• Mehebub Alam

Confusing history of Google Pixel devices

The smartphone market is more competitive than ever. It’s worth mentioning in this case that whenever OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) compete with each other, the consumer hugely benefits from it. This competition drives companies to build more affordable products and innovate significantly; this is quite true when it comes to the smartphone field. One such big name is Google. We know about their Pixel lineup of flagship devices and their excellent camera software, but let's dive into Pixel lineup in general and the upcoming Pixel 5 and there's a catch.

Digging into the Pixel line-up

Google has been in the smartphone market since 2010 with their beloved (and now legacy) Nexus lineup which is still missed by enthusiast fans. It was shut down in 2016 and was replaced by Google Pixel lineup.

The void that was left behind by Nexus gave a boost to a fairly new company: OnePlus. OnePlus was often considered the successor to Nexus, though this article isn’t about OnePlus; so let us not talk about it.


The first generation of the Pixel line up, known as Pixel XL shipped with the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 clocked at 2.2Ghz and 4GB of RAM. But the highlight of that phone was the camera. And ever since Google has been focusing on it, they have done a pretty good job on it.

Second generation

The second generation of Pixel addressed the issues that the first generation of Pixel lineup had.

It came with a brighter screen, a dual front speaker for the more immersive experience but sadly, Google removed the 3.5mm headphone jack which was present in the original Pixel. It was powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 which was the top of the line Snapdragon processor at the time.

Third generation

By this point, Google changed and created a benchmark for mobile photography achieving all this with a single camera. This time Google came up with Night Sight, which changed how photos are taken in low light situations (mostly at night). All this but the phone still came with a hideous notch which was dubbed as Bathtub notch.

Fourth generation

The first three generations of Pixel relied on a single camera to achieve images. Still, for the first time with Pixel 4, Google decided to add a secondary telephoto lens and a 90Hz screen refresh rate. The phone was generally not well received and was later discontinued in August 2020.

The a-series

First-generation a-series

With every iteration of the pixel, we can see something different; it was more like Google was experimenting with Pixel line-up. Given the stash of cash Google has, it is of no surprise to us that Google won't be able to pull off something like this. So far, Google has been producing premium phones for a premium price. And not a whole lot of people would be willing to cash out thousands of dollars for a smartphone. Hence came the a-series lineup of Pixel that promises to bring the best of Google to an affordable price point. Priced at $399, this was the phone for everyone; this was the Pixel 3a.

Second generation a-series

Following the success of Pixel 3a, Google released Pixel 4a, which ironically was priced 50$ less than the previous generation. However, it shouldn't be surprising since Apple dropped the iPhone SE 2nd generation; it was more of a direct competition now.

Upcoming Pixel 5:

This is where it gets interesting; the Pixel line-up had a familiar pattern. The Pixel series would pack with the best cameras and top of the line processors while the a-series promised to give us - if not same, yet still close to flagship Pixel photos but at a lower price tag with a decent processor.

With the latest news surfacing around the internet, turns out it's no more the case, and Google is trying something entirely different this time around with the Pixel 5. It’s rumoured to look different than its predecessor Pixel 4, and it won't ship with the most potent top-of-the-line Snapdragon processors. Yes, you indeed read it right. It’s rumoured to be priced under $700. We all can’t wait for it to be unveiled.

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