The Myth of the Super Smartphone

Google is doing some pretty impressive stuff with the Pixel series, a modest phone by comparison

8 GB of RAM. 1 TB of storage. The latest Snapdragon 845 processor. These are some of the specs that are being thrown around these days by the likes of Samsung, Huawei and others. But do we really need all of these high end specs in a pocketable device? Google seems to think not.

The “spec wars” seemed to first heat up with the release of the original OnePlus One with its then staggering 3 GB of RAM. Deemed the “flagship killer”, OnePlus set out to prove to the world that you can have a high end phone with high end specs for an affordable price. They achieved this admirable feat with the One, but in so doing created a vicious cycle between the other phone makers to out-do the other with constant spec bumping. All of a sudden, we needed 4 GB of RAM, then 6 and now a whopping 8 GB on current Samsung models. Only 1 camera? Heck, how about putting 2 on there. Nowadays, 3 seems to be the norm. Except for Google. They are proving to the world that you don’t need 12 GB of RAM and 4 cameras to create an unique and compelling smartphone experience.

Looking at the three generations of Pixel phone, one thing stands out … their modest specs. Each model only comes with 4 GB of RAM, a slight bump to the processor and shockingly, only one 12 MP camera. Yet, Pixel phones have been generally well received by photo enthusiasts and sites like DXOmark. What Google does with photography is achieved by their computational algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI). Their photography is more computer based than