Ready for a new phone? Just the thought of researching new phones and then paying hundreds of dollars more can give consumers a headache. Google seems to be paying attention this fatigue and is making its phones a little simpler and a little less expensive.
It seems like Google is responding to pandemic economic concerns and is pricing its phones in a comfortable middle ground. These products seem made for watching TV or listening to music at home, all without needing to shell out a thousand dollars for a new device. [A Google executive stated that “The world doesn’t need another $1,000 phone right now.”]
The new Pixel phones are priced a bit differently than the past. For example, last year’s Pixel 4 pricing started at $800, but the new Pixel 5 starts at $700. There is even a lower-priced model called the Pixel 4a5G that is priced from $500 – $600.
The Pixel 5 eliminated facial recognition to unlock the phone (good for mask-wearing users!), as well as radar technology that recognized a user waving a hand over the phone, and telephoto and zoom lenses. But on the other hand, it added a larger battery and ultralow-power mode that lets the phone run 48 hour on a charge. The screen is larger and users can wirelessly charge other devices by laying them on the back of the phone.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: What phone do they have? How long have they had it? Are they going to buy a new phone in the next few months? Why or why not?
- Video of Pixel 5 phone: https://youtu.be/twNDke-cfv4
- Show Google’s new phones: https://store.google.com/product/pixel_5
- Discuss competition: Who are the direct competitors for this product?
- Divide students into teams. Have each team do a chart of a different brand of phone, including features and pricing.
- What are the points of difference between the various phones?
- How much does pricing matter?
- How much do features matter?
Sources: Associated Press; New York Times; Washington Post; The Verge; other news sources