The moment we all have been waiting for has finally arrived. After days of rumours and speculations, Google has finally launched its first smartphone, which has been made by the web giant itself -- completely. After years of partnership with renowned manufacturers in the Nexus series, Pixel marks the beginning of a new era for Google.
Like any other flagship smartphone in the market, Google has carefully selected the best of specs for its phone. Google Pixel challenges the likes of Apple iPhone 7 series, Samsung Galaxy S7 and Note 7 series, Moto Z series and others.
Google's flagship come in two variants -- Pixel and Pixel XL. As anyone can guess, the difference between the two is the screen size and resolution. But both the phones remain identical at large. The Pixel smartphone has a 5-inch Full HD display and the Pixel XL sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD screen. These phones are designed by HTC with aluminium and glass construction, but Google takes full credit.
Let's take a look at the best features of the Pixel phones.
Who doesn't love a great camera. Pixel smartphones ensure its users get optimum camera experience any time. There is a 12.3MP primary camera, which has an aperture of f/2.0 and 1.55 micron pixels for excellent low-light photography.
According to Google, Pixel smartphones have "the shortest capture time on any mobile camera ever." The lack of OIS (optical image stabilisation) for still shots is compensated by gyroscope-based video stabilisation. But the rear camera in these phones have the highest ever scores of 89 in DxOMark.
Other notable features of the Pixel camera include PDAF, Laser AF, 4K video capture and broad spectrum CRI-90 dual LED flash. On the front side of the phones, there is an 8MP camera sensor with f/2.8 aperture and 1.4 micron pixels with Full HD capture.
We will reserve our final judgement of the phone's camera until we get a hands-on.
Everything about cloud
The benefit of being a software company is that there are limits to adding features that other companies might shy away from. Google Pixel phones come with unlimited storage for full-resolution photos and videos shot from their camera. This also holds good for 4K videos shot on the new phone, so there is really no need to worry about running short of memory after recording a lengthy video in a concert. Unlimited cloud storage compensates for the missing microSD card.
Google Pixel smartphones are the first phones to have Daydream compatibility, a platform built exclusively for smartphone-based VR. To enjoy virtual reality, Google also launched its Daydream View, a VR headset which holds the phone. There is also a dedicated controller, which according to Google is so precise users can draw with it.
Daydream View, however, will be compatible with other Android phones in the future. It will be available for $80 in November, which is fairly low compared to Samsung's $100 Gear VR.
And of course, the latest Android updates are the perks of phones made by Google. Pixel is powered by the latest Android 7.1 Nougat out-of-the-box and will get security and software updates as and when they are available. The Pixel phones have Google Duo and Allo, video and instant messaging services, preloaded.
Google updates will be easier henceforth as they will run in the background, so you can use your phones during the process.
Google Assistant at your service
Move over Siri, because Google Assistant is here. Pixel phones are the first ones to have built-in Google Assistant. With a simple "Ok Google" command, users can have a natural conversation with Google, get answers for any questions and get things done with ease. A few examples of the tasks that Google Assistant can help with are "Look up traffic on the way home from work", "show me my camping photos with Andrew", and if you get a message from a friend asking you to meet up at a pub, then simply say "navigate me there."
This is indeed one of the top features that we are keen to try out in real world and see how good Google responds.
If you are interested in knowing the rest of the features of the Pixel phones, take a look at the complete spec-sheet below:
Display: 5-inch Full HD (Pixel), 5.5-inch QHD (Pixel XL) AMOLED, oleophobic coating and Gorilla Glass 4.
Camera: 12.3MP primary camera with f/2.0 aperture, 1.55 micron pixels, PDAF, Laser AF, 4K video, dual LED flash and 8MP front snapper with f/.24 aperture, 1.4 micron pixels.
Processor: 2.15GHz+1.6GHz 64-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset.
GPU: Adreno 530
RAM: 4G LPDDR4
Battery: 2,770mAh (Pixel) and 3,450mAh (Pixel Plus) with fast charging support.
Connectivity: USB Type-C, USB 3.0 data transfer,4G LTE with 3x carrier aggregation, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac.
Add-ons: Fingerprint scanner, IP53 water resistance, 24/7 built-in customer support.
Software: Android 7.1 Nougat.
Colours: Very Silver, Quite Black, Really Blue.
When will the Pixel phones be available in India?
Pixel and Pixel XL are up for pre-orders in the U.S., UK, Canada, Germany and Australia. The Pixel is priced at $649 (approx. Rs. 43,000) for 32GB variant and $749 (approximately Rs. 50,000) for 128GB, while the Pixel XL 32GB costs $769 (approximately Rs. 51,000) and $769 (approximately Rs. 51,000) for 128GB model.
But the pre-orders for Google phones in India will begin on October 13. The Pixel 32GB variant will cost Rs. 57,000 in India, the 128GB will be priced Rs. 66,000. The Pixel XL starts at Rs. 67,000 for the 32GB model and the high-end 128GB variant costs Rs. 76,000. The phones will be available on Flipkart, Reliance Digital, Croma and other offline retailers towards the end of October.