“If you want it done right, do it yourself.” That’s what Google meant to say after releasing its first smartphone ever. At last no co-branding, only a background partnership with HTC manufacturer. Pixel and Pixel XL is a two size original flagman devices that amounts to a single high end Android experience, presenting new and unique software features from Google that won’t come to other mobile phones anytime soon. Past several years company was working on predictive search and voice interactions also making some software design changes, painting a clearer picture of its vision of Android.
The Pixel and Pixel XL phones are a newborn products that competes with not just Apple, but Google’s own Android partners. At first glance they look like every other smartphone on the market with a large screen, rounded corners and curved edges. Some of you may say that the Pixel is actually an iPhone running on Android. And while we’re talking about the design, you’re somewhat right.
The front side looks alike HTC 10, just without a physical home button at the bottom. Instead of it, Google’s flagman has on-screen main control buttons which are integrated into software UI, meaning that they only shows up when the screen is on. New devices comes with a 5 and 5.5 inch QHD display, ensuring a four times higher definition of standard HD display. Two different Pixel sizes lets users to choose between an easy one-handed fit, or one that requires a bit more manual manipulation, but it still easy fits for anyone who’s used to handle larger smartphones.
As usual, above the screen there’s 8MP front facing camera, making a slightly better photos than you can expect. While back of the phone features 12.3MP rear camera with dual-LED flash, laser autofocus and 1.55-micron pixels behind an f/2.0 lens. Finally, with the camera like this, Google phone can proudly stand alongside the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7. That’s because Google used the same ISP (image signal processor) technology as Apple revealed during the iPhone 7 announcement. When taking photos with Pixel, device CPU cooperates with ISP making captures quick as never before, at the same time collecting plenty of fine details in a wide variety of challenging lighting conditions.
Now, talking about the back side, it’s the main part of the device making it look more like iPhone. Furthermore, we don’t understand why Google decided to cover with glass only the top third of the phone’s rear side. According to company, the top part covering glass protects the 12.3MP main shooter, flash, laser autofocus sensor, secondary microphone and fingerprint reader. But anyway, how does the glass can protect camera surface with all its sensors when its a material which can’t deal with accidental scratches by itself. However, Google wisely protected their new signature “G” logo by placing it on the aluminum body side.
Both Pixel variants comes with 32/128GB capacity and with no microSD card socket, limiting users between two storage options available. Google devices are powered by a latest Snapdragon 821 processor, working along with 4GB RAM that makes a phone as fast as you’d expect. The care taken to tune performance and enhance touch responsiveness is evident in every second of use, proving that there’s nothing out there faster in the Android world.
Pixel XL has a larger integrated battery, but it’s not the strongest part for a both devices. Usually you’ll end the day with 30 or 20% battery left.
Android 7.1 is the first maintenance release for Nougat, adding features like “night light” mode for reducing eye strain at night, by putting an orange screen tint and new app shortcut options through a long press at the home screen. The former builds into the latest Android OS a feature we’ve seen something Apple recently added to iOS. And latter you’ll find out it’s basically a one dimensional copy of Apple’s 3D Touch implementation, letting you jump to specific areas of an app more quickly.
The last and the major thing is the price, which depends on the model capacity.
Pixel with 32BG storage costs $649. Those who prefer a bigger capacity, can get 128GB for $749.
Pixel XL that includes 32GB costs $769 and 128GB is available for $869.
2G GSM 850/900/1800/1900;
3G HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100;
4G LTE 700/800/850/900/1500/1700/1800/1900/2100/2300/2500/2600;
• Google Pixel dimensions 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5mm, weight 143g
• Google Pixel XL dimensions 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.5mm, weight 168g
• 16M colors AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution for 5.0 inch and 2560 x 1440 resolution for 5.5 inch
• Processor Quad-core (2×2.15 GHz Kryo and 2×1.6 GHz Kryo) with Adreno 530 GPU
• Chipset Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821
• 4GB RAM
• 32/128GB internal memory
• 12.3MP rear camera with 1/2.3″ sensor size and 1.55µm pixel size, featuring face detection, laser autofocus, touch focus, panorama, dual LED flash, HDR, video recording 2160@30fps, 1080@30/60/120fps, 720@240fps
• Front camera 8MP with f/2.4, 1/3.2″ sensor size and 1.4 µm pixel size, video recording 1080@30fps
• Bluetooth v4.2 with A2DP
• NFC (Near Field Communication)
• Android Nougat 7.1 operating system
• Accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, barometer, fingerprint sensor, proximity sensor
• Non-removable Li-Ion 2770mAh battery for a Google Pixel and 3450mAh for Google Pixel XL, both with quick charging function
• Available colors: very black, quite black, very silver, quite silver, really blue
Two brand new Pixel phones are beautifully crafted, but it’s a very safe design that won’t win any points for originality. Both devices has a lightning-fast performance and unique Android Nougat features you won't find on any other phone. At the same time, it's a eye-watering Google's priciest phones yet that don't come with a dust and water resistant certificate as its top rivals.