The minute I saw the supposed renders of the upcoming Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro, I joked with Tim that if these turned out to be real, Google’s next phone would be phone of the decade. My second thought was that Android purists were going to absolutely hate its iPhone-esque design and completely dump on it in the comments, bringing my mood down several notches. As it turns out, I was wrong!
The initial reactions to the Pixel 9 (here) and Pixel 9 Pro (here) renders from earlier in the week were mostly positive. In fact, most reactions were heavily positive in the direction I was leaning. And no, they weren’t all thankful for the phone taking on a flat-sided iPhone design, but more in the way of it looking like a proper and premium evolution on the Pixel design.
Let’s run through some of the best reactions to these rumored Pixel 9 designs.
Kicking things off, Tony in our Telegram channel called it the “Most beautiful phone I’ve ever seen.” I can’t say I’m ready to commit that hard yet, but I do agree that these renders look very lovely and if the real-deal, could make for a phone unlike any others on Android.
Several others “like” the design, think it “looks amazing,” described it as “a refreshing look,” and ran with the classic of, “Shut up and take my money!” One reader even brought up the old legend, saying it looked like the Essential PH-1. That’s a great take for those only looking to the iPhone as Google’s inspiration.
When looking to the future of other Google devices that could take on this design language, reader just_eggs is hoping this design makes its way to the next Pixel Fold, saying “Please make the Fold 2 look like this and I am so in.”
And finally, in the positive reactions, reader ceruleanblue put it the best – “It looks designed, not just thrown together, as most Pixels do.”
All of that out of the way, not everyone loves the look. I think dwboston summed up plenty of people’s thoughts in saying, “So based on the comments above, what the Android ‘fans’ here really want is a Pixel that looks just like an iPhone? No thanks.” Dang, that’s kind of harsh, but maybe not completely off the mark.
Another reader added that Google was “Slowly but surely trying to make a Pixel into an iPhone” and that they would “not be touching these.”
Others weren’t fans of that hefty camera bar, with one reader just straight calling it “Thicc.” But others were quick to point out that Google’s camera design has been great for those of us who place our phones on a surface and don’t want them to wobble. Couldn’t agree more there.
My current reaction to both designs is that yes, I can admit they look very much inline with the current design of the iPhone, but they also pull in some of the original Nothing Phone (1) and our old favorite, the original Essential phone. I like flat sides on a device because they give you something to grip (when not using a case) and also just look sharp in terms of design. While you could certainly argue against this with your Android goggles on, I still think the phones look as Pixel as ever. There are only so many shapes and sizes to phones, but Google is still taking inspiration from others yet finding ways to make a phone their own (camera bar as an example).
I’m so ready for these.