Google has released a phone that seems to increasingly be designed by committee in some misguided effort to hit some sweet spot of a middle of the road consumer. The new phone uses an old chip that is a non-starter and the camera is no longer top of the heap. I skipped the Pixel 4 because it was over priced and the design was a bit of a disaster.
I have a Pixel 3 and while it still works it is getting a little long in the tooth. It was the last decent Phone that Google released. Even though the Pixel 3 was over priced the specs and the quality of the device still competed with other flagship devices.
I would like to get a new phone because I upgraded to Android 11 and performance on the Pixel 3 is beginning to suffer. It crashes a little more than before, apps freeze a little more than before, and from time to time there is a noticeable lag when using apps.
Why do I bother upgrading the OS? Mainly to stay up to date with security. There haven’t been any new features in Android over the past several iterations that have changed the way I use the phone or improved the experience. In fact, they’ve removed some features that I used all the time. The one that sticks out the most is burst mode in the camera app. I used it all the time but Google removed it in a camera update to Android 10 because it is trying to copy the iPhone’s Live Photos. If I wanted that feature I would have bought an iPhone.
Where do I go from here? Samsung? They’re flagship is over priced and if I move to a mid-range device the camera is not as good as what I have now. Apple? God no. I refuse to get trapped in their ecosystem. It’s like quicksand that once you get in you can’t get out. Do I stay with my Pixel 3? Probably for as long as it works but I’m not sure how useable it’s going to be in the coming months as software updates continue to cause the phone to lag.
Here’s what I want. And, it’s what I believe most Pixel users want.
- A great camera
- High resolution front facing camera
- Wide angle lens in addition to the main lens on the back
- Good video
- Option to use external microphones
- A fast processor
- Apps run better
- Can be used more as a portable computer
- Future proofs for at least 2 years
- A finger print reader on the back or under the glass
- You can unlock your phone without looking at it
- Faster and less annoying than face unlock
- A modern design (small bezels and a hole punch rather than chins to support cameras and speakers
That’s it. The rest is gravy. The phone and messaging functions are secondary.