My next phone will be a sub-$500 phone. If Google is in 'that price sphere' I will be happy to compare and buy from them. Yet, if they seem invested in fighting with the big names with increasingly expensive phones - I just can't say I'm interested in another expensive phone . Google is certainly closer to my price, but they have top stay that way. I hope they have a Pixel 3 that is below $499 and not just phone in teh $600 range.
My Nokia Lumia 820 had "Google Lens" through "the Here City Lens" augmented reality app back in 2013, so it's good to see they are finally catching up. It was great for finding restaurants close by when we were out on a trip.
The majority of Android users will never take a Pixel phone seriously as long as they keep releasing phones with no SD card slots and no headset jack. If we wanted an IPhone, we'd buy a crappy IPhone. We buy Samsung or other top brands because they listen to what their users want, a headset jack and a SD card slot. Samsung tried to take the SD card slot out for one model, and it didn't sell, so they put it back.
You cant release a "premium" product with less than what your strongest competitor is producing and expect a similar price point to be attractive. A great camera is nice, but not worth what Google is asking, when it cut out 2 of the biggest things Android users expect.
When Google gets their act together and puts out a 'complete' Android phone, I'll consider buying one. Until then, I'll stay loyal to the brands that are loyal to their customers, and actually produce 'complete' phones.
Google will not be able to beat Samsung, nor do I think it wants to. Samsung is still a huge manufacturer regardless of what finished product they put out, so they won't be attacking them directly. If anything, they may try to jab at the iPhone a few more times but if they throw a ridiculous price on another Snapdragon 845 phone with 4-6GB of RAM, a 2:1 aspect ratio screen, no headphone jack, and a glass back, they're not going anywhere. The market is just so saturated, and Google's only one-up is that they own the operating system. They've also botched up the operating system so bad that it isn't impressive.
I've had only HTC-made smartphones since 2011: The Droid Eris, Rezound, One (M8), and now the 2016 Pixel XL. You know what I miss? My Eris.
Go back to the basics, Google, and look at what USED to make Android phones great. Look back at the Nexus One, also made by HTC, and let the glory days come alive.
Nobody has a swappable battery pack anymore. Everyone seems to be getting rid of the headphone jack. And nobody has pockets that can hold a cellphone anymore without bending them. Fix that, and you might have a winner.