Google’s Pixel phones have created a legacy for their lively design elements, but the Pixel 6 duo no longer has that iconic aesthetic touch.
Google has ditched the iconic colored power button aesthetic with the Pixel 6 duo, and the change has been a bit difficult to accept. Now, the Pixel line is mostly about the ‘flawless Android experience’. Or so say the few thousand Pixel fans on r / GooglePixel sub-Reddit. The defense has some factual backing. Pixels offer the cleanest Android experience with some exclusive tricks, quick updates, and longer support. The cameras are good and the firepower is mostly at the top. Save for the Google Pixel 5, thanks to its decidedly mid-range chip.
But there is another aspect that makes Pixel phones stand out from the crowd: the quirky colors. And more specifically, the distinctive two-tone color scheme for the power button. The OG Pixel was an attractive phone, and its Really Blue hue was a breath of fresh air in a sea of white, gray, and black plates, though the inspiration from the iPhone 6 was pretty apparent as well. But Google got its design groove with the Pixel 2. The two-tone scheme that mixes glass and painted metal was quite eye-catching. The ‘Panda’ color, in particular, was just amazing. But it was the small power button and its contrasting color profile with hues like neon orange and green that took the Pixel’s design to a whole new level.
The Pixel 3 continued that trend, while the Pixel 4 was one step ahead. The Oh So Orange was the signature color of the Pixel 4 duo, and its orange power button protruding proudly out of the black frame was a sight that broke the monotony. But the muted color scheme was really alive in the Clearly White trim, whose black trim had an orange button to add some appeal to an otherwise conservative black-and-white profile. Unfortunately, buyers who were expecting the traditional wacky power button design got a ton of disappointment when Google Pixel 5 arrived. To be clear, the Sorta Sage looks fantastic. But its shiny power button in a similar shade of green didn’t give off the vibe of Pixel’s signature design.
It’s not much, but it’s an honest objection
The Pixel 5a wore the iconic design cloak, and there were hopes that Google would make a glorious return to form with the Pixel 6. Google returned to form, but the two-tone power button did not. The Pixel 6 and its Pro sibling are attractive phones, but the aesthetic debate surrounding them is far from one-sided. The two phones are important and not everyone is a fan of the huge camera strip on the back. As a small consolation, at least the colors are still somewhat quirky. But that’s it. Even Apple has gone for color, painting everything from iPhones and iPads to MacBooks in bright pastels. But those are all solid colors, as is the case with the Pixel 6 duo. The bright hues are eye-catching, but nothing breaks boredom in the Pixel way.
Many Slack and WhatsApp disputes have been fought over the aesthetics of the Pixel 6 series, and Pixel loyalists have furiously defended the ‘fresh’ design on social media armed with the #TeamPixel hashtag. It’s definitely interesting to witness the Pixel’s loyalty, and it serves as a testament that Google’s design team did a good job this time. But there is nothing to break the ornamental boredom this year. The colored power button is a fondly remembered design touch. The beautiful concept (image above) of a Pixel 6 Pro with a delicious orange power button serves as a painful reminder of what could have been. Nostalgia is a powerful element, and Pixel fans feel it in the Reddit comment sections.
It seems like an absurd topic to debate the color of a phone’s power button. Factors like tactile feedback and positioning are more important to users. But one can’t help but sigh sadly when remembering how the little power button was an integral design element of a Pixel. A look that helped it stand out from a crowd of phones experimenting with everything from color-changing back panels to leather exteriors to stand out. The Pixel’s power button stood out. And he elevated the design of the Pixel with himself. It was a fun addition that made it a refreshing sight to behold. It made the phone seem less boring. And despite what Google do it in the future with the Pixel line, we will miss you deeply.