They may have been some of the worst kept secrets in tech, but today, Google made things official when it unveiled its two new flagship smartphones: The Pixel and Pixel XL.
These two new phones mark a break from Google's previous Nexus phones, because these devices were designed from the ground up to embody the company's vision of the future. That means you won't get logos from previous manufacturing partners like LG or Huawei. Instead, you get a 5 or 5.5-inch handset sporting stock Android Nougat 7.1, the new Siri-like Google Assistant, fingerprint reader and top-notch specs.
The main difference between the Pixel and the Pixel XL are their screen size and resolution. The Pixel's 5-inch screen is full HD (1920 x 1080), while the XL's 5.5-inch display is quad HD (2560 x 1440).Other tech highlights include a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32 or 128GB of storage, an AMOLED display and a USB Type-C port. You also get a headphone, although unlike a lot of other flagship Android phones, the Pixels don't seem to have room for a microSD card reader.
And if anything ever goes wrong with a Pixel, Google will be the one answering your calls with its newly created hardware visions, whose sole purpose is to develop the devices that will bring Google's vision to the masses without being skewed or customized by companies like Samsung, HTC and others.
At Google's launch event in San Francisco, the new hardware team focused on explaining some of the new features coming on the Pixels.
Compared to iOS and even Windows 10 mobile, Android's lack of a true digital assistant had made it difficult for Google to give its users the same level of personalized and timely advice. But the new Pixels will be the first phones sporting the new Google's Assistant feature built into Android 7.1, which lets users ask the phone questions using natural language and get immediate results. You look up locations or videos, set reminders and much much more.
New and improved cameras
Earning a rating of 89 from camera experts DXO Mark, Google says the new 12.3-megapixel f/2.0 rear cameras on the Pixel and Pixel XL are the best on any phone ever. But its not just the sensor that's a big deal; Google is also touting some impressive looking built-in image stabilization, a number of new shooting more including what the company claims is the shortest shutter lag, Google is also giving Pixel owners free unlimited cloud storage using Google Photos.
The Pixels will also be the first phones to support Google's new Daydream VR platform as well as the company's new View VR headset. Priced at $79, the headset looks like a stylish and affordable entry into mobile VR.
Anyone with an older Android phones knows that getting the lastest versions of Google updates can be hit or miss. But on the Pixels, new patches or versions will be sent straight to the Pixels on Day 1. Google also includes built-in text anmd voice support similar to Amazon Mayday, so that if you are having trouble using the devices, you get can help right away directly on the device.
The Pixel will start at $649 and come in three colors, blue, black and silver. Pre-orders start today and you can either go through Verizon, or order an unlocked device direct from Google.