Google Pixel Phones: Everything You Should Know

Published: 6 October 2016

How does the new Google Pixel smartphone stack up against the competition?

We finally got our first look at the new Google smartphones in the form of the Pixel and the Pixel XL.

It did take several months of rumors, but as far as the payoff is concerned, it was more than enough.

Let’s not forget the fact that these smartphones are considered to be a surprisingly huge deal for Google as a company.

Google intends to take some smartphone market share away from the likes of Samsung and Apple and hence the company has tried to move away from its previous Google Nexus brand name.

That’s right, Google Pixel smartphone brand is the first flagship Android smartphone from Google after the company’s Nexus lineup.

Of course, Google Pixel is more than just a name change. The Google Pixel smartphones comprehensively reflect Google’s grandest of ideas yet regarding how users should interact with their smartphone devices.

With that said, there is no doubt about the fact that the new Google Pixel still has many of the same attributes that were central to the success of Google Nexus smartphones.

To start off, Google Pixel smartphones offer little to no wireless carrier alterations. In other words, there aren’t a whole lot of customization options as far as the general user interface is concerned.

On the positive side though, this makes Google Pixel the most pure form of Android smartphone that you are likely to find in the entire mobile phone market.

And as is the case with all Google-branded smartphones, Google Pixel will be among the first smartphone devices to receive new updates when Google finally rolls them out sometime in the very near future.

But the even more significant aspect of Google Pixel smartphones is that, these smartphones will be the first smartphones which would make use of Google Assistant.

Google Assistant is Google’s answer, sort of, to Apple’s Siri. In other words, Google Assistant is Google’s new artificially intelligent digital personal computer assistant that basically aids Android smartphone users to get their work done quickly and more efficiently.

Android smartphone users can utilize Google Assistant to speed up tasks such as searching for photos or videos or to even make plans with friends and family.

As indicated before, Google Assistant is quite similar to Apple’s Siri, but the most paramount difference between the two AI-enabled digital personal assistants is that Google Assistant is powered by the mighty Google search engine.

That essentially puts Google Assistant miles ahead of the competition let alone Apple’s Siri. Using Google search engine, Google Assistant can respond quickly to more complex questions and carry out more intricate tasks when compared to other AI-enabled digital personal assistants such as Apple Siri.

Users can activate Google Assistant on the new Pixel smartphones by simply uttering the words “OK Google”.

The alternate method of switching on the service is to just press and hold the home button on the smartphones.


Google will now offer Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL.

After the company showcased how the Assistant worked with the new smartphone handsets, it became clear that it didn’t matter if you were working inside an application or on your smartphone’s home screen, you can call the Assistant for guidance or some help with your current tasks.

The Assistant can facilitate in chores such as finding things and answering questions. For example, you can call out the Assistant by saying “show me my photos from last September” and it will pop up images that are stored on your smartphone.

If you happen to have a lot of smart devices spread all over your house then the assistant can prove to be immensely helpful in operating all compatible devices. Moreover, the Assistant can also make it simpler to search for and find specific files on your smartphone.

As indicated before, the assistant can also help you make plans with your friends around the city and even suggest suitable places.

The obvious question is why would people, who bought the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X last year, be interested in the new Pixel smartphones?

The answer lies in the fact that Pixel smartphones not only offer the same features as the previous iteration of Google’s flagship smartphone but also improves upon it with subtle, but important, upgrades.

And the presence of the fingerprint sensor at the back is likely to draw Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X owners to the new Pixel smartphone.

Some might say that a fingerprint sensor at the back is an awkward design choice on part of Google but the practical usage of the device indicates otherwise.

The rear-facing reader (the fingerprint sensor) is definitely more intuitive to use than the alternative of pressing (or placing) the thumb on a home button.

Plus, many users have expressed the fact that the fingerprint sensor at the back is incredibly easy to get accustomed to.


Will Google Pixel be as successful as Google Nexus? Only time will tell.

Unlike the new iPhone 7 smartphones from Apple, the Pixel smartphones, thankfully, did not ditch the 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Wired headphone users might be relieved to hear this news but there is little doubt that the 3.55 headphone jack is on its way out sooner rather than later.

Needless to say, the Pixel smartphones are essentially made to challenge the ascendancy of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

The good news is that, from what we’ve seen, the Pixel smartphones certainly give the Apple iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus smartphones a good run for their money as far as the hardware configuration is concerned.

In other words, the Pixel smartphones’ hardware can compete with the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus smartphones.

So what you might ask? Do the Pixel smartphones look like they can  rival Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in terms of user experience or accessibility?

Well, as mentioned earlier, the Pixel smartphones do stack up well against the iPhone smartphones in terms of hardware but they don’t have the extra “lure” features that the iPhone 7 offers such as waterproof and dustproof.

The fact that most other Android smartphones have managed to offer these two features before doesn’t help the Pixel smartphones’ case to look something out of the ordinary.

And perhaps we should mention it again that both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus offer features such as waterproof and dustproof because it makes Google’s decision of not offering these features all the more mystifying.


Google Pixel will be able to challenge Apple in terms of raw power.

Of course, Google’s decision to stick with the 3.5 mm headphone jack will help the new Pixel smartphones attract more people towards it but as some industry expert have already pointed out: you should leave the 3.5 mm headphone jack alone (because it is bound to die) and should concentrate on more important smartphone attributes.

All of that should not sway us away from the actual reality that the Pixel smartphones come with significant hardware upgrades when compared to last year Nexus mobile devices.

To start off, both the Pixel and the Pixel XL will ship with a Snapdragon 821 processor which is a pretty powerful processor by any measure.

Thanks to such a giant of a processor the new Pixel smartphones should have little to no problem in running 4K video. The Pixel smartphone should also be able to run multiple application a lot more smoothly than the company’s previous mobile devices such as Nexus 6P, which is powered by a Snapdragon 810 processor.

However, the Pixel XL does not outrank Nexus 6P in terms of screen size. The Nexus 6P smartphone device shipped with a 5.7-inch screen while the Pixel XL is expected to ship with a 5.5-inch display.

Is that really a downgrade for the Pixel XL smartphone when compared to the Nexus 6P smartphone?

Not really. The Pixel XL smartphone, even with the smaller screen size, still manages to display the same resolution of 1440 x 2560 that won the Nexus 6P mobile device so much praise.

And, of course, because of the smaller screen size and the same resolution, Google Pixel XL smartphone manages to hit a higher pixel density than Google Nexus 6P mobile device.

As far as the end user is concerned, the new Google Pixel XL smartphone should be able to output a sharper picture on the smaller screen.

Coming to the smaller Google Pixel smartphone that has a display size of only 5-inches, it’s clear that Google Pixel smartphone is aimed at the same crowd of mobile users as Google Nexus 5X was, last year.

The smaller Google Pixel smartphone comes with a display resolution of 1920 x 1080 and hence only manages to, somewhat, match Google Nexus 5X’s resolution which came out last year.  

But as is the case with Google Pixel XL smartphone, the Google Pixel smartphone will be able to reach higher pixel density than Google Nexus 5X.

Of course, the difference will be marginal and 99 percent of the smartphone users won’t be able to distinguish between the display quality of Google Pixel and Google Nexus 5X.

If we turn our attention to the , all important, camera on the new Google Pixel smartphones and how it stack up against the one on the previous edition of Google smartphones then the results seem encouraging.

Both the new Google Pixel smartphones will ship with a 12-MP rear (primary) camera which will be able to satisfy any and all needs of the average smartphone users.

But readers should not assume that Google Pixel smartphone camera would be able to compete with the iPhone 7 (no sense in comparing it with the camera on iPhone 7 Plus) camera or even with the other premium smartphone cameras such as Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone camera.


Google Pixel smartphones will come in various shapes and sizes.

The reason being that Google Pixel smartphone camera has a f/2.0 lens while the iPhone 7 smartphone camera has a f/1.8 lens. And just for comparison’s sake, the camera on Samsung Galaxy S7 has a f/1.7 lens on its camera.

One really has to wonder if this was the reason why Google held back on boasting about Google Pixels camera capabilities.

Moreover, the Google Pixel smartphones supposedly managed to earn an 89 DXOMark Mobile rating. This effectively puts the new Google Pixel smartphones at the number one spot in terms of DXO Mark Mobile ratings. In other words, no other smartphone has been able to achieve the same rating as Google Pixel smartphones.

According to official sources, that is Google sources, the camera on Google Pixel smartphone is the best camera that has ever been put on a smartphone device.

Of course, no one really needs to believe that unless and until it is tested out in the real world.

Other features that aren’t worth a mention but we’ll still go ahead and mention them, include USB-C ports for charging purposes.

The USB-C ports are still quite rare in the mobile industry but all power to Google Pixel smartphone for going ahead with this decision.

This is probably the one area with Google has managed to stay ahead of its competition since both Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung iPhone 7 do not support USB-C ports for charging purposes.

With Google Pixel smartphone adopting the USB-C ports, the case for USB-C port to be made the industry standard USB ports will get stronger and more people will start to adopt the new USB ports.

About a thousand words back in this article, we mentioned a certain good news about Google Pixel smartphones hardware. Don’t worry, you don’t need to remember it right now because the only reason we’ve referred that good news is that, we have finally reached the bad news.

The bad news, and it is one heck of a bad news, is that Google Pixel smartphone will be exclusive to Verizon.

Of course, for the end users it means, whoever isn’t on Verizon, won’t get the new Google smartphones.

But as far as Google Pixel smartphones are concerned, this means that Google will probably fall short of making Google Pixel smartphones, mainstream smartphones.

And since every cloud has a silver lining, the silver lining here is that Google will offer the new Pixel smartphone, unlocked, in Google Store.

Just don’t expect Google Pixel smartphone to come any cheaper than the iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy S series phone.

Google Pixel smartphones will start at $650 and you can pre-order any of the two models starting from today.




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