The Nexus 5 was one of the most loved Android phones of all time. If you spend any time on Reddit, you will know that the handset is still thriving despite its age and lack of support from Google.
And the reason why the Nexus 5 was so popular is simple, it was a great phone with a great price tag. Made by Google in cahoots with LG, the Nexus 5 was all about value for money, software, and getting stuff done with minimal fuss or fanfare.
The hole left by the Nexus 5 was never really filled, though OnePlus has made a valiant attempt to do so with its excellent phones over the years. But as good as the OnePlus 5T is it still misses the one thing that made the Nexus 5 – and all Nexus phones, for that matter – special; updates.
And this got me thinking, especially after reading that there would be three Pixel 3 phones released in 2018, that perhaps it is time for Google to revisit what it was doing with the Nexus 5? In a sea of almost-£1000 phones, a low-priced Google phone would be extremely popular, especially if it borrowed from the Nexus 5’s modus operandi.
Will this happen? Don’t count on it – reports suggest the third Pixel option will be an ultra-premium affair, meaning Google is keen to go after the example set by the iPhone X and charge $1000 for a phone.
This is the wrong approach, however, as I am sure it would have more success with something similar to the Nexus 5, only dressed in Pixel clothing. By using its old model, Google could create an exceptional phone that, when priced around the same as the OnePlus 5T, could do some serious damage to Apple’s dominance of the space.
Google wants to be more like Apple. But competing with the company head-on, and on pricing, I feel, is not the way to go about it. A better approach would be to offer up something that gave users unparalleled value for money, get them locked into the Pixel ecosystem, and then, a year or two later, try and get them upsold to a bigger and more costly model.
This is basically what Apple has done, although over a 10 year period, and it definitely works. Android is not iOS, it’s always been more inclusive, and I think this is something Google should reflect with its product choices in 2018.
By offering a compelling-but-easily-affordable Pixel phone in 2018, Google would increase brand exposure, secure itself millions of new users, and help push its Pixel install base from barely anything at all to something approaching decent.
I am a HUGE fan of the current Pixel phones, but you definitely do not need an even more expensive version. There’s not much else you could do to make the phone better, for instance, unless you’re talking about its physical appearance. And even then, why would you pay more just for some arbitrary design tweaks?
A cheaper, functional handset that undercuts the OnePlus 5T is definitely more compelling. It offers something different, something that is attainable for more people, and it is something that could be used, over a period of 24 months, to lock a user into Pixel phones for good.
The world does not need another £1000 Android phone, it needs more value for money like the OnePlus 5T. So, come on, Google, sort it out!
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