Google’s rumored 256GB storage cap for Pixel 7 Pro is a step backward at the wrong time

Earlier today we passed along a tip from Twitter tipster Roland Quandt about the storage options on the upcoming Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. According to Quandt, both models will ship with 128GB and 256GB of storage. Unlike the Pixel 6 Pro, which is available with a third tier with 512GB of storage, it appears that the new Pixel 7 line will crap out at 256GB of storage. And that got us thinking about whether Google remains committed to the Pixel ecosystem as much as we think.
Personally, this writer purchased the Pixel 6 Pro with 512GB of storage and while I’ve used only 13% of my available storage and still have 445GB left, I would not have changed my decision to max out on storage capacity. Actually, I’m more concerned about the message Google is trying to send if it no longer offers 512GB of storage on its top Pixel phone. That’s because Google made a conscious decision after the Pixel 5 to create a Pixel ecosystem similar to what Apple and Samsung have built around their premium handsets.

Is Google’s decision to cap Pixel 7 Pro storage at 256GB a big step backward for the company’s plans?

Both Apple and Samsung offer smartwatches, tablets, and true wireless earbuds designed to work with their phones. Google is doing the same thing and it started by making the build and feel of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro more in line with the iPhone. The Pixel Watch will be unveiled on October 6th along with the new Pixel 7 phones. The Pixel Buds Pro have been released (and it does feature Active Noise Cancellation), and next year Pixel fans get the Pixel Tablet and possibly the Pixel Tablet Pro.

But if you’re looking for a sign or a clue-if you will-that something is amiss, the storage rumor for the upcoming handsets is a big one. Sure, most Pixel users probably don’t come close to using enough storage to justify the extra expense of purchasing the Pixel 6 Pro with 512GB of storage even if they take a fair amount of photos, a strong possibility with a phone that is known for its outstanding photo capabilities.

Here is where we wonder if Google is about to take a major step backward as it did following the Pixel 4 and 4XL release in October 2019. Google practically hinted that it was taking on the iPhone with its Face Unlock recognition system that not only copied the facial recognition system developed by Apple, but just as Cupertino did, Google ditched the fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 4 line leaving Face Unlock as the only biometric tool to unlock the phone.

There were other features on the Pixel 4 series including the use of Motion Sense which promised the moon but delivered a rain cloud. Using the Soli radar system, Motion Sense allows a user to skip music tracks, dismiss phone calls and stop alarms with the wave of a hand. But at the time, the potential was there for more exciting Motion Sense uses. We might never know.

Google must have been so disappointed by sales of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL that the Pixel 5 was a completely different experience. It uses a Snapdragon 765G mid-range chipset, and Face Unlock was gone, replaced by the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner which was back. The device came with 8GB of RAM and only 128GB of storage. It seemed like Google didn’t know exactly what the Pixel line was all about at this point.

Don’t get us wrong. There are many Pixel fans who will tell you that the Pixel 5 was their favorite Pixel and many still call it their favorite Pixel model of all time. But at the time, the Pixel 5 seemed like a step backward. With this past history in mind, shouldn’t Google be moving the max storage availability on the Pixel Pro models toward the 1TB line, not dropping it back to a cap of 256GB?

Would you consider the removal of a 512 GB storage tier for the Pixel 7 Pro to be a disappointment?

 

Here, Google is removing a storage option for the Pixel 7 Pro and the message it sends is more important than the actual deed. Google is saying, hey there isn’t anything that you can use your Pixel 7 Pro for that will require you to spend extra on 512GB of storage. The company should be offering 512GB of storage anyway because there will be people who are willing to spend for the max amount of storage they can buy just to show everyone that they have that kind of money.

If the Pixel ecosystem is going to challenge the ecosystems belonging to Apple and Samsung, the crew in Mountain View will have to say “Damn the torpedoes” and go full steam ahead. And chickening out on providing a 512GB tier of storage for the Pixel 7 Pro is not going full steam ahead.

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