5G Google Pixel 4A Could Cause Problems For Samsung, Apple

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 15: The new Google Pixel 4 smartphone is displayed during a Google launch ... [+] event on October 15, 2019 in New York City. The new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phone starts at $799 and will begin shipping on Oct. 24. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Whilst the smartphone industry’s immediate focus is on Google’s next big launch, the Pixel 4a, it’s the Pixel 5 I’m most intrigued by. 

Google had a rough outing for the Pixel 4. The device fared badly in reviews because of its poor battery life and lack of additional camera sensors and, at $899 (at launch) for the XL handset, those issues are unforgivable. Especially up against Samsung, which isn’t shy about cramming every feature ever invented into its smartphones

The Pixel 4 isn’t a bad phone, though. Quite the opposite. Away from the headlines about poor battery life, Google deserves credit for its facial recognition technology that rivals Apple’s Face ID, its ongoing free Drive storage offer for your media and, of course, Assistant. 

It’s always a case of “what if” with Google’s smartphones. Each release is plagued by at least one issue: the Pixel 2 had a blue tinted display defect, the Pixel 3 had memory management issues and the Pixel 4 XL has to be charged twice a day. But those problems are always balanced by an exceptional, unrivalled feature elsewhere in the phone.

If Google can get the basics right with the Pixel 5 and break the cycle of releasing a phone with one major - device defining - problem then Samsung’s current S20 range could have some proper competition. Here’s how Google could make that a reality. 

> Why You Should Wait For Google's Pixel Buds 2 Over Galaxy Buds+, AirPods
Forbes Jay McGregor

Assistant without tracking

Google Assistant is what makes Pixel phones worthwhile, it’s also a good reason not to buy a Pixel phone. The central issue is privacy: are the features on offer worth the constant tracking of your activity? 

Google obviously thinks so and it has made huge strides with AI in recent years that makes its offer ever more inciting. Duplex, the service that can book a restaurant table in a human sounding voice and automatic call screening, which acts like a personal secretary with incoming calls, are impossibly futuristic features. They’re also free...sort of. You pay with your data, which is light on your wallet but expensive in other ways. 

Google has made a number of noises about being pro-privacy in its last few launches - likely because it recognises that people are becoming more savvy when it comes to digital privacy and their related rights.  

But those noises are academic without genuine change. What would that change be? Offering those futuristic Assistant features without forcing people into activity tracking. As it stands, Assistant isn’t available without the “app and activity tracking” setting turned on - that means almost everything you do on your phone is recorded and sent to Google to be used to improve its services. 

> Google Pixel Watch: How A Future Device Could Rival The Apple Watch
Forbes Jay McGregor

But a more privacy friendly option would be to enable some Assistant features without that setting toggled on. Instead Google could offer incentives to track your activity - whether that’s access to beta Assistant features or a cash reward (as Facebook does with its Study app). 

This would be a game-changer in terms of data privacy and set an example - or even force - other companies to do the same. Because these features typically debut - and stay exclusive - to Pixel phones for a limited time it’d also tempt frequent Android phone switchers - unsure about data collection practises - back to Google.

Wade into the price war

As foldable phones repeatedly sell out all over the world, manufacturers are turning to discounts to help shift their current generation smartphones. 

Samsung, for example, has the best trade-in offers I’ve ever seen. The Korean company will give you $600 for your old S10+, S10 5G, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max if you pre-order any of the S20 range. Not to mention a $100 store credit. It’s also giving away free pairs of the Galaxy Buds+ with pre-orders of the S20 Ultra. That is a serious statement of intent. 

Google should, at very least, match Samsung’s offer and potentially go one step further. The upcoming Pixel Buds, which I have high hopes for, should be bundled with the Pixel 5 XL. The search company should also look into throwing in some of its other Nest products - or a Stadia subscription - with pre-orders too. 

Google has a good catalogue of devices that tie-in with its phones, so bundles make a lot of sense. What better way to get people acquainted with its new gaming platform than a free controller and a one year subscription - just like Apple did with its Apple TV+ offer (all iPhone purchases came with a one-year subscription at launch). 

Google isn’t shy about discounting its Pixel phones either. It dropped the Pixel 4 by $200 last Black Friday (a month after the phones came out) - why not have a limited-time discount from day one? In a time when smartphone owners are holding on to their devices for longer and refusing to upgrade, Google can’t afford to stick to a normal pricing strategy.

With its closest rivals, such as the S20, beating the Pixel on price, discounts and overall features - its time Google stepped up and started undercutting the competition. 

>Follow Jay on Facebook

> Why Samsung's Galaxy S20 Is The Best Phone To Buy Right Now
Forbes Jay McGregor
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Google Unveils New Pixel 4 Smart Phone

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 15: The new Google Pixel 4 smartphone is displayed during a Google launch ... [+] event on October 15, 2019 in New York City. The new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phone starts at $799 and will begin shipping on Oct. 24. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Whilst the smartphone industry’s immediate focus is on Google’s next big launch, the Pixel 4a, it’s the Pixel 5 I’m most intrigued by. 

Google had a rough outing for the Pixel 4. The device fared badly in reviews because of its poor battery life and lack of additional camera sensors and, at $899 (at launch) for the XL handset, those issues are unforgivable. Especially up against Samsung, which isn’t shy about cramming every feature ever invented into its smartphones

The Pixel 4 isn’t a bad phone, though. Quite the opposite. Away from the headlines about poor battery life, Google deserves credit for its facial recognition technology that rivals Apple’s Face ID, its ongoing free Drive storage offer for your media and, of course, Assistant. 

It’s always a case of “what if” with Google’s smartphones. Each release is plagued by at least one issue: the Pixel 2 had a blue tinted display defect, the Pixel 3 had memory management issues and the Pixel 4 XL has to be charged twice a day. But those problems are always balanced by an exceptional, unrivalled feature elsewhere in the phone.

If Google can get the basics right with the Pixel 5 and break the cycle of releasing a phone with one major - device defining - problem then Samsung’s current S20 range could have some proper competition. Here’s how Google could make that a reality. 

> Why You Should Wait For Google's Pixel Buds 2 Over Galaxy Buds+, AirPods
Forbes Jay McGregor

Assistant without tracking

Google Assistant is what makes Pixel phones worthwhile, it’s also a good reason not to buy a Pixel phone. The central issue is privacy: are the features on offer worth the constant tracking of your activity? 

Google obviously thinks so and it has made huge strides with AI in recent years that makes its offer ever more inciting. Duplex, the service that can book a restaurant table in a human sounding voice and automatic call screening, which acts like a personal secretary with incoming calls, are impossibly futuristic features. They’re also free...sort of. You pay with your data, which is light on your wallet but expensive in other ways. 

Google has made a number of noises about being pro-privacy in its last few launches - likely because it recognises that people are becoming more savvy when it comes to digital privacy and their related rights.  

But those noises are academic without genuine change. What would that change be? Offering those futuristic Assistant features without forcing people into activity tracking. As it stands, Assistant isn’t available without the “app and activity tracking” setting turned on - that means almost everything you do on your phone is recorded and sent to Google to be used to improve its services. 

> Google Pixel Watch: How A Future Device Could Rival The Apple Watch
Forbes Jay McGregor

But a more privacy friendly option would be to enable some Assistant features without that setting toggled on. Instead Google could offer incentives to track your activity - whether that’s access to beta Assistant features or a cash reward (as Facebook does with its Study app). 

This would be a game-changer in terms of data privacy and set an example - or even force - other companies to do the same. Because these features typically debut - and stay exclusive - to Pixel phones for a limited time it’d also tempt frequent Android phone switchers - unsure about data collection practises - back to Google.

Wade into the price war

As foldable phones repeatedly sell out all over the world, manufacturers are turning to discounts to help shift their current generation smartphones. 

Samsung, for example, has the best trade-in offers I’ve ever seen. The Korean company will give you $600 for your old S10+, S10 5G, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max if you pre-order any of the S20 range. Not to mention a $100 store credit. It’s also giving away free pairs of the Galaxy Buds+ with pre-orders of the S20 Ultra. That is a serious statement of intent. 

Google should, at very least, match Samsung’s offer and potentially go one step further. The upcoming Pixel Buds, which I have high hopes for, should be bundled with the Pixel 5 XL. The search company should also look into throwing in some of its other Nest products - or a Stadia subscription - with pre-orders too. 

Google has a good catalogue of devices that tie-in with its phones, so bundles make a lot of sense. What better way to get people acquainted with its new gaming platform than a free controller and a one year subscription - just like Apple did with its Apple TV+ offer (all iPhone purchases came with a one-year subscription at launch). 

Google isn’t shy about discounting its Pixel phones either. It dropped the Pixel 4 by $200 last Black Friday (a month after the phones came out) - why not have a limited-time discount from day one? In a time when smartphone owners are holding on to their devices for longer and refusing to upgrade, Google can’t afford to stick to a normal pricing strategy.

With its closest rivals, such as the S20, beating the Pixel on price, discounts and overall features - its time Google stepped up and started undercutting the competition. 

>Follow Jay on Facebook

Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaymcgregor/2020/02/28/google-pixel-5-can-beat-samsung-with-two-features/

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