Pixel 4’s Starting Price Must Be Lowered if Google Wants to Sell More


Google Pixel 4’s starting price sets the customer back by $799, once more confirming that the company won’t budge in providing a slightly cheaper offering to its customers. Sure, one could argue that we’re already hovering around $1,000+ products from various companies, but in more than one way, those phones give the affluent something in return. Google even admitted that its cheaper Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL helped drive more sales in its Q2 2019 earnings, pretty much revealing that an affordable smartphone strategy results in a positive outcome. If that’s truly the case, why can’t Google share the same sentiment with the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL?

Google Will Already Introduce Price Cuts in a Few Months, Leaving the $799 Pixel 4 Starting Price Look More Like a Cash Grab

From what we can recall from memory, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL were getting discounted on the Google Store just a few months after their official release, with the same discount visible on online retailers such as Amazon later on. The company is also said to slash the Pixel 4 starting price by $200 starting November 24 according to 9to5Google, bringing that price down to $599 for the base storage model. We’re definitely seeing a familiar trend here like we saw when it came to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL discounts. In short, Google isn’t planning to keep the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL base price stuck at $799 for long.

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This move would imply that Google wants to sell a larger number of units, but why not offer the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL at a lower price right from the start? After all, if you’re going to set up discounts in just a few months, won’t it make the launch meaningless for customers when they know they can simply grab the same model for much cheaper later on?

For early adopters who paid full price for either the Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL, this move would no doubt make them bitter to the core and from their perspective, the $799 starting price was more of a cash grab than actually justifying the cost of the amount of effort put in creating the Pixel 4. Worse, later on, if there’s a compelling offer on a different flagship, it doesn’t take many people more than a few seconds to pick up a different model. If the end, Google would end up losing potential customers to the competition.

Even if our readers would say that pricing wasn’t a concern, releasing a half-baked product for the masses won’t do favors for Google either. You’ll see what we mean when you read on.

Lack of Features, Poor Build Quality & Buggy Software Will Make Customers Think Twice Before Shelling out a Premium for the Pixel 4

Let us say for argument’s sake that the Pixel 4’s starting price is justified and the hardware you’re getting in return justifies that cost. From a software and features point-of-view Google hasn’t made it any easier for the customer to gain that flagship experience. For $799, you should expect polished software, compelling design and noteworthy features. Are we getting that? Not in this case, and we’ve highlighted our argument in four segments.

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Polished software - If only; this isn’t the first time Google shipped out a flagship family that wasn’t rife with problems on a software level. From the laggy UI to dropped frames while recording in just 4K 30FPS is laughable and shows a poor showing of Google’s quality assurance team. Additionally, Google’s Face Unlock was found to have a security flaw, which the company says will be addressed, but a concrete timeline wasn’t provided.

Compelling design - The Pixel 4’s thick top bezel is the same size as the Galaxy S8’s bezel. One would argue that you’re getting a bevy of sensors in return and that the design is miles better than the ‘cringeworthy’ notch on the Pixel 3 XL, but it’s still lacking that ‘wow’ factor. At least we’ll give props to the Google design team and hope that an even better-looking device graces us in 2020.

Firm build quality - Missing here as well. Zach from JerryRigEverything performed a bend test on the Pixel 4 XL. Did it snap? Not quite, but there were cracks in two areas where the antenna bands are placed. Put enough pressure on the Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL, you might be seeing those cracks as well. Also keep in mind that the Pixel 4 XL starts from $899 and if you’re coughing up this much money for a flagship, it better not flex one bit.

Noteworthy features - The camera was said to be a selling point of the Pixel brand. For anyone that wanted to take color-rich and detailed images and video, your answer was the ‘Pixel’. Over here, it looks like other players have caught up remarkably because, in a recent camera comparison, the cheaper iPhone 11 takes better photographs than the Pixel 4 in night mode, a feature that Google was praised for when it introduced Night Sight.

Also, Google introduced a telephoto unit to the rear sensor array and not a wide-angle camera to the Pixel 4 family. Why not? You have your Super Res Zoom that minimizes quality degradation while zooming in, what’s the need for a telephoto lens? Shouldn’t a 2019 flagship smartphone provide a versatile camera experience if the manufacturer intends to charge a high price tag for it? Google doesn’t seem to think so. Even the iPhone 11, which costs a whole $100 less than the Pixel 4, records at 4K 60FPS, features a wide-angle camera and uses Apple’s computational technique to minimize quality loss while zooming in.

Capable hardware - While a 90Hz refresh rate display is a nice touch, both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL feature a Snapdragon 855. Back in 2016, Google used a Snapdragon 821 instead of a Snapdragon 820 for its Pixel and Pixel XL. If it could do that then, then it could surely choose the Snapdragon 855 Plus, irrespective of the minimal difference between this silicon and the regular Snapdragon 855. While we’re on the subject of hardware, Google’s still existing in 2018, as it’s using UFS 2.1 flash storage instead of the faster UFS 3.0 standard. The disappointing fact here is that companies like OnePlus are using UFS 3.0 storage and more RAM in their 2019 flagships and these phones are still cheaper than Pixel 4’s starting price.

Unless users find iOS an abhorrent entity, why wouldn’t they purchase the iPhone 11, save money, get better performance and reliability in return? It sure seems like a smart purchase to us.

Google, It’s Time to Take Your Pricing Strategy Seriously

Pixel 4’s flaws became widespread on the internet in a matter of days. Even owning the biggest search engine and knowing full well that this information would be plastered, Google still decided to release a product that’s expensive and doesn’t provide the same experience as its competitors. If the company wants to sell more phones, perhaps the base price should start from $699 next time instead of $799. During the holiday season, additional discounts can bring that price down to $599 to encourage even more sales for the company.

That’s what we believe should be a winning formula for Google and if you’d like to share what you think about Pixel 4’s starting price, comment below and let us know your thoughts.