Around 6 days ago Google had an event entitled ‘Launch Night In’ where they launched the Pixel 5, Pixel 4a with 5G, Chromecast with Google TV plus a few other product refreshes (link). Most of what they were about to announce had been leaked out but it was interesting to see a confirmation but I was disappointed that there was no true flagship. Although they had only leaked news about the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a with 5G, I was expecting maybe a single high end model with a big screen (maybe even just on one colour to reduce inventory costs) but unfortunately I was disappointed. There was the mention of a Chromecast with Google TV (the rebranded Android TV) which has a fresh new interface and great hardware but unfortunately it isn’t available in New Zealand. One thing to keep in mind it has only has just been announced – I’m sure a retailer in New Zealand will distribute it just as they’ve distributed Google stuff in the past such as Kogan or one of the big box vendors (truth be known I prefer buying my stuff online and avoid the crowds – I was social distancing before it was cool).

I then did some comparisons with the Pixel 4 XL and interesting enough it still holds up strong against the 765G SoC and although Google talk about not launching a high end flagship this year as being a deliberate choice I have a sneaking suspicion it had to do more with wanting to push out a 5G phone and deciding to go with the 765G SoC to offset the extra power consumption and cost that the 5G modem uses (not to mention pressure by carriers who are hyping up their 5G network (don’t get me started on mmwave and how it is pretty much snake oil at this point). I have a inkling that next year we’ll see the return of a ‘traditional’ flag ship as the cost of 5G technology drops in cost so that it is integrated into the SoC like the modem was with the 855 series or maybe Google drops support for mmwave altogether after Verizon finally comes to its senses and realises that a technology that cannot penetrate a raindrop probably isn’t all that good even if the hypebeasts at network equipment manufacturers promise multi gigabit speeds.

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