Thu. Oct 28th, 2021
Pixel 5a, we want you: An open letter to Google


Hey Google, my name is Benjamin Lucks and I’m 28 years old… – Oh, who am I telling this to? You already know everything about me! That’s partly because you own half the Internet and also because I’ve been a Google user for years.

As a former Noogler, that’s the name of your newest hires, I only used the search engine to avoid doing my homework. As an adult Googlennial, I eventually added a Google Pixel 3 XL and a subscription to Google One to store all of my data under a single roof. Even though I’ve been upset about the changes to Google Photos in the past, I’m actually very happy with my life as a Googler.

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Even in rainy regions, the Pixel 5a would be ready! / © Google

This is exactly why the launch of the Pixel 5a hits me particularly hard. As you of course know, this mid-range smartphone will only be released in the US and Japan. You even leaked to Techradar that the reason behind this is not because you would like to sideline the rest of the world, but rather, it all boils down to hardware component sourcing issues.

And this is right at the time when my Pixel 3 is slowly but surely giving up the digital ghost. I was firmly expecting the mid-range smartphone to arrive in Germany, where I live, and now I’m left out in the cold! Below, you’ll find reasons as to why we need you, Google, to have a presence in the mid-range smartphone market! Also, why you might want to return to the warehouse and look for chips, cameras and other components in order to provide enough supply for the rest of the world.

We need other alternatives in the mid-range market

In our list of the best phones under $400 are predominantly smartphones from China, which includes handsets from manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and OnePlus. Although I don’t want to discriminate against any smartphone based on its origin at this point, it’s important to have a balanced range of products on the global market. We need brands like Apple, Google, and also Nokia in order to not be too reliant on Asia in the tech industry.

I for one, would just like to park my data in a country that I can at least halfway understand rights concerning data privacy.

Make an appearance in the mid-range market now, Google, otherwise we will soon not have too many alternatives left. The iPhone SE 2020 can barely keep up with Android alternatives in terms of features in 2021, and it still costs over $400. Samsung does offer good mid-range alternatives with the Galaxy A52 (5G) and the Galaxy A72, but the manufacturer also hails from the East Asia region.

Then there are manufacturers such as Nokia or Fairphone, which are unfortunately too weak to compete meaningfully in my opinion. And that relates to one feature in particular:

We need Google’s camera software in the mid-range

The Pixel 5a packs the Pixel 5’s camera, combined with Google’s latest software wizardry. While I haven’t been able to test the photo quality myself, I simply know that it’s good. I know the Pixel 3 XL’s camera all too well to arrive at that conclusion, and I was also able to take many nice photo walks with the Pixel 4a 5G last year. Your pictures, Google, have a certain look and your camera app has its very own charming look-and-feel that just doesn’t exist elsewhere.

There’s a reason NextPit recommends the Pixel 4a as the best camera phone among the best mid-range smartphones. Precisely because using it is straightforward, and the photos look superb. Focusing on the essentials, i.e. a few good cameras with a sufficient megapixel count, this is the kind of firepower that we need in the marketing war around infinite megapixels and more rear cams.

We need cheaper alternatives to flagships

Google, the gap between cheap smartphones and flagships is widening! Samsung recently unveiled yet another foldable beyond $1,500 and sells its new mid-range devices from $299 onwards. So if you want to buy a brand-new smartphone in 2021, you will have to choose between two strategies: Tie yourself to a smartphone contract and purchase a flagship, or forgo many features and aim for a cheaper flagship.

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Even though the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro look fancy, the devices certainly won’t be affordable / © Google

Presumably, you will also sell the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro at a more expensive price than still the Pixel 5. This is simply the nature of things if you want to buy a flagship and enjoy the latest technologies. I bought the Pixel 3 back then on a contract, and after a year I paid almost $50 for the smartphone. Out of my own stupidity, I then “paid off” the phone for another year because I didn’t cancel the contract in time.

I won’t buy a smartphone on contract again, and I think that’s how a lot of people feel. So if Google only offers flagships now, Pixel smartphones are out of my budget unless I have $1,000 or more to spare for a device. Concerning my argument about the Google Photos debacle, this points to a problem that you have to put up with as a Google customer.

Dropped comfortably warm

Tech manufacturers sell more than mere tools. They sell a way of life, offering an entire galaxy, an ecosystem that customers can lose themselves in. Those who have grown accustomed to Apple don’t want to go back to Android. Those who know Samsung want to buy another Samsung smartphone most of the time, and back then, I simply picked Google.

It’s the subtle differences that keep me with Google. The vibration motor, which is perfect for mid-range devices, the different colored buttons or the color combinations that look significantly “Google”. You can get used to all of those while parking all your pictures in Google Photos and editing documents in Google Drive. But if you were to position yourself in Google’s ecosystem, you will now be forced to buy old or expensive hardware.

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You can tell this is a Pixel by the power button: Google’s Pixel smartphones / © NextPit

The series was the perfect way to enjoy these perks at a cheap price. And the latest, most accessible device into the Google universe is now unavailable in physical shopping malls, but only in “virtual shopping malls” and “ショッピングモール”. So Google, just release the Pixel 5a to the whole world already!

Petition: NextPit is collecting signatures to bring the Pixel 5a worldwide

Back in school, I once learned that you can have anything you want if you just fight for it! In politics, petitions do work at times, and this is beginning to look like a common trend. Among the NextPit editorial board, this trend already exists, Camila Rinaldi is also miffed that Google won’t sell the Pixel 5a in Brazil.

Go to the petition on Change.org

Right above this paragraph, you’ll find a link to a petition that you can sign online. Want to buy the Pixel 5a? Then let’s bring the Pixel 5a to the whole world with the power of the NextPit community! That shouldn’t be too hard, right?



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