Google Wants Your Help with the Development of the Next Pixel

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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As we have previously reported on, the successors to Google's Pixel phones are well underway. As part of this effort, the very observant phone fans over at GreenBot have noticed that Google's Krishna Kumar has been soliciting input from the user community on their product forums in a thread titled "Chamfers, cross-hatch patterns and deep blue - obsessing on Pixel's design".

I'm sure going to head on over there and give them some input of my own!

Here is a fascinating peek (A phone of Google's own) behind the development of the Pixel design - from the design team endlessly obsessing over the angle of the phone's edges and its feel in hand, to the texture of the power key, to color selection and cheeky names - and some of the choices and trade-offs that went behind the Pixel design!

I would like to hear your thoughts. What do you like about the design? What do you hate about it? What did we get right? What would you like to see us improve?

Thanks,
Krishna Kumar
Product Lead, Pixel
 

Tiberian

DILLIGAFuck
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5,725
- removable battery
- microSD expandable storage


Do those two things or at the bare minimum add the microSD slot and I fucking absolutely guarantee you the tide will shift and the next Pixel devices will sell like proverbial hotcakes. Keep up the same old same old and limit storage (even with what many consider to be "a lot" with 128GB or larger internal capacities) and people will just keep avoiding them. People locked into the iPhone ecosphere aren't relevant here and they're not going to switch for any reasons that can be put into a new phone at this point so, worry about Android users that want a great device with the features that many of them actually want but when pressed will say "it does matter, but it would be nice..."

If you're going to charge such a premium price then dammit give us what we want in the device or we'll go spend our money with another smartphone maker that does.
 

Domingo

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I want a replaceable battery, waterproofing, and a front bezel that doesn't take up so much space.
 

NeoNemesis

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Waterproof. Not just water resistant. I want to be able to take this thing into the lake and take photos underwater.
 

Tiberian

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No phone that's ever been made is waterproof unless you put it inside a separate actual waterproof container - even the best rating of IP68 is still water-resistant for specific depths for specific periods of time so, while I'd love such a thing myself water-resistant has proven to work great for me personally. I've owned every Galaxy S Active so far and wondering what the Galaxy S8 Active might be like if Samsung decides to make one since the current Galaxy S7 Active has proven to not be a very popular seller even though it's a better device overall than the stock S7 is (personal opinion).

But yeah, that does matter (a water-resistant rating) to many many people nowadays and was definitely a ding against the Pixel devices as they are right now, would be something that Google really needs to consider as an aspect of future models.
 

WetMacula

Gawd
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
533
IP68 enclosure rating
plastic shell with raised edge around display
no shiny black plastic
removable battery
sdcard slot
dual sim
front facing speakers
IR blaster
wireless charging
3.5 mm sound out
haptic feedback
notification led
latest revision of bluetooth aptx
unlocked bootloader
vanilla android
can fit in a man's pocket
 
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Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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Messages
30,035
- removable battery
- microSD expandable storage


Do those two things or at the bare minimum add the microSD slot and I fucking absolutely guarantee you the tide will shift and the next Pixel devices will sell like proverbial hotcakes. Keep up the same old same old and limit storage (even with what many consider to be "a lot" with 128GB or larger internal capacities) and people will just keep avoiding them. People locked into the iPhone ecosphere aren't relevant here and they're not going to switch for any reasons that can be put into a new phone at this point so, worry about Android users that want a great device with the features that many of them actually want but when pressed will say "it does matter, but it would be nice..."

If you're going to charge such a premium price then dammit give us what we want in the device or we'll go spend our money with another smartphone maker that does.
I'm with you, but I think this is true for power users (read: Geeks like us) but for the phone buying market as a whole, I think this is less the case. They seem to care more about thickness, and water resistance, which are opposing design considerations to removable batteries and sdcards...

If we are loud enough though, maybe they will hear it?

Still when they can charge lots of extra cash for a version with more storage, and cant charge much, if anything, for a version with an sdcard slot, it seems unlikely to me that this trend is ever coming back :(
 

Shmee

[H]ard|Gawd
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Making it not look like a bad iPhone knockoff would be nice, and like everyone else has said, a SD slot.
 

Tiberian

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If we are loud enough though, maybe they will hear it?
The unfortunate situation is that no smartphone maker will make a phone based on what people tell them they want it to have in it feature-wise, most especially Apple who has a long history of basically blowing off what people tell them they want constantly and Apple producing whatever THEY decide people want. I think it was Steve Jobs who had the idea (which he of course stole from someone long ago) that Apple wasn't in business to sell people what the people want but instead Apple sells people what Apple thinks people want and of course the masses just suck it up when it's for sale. :)

I've seen a bunch of Kickstarter-like campaigns over the years and every time it's still whatever some company wants to put into the devices - of course it's nearly impossible to make a smartphone that will make everyone happy (not even the iPhones can do that) but it would be awesome to see at least one smartphone maker come out with something that literally has a plethora of features that are done so well there ends up being almost anybody that can say "Well I sure wish this phone had... oh... it does..." over and over again. :D
 

ChedWick

Gawd
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Sep 16, 2011
Messages
596
All I really want is a good phone that doesn't cost 600 off contract.

Now my ideal specs would be, SD card slot, Waterproof and a battery that at the very least can be removed and changed with a few screws. I dont necessarily need a full on removable battery but something not soldered in or intertwined with all the other crap to make the phone a thin as paper.
 

Darunion

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Messages
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I'm with you, but I think this is true for power users (read: Geeks like us) but for the phone buying market as a whole, I think this is less the case. They seem to care more about thickness, and water resistance, which are opposing design considerations to removable batteries and sdcards...

If we are loud enough though, maybe they will hear it?

Still when they can charge lots of extra cash for a version with more storage, and cant charge much, if anything, for a version with an sdcard slot, it seems unlikely to me that this trend is ever coming back :(
Agreed. Everyone in my engineering and research departments wants replaceable batteries, go into sales or marketing etc and they wouldn't know if theirs is or not.

I kind of want a full size sd card slot and does not require removing the sim card to get to it.
 

Domingo

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In all honesty, the Samsung Galaxy offerings are damn close to ideal (hardware-wise) if they weren't running their bloated-out trashy version of Android.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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30,035
In all honesty, the Samsung Galaxy offerings are damn close to ideal (hardware-wise) if they weren't running their bloated-out trashy version of Android.
I've always said this as well. Samsung makes GREAT phone hardware (when it isn't catching on fire, that is) but the software they put on them kills it, and they keep making it harder and harder to flash third party roms.

I'm not all that excited about the rumors of them going all "edge" on their new devices though. That seems like little more than a gimmick to me, that just makes it difficult to fit in a good case that properly protects the phone.

Marketing departments need to stop worrying about brand distinctiveness, and get back to making devices with solid engineering fundamentals. Wouldn't that be great?
 

Jason_CL

CaseLabs Forum Rep
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Jul 22, 2010
Messages
186
A smaller (by about .2-.3 inches) version of the HTC 10. Perfect.
 

Riccochet

Fully [H]
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no fucking beveled edge on the glass. Whoever thought that was a good idea on the current pixel should be fired. Every glass screen protector I've tried doesn't seal up around the edge.
 

Ehren8879

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Messages
4,301
no fucking beveled edge on the glass. Whoever thought that was a good idea on the current pixel should be fired. Every glass screen protector I've tried doesn't seal up around the edge.
Yeah, these suck.
 

klingonscum

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 4, 2004
Messages
133
My biggest desires would be
  • A bottom bezel is a necessary evil, but you can turn it from a con into a pro if you put the android buttons down there so they don't take up valuable screen real estate (and I hate having to swipe to make them appear)
  • sdCard slot. This is a must.
  • Notification LED
  • Front firing speakers
  • External mute/unmute switch (this is one thing Apple unequivocally got right)
  • Don't just make a phablet. Make a 5" model. 1080p on a 5" model is perfectly fine. If I want VR, I'm not going to get the 5" model, but I don't and there's a lot of us out there that want a comfortable one hand use phone.
  • Wireless charging
Of course, if you want to throw in a pull-out-from-the-side flexible screen ala "Red Planet" ( http://www.technovelgy.com/graphics/content07/red-planet-map-display.jpg ), I'm down with that too. :D
 

jeremyshaw

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Messages
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[...]External mute/unmute switch (this is one thing Apple unequivocally got right)[...]
Absolutely. Even then, Apple has already removed it from their ipad lineup. The iPad Air 2 was the second Apple tablet I ever bought, and my last. I was very surprised they removed it. Without the convenient physical switch, there is no functional difference (for my usage) between their tablets and any number of android/windows tablets out there. Their best workaround is just allowing video/audio to play regardless of your alert settings, and have the alert setting control non-video volumes (games/most apps). Heck no, I am not going to deal with some fuzzy software control panel when I had the perfect interface in my old ipad 3.

Give me a next-gen Nexus 5X. $400-500 total, with some basic waterproofing. A microSD would be nice. I don't need 4k, 1440p, 3 cameras and a iris detector. I just want a solid phone for something less than $700.
Sadly, every phone builder insists on wasting money on ridiculous selfie/conference cameras. I barely even care about the camera in my phone to begin with, since half of the difference (for most point-and shoot photography) is in the software, anyways. It is why objectively better phone cameras in the past (a number of HTCs) could have worse results than an iPhone.
 

xX326Xx

Limp Gawd
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Messages
506
I was a huge Nexus fan. As much as I hate to say it. Google does not support my needs anymore as far as updates go. Also Google has turned on it's own base by making Pixel a Verizon exclusive unless you want to fork over $800 after Verizon being the network Google avoided. It's like Google doesn't understand their base is. I hate to say it, my next phone will be an iPhone.
 

gxp500

Gawd
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Messages
865
Seems like they're admitting the design was awful, its a bland/forgettable phone. But the solution is simple, don't use htc as the manufacturer. Their phones have been boring for a long time with huge bezels all the way around. What lg/samsung is going to be doing with the g6/s8 is what they should strive for, but i doubt htc can pull it off.
 

lcpiper

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Messages
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- removable battery
- microSD expandable storage
..............................................
If you're going to charge such a premium price then dammit give us what we want in the device or we'll go spend our money with another smartphone maker that does.
I'd add, even if unneccessary, ext 2.5 audio jack.

And you have a great point. If Google is going to position itself at the top end of the pricing spectrum, every potential customer has every potential option from all other manufacturers. They can buy any damn phone they want, they are paying the most, they want the most for their money.
 

RanceJustice

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Messages
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The major issues of the Pixel were not its design, but instead its features, focus, and the way it was released to market. While I suppose I have to give some credit to Google to looking to user input at all, focusing on its aesthetic design should be tertiary at most and frankly we don't need a bazillion variations of "Make it kind of look like a sexy, next generation glass and metal iPhone or Galaxy S" -that's a bloody given.

As someone who used Nexus devices for ages, they can make it as pretty as they wish, but "pretty" alone isn't going to cut it. They need to focus on more esoteric changes such as making sure Pixel software elements (( Pixel apps, Google Assistant's local component ) are added to the Android Open Source Project; I'm tired of watching things diverge from the open core of Android. They also need to provide better hardware features especially if they're going to be charging a full, obscene price for it. For instance, Nexus phones going back to the bloody Nexus 4 (which had a glass back, let Apple tries to present it as the next AMAZING MAGICAL thing they invented when the new iPhone 8 emerges) were Wireless Qi compliant for wireless charging. The Pixel? Nope! Now even Apple has finally added the feature on its highest end upcoming phone,. so maybe they'll listen... but come on, this kind of oversight never should have happened; the Pixel even had a little "window" in its metal body perfect for a charging coil location!. The Pixel line needs to be the best of the best of Android and its features and specs should respect that.

Finally, they need to a new market strategy. No more giving exclusivity to ANY carrier for sales, much less one of the worst ones known for crippling hardware, spying, and generally locking things down. The Pixel, if it is going to be successful at its scale, needs to be sold directly from Google and by ALL carriers who wish it. If they are going to insist on an iPhone like, >$600 pricing structure they also need to make it more accessible. Why is the iPhone, at its insane pricing, so popular? Because most people never pay the full price. Same goes for Galaxy S etc. People either pick it up with a contract and $100-200 down, or they pay nothing down and add monthly 0% APR payment plans to their bill... but in MOST cases they do NOT HAVE TO PAY THE WHOLE THING OFF. This is where Google falters. T-Mobile for instance as JUMP which lets you pick a new phone if you turn the old one in after 6 to 12 payments, and even the awesome JUMP On Demand which you can basically swap phones 3x per year at no cost, you just start paying on the new one. Given the way the mobile market works these days ( and I have to give Google kudos here - even their mediocre 2 Years of Updates is better than most phones from carriers get either in terms of actual updates or just plain degraded experience. ) people more or less lease the damn thing. Nobody wants to be paying off a phone that takes 2 years at most when now their phone is nearly obsolete. Carriers will do what they will, but if Google wants people to buy from the Google Store, having a payment plan is fine, but they need to alter it so that people can freely upgrade to a new phone, turn the old one in, and start a new payment plan. That is how to keep people buying in a way that makes it easier and happier for them and still benefits the seller; just about everyone wins if it is done right. Hell, after the first 6 month or year give them "double credit" so to speak to lower the monthly cost on their next lease if they upgrade etc. Sure, those who would rather pay the whole thing off in one fell swoop or who keep it for years will do that, and there is certainly another conversation to be had about either bringing back the Nexus line or offering a lower priced "Nexus 5x" like Pixel as well.

Google has a lot more to consider than merely the appearance of the Pixel 2. They need to look at ALL aspects of the device and stop thinking its enough to imitate Apple in aesthetics, price, and a mediocre locked down "experience", and expect everyone to love them.
 

Tengis

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Messages
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I dont understand why everyone wants removable batteries and SD cards.

Why exactly do you need a removable battery? I always "demanded" a removable battery until I got a phone with one that isn't... now I don't care. I can replace it in a pinch where the battery has degraded but it would be pointless for day to day use. I imagine it is also very hard to have an easily removable back cover when you are trying to make a phone water resistant.

What do you all do with your phones that require you to have insane amounts of storage?
 

D4rkn3ss

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i guess having to actually deal with technology its a whole different beast than just shitty ads and datamining and censored safespace PC biased search algorithms.
 

lcpiper

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Messages
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I dont understand why everyone wants removable batteries and SD cards.

Why exactly do you need a removable battery? I always "demanded" a removable battery until I got a phone with one that isn't... now I don't care. I can replace it in a pinch where the battery has degraded but it would be pointless for day to day use. I imagine it is also very hard to have an easily removable back cover when you are trying to make a phone water resistant.

What do you all do with your phones that require you to have insane amounts of storage?

Well that is the point isn't it?

That some people do do things that make storage capacity an issue.

I don't, but my wife is always filling hers up and having to delete things.
 

Domingo

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Messages
17,889
I dont understand why everyone wants removable batteries and SD cards.

Why exactly do you need a removable battery? I always "demanded" a removable battery until I got a phone with one that isn't... now I don't care. I can replace it in a pinch where the battery has degraded but it would be pointless for day to day use. I imagine it is also very hard to have an easily removable back cover when you are trying to make a phone water resistant.

What do you all do with your phones that require you to have insane amounts of storage?
Personally, I keep my entire photo collection and my entire MP3 collection on my phone. Yet that still only totals right around 40-50GB. It's getting bigger, but a 128GB phone is more than enough for the near future. I'd rather have everything as a singular internal storage than an SD, though. No matter the speed rating, they always seem to drag ass and hang when copying to/from them while internal storage is more dependable and snappy. It costs more, but I'm willing to pay for that convenience.

I *do* want the removable battery, though. I don't think Google will give us one, but I like the idea of being able to replace a battery after 12-18 months. In pretty much every smartphone I've ever owned, battery life starts dropping after about a year. Things that used to take 5% start taking 8-10%. With the two phones I've owned that had replaceable batteries, that was fixed via a $12 battery on Amazon.
My last phone with a removable battery was the Galaxy S5 "Active." It was touted as being waterproof (or at least "extremely resistant"), so it can be done. It survived an entire day at a water park, so whatever it claimed was true enough for normal use.
 

King of Heroes

[H]ard|Gawd
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Mar 26, 2008
Messages
2,006
Ditch Qualcomm and either roll your own SoC like Apple or license from someone that can reliably produce drivers for new Android versions past 2 years (maybe an Nvidia Tegra SoC like with the Nexus 9 or something from Intel). The calls for software support past 2 years are getting louder and they'll never be able to answer them so long as they're chained to Qualcomm.
 

MrTryfe

Limp Gawd
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Apr 3, 2012
Messages
435
The Pixel is a fine phone, aside from maybe missing a feature or two.

What isn't fine, is the 2 year support. That just doesn't cut it, when you're paying up to 1k for a device. Support is one of the biggest reasons why iPhones have a long shelf life, and also retain their value extremely well.
 

Malecoda

Limp Gawd
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Nov 21, 2010
Messages
184
I would be happy with a galaxy s5 with upgraded hardware and an unlocked bootloader. Samsung had a pretty good design, dual sim would be another nice addition. Other than that, a reasonable price.
 

bot2600

n00b
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
17
With touch ID on the back and software buttons, kill most of that bezel space and is be happy. I wouldn't mind an SD card slot but I would prefer the water resistance of they are mutually exclusive. I prefer the XL and would actually like a screen closer to 6 inches
 

Jim Kim

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Messages
3,718
- removable battery
- microSD expandable storage
- waterproof (10m)
- 5 year support from date of purchase.
And a THICK chunk of Gorilla glass that doesn't shatter when you touch it with a feather.

Everytime corning improves Gorilla Glass the phone manufacturers respond by using thinner panes.
 

Chance_P

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
1,097
dual front facing speakers
rear fingerprint sensor
sd card
replaceable battery
moar ram

in that order. basically a Nexus 6p with some upgrades. the 6p is currently favorite phone, hands down.
 

Compwiz

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
65
Idk. I feel like my axon 7 would've made a worthy successor to the nexus line. Something similar with CDMA access built in as well so it's universal, and removable battery. I hate the pixel line of phones. I want premium components sold at a less than premium prices. I won't buy a phone that cost $800 because I don't think any cell phone is worth that much money no matter how nice it is.
 

likeman

Gawd
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
674
I guess replaceable battery (even if it's Behind a screw) sd card if it's the lower capacity (128gb version should not need sd slot)

Samsung s5 even though it's like all plastic it is nearly a perfect phone

water proof (mostly)
fingerprint (even though you can't use it with Android pay well not after 5 transactions as your forced to use backup password after 5 tap and pays)
changeable battery
plastic case (so dropping it is less likey to smashed the screen)
Does support qi charging once you fit the pad in between the case and battery (s6 and higher had it integrated)
And has sd slot
 

Wrecked Em

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
6,474
I dont understand why everyone wants removable batteries and SD cards.

Why exactly do you need a removable battery? I always "demanded" a removable battery until I got a phone with one that isn't... now I don't care. I can replace it in a pinch where the battery has degraded but it would be pointless for day to day use. I imagine it is also very hard to have an easily removable back cover when you are trying to make a phone water resistant.

What do you all do with your phones that require you to have insane amounts of storage?
I insist on an sdcard because I've had plenty of instances where my phone has broken or crapped out. I can just pull the card, put it in a replacement phone, and nothing major is lost.

Have fun uploading 9 gigs of photos to the cloud, when your phones USB port decides to stop working.
 

NIVO

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
1,254
google, send me one to keep and ill give you my feedback. You use me, I use you.
 
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