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Google has an uphill battle with the Pixel 8, if these leaked prices are correct

This would annihilate the Pixel's entire value proposition.
By
September 4, 2023

 

Earlier today, prices of Google’s upcoming Pixel 8 series in Europe leaked, revealing what can only be described as a gargantuanly massive price increase. If you haven’t read the news yet, hold your breath, because this is going to be a tough pill to swallow.

128GB256GB512GB
Pixel 7
128GB
€649
256GB
€749
512GB

Pixel 8
128GB
€874.25 (+34.7%)
256GB
€949.30 (+26.7%)
512GB

Pixel 7 Pro
128GB
€899
256GB
€999
512GB
€1099
Pixel 8 Pro
128GB
€1235 (+37.4%)
256GB
€1309 (+31.3%)
512GB
€1461 (+32.9%)

If this leak is accurate, we’re looking at an increase of more than 30% on average in the price of a Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro, and European buyers would have to fork an extra €200-300 to buy one of Google’s upcoming flagships. Yikes. We don’t know much about US prices, but previous rumors had suggested a more sensible $50-100 increase. Smaller yikes.

Would you still buy a Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro if it's this expensive?

3347 votes

First, a grain of salt, then we panic

Google IO 2023 pixel 7a price
Google

Before we get carried away, let me start with my grain of salt. I personally don’t believe these prices are 100% accurate. Google sticks to a simple pricing pattern for its devices: No matter how many hundreds are in front, the tag always ends with -99, -49, or -29. Basically, something with 9. There’s no -74, -35, -61, let alone a .25 or .30 decimal. Moreover, the increase between different storage tiers is almost always a flat $100 or €100.

That’s why I think those prices were spotted at a third-party retailer that might be doing some currency conversions, manually applying the local European VAT, and maybe some extra profits on top to get a retail price in Euros for their Pixel 8 page.

I personally don't believe these prices are 100% accurate. Google never uses decimals and always ends its pricing with 9.

Plus, if the Pixel 7a‘s price hike over the 6a is anything to go by, we shouldn’t be looking at anything as exorbitant as this. A more realistic $50-100 increase sounds more like it.

That being said, I am no pricing, marketing, or financial expert, and I have zero knowledge of Google’s future plans. I didn’t trust the leaked Pixel Watch or Pixel Fold prices, and they both turned out to be accurate. So what do I know? Maybe Google is really feeling the sting of this inflation and is in dire need of filling its investors’ pockets. Or maybe European buyers will bear the brunt of this hike while Google — like Samsung and Apple did before it — gets to pretend it didn’t increase the price of the Pixel 8 series in the US by one cent.

A price hike this massive annihilates the Google Pixel proposition

google pixel 7a pixel 7 pixel 7 pro 1
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Over the last few years, Pixel phones have always been among the top-recommended Android phones (where available) on every tech website. Why? Because their very attractive price tag makes Google’s line-up an enticing proposition.

No matter your budget, you could get a fantastic camera, a light Android experience, and several Pixel-exclusive features with a good performance at an almost unbeatable price. Just take a look at any flagship comparison and you’ll see the Pixel 7 Pro, for example, being pitted against the much, much more expensive Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max — not their cheaper counterparts.

Pricing was intrinsic to the Pixels' success. They got a lot of love and positive feedback because of their camera and value proposition.

A $900 phone that can contend with $1200+ phones is an objectively fantastic deal, and that’s why Pixels often made the cut for “smartphone of the year,” sometimes winning it all. The 7 Pro was both our readers’ and our Android Authority editors’ pick for 2022.

We all know Pixels have a few bugs and some odd hardware issues, but which phone doesn’t have those? Google also offered a potentially sub-par customer service experience depending on where you lived. But things were overall getting better and those issues were being ironed out one by one.

Speaking as a tech reviewer who knew the pros and cons, I was starting to recommend Pixels to my “normal” friends. Heck, just in the past two weeks, I’ve told no less than five people to wait for the Pixel 8 or 8 Pro and grab it with a pre-order bonus to make the most of the deal. To me, the value proposition of the Pixel 7 series was unbeatable, and I was expecting the same with the Pixel 8 series.

Take away the attractive price and the Pixel's negatives become undisputable drawbacks if not dealbreakers.

Take away the attractive and almost unbeatable price, though, and things change. Drastically. What I’d consider as negatives at 600/900 for the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro become undisputable drawbacks if not dealbreakers at 900-1200 for the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. There are no two ways about it. You shouldn’t gamble with an extra 200-300 to get an (anecdotally) overheating Tensor processor, a capricious Exynos modem, a slightly slower fingerprint reader, or a less zoomy tele lens. Especially when the competition is proposing something more solid all around.

Yes, Google might still make one of the best camera phones, but that’s not enough when you’re going toe-to-toe in pricing with Samsung’s and Apple’s well-oiled machines. Google doesn’t have the logistics, customer support, resale value, operator connections, or general experience building phones to go anywhere near those two behemoths. The Pixel line-up is a cool side-project for Mountain View; the Galaxy S series and the iPhone lineup are Samsung’s and Apple’s bread and butter.

A great camera can't compete with the well-oiled flagship-making machines of Samsung and Apple.

Giving the Pixel 8 series such an exorbitant price tag is a mistake, and I think Google would lose a lot of the goodwill it has accrued over the years, from normal users and techies alike, if this rumor turns out to be true — or close to the truth.

Given the minor updates we’re expecting with the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, I doubt I’d recommend these to anyone for an extra 200-300 (at least not with a straight face!). As a matter of fact, I might just tell my friends to buy a discounted Pixel 7 or 7 Pro instead. Or, if they want the absolute best, I’d tell them to get an iPhone 15 or decide between nabbing a deal on the Galaxy S23 Ultra or waiting for the S24 Ultra. All of those sound like better financial decisions.