There is much to explore about the new Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, but undoubtedly the focus is on the updated price. This is the first time since 2021 that Google has increased its smartphone prices, potentially jeopardizing the positive reputation it has built in the past two years with its exceptional devices.
The starting price for the Pixel 8 is $699 and the Pro is priced at $999, which is $100 more expensive than their previous models. The price increases are even higher in other regions, with a £150 increase in the UK and a €200 increase in Europe. However, these changes seem to be due to currency exchange rates rather than intentional overcharging. Nevertheless, it cannot be ignored that higher prices are always difficult to accept and may cause consumers to hesitate before making a purchase.
Has the excitement of using the Pixel faded? Not completely.
Previous generation Pixels have, frankly, been a steal. $599 for one of the best camera phones in the business, four OS upgrades, and bundled extra Google goodies has been exceptional value. The 6 Pro and 7 Pro were equally solid, often rivaling the best smartphones while costing hundreds less. We’ve been spoilt, really.
The Pixel series offers a great value for its cost, making it a popular choice among buyers. However, there are additional benefits to owning a Pixel.
Without a doubt, Google’s success in the past two years can be attributed to their aggressive pricing strategy. By offering lower prices than their competitors, Google has managed to increase their market share in the US by 100%, although it may still be considered small at 4%. This is especially impressive as other brands are struggling to maintain their sales. As the Pixel line becomes more established, it may be able to sustain prices that are more aligned with the overall market.
Other companies, like HUAWEI and OnePlus, have also employed aggressive tactics to enter the market and then later raised prices. For example, without the budget-friendly $299 OnePlus One, we would not have had access to the series of OnePlus phones that followed. While affordability played a role in attracting consumers to these brands, it is not the only factor in the long-term success of the Pixel.
All the previous generation perks are still valid for the Pixel 8 series, even at $100 more. Indeed, the Pixel 8 is still arguably the best value-for-money flagship. It’s $100 less than the Galaxy S23 and iPhone 15, yet checks off great cameras, an IP68 rating, wireless charging, unique software features, and much more. Likewise, the Pixel 8 Pro’s superb camera array and much improved Tensor G3 processing power continue to make it solid competition for rival Plus, Pro, and Ultra models while still costing the same or a little less.
Google’s Pixel 8 and 8 Pro come with a seven-year update policy, making it a highly attractive option for those invested in the series. Priced at $699, the phone has the potential to last until 2030 with just a few battery replacements, making it a great value for money at only $8.30 per month. In fact, the Pixel 8 is even cheaper than a standard Netflix subscription. However, by providing such extensive software support, Google may be sacrificing its profit margins. Additionally, this could also impact future sales growth as customers may not feel the need to upgrade for a long time. The long-term software support also increases the resale value of the Pixel 8, potentially making it a better choice than future mid-range phones. Only time will tell.
Receiving an additional $100 for the Pixel 8 if it continues to function for an additional two to three years is a smart and beneficial decision.
Experts in the industry have observed that the development of smartphone hardware has reached a plateau. Although high-end phones may have slightly improved camera quality and gaming capabilities, mid-range hardware is more than sufficient for everyday use. However, a common issue that has been raised is that phone software often becomes outdated before the hardware does. Google has acknowledged this fact with their release of the Pixel 8 series, which boasts exceptional performance now and promises to remain relevant for years to come.
Although our brief experience with Google’s budget-friendly pricing system has concluded, we are embarking on a more substantial and enduring partnership with the Pixel series.