Google is getting serious about hardware and investors are actually thrilled about it.
Following years of small scale experiments, including some pretty disastrous ones (Nexus Q, anybody?), Google now seems to have a clear vision for selling physical products. Coming from a company that thrives on immaterial “internet technology,” this new hardware focus could have spooked investors. But that’s not the case, at least so far.
The markets have reacted positively to the Google Pixels, and the first batch of reviews of the two phones have sent the shares of Google’s parent company Alphabet soaring to new heights.
Alphabet’s voting shares (GOOGL) hit a new record yesterday, briefly reaching over $828, before closing the day at $821.49.
Analysts attributed the jump to the solid reviews that the Google Pixel garnered almost across the board. The Pixel and Pixel XL were praised by large swathes of the tech press for their build quality, smooth operation, great camera and, especially, for Google Assistant. The WSJ called the Pixel “the best Android smartphone,” while The Verge said it’s a “home run” and gave it the same score as the iPhone 7. Other publications noted that the Pixel offers a much more polished experience compared to Nexus phones before it.
In our initial Pixel XL review, Josh spoke highly of the phone’s performance, its sound quality, and its excellent video stabilization – even in the absence of OIS. Above all, Assistant turned out to be one of the key attractions for Josh, who decried the lack of certain hardware features and the high cost of the device. Our full review will delve deeper into all of these aspects in the coming days.
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Analysts cited by Bloomberg say that Google’s stock was also helped by the good subscriber results announced by Netflix, which had a halo effect on the shares of other internet companies, including Google. Investors are notoriously fickle and their views of the Pixel are not a benchmark by any means, but early signs are positive for Google’s smartphone challenger. Let us know your thoughts.