What’s next for Google’s Pixel range? A non-premium handset and a smartwatch, says a recent report from Nikkei Asian Review.
The Japanese business title claims that Google is planning an “aggressive push into hardware” in 2019, hoping to capitalize on Apple’s wobbly expansion into developing markets with a non-premium Pixel phone and then update its other offerings.
As pointed out in 9to5Google’s write-up of the report, a lot of this isn’t unexpected. We’ve already seen quite a few photo and video leaks of the Pixel 3 Lite, which rumors say sports a 5.6-inch IPS display, 4GB of RAM, 32GB storage, plastic case, and midrange Snapdragon 670 processor. Nikkei’s contribution to the rumor mill is that the device will supposedly cost less than Apple’s cheapest smartphone, the $749 iPhone XR (though that still leaves a broad range of price points). As 9to5Google also notes, an earlier report from Android Police said that a Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 XL Lite would launch on Verizon this spring.
In addition, says Nikkei, Google will release new version of the Google Home smart speaker this year, along with a new security camera and a “smartwatch to compete with the Apple Watch.”
These first two predictions are par for the course. The Nest team was integrated with Google in February last year just so they could crank out a new security cam. And Google has produced lots of variations of the Google Home, including the Mini, Max, and Home Hub. Therefore, another version of the Google Home is not too unexpected this year.
But a new smartwatch is a different prospect entirely — trickier to pull off and something Google fans have been waiting on for a while. Evan Blass predicted that Google would launch the Pixel Watch at the company’s fall hardware event last year, only for that rumor to fall through. With shaky Android smartwatch sales and delays to its wearable OS, the prospects for the Pixel Watch aren’t completely sunny. Let’s see if Google pushes on.
Update February 13th, 12:50PM ET: Updated with link and credit to 9to5Google.