Pixel 6aは、「デフォルト」AndroidクラウンにSamsungに挑戦します

The year 2022 has heralded a strong resurgence for Samsung, thanks to compelling devices and an unbeatable software update cycle, a combination that earns them the default Android status. But it appears that Google’s Pixel 6a is set to derail that hype train.

Google I/O 2022 in 11 mins: Pixel 7, Pixel 6a, Android 13, Pixel Watch, Pixel Buds Pro, Tablet +More

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  • Aiming at Samsung’s crown
  • Filing the gap to build an ecosystem

In fact, Google is chasing the same formula that makes the iPhone SE a popular choice — a fast processor, reliable camera, and polished software — all that at half the price of its entry-point flagships. Despite some glaring omissions and feature downgrades compared to rivals, Apple still managed to move millions of units, especially in a segment of users chasing the vaunted iPhone ecosystem experience on a budget.

With the Pixel 6a, Google is aiming to offer a similar concoction of a flagship-grade processor, a pair of trusty cameras, fast mmWave 5G connectivity, and clean software that will receive software updates for at least the next five years. All that, at just $450. Of course, concessions have been made. The 3.5mm headphone jack is gone, and there is no scope for storage expansion either.

This time, Google is not carrying the flagship Pixel’s camera hardware to the budget A-series phones, as it has done in the past, so there’s that too. But the rough consensus so far, at least among experts and excited buyers in Google’s home market, is that the Pixel 6a is a winner from the get-go, and that doesn’t bode well for the Samsung phone juggernaut in the U. S. market.

Aiming at Samsung’s crown

It is evident that Google is reaching for an iPhone SE-like glory, but the real threat comes from Samsung. Take for example Samsung’s own $450 mid-range champion, the Galaxy A53 5G, which is almost an antithesis to what the Pixel 6a and what it can or can’t offer.

The Galaxy A53 5G beats its Google rival by offering a 120Hz OLED display, a versatile quad-camera array led by a high-resolution 64-megapixel primary sensor, a bigger 5,000 mAh battery that supports faster charging, and a scope for storage expansion up to 1 terabyte. Most, if not all of them, are crucial features that smartphone buyers actually care about. Plus, Samsung’s promise of offering five years of software updates matches what Google aims to do with its latest phone.

But Pixel 6a is banking more on the brawn offered by the Tensor chip inside, modest camera hardware propped up by the Pixel legacy, a slightly smaller footprint with a snazzier design, and a clean Android experience with meaningful exclusive features. But at the end of the day, the question is which Android phone is the better choice for $450? Well, in 2022, the Pixel 6a sounds like the better choice.

Of course, aggressive carrier deals and discounts will still allow Samsung to sell a healthy number of Galaxy A53 5G units, but it will no longer be the default $450 Android phone on the shelf. That’s a strong statement in itself. If the Pixel 6a can save itself from the bug-ridden software heritage of its pricier siblings and predecessors, there is hardly any reason for buyers to look elsewhere.

Yes, Motorola and TCL are also trying to leave a mark, but they’re nowhere near the reputation commanded by the two $450 big boys this year. It’s a shame that the Pixel 6a won’t be hitting the shelves anytime soon, giving rivals plenty of time to come up with even stronger contenders to shrink the breathing room for Google in the budget smartphone segment.

But more than unseating rivals and grabbing some sweet market share, the Pixel 6a also tries to serve as the stepping stone for a fledgling ecosystem of connected products. It’s a long shot, but the time seems ripe and Google isn’t playing coy either, revealing 2023 hardware plans in 2022 itself to give a taste of what it has in the pipeline for Android loyalists and potential converts in the immediate future.

Filing the gap to build an ecosystem

Google’s budget phones have historically made some big concessions to keep the asking price in check. Take for example recent outings such as the Pixel 5a and 4a, both of which had underwhelming screen specs, a bland plasticky build, slow charging, and a handful of bugs. The Pixel 6a improves on nearly all those shortcomings. But more than iterative upgrades, it fills that gap for a satisfying phone at a palatable price.

So far, “the good Pixel” experience has only hovered around the $800 mark and beyond, but the Pixel 6a almost cuts that financial demand in half. And at the center of it all is the Tensor chip. Google is dipping into the surplus supply of its Tensor chip that not only pushes the Pixel 6a squarely in the flagship performance territory but also unlocks a ton of new capabilities that have remained exclusive for top-end Pixel phones.

しかし、Pixel 6Aが提供するコスト削減により、現在はイヤフォン、今後のスマートウォッチ、そして来年到着する予定のタブレットを含む、Googleの新進製品のエコシステムにバイヤーが可能になります。また、Pixel 6Aによってなされた犠牲が、接続された生態系製品の応答性や機能の点でどのように機能するかに大きな影響を与えないことも役立ちます。

高メガピクセルカメラをあまり気にしない潜在的なピクセル6またはプロバイヤーの場合、Pixel 6Aは、Googleの他の製品やサービスにお金を節約し、残りを投資する素晴らしい経路を提供します。 Googleの戦略はAppleの戦略とほぼ同じくらい鋭く、エコシステム製品が実際に良いことが判明した場合、Pixel 6aによって配信されるワンツーパンチは、Googleのハードウェアの野望を本当に推進できます。

もちろん、言うよりも簡単ですが、機会はここにあります。 Googleのニーズはすべて、Androidタブレットの原因を放棄し、時々中途半端な野望でそれを再訪し続ける方法で、すべてを浪費することではなく、それをすべて浪費することではありません。

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