Did Google spoil the design of the new "pixels"?

According to Phone Arena

Pixel smartphones from the very first generation have been distinguished by oddities in design.

Smartphones of the Pixel 7 series just appeared onmarket, but their design has already become the subject of discussion. However, this is not the first time for Google. In case you forgot, the Pixel and Pixel 2 featured huge bezels above and below the screen, while the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 still hold the “honorary” title of having the strangest design among the top-end devices from major brands. Remembered? Indeed, it's hard to forget the Pixel 3XL's grotesque notch and the Pixel 4's massive lobs.

In general, it is impossible not to notice that the search forsmartphone design is the norm for Google and at times the company successfully gets rid of the excess. So it's good that the old devices are out of production ... and we can see that the company has not got rid of all the oddities in the design. Or, on the contrary, got rid of what should have been left.

Until the release of the 7th series, the strangestThe solution was to get rid of the symmetrical screen borders around the Pixel 5 (arguably the prettiest Android smartphone of its time) and its neat screen notch in favor of the radically different design of the Pixel 6 series. but Google could have thought about how the devices of different generations would look side by side.

And with the Pixel 7, the company repeated the same move.The look of Pixel smartphones has changed again, the devices turned out to be different from their predecessors, and their design causes a lot of controversy. But let's go into a little more detail...

The crisis of recognition. Do you need a camera that directly screams: “Notice me”?

The Pixel 6 Pro in Sorta Sunny looks great. And the Pixel 7 Pro stands out with… camera cutouts.

Most would agree with the statement that Googledid a lot of work on the design of the Pixel 6, if we talk about its back. And I got a device that stood out noticeably from the crowd. Judge for yourself, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro received a distinctive camera block and a two-tone color scheme, and this is what it gave them:

  • the devices turned out to be recognizable at a distance (previously it was only possible with Apple with its iPhone);
  • Google smartphones distanced themselves from all others;
  • the block of cameras seemed to shout: “Yes, big! And look at my holes."


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The new Pixel 7 and especially the Pixel 7 Pro look strange and bewildering

And here is the Pixel 7 Pro next to the prototype OnePlus 7 Pro that did not go into the series. Twin brothers?

Now we have the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro (especiallylast) that look like it's incomprehensible. Google has retained the eye-catching design of the camera block on the rear panel (great!), but for some reason turned the lenses themselves into the center of attraction for the eyes, circled them with a metal finish, as if they were the most important thing in the device.

If you pick up the Pixel 7 Pro at the same time inblack and the Pixel 6 Pro in Sorta Sunny, they will look like this year's phone is a prototype. In other colors it is not so noticeable, but in any of them it looks worse than last year's model. And to make the device look even weirder, Google designers decided that one metal edging would not be enough, and made another metal circle around the lens of the ultra-wide camera (thankfully, it is not in the base Pixel 7). For what purpose? So scary?

Great idea with a two-tone body colorthey just threw it away to please those who will be glad that they have a monotonous apparatus. In general, it seems that Google themselves were afraid of what they managed to do with the design of the Pixel 6, and decided, according to tradition, to ditch everything ... Well, or reduce it to the mainstream, which they successfully challenged in the last generation.

If we talk about the functionality of the design, thenThe placement of the sensors on the Pixel 7 Pro also makes no sense. In the end, Google made the layout like this: main camera - ultra wide-angle camera - zoom camera. Although early prototypes indicated that Google was thinking about fixing and placing cameras along the lines of the Pixel 6 Pro, they ended up sticking an ultra-wide angle next to the ultrazoom, making the switch unnecessarily jarring. The normal order would have to be: ultra-wide angle - main - zoom camera.

Not everything is so bad with the Pixel 7, but was it worth such a radical change in the camera block?

Don't show this to people with OCD!

However, not everything is so bad! In the design of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, Google did something right. In fact, the flaws in the Pixel 6's chassis have been fixed in the Pixel 7, and it's worthy of praise:

  • The camera panel is now integrated with the frame of the phone, providing not only a seamless look, but more importantly, a comfortable grip on the phone.
  • The Pixel 7 Pro's display is now noticeably less curved, which should please flat screen enthusiasts.
  • The top and side bezels of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro now look the same - unfortunately the "chin" on both phones is still noticeably larger than it should be (bring back the Pixel 5 design!)
  • The patch-style 5G antenna that was present on the top of the Pixel 6 Pro is now gone, making way for a neater solution.
  • The buttons on the right side of the Pixel 7 Pro are now noticeably lower, which improves usability (however, Google still doesn't want to move the volume control to the left).
  • Even conventional (non-5G) antenna lines are now much better aligned with the camera panel and don't cause OCD in users.

But is this enough to say that the design has gotten better?

Pixel 8 will have a chance to become Google's iPhone, because Pixel 7 is definitely not it

Yes, copy you already, finally, Apple!

Finally, a couple of important notes:

  • Design preferences are always subjective. This is their nature, there can be no right and wrong.
  • Design is not just about looks. Functionality is just as important.

Now, with that in mind, let's think about it.Will Google ever create a design that it will adhere to from generation to generation? Or will Sundar Pichai and company continue their yearly search for something new? Just because they can.

Look at the iPhone.At least their rear panel looks recognizable for many years, because it does not change much. Of course, the three-lens patch has never been a design benchmark, especially after Google showed everyone how to organize space. But Apple's design is a marketing advantage in itself, selling itself. Buying any smartphone, you involuntarily think about it. And this is important!

Pixel 6 was a great opportunity for Googleestablish the look of the series for years to come. At least 3-4 generations of similar devices that would be recognized as Google smartphones. And even technical aspects dictated such a choice: the first Tensor chip from Google, a camera upgrade and a successful new design. But no. Google released the Pixel 7, which, although similar to the Pixel 6, looks so different that there is no continuity in design. Recognition is broken again.

And what about the future Pixel 8?Ideally, Google would return to the design with a black stripe that hides the camera lenses, but this is unlikely. Therefore, Sundar Pichai and his friends will again look for something new and better. Perhaps even unsuccessfully. But to stop and make their smartphones recognizable from year to year is not their way.