I don't understand the Google Pixel

by Volker Weber

While all Android OEMs put more cameras into their phones to get better pictures, Google improves photography in software. And then does not share it with their OEMs. You will then have vendors like TCL/BlackBerry that ship the same sensors, but take really crappy photos.

This does not feel right. What is Google's motivation?


There is only so much you can do with a tiny sensor, potential for improvement is in processing the RAW data.
They are trying to sell their devices, how is this not obvious?

Frank Köhntopp, 2018-10-12

That part is obvious. But wouidn't Google gain a lot more if all Android devices were great?

Volker Weber, 2018-10-12

I could understand if there was a likelihood of pixel phones selling well, but when you consider the number of sales the pixel has to date (3.9 million in 2017, which is apparently less than a week's worth of typical iphone sales), it doesn't appear to make sense.

Cormac McCarthy, 2018-10-12

Exactly my problem with understanding this part of Googles strategy, as I mentioned some days ago in a comment in this very blog. And what's happening? People hack/root their Android devices to get the Pixel Camera running, which they download from "the internet", from a random bloke or whatever. Not many, of cause, but there are some.

Heiko Wolf, 2018-10-12

I read in a comment somewhere that Google needs to stay in the smartphone hardware business to keep some patents regarding Android. Don't know if there is any truth to this but it would make some sense at least. Otherwise I can't think of a compelling reason why Google does not make more of an effort to sell more devices.

Joachim Bode, 2018-10-12

Why would Google gain a lot more, if all Android devices were great?

Nina Wittich, 2018-10-12

Pixel is a not a part of Android which is what the OEMs have a right to. Google will continue to make Android better even for the OEMs which was the motivation for Project Treble.

I won't be surprised if Pixel becomes a separate 'P' company under Alphabet. For e.g. Pixel Visual Core hardware chip drives a lot of the photography.

Ananya Gupta, 2018-10-12

Mauve has the most RAM.

Volker Weber, 2018-10-12

Currently the Visual Core is only used by 3rd party apps (e.g. you take a photo with the snapchat app). The Google camera does use the Snapdragon for image processing. You could turn on the Visual Core per default in the developer settings but then there was a performance decrease.

Ralf ter Veer, 2018-10-15

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