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.