Flashback: the Nexus 4 cost less than half what the Pixel 5 costs, but it had a flagship chipset

04 October 2020
Something that the Pixel 5 can't say. The Nexus 4 was one of the first flagship killers and a feat that Google seems unable to repeat.

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  • iCOMPREHEND

The main point of this post is about how Nexus and/or Pixel price their phones compare to other leading brands and not the price of Nexus from the past and today's Pixel. So stop talking about INFLATION.

  • Arte8800

After killing Nexus replacement off Pixel, Pixel sales went down.
That's what happened to Sony, they killed the Z series being Z5 the last phone know replaced by odd even numbers model.
Fools. Those new CEO needs bloody fired.

Google has NEVER had the best device on the market.
Their greatest device, the Pixel 5 (or the Pixel 4XL ?), fails to best the Android Competitor Flagships from 2020. Rewind it back to 2019, and it still loses. Heck, compare their greatest Pixel 5, and it (arguably) still loses in 2018, to the likes of the Samsung Note 9 or perhaps the ASUS RoG Phone.

Now that we have established this fact, we can only fall back on two things.
Firstly, Software. Well, Google cannot rely on this factor because the competitors have access to the same Apps, same Services, the same OS, and even the same User Interface.

This narrows it down to only one factor: Price.
So Google either has to be the cheapest (not possible), or they have to offer best value (more likely). So, eh, "good value" target for Google Phones... how have they done?
Well, not really good, we will use only average handset prices (no subsidised plans), and Germany as the benchmark due to being more representative of the international market over the long period.

So let's take a trip down memory lane:

2008 - HTC G1 (300 Euro) -------- (500 Euro) iPhone 3G --- Motorola Dext (300 Euro)
2009 - Nexus One (400 Euro) ---- (500 Euro) iPhone 3GS - Motorola Milestone (450 Euro)
2010 - Nexus S (500 Euro) -------- (600 Euro) iPhone 4 ----- Samsung Galaxy S (500 Euro)
2011 - Galaxy Nexus (500 Euro) -- (650 Euro) iPhone 4S -- Samsung Note (550 Euro)
2012e - Nexus Galaxy (300 Euro) - (600 Euro) iPhone 4S -- HTC One X (600 Euro)
2012 - Nexus 4 (350 Euro) -- (650 Euro) iPhone 5 ---------- Samsung Note 2 (650 Euro)
2013 - Nexus 5 (400 Euro) -- (650 Euro) iPhone 5S -------- Samsung Note 3 (600 Euro)
2014 - Nexus 6 (650 Euro) -- (800 Euro) iPhone 6+ -------- Samsung Note 4 (650 Euro)
2015 - Nexus 6p (700 Euro) - (850 Euro) iPhone 6S+ ------ Samsung Note 5 (850 Euro)
2016 - Pixel XL (1,000 Euro) - (900 Euro) iPhone 7+ -------- ZTE Axon 7 (500 Euro)
2017 - Pixel 2XL (850 Euro) - (900 Euro) iPhone 8+ --------- Samsung S8+ (650 Euro)
2018 - Pixel 3XL (950 Euro) - (1,200 Euro) iPhone 10max - Samsung S9+ (650 Euro)
2019 - Pixel 4XL (900 Euro) - (1,300 Euro) iPhone 11max - Samsung S10+ (700 Euro)
2020 - Pixel 5 (650 Euro) ---- (1,200 Euro) iPhone 12 max - Sony Xperia 5.2 (900 Euro)

Well, there you have it. Google has been competitive at times, usually with price, but sometimes with the features as well. Overall, we can see Apple has slowly and steadily jumped up the prices, and the competitors have followed. This gave Google the opportunity to sell "good value" devices, but they have made the choice to NOT do that. Google/Alphabet is rich and wealthy enough to make poor decisions in the market, where other manufacturers (LG, ZTE, Oppo etc etc) do not have that luxury. So I stand with GSMArena here, that the Nexus 4 was Google's most ambitious attempt, and it makes the Pixel 4XL look like a joke, let alone the Pixel 5 that is yet to launch. The "Old Google" was much more consumer-friendly than the "New Google".

One of the best phones I ever had and my first ever Android phone. I remember I got this as soon as it was launched. Used for a whole 3 years until it got perfectly replaced by OnePlus. Never looked back since. But, if there comes a future revisited Nexus line, I won't be hesitant to buy one.

  • Anonymous

Nexus was about giving developers access to the newest SoC, and little else. The 4 had a merely adequate screen, weak audio, poor camera, small storage (standard 8GB, max 16), etc.. I was quite disappointed with mine, and sold it after just a couple of months when I found a good deal on a used HTC One (M7).

Haha, I still have it & connects to my monitor via HDMI (slimport?).

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 05 Oct 2020You understand that inflation, cost of device would indefin... moreIt's not inflation, at the time the Nexus 4 was launched the iPhone 5 cost $649 which is only $50 cheaper (now, that's inflation) than current iPhone 11s. Phone makers have realized that once they build a fan base, the demand for their products is not sensitive to price, so they can charge as much as they want and people will still buy.

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 05 Oct 2020You understand that inflation, cost of device would indefin... morePer bls.gov $300 in October 2012 is the equivalent of $337.09 by August 2020. The Nexus line was revolutionary by its sheer value as the writer of the article made clear throughout.

  • Testpilot88

I remember when I purchased the samsung galaxy nexus everywhere I went ppl where what phone is that and the custom roms oh the flashback

  • Anonymous

Potemkin, 05 Oct 2020Yeah, they had lousy cameras and rubbish battery life. But for the time the price was right.

Google fixed the camera departement with Pixels a lot... but messed up even more other stuff than with the Nexus phones.

ALLTRAXX, 05 Oct 2020This stupid obsession with Nexus phones!!Yeah, they had lousy cameras and rubbish battery life.

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 05 Oct 2020You understand that inflation, cost of device would indefin... moreInflation increases prices yes, but modern phones are so much more expensive than they were even a few years ago!

  • Blueyezboi

My favorite device to this day I pull it out just to flash a new OS to it for fun. I knew this phone inside and out. Mine is running Android 8.1 right now but I use my pixel 4 XL. The vein of it was if you cracked your glass you couldn't use it anymore. I just love the way the back looked and the way the phone felt in my hand.

  • Anonymous

Julian M, 05 Oct 2020Still my trusty launch-day Nexus 5, top of the line Snapdra... moreYou understand that inflation, cost of device would indefinitely increase the price of the device right? This article wasn't very good, no offense

  • Bojan

Google is lost.

  • Anonymous

I only hated 1 thing about the Nexus 4.

Battery life, I remember always having a external battery to charge it on the go because mine never got more than 3.5 hours of on screen time on wifi, and slightly above 2 hours on 3G.

Aside from that a great phone I remember very fondly.

  • kpkuk

Yeah - this is why I'm not getting a Pixel 5. Not just the chipset, but also the screen resolution. I was hoping for a flagship spec., or at least an additional model that has that, but looks not to be the case. I'm sticking with my Pixel 3 XL for now, but would be interested in an upgrade. If this is Google's direction now, I'm going to have to move to another manufacturer.

Oh - the Pixel 3 also has wireless charging, not just the 5.

  • ALLTRAXX

This stupid obsession with Nexus phones!!

  • magen1

:3 It's my actual, only, phone from day one, with the same battery.
From 100% to 50% works just fine, under 50% could shut down randomly.
I've now ordered the Pixel 4a, but I'm not excited at all, except for the better camera; and google keep eating my patience by putting the delivery at the end of this month, after a delay of more than 1 month compared to the US market, and a overpricing of 40Eur compared to the standard 349 eur/dollar from other nations.

  • Julian M

Still my trusty launch-day Nexus 5, top of the line Snapdragon 800 with a large-enough display and super thin frame for $350 - it all went to hell with the Pixel line, bring back the Nexus !