RIP cheap Nexuses: Google Pixel could start at $650; Pixel XL even costlier

RIP cheap Nexuses: Google Pixel could start at $650; Pixel XL even costlier
It's that time of the year when Google's Nexus Pixel rumors reach full throttle. The HTC-manufactured handset duo is expected to be announced over the next few weeks, and we've seen plenty of leaked specs and renders of both Pixel variants by now. Previously, it had been speculated that the larger, Pixel XL model would launch for $649, with the standard Pixel likely to run in slightly cheaper. Now, though, it's being suggested that the smaller Pixel will arrive at the $649 price point, with the Pixel XL set to cost even more. 

Android Police cites a 'trusted source' in noting of the Pixel's rumored $649 starting price point. Seemingly, this figure relates to the entry-level variant of the handset with 32 GB of storage or thereabouts. It's just a rumor for now, but if there's any truth in these suppositions, we could be in for a major price hike on the current Nexus handsets. 

The same blog recently inferred that the Pixel XL would hit the market at around $650, which would have meant a sub-$600 price point for the Pixel at the very least. If this latest tip-off carries any weight, though, it could be that Google will instead place the Pixel range into the ballpark of the recognized premium phones of the market. The 32 GB iPhone 7 for example, costs $649, while the Galaxy S7 is at a similar bracket. If what we're hearing now is correct, the days of cheap, Google-branded handsets could be well and truly numbered.

As a refresher, the Nexus 5X was available at launch for $379 with 16 GB of storage and $429 for 32 GB real estate. Where the 5X is weaker than the larger Nexus 6P in most regards, though, the Pixel is expected to carry a similar array of internal hardware as the Pixel XL phablet. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820/821 could power both upcoming Pixel flavors, while we expect each to include at least 4 GB RAM and 32 GB storage as a bare minimum. 

Still, if the Pixel is going to cost upward of $649 with a ~5-inch display, the Pixel XL will surely exceed the $700 mark. If the Pixel and Pixel XL are mostly alike internally but for the size differences, then the gulf in price between the two should not be that large. If the Pixel is to start at $649, it's not unreasonable to suggest that the entry-level Pixel XL could hit retail at around $749.

Given that Google's Nexus range has been famed for delivering a pure, powerful Android experience for a price consistently lower than many comparable handsets, it looks like Pixel could depart from outgoing Nexus in more than just the branding. If the Pixel duo lives up to the Galaxies and iPhones of this world in terms of performance and build, then there's no reason why Google should not charge as such. But those accustomed to Nexus prices may feel a little bemused by the Big G's sudden change of tack. 

As noted, these are rumors, so we're treating them as such for now — with a fair dose of salt. Still, if the Pixel's starting price is to be a few hundred bucks more than that of the Nexus 5X, quite a few prospective buyers would be priced out of the market. 

The source of the report does indicate that financing for the Pixel handsets will be available directly from Google, though no specific details have yet emerged in this regard. Both versions will apparently reach the Google Store, though. 

What do you make of this? Let us know in the comments. 


Related phones

Pixel
  • Display 5.0 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP (Single camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
    4GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2770 mAh
  • OS Android 10
Pixel XL
  • Display 5.5 inches
    2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP (Single camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
    4GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 3450 mAh
  • OS Android 10

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