With all of the leaks and articles floating about for the past week you may think you know about Google's newest phone already, but finally Pixel was revealed at today's keynote and what a nice product it is.
Both of the Pixel phones, the 5-inch and 5.5-inch, are made out of aluminium with a glass window at the back surrounding the camera, fingerprint sensor (Pixel Imprint), and flash. Both devices have 4 GB of RAM, USB-C, 32 or 128 GB storage, Bluetooth, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Nice jab, Google.
The Keynote was arranged in five elements:
Google Assistant is essentially Google's Siri – but if Siri had an older, more successful sister. The app is a highly knowledgeable, highly intelligent piece of kit which features machine learning, so the more you use it the more useful it'll become to you personally. Using your 'hot' word you can get your Google Assistant to pull up photos/files from specific dates, find locations, text people, and make restaurant reservations. It's nearly perfect.
Top of the class camera
Where the iPhone keynote spent well over half an hour chatting about how amazing their camera is, Google has drifted in and dropped the mic, showing us how it's done with a simple rundown. Both the Pixel and Pixel XL rear cameras scored 89 in DxOMark – that's higher than the Note 7, iPhone 7, and, well, anything in the field. With a 12.3 megapixel resolution, Brian Rakowski gave us the rundown on how it trumps other phones on the market, including Smart Burst, HDR+, and 0% shutter lag. Pixel's camera has the shortest capture time out there as well as a pretty impressive video auto-stabilisation feature.
Unlimited Cloud storage
Yes, you read that right. Google offers free, unlimited storage for full-resolution images and videos shot with the Pixel. That takes a lot of pressure off of snap-happy photo fiends and up-and-coming videographers.
Google has been extremely attentive to customer needs with this upcoming build as updates, customer care, and communication have been looked into. 24/7 customer care is now inbuilt into Pixel, letting you contact someone if there's an issue – that includes optional screen share to show them exactly what's going on. Google Duo, a new video calling app, also comes preinstalled and has a cool feature which livestreams your contact before you pick up the phone. It sounds creepy when I write it like that, but it's pretty cool.
Other features such as quick switch, automatic updates (which now download in the background), and fast charging are also available. The fast charging lets you get an incredible seven hours of battery in just 15 minutes; perfect for the forgetful, on-the-go types.
Built for VR
With this new generation of smart phones, it's nice to see that VR is no longer an addition but rather a necessity in the product's designs. Google's own headset, Google Daydream, is a truly beautiful bit of kit and you can read about it in a separate article here.
As announced to an array of applause, the phones come in three colours: Quite Black, Really Blue, and Very Silver. Very good. Pre-orders opened today as the prices start at $649 for the smaller of the two at 32 GB, and that price increases to $749 at 120 GB. The Pixel XL starts at $769 for the 32 GB model and increases to a whopping $869 for 120 GB of storage. You can also pay monthly, as per the usual spiel.