Google has finally officially announced its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. The huge event was a successful one filled with many surprises despite juicy details being given out piecemeal through rumors and leaks online.
Even though the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL were built by Taiwanese company HTC, Google seems to be taking full ownership of the devices with the branding "Phone by Google" visible in the official ad plus the engraved "G" at the back of the phones.
"The Pixel name has always represented the best in hardware and software, designed and built by Google, together," Rick Osterloh, Google's newly hired hardware chief officer said. During the Pixel Event, they highlighted five main features of the new Google Pixel phones — Google Assistant, unlimited Google cloud storage, new camera, Daydream View VR headset compatibility and fast charging.
Pixels are the first phones to have a built-in Google Assistant feature. If you're familiar with the Google Allo app, you might already know how the Assistant works.
Users can chat with the Assistant and command it to search for topics or create to-do-lists, among others. It can be accessed by pressing the phone's home button or by saying "Ok Google".
Unlimited Cloud Storage
Unlike its Google apps with limited storage across different operating systems, Google Pixel and Pixel XL sport free unlimited full resolution cloud storage for pictures and videos shot using the Pixel phones. This privilege includes even 4K videos shot with the phone.
Both Pixel phone variants sport a 12.3-megapixel shooter with an f/2.0 aperture and large 1.55-micron pixels for capturing lots of light. The camera also scored 89 in DxOMark, which is the highest rating in a smartphone camera ever, claims Google. Capture times for still and moving shots are shortest with the Google Pixel phones. Unfortunately, optical image stabilization is not present for taking photos with the mobile device.
Virtual Reality Compatibility
Google also announced that they will be selling its Daydream View VR headset at the event for $79. The Google Pixel smartphones are the first ones to be compatible with the said headset.
Google Pixel phones ship with the latest Android 7.1 Nougat out-of-the-box and will be directly getting updates from Google as times go by. It comes in two sizes, 5-inch and 5.5-inch, with three colors to choose from — Quite Black, Very Silver, and a limited "Really Blue" color edition for U.S. customers.
The Google Pixel phones are available for preorders in the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia and Germany for $649. Preorders for India will start on Oct. 13 with no official announcements for worldwide release dates yet.