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Google's phone is new, so why does it seem so old?

Technically Incorrect: In a launch ad for its new phone, Google plays it very safe. Perhaps too safe.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


No, it's not a shot from an iPhone ad. But it could be.

Google/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

As the dean of marketing at Trump University -- Donald Trump -- has shown, if you're going to deliver something new, you have to behave as if it's something new.

This, in his case, might include insulting half the world. You have to admit this tactic is new, though.

When Google launched its new Pixel phones on Tuesday, I was interested to see whether it would be presented as, oh, a magical revolution.

Instead, as the first ad for the phone shows, it all feels a little bit too familiar.

Somehow, when brands launch new phones, the first ads seem to always show the product floating in an indeterminate space, while statements are made about its new, fascinating features.

Oddly, Google has done precisely the same thing.

"Need a new phone?" the ad asks.

Well, yes. I do. iPhone 7 might have lovely features beneath its hood, but it does look a little on the dowdy side.

Google gets me excited. It tells me that the Pixel isn't merely new. It's "new, new."

Yet here we have an old, old execution into which you could have shoved any of its competitors. You wouldn't even have had to change the music.

Of course, it may be that subsequent ads will broaden the ambitions. Google did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

They might suggest that the battery will never explode and that the accompanying headphones don't make you look like you lost the bottom half of your earrings.

This does, though, feel a touch "oh, really" when I was hoping for the verve of Bill O'Reilly.

Still, you can buy a blue one. There's that.