Google Pixel and Pixel XL Official review: The iPhone 7 main rival

At an official press by google event placed in San Francisco, Google has announced the new high-end mobile Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. In fact, the Pixel line is the new official flagship, suggesting that Nexus brand line will be no more.

Now you will need to be interested what makes Google’s phones special. Nicely to sum it all up, the Pixel and Pixel XL have been produced with a very important task in mind – to bring the best of Google to our fingertips.

These are gear built by Google – both on the outside and on the inside. They are produced to be powerful, yet easy to use; good-looking, yet inviting and simple in nature. Let’s look the main Google Pixel features.

Google Pixel Hardware

google pixel
google pixel

Pixel phone hardware specs were far from the highlight of Google’s event, but we should include them here anyway. The “brain” of the Pixel and Pixel XL is a Snapdragon 821 SoC. As one of Qualcomm’s most powerful mobile chips, it rocks two high-performance 2.15GHz cores backed by two low-power cores ticking at up to 1.6GHz. The 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM should prove sufficient, even in the lengthy run. Both phones will come with either 32 or 128GB of storage – non-expandable, to no surprise.

Curiously, there’s a Type-C to Type-A USB connector in the box. It can be used to connect various gear to the Pixel handsets, for example USB drives and pointing hardware. The objective of the adapter, however, is to make it easier to transfer data from your old phone over to your new, shiny Pixel phone.

By the way, the Pixel and Pixel XL feature 3.5-millimeter audio jacks. Just saying.

Software perks: Google Assistant, Daydream VR support, and more

Google Pixel Design

Google Pixel design
Google Pixel design

The two phones are made of polished aluminum, with glass coating the front and the upper part of the back. The curves and subtle wedges on the sides are there to make the handsets easier to handle, while the camera lens lies flush with the handset’s surface.

At the back of both Pixel models resides a touch-type fingerprint readers – the Pixel Imprint, as Google calls it. Of course, its function is to protect your phone towards prying eyes, but a few handy extras have been also built into the programs. Swipe down on it, for instance, and your notification solar panel will be brought down.

Furthermore, the Pixel and Pixel XL will come in three peculiarly known as colors: Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue. Keep in mind that the last color option will be available in the US only. Live pictures will be sold at the Play Store, in case you’re interested.

As you can probably guess, the Google Pixel will be the smaller of the two handsets. It is equipped with a 5-inch display of the AMOLED variety, with 1080 by 1920 pixels of resolution. As for the larger Pixel XL, its front is graced by a 5.5-inch, 1440×2560-pixel AMOLED solar panel. Oddly, both are protected by Gorilla Glass 4, even though Gorilla Glass 5 has been out for a few months. Perhaps Google chose the sophisticated scratch resistance of the former over the toughness of the latter.

Google Assistant

google pixel-assistant
google pixel-assistant

Software is a crucial purchase point for the Pixel and Pixel XL. Google’s Phones will launch with Orroid 7.1 Nougat, as expected. On top of it will be Google’s own launcher, and Google’s Assistant comes baked into the experience. Think of the latter as Google Now on steroids, with the ability to interact with the user in a natural manner. You can ask it to postal mail texts, to provide directions to make reservations, and a ton of other cool stuff. Or the more you use it the better it gets.

Both the Pixel and Pixel XL are compatible with Daydream VR, producing them the first phones to support the feature. What this means is that programs and hardware work in tandem to produce a next-generation mobile VR experience – with greater precision and responsiveness.

That’s not the only programs perk coming with the Pixel phones. For the following the following example icons have this new circular shape, which is a rather odd alter if you ask us. In addition to that, we noticed that the Google Bar permanently stuck on the top of the home screen has been removed.

Pixel Camera:

Smartburst, HDR+, limitless storage for all your photos

Google Pixel Camera
Google Pixel Camera

Camera high quality is a priority for most smartphone users, and Google brags boldly about the imaging capabilities of its Pixel and Pixel XL. Their snappers are built about the Sony IMX378 image sensor, which has 12.3MP of resolution and 1.55um pixels to capture more light. Phase-detection autofocus is supported, unsurprisingly, enabling near-instant snaps. The optics come with an aperture of F2.0, which is not the widest we’ve noticed on a phone, but should produce sufficiently whitened night-time images. Hardware is just one half of the whole story, however.

The Pixel phones come with a fast, top-notch camera and free image backup

The cameras on the Pixel and Pixel XL are altered by some mighty fast and powerful programs, it seems. Smartburst is one of the new amenities that have been baked in. As the name implies, it selects the sharpest, clearest images when shooting bursts – nothing new per se, but still nice to have out of the box. You just maintain the shutter crucial to take a Smartburst.

Meanwhile, the refined HDR+ algorithms are now produced to work in a broader collection of light conditions. With HDR+ enabled, a series of images at groups of short exposures are taken and fused into a single, enhanced image. As HDR+ creates no shutter lag, it is on by default.

Videos shot with the Pixel and Pixel XL can be enhanced by their sophisticated stabilization algorithms. No, there’s no optical image stabilization at play, but the programs stabilization promises near-excellent results. It really works in tandem with the phone’s gyroscope to correct for every shake of the handset.

Since Google expects Pixel phone experts to use its camera a lot, it is giving them limitless cloud storage for full resolution image backup. That covers film as well. Indeed your 4K films will be backed up in 4K, so that they don’t eat up precious storage room on the handset itself.

Pixel Price and release date

Google Pixel
Google Pixel

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL will launch worldwide – both unlocked and via carriers. In the US, the two will be given as Verizon exclusives starting at $27.08 and $32.08 per month, respectively. Both are up on the carrier’s web page, in case you’re interested. In Canada, you’ll be able to grab the Pixel phones via Rogers, Telus, Bell, or Wireless Wave. For the following the following purchaseers in Europe, we’d suggest heading over to your local Deutche Telekom, EE, or Dixons Carphone outlet. Or in Australia, Telstra will be the carrier to offer Google’s new handsets.

Of course, the Pixel and Pixel XL will be available unlocked as well. Head over to the Play Store to get one, as pre-orders are already live in the US (with the blue one out of stock). Pricing starts at $650 for the Pixel and $770 for the XL. Add another $100 to get 128GB instead of the base 32GB. Retailers like Leading Buy and Flipkart will also carry the phones in their brick and mortar stores.