ve seen in these leaks goes to be considerably costlier — probably even simply as costly because the Pixel 8 Professional is immediately, which is round $1,000.

After all, that might imply the Pixel 9 Professional could be much more costly than that. If true, this would go away a large hole in Google’s portfolio. On the low finish, you’d have the Pixel 7a (or the Pixel 8a, which we anticipate to return out this 12 months), which prices $500. If the Pixel 9 begins at $1,000, that’s an infinite hole within the $600 — $900 vary the place no telephone would exist within the Pixel household.

It’s doable that Google would go away the Pixel 8 sequence lively, lower the pricing, and use them to fill in that hole. Nonetheless, I do wish to level out that in December 2022, we posted a large leak of Google’s Pixel roadmap for the subsequent few years. In that leak, we realized from a trusted supply that Google deliberate to launch three telephones within the mainline Pixel sequence in 2024. If true, that would come with the bigger and smaller Pixel 9 Professional telephones (which we’ve already seen leaks for), in addition to an precise base-level Pixel 9, which might be a smaller machine with two lenses on the again, i.e., extra just like what we’ve seen from the Pixel 8, Pixel 7, and Pixel 6.

This might permit Google to imitate the iPhone technique almost in full, with a Pixel 9 appearing as an iPhone 15, a Pixel 9 Professional appearing as an iPhone 15 Professional, and a Pixel 9 Professional XL (heh) appearing as an iPhone 15 Professional Max. All that might be lacking could be a replication of the iPhone 15 Plus, which, let’s be trustworthy, Google doesn’t want (neither does Apple).

If our supply was correct, we must always anticipate one other telephone to leak within the Pixel 9 sequence, which might fill that hole that I simply mentioned. After all, we haven’t seen it but, so it’s doable that it doesn’t exist. Possibly Google modified its thoughts, or our supply was mistaken. Possibly Steve Hemmerstoffer merely hasn’t gained entry to it but. There are all types of prospects right here because it’s so early on within the recreation. Nonetheless, we’re nonetheless ready for one more Pixel 9 leak, and if one lands, we’ll be very enthusiastic about it as a result of it should imply our supply was appropriate. And if our supply was proper about this, they’re in all probability proper about every little thing else seen in that Pixel roadmap leak.

We’d love to listen to your feedback about this. Would you purchase certainly one of these Pixel 9 telephones? In that case, which one? Are you OK with Google copying from Apple to tweak the Pixel line? Pontificate within the ballot above and within the feedback beneath.

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