A flagship Google Pixel Mini? Chance: small. Possible impression: tiny


In a uncommon flip of occasions, I’m captivated by a smartphone hearsay that doesn’t concern the fruit firm. (Simply as effectively, on condition that new iPhones solely simply arrived.) This time, it’s Google’s flip. In line with a considerably dependable supply on Weibo, Google’s engaged on a small-screen flagship blower to debut alongside or after the Pixel 7 and seven Professional. The telephone, codenamed ‘Neila’, is alleged to echo the present design language and specs of Google’s prime units. In different phrases, we’re getting a Google Pixel Mini. Possibly.

Clearly, this can be a hearsay. And on condition that Google is – to place it mildly – vulnerable to flights of fancy, and doubtless has numerous prototypes hidden away in locked cabinets sealed with Google Poly Padlocks™, it’s price taking this declare with a fistful of salt. Nonetheless: all I might suppose was {that a} Google Pixel Mini is a tool I’d like to see.

Through the years, there’s been a relentless advance in direction of unwieldy surfboard telephones. They require enormous pockets in comedy trousers to cart about. Fashionable telephones are weighty to the purpose I do know a number of individuals who’ve given themselves a minor case of carpal tunnel by balancing quarter of a kilo of telephone on a pinkie for hours at a time. Once I received the iPhone 13 Mini in my mitts, I delighted in its nearly absurdly mild and pocketable kind. 

Sadly, the remainder of the world disagreed and Apple unceremoniously axed the Mini from its line-up this yr. Bah. Might Android redress the stability? Might Google usher in a brand new age of smartphones which might be light-weight in design, but highly effective computer systems that don’t require banana thumbs to make use of? Most likely not.

Maintain this video additional away out of your face to think about how the Google Pixel 7 Mini would possibly look.

Sorry to carry the temper down, however I’ll be amazed if this gadget seems – and much more shocked if it’s successful. That’s not all the way down to Google per se. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional present what the corporate’s able to when it doesn’t get repeatedly distracted by a squirrel. However broader indicators level to a ‘mini’ likelihood of a tiny, good Google blower ever seeing the sunshine of day.

First, it’s worthwhile to ask what constitutes mini within the Android world. The Pixel 6 has a chonky 6.4in show. The Professional goes all the way in which as much as 6.7. You have to return to the Pixel 3 earlier than you discover one thing approaching the iPhone Mini’s 5.4in. On that foundation, the probability of a meaningfully small telephone feels slim in an ecosystem that prizes gigantic units. (Android web sites appear to agree. The consensus: any gadget with a display screen underneath 6in – as in, very barely smaller than a normal iPhone – can be thought-about ‘small’. Yeah…)

Then there are issues with a dinkier battery on a battery-hungry platform. And small telephone gross sales being down 35% final yr – thereby making any comparatively wee gadget a giant threat. And Google’s personal gross sales hardly being stellar. Ars Technica argued Google’s latest numbers constituted “enormous gross sales development”, with its smartphone market share having doubled. That sounds nice till you realise stated share within the US stays simply 2%.

There’s the aforementioned squirrel downside as effectively, with Google habitually shedding curiosity in thrilling concepts after roughly 5 seconds. That stated, implausible Google improvements do generally make it into the wild. So possibly there’s hope but – even when a Google Pixel Mini solely finally ends up on sale for a ’mini’ time period earlier than Google unceremoniously kills it and strikes on to its subsequent flavour of the week.