Tipster insists Google is working on budget phone, may not carry Pixel brand

Tipster insists Google is working on budget phone, may not carry Pixel brand
We suddenly have a he said/he said situation on our hands when it comes to potential plans by Google for a budget phone. Back in January, the rumor surfaced that Google was working on a budget Pixel phone, but last week at MWC, Rick Osterloh, senior vice president at Google, appeared to put that rumor to bed. Now the rumor has returned with a bit of a tweak.

Osterloh said that the Pixel 2 would "stay premium" and said there would be no budget Pixel phone from Google. Now, the original tipster has returned to clarify his original claim and imply that Osterloh was being very careful with his wording. According to the tipster, Google is indeed working on a budget phone and the project is being handled by the Pixel team, but given Osterloh's comments, the tipster is now saying the budget Google phone just won't carry the Pixel branding. He suggested the phone may be a Google-built Android One phone aimed at emerging markets. 

We're a bit torn on what to believe exactly. This new rumor does make a lot of sense, because it seems likely that Google wants to resuscitate the disappointing Android One program and doing so by building its own hardware makes sense. It also makes sense that Google would want to keep the Pixel brand connected to premium devices as it has been so far with the Chromebook Pixel, Pixel C tablet, and Pixel phones. 

The one thing that doesn't sit right is that Google has yet to prove it can actually manufacture devices at scale. It never had to with the Chromebook Pixel or Pixel C because the market for those devices weren't that big, but the Pixel phones have been consistently out of stock and had multiple delays in shipping. A budget Google phone would likely have even higher demand than the Pixel, but we're not so sure Google can actually handle that. 

source: 9to5Google 



1. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

Nexus is the brand.

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7519; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

This has to be a rumor, especially since Google has their Android One program. But then again the Android One program is just a guideline for OEMs to follow and use Google's Android OS and services. So maybe they are going to make a sub version with the same services and most of the software with exceptions like Vulkan graphics support, Daydream VR, and a number of other things that rely on top end and more expensive hardware.

6. alila2

Posts: 169; Member since: Nov 01, 2011

November release of a rebranded lg g6 as Nexus 8 with a bigger battery and front facing speakers is so orgasmic

7. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Vulkan doesn't require high end hardware Qualcomm's Adreno 500 series supports Vulkan, which is in the SD 430 and SD 625 Imagination's PowerVR Series 6 supports Vulkan ARM's 3rd gen Midgard supports Vulkan But yea, don't expect Daydream

2. Mixkhata1

Posts: 162; Member since: Feb 26, 2017

A budget Pixel like phone would be great for stock android lovers. It would get updates quicker and would compel other manufacturers to keep up with monthly updates.

3. Stranger

Posts: 73; Member since: Jan 19, 2017

True. Just make sure the assistant is there .


Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Google makes budget phones they just over charge for them, The Nexus 6, and the Pixel are drastically over priced budget phones with prices tag equivalence to the Galaxy S7 and Note 7 price tag......For what each phone gave you hardware wise the price was over inflated for said phones in my opinion. Stock software was not worth the price tag for me so I bought a Note7...Now I patiently wait for a Note 8

8. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Weird that Google budget phone have the best cameras and argubly the best UX If only Google made flagship phones, imagine how amazing those would be

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7519; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

All phones are overpriced. However the Nexus 6 at the time (2014) when it came out had high end specs. Even higher than the iPhone 6 which came out just before it in September 2014 with 1gb of RAM and 16 GB of storage. The Galaxy S5 came out in February 2014 with 2 GB of RAM and 16/32 GB of storage. The Nexus 6 came out in October 2014 with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage with the latest LTE cat 6. Which none of the others above had. Plus it came with a QHD AMOLED display, and had project Fi. Only a few others had QHD displays, and far fewer had AMOLED in 2014. Only the Note 4 had the same QHD AMOLED display and same SD 805 SoC, and LTE. The note 4 was expensive, so it made sense that the Nexus 6 was expensive as well. Now as far as the Pixel's are concerned. They came out with the latest hardware (SD 821) and software (7.1.1) at the time. They even have one of the best image software stabilizations (EIS). The same fast and accurate IMU found in the Pixels is also used in the Pixels Daydream VR software. Which is the best mobile VR platform. It's even better than Samsung's Gear VR. I can say this with confidence because I have both Gear VR and Daydream VR.

10. Tabby_Tiger

Posts: 305; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

Get Motorola or LG to do another Nexus device, the Nexus 4, 5 & 6 were great.

11. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

They already have Android One running.... no wait.... over 2 years now and are still getting pummeled left, right and center by mostly Chinese OEMs for the wrong reasons. 1. Appointed useless partner OEMs. Quite a list but South East Asia for example barely sees none? 2. Focused on India (again...) as if from there it'd cover the easterly side of the region faster. Hint:- NOT. 3. Right now oddly enough General Mobile of Turkey is the only one willing to come up with their follow up model. The rest? No they'd rather game the planned obsolescence route, put out barely passable model after model and experiment each' lackluster in-house UIs on top of a "fixed" Android ver base because 90% of said adopters would be too stupid to notice otherwise. At this point Google doesn't really care as long as everyone point their Google Play traffic their way that much is clear.

12. Valdomero

Posts: 704; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Easy, keep the Pixel brand as the premium one and the Nexus brand as the budget one. I'd be more than happy to buy a budget Google phone, just because of the timely updates and stock Android.

13. tokuzumi

Posts: 1950; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

If the Android One rumors are true, it would be nice to have an update to the Nexus 5X, with slightly upgraded specs. I'd even be fine with the latest SD6XX series chip, and similar camera tech to the Pixel. The ROM community would take care of the rest.

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