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Hoping for a really cheap Pixel phone? Google says you're out of luck

A Google executive has confirmed in an interview that the company has no plans of making a low-end Pixel device.
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Published onOctober 9, 2023

Google Pixel 7a held out in hand, with a city street and bridge in the background
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • In an interview, a Google executive confirmed that the company has no plans to enter the budget segment with a Pixel device.
  • A low-cost Pixel device at the €200/$200 price point would require “too many compromises.”

Google released the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, ushering in another new cycle of flagship devices. The lineup has significantly expanded this year, with entrants like the Pixel Fold and the Pixel Tablet. There’s also the Pixel A-series device in the early mid-range, giving Google great coverage across major price segments of the Android smartphone market. But if you were hoping to see Google expand to even lower price points, then we wouldn’t advise you to hold your breath on it, as the company has confirmed it has no plans to make a low-end Pixel.

Google’s Vice President of Mobile Business, Mr. Nanda Ramachandran, told German website Der Standard (via AndroidPolice) that the company has no plans for a low-cost Pixel device. Making a low-cost Pixel smartphone at the €200/$200 price point would require “too many compromises,” especially considering Google’s focus on AI, camera, and a robust security framework.

Google has had other initiatives that target lower price ranges. The erstwhile Android One program focused on budget and mid-range devices with a clean Android experience. More recently, Android Go offers budget devices that run tightly optimized low-end versions of popular apps. However, these initiatives are reliant on OEM partners for the hardware, distribution, and more and aren’t majorly run by Google in the same way that the Pixel program is. So, the experience and product choices are obviously outside of Google’s control.

With the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro coming in with a promise of seven years of software updates, it lays the foundation for Google to sell these devices beyond the first year. Google has not mentioned it yet, but there is a possibility that the same set of devices could be sold in the second year of release at cheaper price points. This would emulate the business model that Apple follows with the iPhone, selling the base iPhone across several years at increasingly lower price points.

However, if you were hoping for an entirely new low-end Google smartphone, it’s best to explore other cheap Android smartphones.