A couple of years after debuting Android OS, Google introduced the Nexus One, which was a Google phone from every angle but manufactured by HTC. Subsequently, various OEMs including Samsung, LG, Huawei and Motorola launched Nexus-branded smartphones. In October 2016, Google launched the Premium Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones and abandoned the Nexus-line altogether. But if recent reports are to be believed, Google could launch a mid-range Pixel smartphone this year.
The Nexus-line of smartphones were adored by Android fans for a number of reasons. These smartphones featured high-end chipsets, stock Android OS and cost nearly half the price of flagship Android smartphones from LG, HTC and Samsung, to name a few. This year, Google seems to be changing its strategy.
Earlier this week, we came across a report stating that Google will release three smartphones this year – the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL and a third Pixel smartphone with an affordable price tag. According to a new leak on Qooah, a Chinese tech blog, the entry-level Pixel will be codenamed ‘Desire’ and will run on Android Go OS. This is interesting as Google recently acquired a huge portion of HTC’s smartphone engineering team, and the Taiwanese company’s mid-range smartphone line is called Desire.
Watch: Google Pixel 2 XL First Look
To recall, Android Go is a watered-down version of Android OS optimized for entry-level smartphones. With the stripped-down Android version, Google aims to offer fast and smooth Android user experience on low-cost smartphones with low memory and RAM.
An affordable Google Pixel smartphone sounds interesting, but there is some good and bad news. The good news is that the smartphone will be targeted towards certain markets such as India and Asia Pacific where low-cost smartphones dominate sales. Now, the bad part, the smartphone may not be launched in the US and Europe, among other countries.
As of now, there is no word on the pricing and launch date of the affordable Pixel, not there are any details about the specifications. But we expect more leaks to pour in in the coming months as the launch draws closer.