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People really like Google’s three-Pixel strategy for the Pixel 9 series


Serial leaker Steve ‘OnLeaks’ Hemmerstoffer recently posted apparent renders showing off the Pixel 9. This meant that the two earlier devices he leaked were actually the Pixel 9 Pro and the Pixel 9 Pro XL.

In other words, we could be looking at three Pixel 9 series flagships coming later this year. This would be in line with our own leaked roadmap from 2022, which found that Google would introduce a smaller Pixel 9 Pro.

This is nevertheless a major shakeup to Google’s high-end phone line, which has long stuck with two models maximum. But it turns out that polled Android Authority readers really like the idea of a three-tier Pixel flagship family.

Are three Pixel flagships better than two?

Roughly 62% of polled readers said three Pixel 9 flagships were indeed better than two. It looks like one of the main driving factors for this result is that people want a pocket-friendly phone that still delivers Pro-level features. In fact, a couple of comments specifically pointed to the telephoto camera.

User linuxsensei was one of these readers:

I definitely look forward to the Pixel 9, as I would like the telephoto without a bigger size.

“Have had no interest in either the smaller Pixels without optical telephoto or phablet slabs over 6 inches,” user albin noted, adding that a small but “full spec” Pixel 9 Pro would be in the running to replace their current handset.

This general desire for a compact Pro device was echoed by several other readers across the site too. In fact, reader Warren Skipper noted that he was still using the Pixel 5 as he’s still waiting for a Pixel Pro experience without a “bulky” size.

Trepidation for a Pixel 9 trio?

Meanwhile, 27.5% of respondents reckon that this three-tier Pixel setup could result in even more feature disparity. After all, the company neglected the Pixel 8 at first.

“After what they did with the Pixel 8, who’s going to buy the base model?” reader Tiuri Elvander indeed notes.

Reader Kira also suggests that Google could be inspired by its rivals, which offer ultra-premium prices for their top-end models:

Basically, Google just wants to sell (a) $1K+ flagship like Samsung and Apple with all the bells and whistles.

However, 10% of polled readers haven’t made up their minds yet. That’s understandable as we still don’t know much about these three Pixel 9 phones. Pricing will be an important factor here, as the Tensor-powered Pixels have generally been aggressively priced. But the cynic in me is worried that Google is laying the groundwork for a hyper-premium (~$1,100+) Pixel XL down the line.

Either way, it looks like we should expect a massive shakeup in Q3 this year. So fingers crossed that Google indeed delivers a pocket-friendly Pro phone with all the Pro features you expect. And here’s hoping that the company still takes an aggressive approach to pricing.



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