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The Daily Authority: 🤳 Entry-level Pixel, please

A cheap Pixel smartphone could seriously ruffle some industry feathers.

Published onJuly 11, 2022

Google Pixel 4a 5G back angled shot
David Imel / Android Authority

🙌 Good day all, and welcome to the Daily Authority. It’s week 28 and day 192 of 2022. This year has rushed by, hasn’t it?

It’s time for a C-tier Pixel

the google pixel 5a on a bench with water splashed droplets
Tayo Onabule / Android Authority

Rushing through our minds this week, Google’s latest round of smartphone launches is just around the corner. The company may indeed offer a budget “a” variant of its Pixel smartphone series, but it’s still well beyond the reach of billions of potential users. Is it not time for the company to consider an even cheaper device? It’s a theory my colleague Calvin Wankhede explored over the weekend.

Why 2022 is the year for a budget Pixel

  • Google has long courted the world’s emerging markets, like Nigeria, Indonesia, Mexico, and others.
  • While Android and its other software platforms align with this drive, its hardware offerings remain out of step.
  • Sure, Google has previously offered Pixel models as low as $349, but it has offered even cheaper devices under other umbrellas, like Motorola, in the past.
  • There’s plenty of evidence to suggest another crack at a truly budget phone in 2022 would reinvigorate Google’s hardware portfolio.

A formula for success

  • So what could a budget Pixel include?
  • Considering price limitations, Google may ditch its Tensor chipsets in favor of cheaper silicon.
  • Google could bring further savings to users by using older designs from the likes of the Pixel 4a, in a similar vein to the iPhone SE.
  • Google’s strength is software, so expect a lean, quick Android experience with the latest features and regular updates.
  • A rear fingerprint sensor, smaller display, and older but competent Pixel camera system could make for a compelling sub-$300 device.

Don’t hold your breath

  • As much as a budget Pixel would impress, don’t expect Google to bring one.
  • The Pixel 6a is due in a few weeks, and it will start at $449.
  • That’s still well above budget territory.
  • Although Google has looked to emerging markets for growth, it still sells its products in a narrow range of nations.
  • It would need to buff its distribution efforts to ship a budget Pixel, and that’s something it can barely muster with its mainline Pixel series.
  • It’ll also be tough to topple the likes of Xiaomi, realme, and even OnePlus in the budget segment.
  • Still, we’d love Google to surprise us all.


😎 So, when will AR glasses and powerful smartwatches replace your smartphone? Well, AA‘s Roger Fingas has the answer (Android Authority).

🎧 “I’ve tried dozens of true wireless buds, but Nothing is as comfortable as these,” writes AA‘s Rita El Khoury (Android Authority).

🔍 Find everything you’ve ever needed to know about Google Lens right here, from how the app works to useful tips and tricks (Android Authority).

👀 A telling dump of some 124,000 leaked documents details how Uber dodged police, lobbied key politicians, and seemingly promoted violence during a rapid period of growth in the late 2010s (The Guardian).

✈️  At just $60, few tablets are better made for travel than Amazon’s latest. But why? Here’s our complete Fire 7 (2022) review (Android Authority).

💸 After initially offering a cool $44 billion for Twitter, Elon Musk is officially backing out of the agreement. Twitter’s not backing down, though, and plans to sue Musk in return (The Verge).

🌲 California’s on fire again. The Washburn Fire is growing ever larger in Yosemite, and it’s threatening some 500 giant sequoias (Los Angeles Times).

😵 When carriers can demand $20,000(!) per GB of data when roaming, how does a flexible Google Fi plan compare? Read AA colleague Hadlee Simons’ experience using the service beyond the US for two years (Android Authority).

🐟 Big fish sightings are increasing worldwide. The reason? The changing climate. According to one expert, the fish are “trying to maintain some optimum temperatures and preferred temperature ranges” (The Washington Post).

📱 Exynos out, Snapdragon in? The latest Samsung Galaxy S23 chipset rumor is a tasty one and comes from a reliable source (Android Authority).

😷 The pandemic is far from over. A new omicron subvariant is the latest cause for concern, due to several mutations to its spike protein that could make it more effective at evading antibodies. Stay safe out there, and remember to wash your hands (Ars Technica).

 Beyond hardware, Samsung’s sparkly new One UI 5 beta also leaked ahead of its launch. So, what’s new? (Android Authority).

🚗 According to Bloomberg, 5% of new car sales in the US for the past six months have been fully electric vehicles. The outlet posits that this could be the tipping point where mainstream demand overtakes early adoption (Bloomberg).

💲Why do we need growth to have a viable society?” Reddit discusses the pitfalls of capitalism (r/explainlikeimfive).

Monday Meme

Pff, more like me every weekend.

Of course, relaxing on the weekend is all about maximizing the week, whether you still work from home or frequent the office. It’s okay if you’re still figuring out what works for you. We all are, right now!

Until tomorrow,

Andy Walker, Editor

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