It’s rumoured that Google is working on a device codenamed ‘Neila’ which would see the company venturing back into compact phone territory for an upcoming Pixel device.
If true, it could mean the company returning to a device closer to the size ofthe Pixel 5, which was a smaller, rounder and more comfortable device to use one-handed than any of its Pixel 6-series model.
The timing – of course – is interesting, if only because Apple itself opted not refresh its ‘Mini’ smartphone for the iPhone 14 family, opting instead to launch a larger ‘Plus’ model.
This particular rumour comes from a frequently cited tipster on Weibo, Digital Chat Station, in a post which claims this phone will have a flat screen, single hole-punch camera and a rear design that looks similar to the current Pixels. We assume this means a prominent camera bar running all the way across the back of the phone and two-tone colour finish.
While small, comfortable flagship phones aren’t the norm, we have seen a few manufacturers experimenting with this smaller form factor. Asus latest Zenfone is a relatively small, rounded device that sits easily in the hand. Sony, for the past few years, has offered the Xperia 5 series and – of course – Apple with the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini.
Clearly then there is some demand for these small devices, but just not as much demand in general as there is for big-screened, powerful phones that can last more than a day on a full charge.
Still, in our minds, if Google can get this compact phone right, it could end up being one of the nicest phones on the market. If it can harness what made the Pixel 5 such a great device to hold and use, and combine that with Tensor power, stock Android 13 and excellent camera perfomance, then it may just be on to a winner.