In my opinion and I'm sure that many of you will agree, that Google had quite a rough time in the mobile hardware business. It Motorola Moto X (which is actually the first Google phone but one that made by its subsidiary, the mobile division of Motorola) just didn't stick and even it's big ambitious Google Glass lost its charm. To be honest, I wouldn't talk with a person that has a camera on his head and can record me for the whole time, would you?
If Google Pixel phones will be seen as yet another science project from Google, people will lose interest in the device. I became fewer worries when Google has decided to use the brand name 'Pixel' for its brand new brand of phones, a brand name that started for Google Chromebook Pixel. So it does seem that this time, Google is serious about keeping this brand for long time and invest in it.
In my opinion, Google still yet hasn't established reliability as a hardware vendor in the mobile market. Nobody argues with its success in the software division, which is its strongest part. In the Pixel event, Google did repeat almost the same exact phrase as Apple said about its mobile devices, that in order to create experiences, you need to do both the hardware and software.
I personally think that people just like to be unique, and the fact that Apple has only two phones each year and the fact that it has a different operating system and ecosystem, make it very unique and it distinguishes itself from the competition. People will prefer buying a phone that looks different than all the others. That's why the limited Blue version of the Pixel phone sold so fast. This is also why we don't like seeing other people wearing the same clothes as we do or have something that we already have, we want to be different. I can give you many other examples, but the bottom line is that Apple is unique and stands out from the rest, while Google isn't there yet.
Maybe, just maybe with its new Pixel lineup, Google can do just that. I think that this is what Google is striving to do by using the Pixel brand name, by introducing two phones with different sizes (same as Apple), it added a glass cover at the top rear part of the phone to make it unique compared to other Android devices, it made sure that Google Assistant will make its first appearance in the Google Pixel phone lineup and it worked had to make sure it has the best camera among all other phones (so this won't be its downfall).
Google also show its strength as a software company that focuses on the next generation AI applications. If Google takes full advantages of its home-grown technologies in its phones and releases features that are both useful and fun to use, it can certainly establish itself as a very strong player and imprint on the mobile phone market and build itself a high credibility. No everything was done right in my opinion, like the design looking very similar to the iPhone, it's not as powerful as the iPhone. it's not waterproof, there are no stereo speakers and no memory card slot.
I'm sure that quite a few people will see this phone as yet another attempt for Google to make a strong imprint in the mobile market and try to establish the Pixel brand as a worthy competitor to the iPhone brand name. Just think about it, Apple doesn't need to release hundreds of phone to enjoy a large market share, just two phones and before that it was just a single phone. There are many Android devices that are even superior to the iPhone in many aspects, so as I mentioned before, if you want to beat Apple in its own game, you need to resemble its marketing strategy - why? because it works.
The Google Pixel can the option to make a change, but I don't think that Google hardware partners love this idea, because it actually now competes against their devices and if Google can make the same revolution as Apple did just in the Android market and even beyond, and maybe grab some meaningful market shares from the iPhone market, this can certainly pose a threat to them as a mobile phone hardware manufacturers. Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL still need to survive the test of time. It's too early to tell how the market responds to it, and maybe we need to wait for a few iteration until the Pixel establishes itself as a very strong player and a leader in the mobile community. VR might help Google in that, but the Google Pixel isn't the only phone to be Daydream-ready
but you do get the Daydream View headset for free if you pre-order it, which with the great buzz on VR this year, this can help Google sell more of its Pixel phones. I think it might take a more the two years until Google Pixel establishes itself as a very dominant player, but yet again, it might not happen - but I do have a good feeling this time.