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The Pixel 7 series helps Google set a new record for the Pixel brand


The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro certainly have had their share of bugs. And the latest Android 13 QPR1 Beta 3 update has made the under-display fingerprint sensor tentative again. Still, there are many Pixel buyers out there who are willing to give Google a second chance to see what it could do with the time to design an improved Tensor 2 chip, add an improved biometric scanner, and a modem that actually locks onto a signal.


Google recently had the highest-selling week in Pixel history

The result is the Pixel 7 line and according to Android Authority, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said yesterday, "We recently had our highest selling week ever for Pixel, and I’m really proud of the positive reviews so far." The executive made that comment Wednesday during the conference call with analysts that was held by Google parent Alphabet following the release of Q3 earnings.


It should be noted that the release of the new Pixel phones didn't take place until the fourth quarter although the mid-range Pixel 6a was launched during the third quarter. During the conference call, Google's Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat characterized Google's hardware revenue during the third quarter as being "solid" thanks to the Pixel 6a which was released in July.


It is true that Google has expanded the distribution of the Pixel 7 line to more countries (in alphabetical order they are: Denmark, India, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden). But the good news for Google is that some Pixel 6 series users had no qualms about buying the Pixel 7 or the Pixel 7 Pro despite having to deal with aggravations like the loss of connectivity (often when an important call had to be made) or the inability to quickly unlock their phones with last year's models.


There are probably a lot more Pixel 6 series owners who would love to upgrade to the Pixel 7 line but are unable to for one reason or another. Others might not feel that the changes made by Google are worth spending money on. While the Pixel 7 models add facial recognition, it cannot be used to verify the user's identity for mobile payments. The new phones also come with improved camera specs and some new features, some of which will be made available to the Pixel 6 line.


Outside of the addition of Face Unlock, most Pixel 6 series users are most likely drawn to the new models because of the improved modem, and the hike in hybrid zoom to 30x from 20x (with a feature that helps to stabilize the image). The battery life isn't greatly improved as our tests show that the Pixel 7 Pro delivers only 29 additional minutes of video streaming compared to the Pixel 6 Pro, and surprisingly the latter powers 8 more minutes of 3D gaming than the sequel. The new unit does power 66 more minutes of web browsing. But charging remains on the slow side.


While Pichai points out that Google recently had the highest selling week for Pixel, the company is just now building out an ecosystem that besides the phones now includes a Pixel Watch and the Pixel Buds; next year we will see the Pixel Tablet. Still, the Pixel owns only about 2% of the North American smartphone market leaving Google well behind the top three of Apple, Samsung, and Motorola.


Here are a couple of changes that Google should make for the Pixel 8 series

Considering that the Pixel models are made for phone enthusiasts who love to tinker with the settings, enjoy stock Android, appreciate getting the first crack at Android updates, and love the exclusive Google AI features, the potential customer base is limited to begin with.


It's not original to say that the Pixel 7 line is a refinement of the Pixel 6 series. And the Pixel 8 will no doubt continue to show improvements. If I were running Google, I'd be looking to take the battery life of the Pixel 8 Pro to a significantly higher level. And yes, I'd offer at least four years of system updates. If Samsung can do it, the company that develops the software and designs the phone should be able to do so as well.

So Sundar, if you see this, make these changes, and next year you'll have some even better things to say about Pixel 8 series sales.

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