The Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are improved versions of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro from the previous year. This is what we’ve come to expect with every new iteration of smartphones, not just Pixels.

Besides rocking premium specs to match the price tag, Google, like the company it closely emulates, continues to push for tighter software and hardware integration to offer seasoned buyers exclusive features.

These features are meant to make owners of the Pixel 7 and co. stand out from the rest of the Android market, which, honestly, has become sort of dull in recent times.

Pixel-7-Pro-inline-2

The fact that you can’t experience some Pixel features on any other device, not just Android, is what Google is relying on to drive global sales upwards.

But standing in its way is the limited availability of Pixel exclusive features in countries where Google phones are officially sold.

The March 2023 Pixel Feature Drop arrived a few days ago. While the update has been delayed for the Pixel 6 series, we already know what to expect with this edition.

Google Pixel 6a owners might be disappointed after missing out on improved Night Sight, but they do still get a series of other exclusive features.

Google-Pixel-6A-inline

I’m talking about features like the underrated real-time on-device voice typing that makes using the voice-to-text function more than seamless compared to other devices that don’t process voice data locally.

Besides taking much of the accolades for the best stills, one of my favorite Pixel exclusive features is Photo Unblur, which relies on Google’s machine learning to fix blurry images and make them appear sharp.

Although Photo Unblur works on non-Pixel 7 photos, you must first import it to the Pixel 7 in order to remove the kinks from that blurry image of your dog.

There’s also support for offline Live Translate for translating incoming chats and messages in real-time without the need for an internet connection as well as Direct My Call and Wait Times for less painful phone calls.

Pixel-exclusive-hold-for-me-feature

This exclusivity goes all the way to the Google Assistant, which has support for Quick Phrases on Pixel phones yet the same functionality is missing on other Android devices.

Closely related is Quick Tap, another Pixel exclusive feature that lets owners choose what action to execute when they double-tap the back of the phone.

The phones also come with a smart selection feature that highlights and allows users to interact with text, links and images on the recents screen. You won’t find this capability on your regular Android phone.

Prior to the recent change, Magic Eraser was also a Pixel exclusive feature. But it’s now available for everyone through the Google One subscription.

Magic-Eraser

I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of other Pixel exclusive features that haven’t featured in this article. And truth be told, it’s hard to ignore them considering what they add to the overall experience.

However, the unfortunate bit is their limited availability, where most of them are only supported in the United States and perhaps a few other markets like Canada and the UK.

For instance, while Call Screening is available in several countries even on non-Pixels, only the US has support for automatic call screening on Pixel phones. Other countries only get manual call screening.

Pixel-call-screen-features

Hold for Me, another great feature that remains exclusive to the Pixel series, is only available in the US, Australia, and Canada — and only in English too. As for Direct My Call and Wait Times, they are exclusive to the US market.

This applies to a whole bunch of other Pixel exclusive features, something that isn’t going down well with owners of these devices in some of the unsupported markets.

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Source

When asked on Reddit about what their biggest frustrations are, here’s what some Pixel owners had to say:

Non-Availability of pixel only features in my country like Call Screening, Google Wallet and VPN

Yep pretty much makes it another above avg Android phone

Google Pixels are officially sold only in a few countries that include Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK and US.

In fact, this list only expanded recently to 17 with the Google Pixel 7, and it’s still nothing close to the over 100 countries occupied by Samsung and Apple. With this market reach, Google can never beat this dynamic duo.

Worse off is that the lack of exclusive Pixel features in some of these markets is doing little to help Google. If anything, in these markets, I think the Pixel is just a regular smartphone with ‘stock’ Android and good cameras.

Samsung-Galaxy-S23-vs-Pixel-features

While Google may claim that unavailability for some of these features is due to legal reasons, I think that if they can negotiate their way around selling phones in my country, they should also find a way around these legal restrictions.

Alternatively, they can as well stay away from the market altogether rather than sell less feature-rich phones at non-discounted prices on claims of legislative differences.

And I’d like to hear your thoughts on this subject too in the comments and through the poll below, so be sure to jump right in.

Is Google Pixel another regular phone in markets without access to exclusive features?

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Featured image: Google

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Hillary Keverenge
2168 Posts

Tech has been my playground for over a decade. While the Android journey began early, it truly took flight with the revolutionary Lollipop update. Since then, it's been a parade of Android devices (with a sprinkle of iOS), culminating in a mostly happy marriage with Google's smart home ecosystem. Expect insightful articles and explorations of the ever-evolving world of Android and Google products coupled with occasional rants on the Nest smart home ecosystem.

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