After releasing the first set of Pixel phones last year, Google has confirmed that it is already working on the second iteration of its flagship smartphones. With the first generation Google Pixel phones targeted at the premium category and the second edition likely to follow suit, the company is now reportedly looking at launching a budget smartphone as well, albeit without the ‘Pixel’ branding.
The entry of Pixel and Pixel XL catered only to the top-tier segment with prices starting at Rs 57,000. Given that only a small segment of population falls into the premium market, an in-house designed and developed budget smartphone seems to be a wiser decision for Google to channel the attention to a larger group of users.
At the recently concluded Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, Google’s head of hardware Rick Osterloh, confirmed successor to Pixel, stressing that it will continue to be a premium smartphone, which will launch sometime in October. Now, while we do know that there is a Pixel 2 in-the-making, according to a latest report on 9to5 Google, the company is also testing a few prototypes of a smartphone, internally referred to as ‘Pixel 2B’. The smartphone is expected to be released either alongside the main flagship Pixel 2 or shortly afterwards.
The purported Pixel 2B is speculated to have less powerful hardware. Being a low-end device, it is expected to be something on the lines of Android One smartphones. Even though Google’s Android One failed to take off in its key markets like India, the platform made its presence felt at the MWC 2016 through a smartphone called ‘GM6‘, offered by a Turkish brand. According to reports, Google’s new smartphone will be aimed at ‘different markets’. Now, this quite evidently hints at emerging markets such as China and India where the population is driven by affordable yet feature-rich smartphones. Given that it will be a less powerful device, it is speculated that the Pixel 2B will be priced significantly cheaper than the Pixel 2, which itself will receive a price hike of up to $50 (Rs 3,400 approximately).
It is worth mentioning that based on the fresh reports, the budget Google phone is unlikely to carry the ‘Pixel’ branding. However, it doesn’t seem like a plausible clause given that with Pixel smartphones, Google wanted to enter the smartphone market with and for a budget device it would choose a different course.
Coming to the second-generation Pixel 2; it is expected that the company will be yet again focusing on the camera hardware on the smartphone. Google is aiming to perfect low-light photography with the next iteration of its self-branded smartphone. It is rumored that there won’t be more megapixels and it will be compensated with additional features. At the heart of the next-gen Pixel smartphone, it is expected that Google will either use the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset or its own custom chipset, which it is long rumored to be working on. It is further expected to come with water and dust resistance.
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