That ‘premium’ Pixel Pill positive doesn’t look very premium

That ‘premium’ Pixel Tablet sure doesn’t look very premium

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Massive white bezels. Matte, looks-like-plastic again. Thick profile. 2023. Android.

That’s about all we learn about Google’s forthcoming Pixel Pill, which the corporate teased throughout its keynote presentation for the I/O 2022 developer convention this week. Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice chairman of units and companies and head of the Pixel program, confirmed to my colleague David Pierce that the pill is coming to fill out the vary of Pixel units and supply a whole ecosystem in Google’s lineup.

However as I noticed the picture of the Pixel Pill pop up within the livestream through the keynote, I couldn’t assist however react with, “That? That’s Google’s massive return to pill {hardware}?” The system that Google confirmed off brings to thoughts the entrance of a Samsung pill from circa 2013 or 2014 with the again of an Amazon Hearth HD 10, not one thing that will really feel futuristic and even present in 2023 when it’s presupposed to be launched.

The Pixel Pill seems to have a comparatively thick profile in comparison with fashionable tablets from Apple or Samsung.
Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

Whereas it’s been a number of years since Google has made a pill of its personal, the remainder of the pill market (particularly, Apple and Samsung) have refined their merchandise with smooth, aluminum frames; loud, expansive speaker methods; and trim bezels that make no matter’s on their vivid, high-refresh-rate screens virtually leap out at you. Heck, even comparatively cheap Chrome OS tablets look extra fashionable than what Google has proven off up to now.

The opposite bizarre a part of this design is that it lacks any similarity to the Pixel line of telephones. Once you see an iPad Air or iPad Professional, you’ll be able to instantly see the connection to the newest iPhones. I’m not asking Google to place a digital camera bar throughout the again of the pill (or perhaps it ought to?), however this pill appears to be like prefer it might have been made by any firm and doesn’t precisely slot in with Google’s Pixel 6, 6A, 7, and even the Pixel Watch. It virtually appears to be like like a reference design a manufacturing facility may slap collectively for a consumer. That’s even if Osterloh described it as “an ideal companion for Pixel” and a “next-generation Android pill.”

That is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S from 2014. Take the house button and Samsung brand off and properly, you’ve received one thing awfully much like the Pixel Pill.

A lot of this could possibly be excused if Google decides to cost the Pixel Pill extraordinarily low to compete with the finances Hearth tablets from Amazon (and hearken again to the one Google pill anybody favored, the Nexus 7). However in a separate dialog, Osterloh mentioned the pill can be “extra of a premium type product, on the bigger measurement,” which signifies to me it’ll A) not be notably low cost and B) not be notably small.

2023 continues to be a methods away, and Google has loads of time to make changes right here. We additionally know little or no concerning the {hardware} itself — Which Tensor processor is inside? How a lot RAM and storage will there be? Does it assist pen enter? Will there be a model with much less distracting black bezels? Are there removable keyboard equipment? (As for the final level, it’s possible since there gave the impression to be pogo connection pins on the again of the pill.) I’m additionally judging its design primarily based on what we all know of this yr’s Pixel line of merchandise. Maybe by 2023, Google can have shifted every part over to a matte plastic aesthetic once more, and the Pixel Pill will match proper in with that. It’d be an odd flip after embracing premium steel and glass finishes on the Pixel telephones, nevertheless it wouldn’t be the weirdest factor I’ve seen Google do.

It’s onerous to inform for positive, however that appears an terrible lot like plastic from right here.
Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

And, after all, {hardware} received’t be what makes the Pixel Pill sink or swim. It should all come right down to software program, which Google nonetheless has quite a lot of work to do to show it cares about Android tablets. The corporate did decide to updating greater than 20 of its first-party apps to raised assist pill shows within the coming weeks, and it says it’s gotten assist from main third-party apps to truly make pill variations of their Android apps, too. However that’s a narrative we’ve heard many occasions earlier than, and I’m reticent to consider it till I see it.

Regardless of all that and the lengthy lead time earlier than the Pixel Pill hits the market, first impressions are necessary, and primarily based on what we’ve seen up to now, it’s onerous to get excited for this and onerous to see how Google is doing something completely different than what we have already got with tablets from different firms. It’s odd that it selected this {hardware} design to construct curiosity in.

And ugh, these white bezels.

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