Google to Ditch Nexus Line, Creating More Expensive Devices to Compete Directly with Apple and Samsung

Google to Ditch Nexus Line, Creating More Expensive Devices to Compete Directly with Apple and Samsung
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Google has long been known to produce relatively inexpensive Nexus smartphones, but that could all change this year.

The tech giant’s upcoming devices are reportedly HTC-manufactured smartphones that drop the Nexus brand in favor of a new name: Pixel. And according to an Android Police source, the Pixel phone will start at $649 — which means that the larger Pixel XL could retail for much more. That’s around the same price range as a mainstream flagship like the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7, and much higher than the $499 that the Nexus 6P was originally priced at, according to Engadget.

It’s currently unknown what exactly would prompt Google to raise the price of their phones. But Google CEO Sundar Pichai hinted earlier this year at a conference that Google’s upcoming phones will have distinctive and innovative features that would help the tech giant’s devices stand out from the crowd. Pichai also said that the company will be more “opinionated” about the design of their newer phones.

Spec-wise, Google’s new phones are rumored to be outfitted with a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, as well as 4-gigabytes of RAM and a quad-core Snapdragon CPU. The smaller Pixel is reportedly going to ship with a 5-inch display, while the larger Pixel XL will allegedly be equipped with a 5.5-inch screen and a larger battery, according to PhoneDog.

Previously, the Nexus brand was more of a series of “reference” devices aimed at early adopters and Android developers. They were the baseline for what the Android platform was capable of, but didn’t exactly stand up to flagship-level devices. This price hike might be the first sign of a change of focus at Google — and it might mean that the company’s upcoming devices would be aimed at competing with other Android flagships such as Samsung, HTC and LG, Engadget reported.

Google will supposedly soften the blow of higher prices with a series of financing options directly from the company. It’s worth noting, however, that although Android Police’s source has proven to be reliable in the past, the news website’s “confidence rating” of the rumor is only a 6 out of 10.

The Pixel line of phones is expected to be announced on Oct. 4. The phones will reportedly be exclusively sold at Verizon retail locations — at least when it comes to brick-and-mortar availability. The phones will also be sold on the Google Store — so if you don’t have Verizon as a carrier, you’ll still be able to pick up a Pixel or Pixel XL, according to Android Police.

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