Monday, July 15, 2024
Smartphone news

Can Pebble make a comeback – as a compact Android smartphone?

There are two things that always seem to be increasing when it comes to smartphones: prices and sizes. Over the last couple of years, big handsets have become the norm, rather than the exception. The question is – is there any going back?

According to the person behind the Pebble smartwatch, Eric Migicovsky, the answer is a clear ‘yes’. In an interview with the Verge, he puts forward his vision for a small Android smartphone that can fill the iPhone mini’s shoes.

For reference, the latter has been discontinued with the launch of the iPhone 14 lineup. Its de facto successor is the iPhone 14 Plus, a much bigger smartphone. Now, through a community project born from a crowdfunding initiative, Migicovsky seeks to capitalize on what he perceives as a new niche on the smartphone market.

For the time being, he is focusing on a number of key parameters. This includes (1) the camera and the camera bump design, (2) the build quality (the phone has to be “a nice soft slab that’s very high quality, very nicely put together, very solid feeling”) and (3) the internals, more specifically the chipset.

When it comes to raw power, Migicovsky asserts that they are not going for “top-tier performance”, but rather a processor along the lines of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 – very good, but not the best. Looks good enough on paper. That is until you get to the price. Migicovsky’s dream compact Android device could cost as much as $850.

That is a difficult price point to stomach when it comes to a small smartphone, given that the iPhone 13 mini launched at $729. The Asus Zenfone 9, one of the best phones to buy in 2023, which features a rather compact 5.9” panel and comes equipped with full-blown flagships specs costs just $699. It seems this dream device might be a tough sell – especially in a market where big smartphones increasingly thrive.


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