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Google Pixel and Pixel XL

October 5, 2016

 

A few short hours ago, Google took the wraps off of their latest pure Android smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL. To show that they have entered the hardware game, Google created the event hashtag #MadeByGoogle. It was quite an event however, it might have been the accessories that stole the spotlight from their newly unveiled smartphones. That's not a knock on the Pixel phones however, I did feel they could have included some features found on other flagships. With that said, let's break down the phones.

 

TECH SPECS

 

 DISPLAY AND PROCESSOR

 

There is not much difference between the two new devices, but the display is certainly one. The Pixel has a 5" full HD AMOLED display and has a pixel density of 441 ppi (pixels per inch). The XL model will consist of a 5.5" quad HD AMOLED display with a pixel density of 534 ppi. Out of the two, expect the XL to stand out more. Both smartphones have the latest Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor and 4GB of RAM. Combine the fast processor with the latest version of Android (Nougat) and you have quite the fast phone. Hardcore Android fans will know this, but for those of you who do not know, Google phones will be the first to get the latest Android updates and provide a pure android experience (means no other skin/user interface is involved). 

 

BATTERY

 

Another difference between the two phones is the battery capacity. The standard Pixel will have a small, but decent 2770 mAh battery. The Pixel XL will be powered by a much larger 3450 mAh battery. Google touts that both devices will provide 7 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes of charging. Expect up to 19 days of standby time, 26 hours of talk time, 13 hours of internet usage and video playback on the Pixel. Up to 23 days of standby time, 32 hours of talk time, 13 hours of internet usage and video playback on the larger Pixel XL. Neither device has built-in wireless charging.

 

 

CAMERA AND STORAGE

 

Google put a strong emphasis on the camera on both Pixels. They brought up a pretty impressive DxOMark score of 89 to prove that their camera is top notch (highest rated smartphone camera ever, just to be accurate). The Pixel and Pixel XL will sport a 12.3 mega-pixel rear shooter and a f/2.0 aperture. On the front, there will be an 8 mega-pixel snapper with a f/2.4 aperture. A new feature called Smart Burst will capture a continuous stream of photos and use Google Intelligence to choose the best shot. The camera will also use HDR Plus by default and have zero shutter lag. Lastly, there is also video stabilization which will greatly reduce shaky videos.

 

To save all of your clear photos and videos, the Pixel and Pixel XL will come with either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage. Unfortunately, there is no micro SD slot for expandable memory. However, to compensate for the lack of micro SD, Google is offering Pixel owners unlimited storage of photos and videos at original quality through the built-in Google Photos app.

 

 

OTHER FEATURES

 

  • Built-in Google Apps: Google Allo (messaging), Google Duo (video calling)

  • Google Assistant built-in - The same Google Assistant from Google Allo is now built into the Pixel devices. 

  • Daydream ready - Pixel will be Daydream ready for VR (virtual reality) use. Will be compatible with the new Daydream View. You will be able to play VR games or watch video content from apps such as Netflix, HBO and Hulu.

  • 24/7 Live Customer Care - Google built 24/7 live customer support right into the pixel devices. Something not working right? Go into the settings and use the 24/7 live customer support to activate a voice call or chat session with a Google employee. You also have the ability to screen share so that the Google employee can see exactly what you're seeing.

  • Updates in background - Software updates will be done in the background. No more staring at a progress bar, waiting for the update to finish.

  • Quick Switch - Apple users looking to make the switch or existing Android users can easily move over all content using a USB Type C adapter which is included with your purchase of a Pixel phone. You can even move iMessages. 

PROS:

  • Outstanding camera

  • Pure Android experience that will give Pixel owners first dibs on latest Android update

  • Built-in 24/7 customer support

  • Unlimited photo and video storage in original quality through Google Photos

  • Stellar battery life on both devices (more so on the XL)

  • Google Assistant

  • New fresh look with the Pixel Launcher

CONS:

  • Design reminiscent of iPhone which is not bad but not original or fresh.

  • No removable battery

  • Not water resistant

  • No wireless charging

  • No micro SD slot, but to be fair, the unlimited Google Photos option make this less of a burden

 

The Pixel and Pixel XL is now available for pre-order and will be sold in the US exclusively through Verizon Wireless for $649.99 or $27.08 a month on device payment ($769.99 or $32.08 a month for Pixel XL). Additionally, the Pixel phones can also be bought through the Google store and other international partners such as Best Buy. They come in 3 simply named color options: Quite Black, Very Silver or the limited edition Really Blue.  The devices will be ready to ship by October 20th.

 

What do you think of the new phones by Google?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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