There’s a new Google phone on the way, likely. Google released a teaser video, below, with a search box morphing into a rectangular phone shape and ending with the date of October 4th. I guess my invitation got lost in the mail. There have been rumors the last few weeks that Google is dropping the Nexus brand and coming out with two, HTC-made phones called Google Pixel and Pixel XL, a 5 inch and 5.5 inch display respectively. The only reason I can see in switching the branding from Nexus to Pixel is that Google has been using the Pixel name on other products, the Chromebook Pixel and Pixel C tablet. Adding a Pixel phone helps round out the offerings made by the company.
Google has had a lot going on in the mobile phone space, lately. They recently suspended Project Ara, a modular phone built entirely by Google. The move was somewhat surprising since Google showed off a prototype earlier this year at the I/O conference. Then again, I never quite understood the need for a phone with interchangeable parts.
There’s also Google’s mobile network, Project Fi. It’s really kind of brilliant. For $20/month you can get unlimited talk and text on the Fi network. Each gig of data you use is another $10 and you only pay for what you use. For example, if you pay for 5GB but only use 3GB, Google will refund the difference. Plus, there is no long-term contract. You know there’s a catch coming. The service only works with the Nexus 6P, 5X, and Nexus 6 phones currently. It also relies on the Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular networks which don’t have the best coverage. With better coverage and open to more phones, Fi could change the way the major carriers operate.
I already have a new phone and I’m not about to jump ship from the Apple ecosystem. But I’m still intrigued by what Google is doing. They recently let the Chromebook Pixel sell out of stock, and I imagine they are working on the next version. I’m excited to see what else they announce on the 4th.