Top 10 Things You Must Know about Google's Pixel Smartphone
Article by George Norman
On 05 Oct 2016
Google’s October 4 event in San Francisco did not disappoint. The company presented several Made by Google products, including the brand new Pixel smartphone.

Let me quickly take you over the 10 most important things you need to know about this phone.


1. The Pixel name isn’t new

If the name Pixel sounds familiar, it’s because Google has used it before. You might remember 2013’s Chromebook Pixel or 2015’s Pixel C, the first ever Android tablet built end-to-end by Google.

Google always uses the Pixel name when it wants to highlight that a product offers a "premium Google experience."

2. Pixel replaces Nexus

The closest you could get to a pure Google experience was by getting a Nexus smartphone. Built by Google’s hardware partners, it featured a stock, clean version of Android.

With Pixel, Google decided to do the hardware and the software, meaning that the Pixel is the first phone made by Google inside and out.

And now that Google rolled out the Pixel smartphone, it has no interest in releasing new Nexus devices. Google has pulled the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P from the Google Store and has officially confirmed that it has no plans to create another Nexus-branded device.

3. HTC is Google’s manufacturing partner

Pixel might be the first phone made by Google inside and out, but this doesn’t mean that Google manufacturers it on its own. Google’s official manufacturing partner for the Pixel is none other than HTC.

HTC is to Google as Foxconn is to Apple. HTC and Foxconn manufacture the devices, based on the instructions they get from Google and Apple. It’s Google and Apple who handle the design and oversee everything, HTC and Foxconn just handle the manufacturing process.

4. The Pixel has a bigger brother

Google has two Pixel models to offer: Pixel and Pixel XL. The Pixel has a 5-inch FHD AMOLED display at 441ppi and a 2,770mAH battery. The Pixel XL has a 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display at 534ppi and a 3,450mAH battery.

That’s what separates the Pixel from the Pixel XL – the display and battery. Apart from that, the two devices feature the same hardware. Speaking about that…

5. The Pixel is a powerhouse

Unlike the mid-range Nexus phones, the new Pixel is a powerhouse. Taking a look at the tech specs, we notice that it has a Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor, 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, 32GB or 128GB of storage space, 12.3MP main camera, 8MP front camera, USB Type-C, and a back-mounted fingerprint sensor.

All these hardware components are in a metal unibody with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on the front display and back glass to accent the aerospace grade aluminum body.

6. No other phone has a better camera

If you think that the iPhone 7 has a great camera, get ready for a shock. According to DxOMark, the trusted industry standard for camera and lens image quality measurements and ratings, the Pixel has the better camera, not the iPhone 7.

While the iPhone 7 got a DxOMark score of 86, the Pixel got a DxOMark score of 89. "The Google Pixel takes some of the very best images we have seen from any smartphone we have ever tested," said DxOMark.

So, while the iPhone 7 has an amazing camera and the best camera on any iPhone so far, the Pixel has a better camera, better than any camera on any phone.

7. Pixel customers get unlimited Google Photos storage

Don’t regular Google Photos users get unlimited storage? Yes, but there’s a catch: photos with a resolution higher than 16MP will be downsized to 16MP; and videos over 1080p will be reduced to 1080P. You get unlimited storage, but only if you don’t go over a certain size.

There are no size limitations for Pixel customers. They get free unlimited storage for original quality photos and videos at full resolution in Google Photos.

8. The color options are hilarious

I always roll my eyes when companies take themselves too seriously and announce colors such as Jet Black (iPhone 7), Black Onyx (Galaxy S7), or Black Sapphire (Galaxy S6).

The Pixel’s color options did not make me roll my eyes, they made me laugh. You see, the 3 color options for the Pixel smartphone are: Very Silver, Quite Black and Really Blue.

9. Google Assistant is built into Pixel

Google Assistant, the company’s new voice-activated digital personal assistant, is built into the Pixel smartphone. You can use it to check the weather, get the latest sports scores, set reminders, play music, find photos, and so on.

Google presented Assistant at I/O 2016 and rolled it out as a preview alongside Allo. Allo by the way, is pre-installed on the Pixel. So is Duo.

10. The Pixel has a Quick Switch Adapter

If you want to switch from Android to iPhone, Apple has an app that will help you transfer all your stuff: Move to iOS.

If you want to switch from an iPhone to the brand new Pixel, Google offers a Quick Switch Adapter, a dedicated adapter for transferring data from iOS to Android. Connect your iPhone to your Pixel, sign into your Google account, and transfer all your contacts, photos, music, calendar events, even iMessages.

Pricing and availability

The Pixel is priced at $649 for the 32GB model and $749 for the 128GB one.
The Pixel XL is priced at $769 for 32GB and $849 for 128GB.

Pre-orders have already kicked off in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and Australia. Pre-orderds will begin on October 13 in India.

Pre-order the new Pixel and Google will throw in the new Daydream View VR headset.

The Pixel arrives in stores and online on October 20. It ships with the newest version of Android, Android 7.1 Nougat.

Tags: Google, Pixel, Android, smartphone
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

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