Pixel 7 colors make me wish Google would bring back Moto Maker

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

You’ve probably heard it a million times before, but I’ll complain about it again – smartphone design has gotten a bit boring. That’s especially true in the flagship space, where manufacturers seem to think that higher prices deserve subdued colors, devoid of any fun or playful charm. Google has always been one of the few holdouts in this regard. However, the color options for this year’s Pixel 7 and 7 Pro left me wanting. More than that, they make me wish Google would just bring back the Moto Maker design studio and let me customize my own smartphone.

Besides black and white this year, you can get the Pixel 7 in Lemongrass and the Pixel 7 Pro in Hazelnut. However, I don’t think either is as bold as the Pixel 6’s Kinda Coral or as quirky as the Pixel 3a’s Purple-ish. And unlike a few generations ago, there’s still no accentuated power button. Worse still, the Pixel’s signature two-tone look is also gone this year.

But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this happen. Looking at the latest entries in the Pixel series, it almost seems like Google swings between eye-catching and muted colors every year.

The Pixel series seems to swing between fun and understated colors almost every generation.

The Pixel 5 replaced the bright Oh So Orange of the Pixel 4 with a muted Sorta Sage color. A year later, Google gave us an assortment of colors with the Pixel 6, only to take it away again with the Pixel 7. These are strange decisions, especially considering that the company has done its best to pairing his hardware with fun colors over the years. I still envy the gorgeous deep blue color of the first-gen Pixel. Even the Chromecast that’s supposed to sit behind your TV comes in more playful hues than the Pixel 7 series.

Now I know I’m not speaking for everyone. In a recent Android Authority poll, over 50% of our readers said they liked Google’s color choices for the Pixel 7 series. Only 24% of respondents expressed disappointment, while 20% said they were indifferent. . That said, many reviewers agreed that black and white aren’t really unique choices, leaving only Hazel or Lemongrass depending on which model you choose.

Covering a premium glass back with a skin feels like stepping back.

For others, smartphone skins completely negate the color variety argument. But I am inclined to disagree. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro feature glass backs that give the phone a premium reflective look. Covering that with a skin is like taking a step back. Even if you think glass makes the phone smooth, using a transparent case eliminates that problem without hiding the beauty of the phone underneath. And that brings me to what I wish Google would bring back from the dead: a Moto Maker-esque online tool that lets me customize my phone before I buy it.

See also: The best Pixel 7 Pro cases you can buy

Almost a decade has passed, but I still remember how easy it was to spend hours on the Moto Maker website coming up with fun, quirky, and downright ridiculous combinations for the Moto X. It gave you the same feeling of satisfaction as customizing your character. in a video game. In addition to choosing phone color and accents, you can also engrave text on the back and add a personalized greeting to the home screen. But perhaps my favorite feature was the ability to select a different material for the back. Natural materials like wood and leather aged beautifully with use and developed a unique patina over time.

Moto Maker Tool for Moto X Play

Today, Samsung carries on Moto Maker’s legacy with its Galaxy Z Flip 4 Custom Edition, but the choices aren’t nearly as exhaustive. You can only choose individual colors for the metal frame and the two glass panels – that’s it. However, an interview with Samsung’s design team revealed that limiting options was an intentional move to avoid overwhelming buyers. The company also admitted that it learned a lot about color preferences by listening to its millennial and Gen Z shoppers. For example, Samsung’s senior management balked at adding yellow as one of the color options, but finally relented when the results of the investigation arrived. Ultimately, yellow and blue ended up being one of the best-selling color combinations in the United States.

While I’d love to see a full-fledged Moto Maker return one day, I’d also be willing to accept Samsung’s limited customization on a Google smartphone. Hopefully, we could also select two different hues and bring back the Pixel’s signature two-tone look. Here’s what the beloved Pixel 2 XL’s “panda” color scheme might look like on a modern Pixel, thanks to a mockup by a Twitter user Jonas Daehnert. The possibilities would be endless.

While I wish Google would introduce personalization, I know that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon. Global availability has never been the strong suit of the Pixel series (although thankfully it’s better this time around) and customizable controls would only make that problem worse. Also, it didn’t work out very well for Motorola either. Even though the company opened a factory in the United States exclusively for final assembly, ordering a custom Moto X instead of a standard one increased the delivery time by about a week.

The bespoke edition of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 takes even longer from order to delivery – up to a month, according to Samsung’s website. Last month, we learned that Google was considering moving some Pixel production from China to Vietnam and India, but that’s still quite a distance from western shores. Most people just won’t be willing to wait that long if they can buy something else from a store or have it delivered to their doorstep within two days. Again, that’s the price of a phone designed just for you.

The Pixel series is built and assembled in Asia, which makes user customization almost impossible in the short term.

But perhaps the main reason we won’t see a customizable Moto Maker-inspired pixel is Google’s recent zeal for efficiency. Earlier in 2022, the company canceled at least seven “moonshot” projects that had uncertain profitability prospects. A customizable smartphone would likely fall squarely into this category, given that Google has reportedly sold no more than 10 million units of a single generation of Pixels to date. Samsung’s foldable sales alone, meanwhile, topped 10 million in 2021. A customizable edition only really makes sense financially if the Pixel 7 is already flying off the shelves – that’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem.

Do you want to customize the colors of your smartphone?

40 votes

Virginia C. Taylor