Winners and losers 2022: Google
Google has been making Pixel smartphones for years, but it’s only just starting to get into some kind of flow. After a significant change of pace with the Pixel 6 series in 2021 – creating an in-house chipset, ushering in a new design and finally overhauling the camera system – in 2022 it was time for a good old-fashioned refinement.
As a result, the Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro are capable and mature smartphones, and their supporting cast seems almost complete with a Pixel Watch and an upcoming Pixel tablet.
Google is taking things step by step, but there’s no denying it’s going well. So let’s take a look at Google’s winners and losers in 2022.
Winners: Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7
The Pixel 7 series may not be the best-selling flagships, but they are some of the most important. That’s despite Google keeping them a bit conservative – there are no satellite communication features, no extreme zoom cameras, no bendable parts. The Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7 are really great phones and it all starts with their software, developed by the Android maker itself.
It continues with the signature Pixel camera, which so many people love. Throw in a recognizable (perhaps even iconic?) design twist and the enticing pre-order bonuses – free Pixel Watch with a Pro, Pixel Buds Pro with a vanilla one – and these two were winners through and through.
Winner: Pixel 6a
The Google Pixel 6a is part of an inherently winning series. Pixel “a” devices have thrived, especially in markets like the US, where most Chinese midrangers aren’t available. But the Pixel 6a is more than just an affordable smartphone. It has character that most Galaxy A devices lack. Like its bigger Pixel siblings, the 6a has a visor design in interesting colors and brings the Pixel camera experience. It also uses the same internal Tensor chip as the Pixel 6 series.
A unique trait of the Pixel 6a is its size. It’s one of the few capable compact phones you can buy in the world. Combine that with the excellent battery life and the Pixel 6a really is a win-win for small phone users.
Loser: Pixel Watch
The Google Pixel Watch is Google’s first smartwatch and it was created with a unique design, Google’s own Wear operating system and tight integration with Fitbit to attract loyal fans of the now Google-owned fitness brand .
But the Pixel Watch didn’t really leave a mark on the market. Whether it’s the Galaxy Watch being people’s go-to for a Wear OS watch, Wear OS being a distant second fiddle to the Apple Watch, its late arrival to market, or people not using Google Fit is not really important. Still, even with those pre-order bonuses, the Pixel Watch wasn’t very popular.
Loser: Pixel Fold
For the second year in a row, we expected a Pixel Fold to materialize and for the second year, it didn’t. Last year the Pixel Fold went from “around the corner” to officially being scrapped, this year it went from being reborn to “next year, probably”. There’s no denying the Pixel Fold is coming, we’ve seen it tested on Geekbench and even have a good idea of what it will look like. But he did not come in 2022.
Next year for sure, right?
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