Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The Pixel’s camera bar is here to stay, and that’s a good thing

You can spot the Apple iPhone 20 steps away. I bet you can tell a Samsung Galaxy from that distance too. However, until last year, Google phones didn’t have their own striking design language.

But this week, Google revealed that its most unique, face-to-face design element is Stop here. Not only did it show up on last year’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro — and it’s coming to the Pixel 6A this July — but Google has also shown us a bolder, punchier version that’s coming from this year The fall Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro stand out.

Of course, I’m talking about the camera bar.

The original Pixel 6 series. Compare that to the Pixel 7 series at the beginning of this article.
Image: Google

Or, as Dieter Bohn joked earlier He coincidentally left us to work for Google: shelf. “

Whatever you call it, it’s instantly divisive: this thing Extend the back of the phone. But that’s also how we first saw the notch on Apple’s iPhone, or the ugly white earbuds. I’ve grown up and remember its original candy-colored translucent iMac G3 being mocked for looking like a toy. But all these odd designs became the signature advantage of fans (and ads) gathering. (Heck, we even miss transparent gadgets these days.)

It doesn’t hurt that Google’s camera bar has some fun stuff too. Apple and Samsung’s multi-eye camera arrays initially looked a bit like insects, while Google’s camera bar had a more robotic, R2-D2-esque look — befitting the company behind Android.

i’m not talking about google No A design language before the Pixel 6, but one that feels borrowed rather than new. Of course, initially Google didn’t design an Android phone at all. The T-Mobile G1 and Nexus One are from HTC; the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus are from Samsung; the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and Nexus 5X are from LG; the Nexus 6 is from Motorola; and the Nexus 6P is a Huawei phone.

Aside from giving half of the phones a horizontal “Nexus” wordmark, only LG phones have any common design language.

In 2016, the Google Pixel changed all that. But it won’t necessarily get better, as Google has targeted the iPhone from the start. We noticed that the original Pixel looked too much like an iPhone, just with the Nexus 5X’s fingerprint sensor turf and part of the glass back — good, that two-tone glass, but not a truly unique look you’d recognize across the street .

OG google pixel.
Photo by James Barham/The Verge

Google isn’t getting more unique, it’s over remove More and more glass every year, saving the Pixel 4’s all-glass back. Then, the Pixel 4 failed, Google moved to cheaper, and glass completely disappeared in 2019.

Pixel 4A 5G has a plastic body

this Pixel 4A 5G.
Photography: Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

this pixel 5.
Photography: Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google Pixel 5A.

this Google Pixel 5A.
Photo by Alison Johnson/The Verge

In late 2019/early 2020, Apple may not help either and Google and Samsung has both chosen squirrels for their camera enclosures. oops! While Samsung quickly found a way out by slamming its cameras into the S21’s metal rails, Google’s phones ended up looking more like low-priced iPhones than ever…until last October when the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro finally came with The camera strip has arrived.

this Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Photography: Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

There’s nothing low-rent on the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, and even the new Pixel 6A isn’t giving up that premium look — though it does have a “3D thermoformed composite back” instead of the Gorilla Glass you’ll find More expensive models.

Pixel 6A.
Image: Google

But what ties it all together is the camera bar. It’s the core (technically, it’s not centered, because the dead center is a stupid place to put the camera). Now, this feature gives Google’s Pixels an actual outline, not just another rounded rectangle. It’s the dividing line between the two shades of Google’s two-tone design language across the Pixel lineup.

Here’s the new Pixel family photo, so you can see what I mean:

Image: Google

Except… wait, what the heck is this? what is that?

Sean Hollister / The Verge’s Furious, Ugly Arrows

Oh Google, what did you do now…you promised!

I’m very, very sorry, everyone.


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