Following on from the live event on October 4th, we now have all we need to know about the Google Pixel phone.
Thanks to plenty of leaks and rumors before the event, most tech enthusiasts won’t be surprised to hear that Google has announced two brand new Android smartphones, named the Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL.
Both of these new smartphones offer a similar experience, however the XL variant has a larger display and a higher price point.
Even if the rumors and leaks hadn’t hit, there still wouldn’t be too much to get excited about, unfortunately. Unless, of course you’re interested in either the newly announced 4K Google Chromecast or Amazon Echo competitor Google Home.
What is the Google Pixel Phone?
Straight away something is made very clear about the Pixel phones, and I mentioned this in my earlier article about the devices. Both the Pixel and the Pixel XL look very similar to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. We’re not just talking build quality here, either.
It’s understandable for smartphones to look similar on a physical level – at the end of the day, every popular smartphone has the same overall shape, size and block color schemes.
Unfortunately, the Google Pixel phones feel tackier than the iPhone, it’s laughably like one of those budget Chinese iPhone knock-offs you tend to see floating around the internet.
The trouble is, the copying isn’t just on a physical level – the user interface has had a change and it looks scarily like iOS. Google has launched the Pixel phone with all of their latest and greatest Google apps. This includes things like Allo, Duo, etc.
All of these apps are essentially a straight rip of the most popular apps they’re competing against. The Allo app for example, is just like Facebook Messenger, whilst Duo offers a very similar experience to Facetime.
If Google are trying to compete against Apple with the Pixel phone, I personally think they’ve taken the wrong path. Why would an Apple user swap out for a smartphone that offers everything the iPhone can already offer?
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL Internal Hardware
This is where the Google Pixel and Pixel XL lineup can redeem itself. If a smartphone user is looking for a new Android phone that offers up a blank slate with incredible hardware to power it and regular software updates, then the Pixel lineup would be a perfect choice.
In contrast to my previous criticisms, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL have nailed the hardware department in every way possible.
Firstly, let’s start with the powerhouse that is the Snapdragon 821 – this chipset has a quad core, or more specifically, two Kryo dual-core setups for optimum power efficiency and high end performance. Couple that with the 4GB of RAM and there’s no doubt that all aspects of usage will be silky smooth.
It doesn’t stop there – the results we’ve seen from the 12 megapixel camera so far are incredibly impressive. The Pixel certainly has the chance to compete with the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 in camera performance.
No card slot is available, but a 128GB internal storage variant is up for grabs for both variants of the Pixel. Fingerprint reader, NFC for things like Android Pay and all that jazz are installed, and the display quality of each device is superb.
The Pixel XL has a 5.5 inch display and the standard Pixel display size is 5 inches. The Pixel XL resolution is 1440 x 2560 whilst the Pixel is just 1080 x 1920.
Both displays used AMOLED technology, which is seen as the absolute best of the best right now – just take a look at Samsung’s latest displays for proof of that.
The battery life is going to be pretty decent for both handsets, with a 3,450mAh battery for the 5.5 inch Pixel XL, and a 2,770mAh battery for the 5 inch standard Pixel.
There are a couple of areas that could have had improvement – with no additional slot for a microSD card, the option for expandable storage or dual sim functionality is cut out. Google could have easily opted to include this feature, but they’re too fixed on the idea that adding such a feature can take away from the user experience.
A 1440p display on the Google Pixel would have been nice too, but instead Google has made that exclusive to the Pixel XL.
Both the Pixel XL and the standard Pixel are incredibly pricey, too. You’re not going to be too happy with the price range if you’ve been a fan of the now discontinued Nexus range.
The prices perfectly reflect the costs of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, starting at $649 and $749 for the Pixel and the Pixel XL respectively.
I think that Google has all the right to charge this much for their new lineup but it’s going to be a big disappointment to the Android and Nexus fans out there. Take a read through our in-depth Google Pixel Phone preview here.
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