Google have officially launched their own phone to the market – called Pixel. Two versions were announced, the Pixel and the Pixel XL, as Google attempt to take on Apple in the premium smartphone market. Effectively replacing the Nexus phone range, the Pixel phone will be the new standard-bearer of Android smartphones. Google will hope that their huge brand reputation will be able to directly take on Apple at their own game.
The Pixel and Pixel XL names had been leaked in advance of the keynote event, but there were still plenty of features to announce and lots of other hardware to show as well. The Pixel phone event kicked off with a really funny short from Gilfoyle and Dinesh from HBO’s Silicon Valley:
Both Pixel phones have a big glass area on the back of the phone, which surrounds the fingerprint reader, camera and flash. This creates both a stylish design look as well as a texture difference for you to fell when using the phone. The Pixel has an AMOLED display running the latest Snapdragon 821 processor. It has 4GB of RAM and there will be a choice of storage – either 32GB or 128GB. There are 3 colour options – “Quite Black”, “Very Silver” or “Really Blue”.
Highest rated smartphone camera
The biggest claim made during the presentation was that the camera on the Pixel and Pixel XL is the “highest rated smartphone camera ever”. This is because the DxOMark website have given Pixel’s camera their highest ever score of 89 in their review. The Pixel offers a very high level of detail from its 12.3MP camera, and promises to produce excellent photos in all different types of light.
Google Assistant built in
With the Pixel phone, Google Assistant will be built right into the device, giving more comprehensive AI capability and the potential for apps to integrate. Google Assistant can read the context of what is on your screen, so the answers it gives can be more useful and precise without the user having to provide any extra information. Google have worked hard on their machine learning code and have enabled the Assistant to understand more complex questions such as “show me my photos from April 2014”. The Pixel phone is just the beginning for Assistant, and Google hope to integrate it into more of their products like Google Home.
Unlimited Cloud Storage
Google have promised that Pixel users will have access to unlimited storage for their photos and videos. Using the Google Photos cloud storage, users will be able to save all their photos at full resolution, as well as 4K video shot with the new Pixel phone.
Conclusion – Pixel Phone
Google are releasing a high-end product to compete directly with the iPhone. It is a great looking smartphone with excellent hardware and features which will appeal to a lot of people who are looking for an alternative option to Apple’s device. Android is a solid operating system which Google have been perfecting for years. It’s predecessor, the Nexus 6P was an excellent device and the Pixel phone takes it forward in lots of different areas. The only problem, could be the price. For a premium product, Google are charging premium prices, and some Android users have come to love the lower operating costs compared to iPhones. This is Google’s first official phone however, so hopefully it will be the start of something special which can create more competition in the smartphone market.
The Pixel will cost £599 with 32GB of storage or £699 with 128GB of storage. The Pixel XL will cost £719 with 32GB of storage or £819 with 128GB of storage. They will be available through EE and Carphone Warehouse in the UK, or through the Google Store.