Whether or not the Pixel and Pixel XL would turn out to be as successful as their reviews suggest, no one can say for certain. The HTC 10, which is tenuously related to the new Google duo, proves that jiving well with critics doesn’t necessarily translate to an abundance of new buyers.

Given how popular the Nexus 6P had been, fans were surprised by Google’s decision to go for a rebrand especially since the Nexus name had acquired quite a solid reputation amongst tech and power users.

But that just may be the problem though – Nexus devices remain relatively unknown to mainstream and casual phone users.

And because the Nexus moniker has grown entrenched in many minds as a ‘developer’s brand’, one could argue that regular users may not see the Nexus 6P as a ‘safe’ option akin a Samsung or Apple flagship.

nexus 5x nexus 6p

Still, that may not be the best way to look at where the Nexus brand stands. AnTuTu’s popularity figures have shown that the Nexus 6P was the second most popular Android smartphone in the country last year.

But of course there’s always room for improvement. The Nexus 6P is well known in the US and maybe some parts of Europe and Asia, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the Samsung Galaxy S7 or iPhone 7. And as long as it’s an enthusiast’s device, it would continue to stay in its low-volume niche.

The Google Pixel brand is a fresh start which allows Google to take aim at folks who wouldn’t really consider themselves gadget geeks – those that want an alternative to the iPhone but with the simplicity of one.

That’s why the new flagships are being sold via carriers, and why they’ve deviated from the stock Android formula which was the core selling point of all prior Google phones. Going ‘pure’ has its appeal, but at the same time it had been holding Google back from reaching a much wider audience.

Categories: Technology