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I really miss the dual-tone colored Pixel phones

Google used to be more adventurous with color combinations and accents.

Published onOctober 1, 2023

Google Pixel 6 Pro Rear panel against white wall

Rumors of Google’s upcoming Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are swirling left and right, but as I sat down to catch up on them, one thing jumped at me that might have flown under the radar amidst all the features: Colors. Specifically, single-tone colors.

If you think back through the entire Pixel portfolio, you’ll remember that Google has often played with color combinations, either through buttons, contours, or glass. But all the leaked Pixel 8 and 8 Pro renders show a new design direction for Google. Besides the rounder corners, uniform bezels, and flat displays, it’s clear that every Pixel 8 and 8 Pro variant is sporting a monotone color throughout its entire body. No accents of any kind.

Do you miss the dual-tone colored Pixel phones?

2008 votes
Pixel 7 Pro hazel showing rear panel and camera

Gone are the subtle but distinctive white and silver, hazel and copper, or green and gold mixes of the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro series. Instead, the aluminum rail around the sides and the camera bar are tinted in a very, very similar color and shade to the phone’s glass back. Blue and blue, beige and beige, pale rose and pale rose, or black and dark grey. It’s all quite monotone.

Gone too are the unique dual-tone combinations we saw with the Pixel 6 series. I still remember Google touting those while announcing the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, and emphasizing how they were a bit reminiscent of the first few Pixels with their dual-material backs.

Remember the coral and yellow mix, or blue and green? Those were subtle but eye-grabbing, and quite distinctive among other Android phones. Sure, most people might end up slipping the phone in a case, only leaving the massive camera bar as an outward sign of the Pixel brand, but if you happened to rock them without a case, they were very interesting to look at.

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro left angled rear panels

I’m also still a little bit in love with the two green shades of the Pixel 6a. I thought that, along with the black camera bar, they gave extra character to the midrange phone. I don’t deny that the newer Pixel 7a looks classier and more premium with its one-piece aluminum frame and camera bar, but there’s “something” unquantifiable about the 6a that makes it look more fun and unique.

Google Pixel 6a in Sage color, seen from the back, focus on the camera bump

Speaking of the Pixel 7a, if you look back at the full line-up, you’ll definitely notice that the monotone glass and aluminum trend started there. The Pixel 8 series is just following in the 7a’s footsteps. This may be the first time something from the Pixel A series carries over to the next-generation main Pixel series, and I’m not sure I like this particular move.

Google Pixel 7a All colors

I’ll give one thing to the Pixel 7a and rumored Pixel 8 Pro though: They’re kickstarting Google’s reconciliation with bolder colors. The 7a’s coral and the upcoming 8 Pro’s blue tones are vibrant and fun — a departure from the duller pastel options of recent years. They remind me of the electric blue of the original Pixel or the orange of the Pixel 4.

I guess it’s just a little bit annoying that the price to pay to get these vibrant shades and more elegant designs is to let go of the color mixes that Google has played with for years — the pandas and fun accent buttons and dual-tone glass. But who knows, those trends might come back one day. I hope they will.