The rumor mill has been abuzz the past couple of months with leak after leak coming out against Google’s Pixel smartphones. Well, at an event held today, the company finally put an end to those rumors by unveiling the real deal: the Pixel, and Pixel XL.
Let’s get right into the specs. The Pixel and Pixel XL are close to being identical under-the-hood, with the biggest difference between the two being the size; the non-XL is a 5-inch device, while the XL bumps things up to 5.5-inch (a sweet spot, in my personal opinion). Another improvement that the XL has is that it sports a 1440p screen, to give us an effective ppi of 534. That’s compared to the non-XL’s 1080p screen, with effective 441 ppi.
The XL has another bonus: thanks to its larger frame, it can also house a larger battery: 3450mAh vs. 2770mAh. While the larger screen is sure to suck down more battery, the XL still boasts better battery-life promises: 32 hours talk time, vs. 26 hours, and 14 hours Internet time vs. 13 hours.
Other hardware includes 4GB of LPDDR4 memory, 32GB and 128GB options (ugh… 64GB is a sweet spot!), and Qualcomm’s highest-end SoC, the Snapdragon 821, a 2+2 chip clocked at 2.15GHz+1.6GHz.
The phones sport a 12.3 megapixel camera at the rear, and an 8 megapixel one at front. With these, 1080p footage can be captured up to 120 FPS, 720p up to 240 FPS, and 4K at 30 FPS.
Another thing worth noting: both phones include a USB-C port, but unlike most other USB-C phones out there, it supports USB 3.0 transfers. As long as the internal storage can keep up, that should significantly help with copying movies or whatever else from your PC over to the device.
As you’d probably expect, both the Pixel and Pixel XL are fully supported “Daydream” phones, so you can take advantage of Google’s VR ecosystem should you get a solution like the brand-new Daydream headset.
Perhaps the most notable feature of these new phones is Google Assistant, a smart piece of AI that helps you find specific information on your phone. You simply touch and hold the Home button, and then ask it to bring up photos from a specific period, play music, and so on and so forth. This is an obvious evolution of Google Now, and could be considered really awesome, or really scary, depending on your viewpoint.
Other perks: unlimited cloud storage from Google for all photos and videos captured with the device (even 4K video), built-in support (which allows official Google tech support to see what’s on your screen), and a thumb print reader at the back. That latter feature is the only one I don’t care for on this phone; I can’t picture it being that convenient to unlock a phone at the back (with your index finger, for example), when our thumbs are typically going to be right beside the Home button. Perhaps it’s something that has to be used to be appreciated, but I can’t help but feel like the Home button would have been a better location for a finger print reader (based on experience with multiple phones that had one there).
So… pricing. The standard Pixel will cost $649 for the 32GB model, whereas the XL bumps that to $769 for the same amount of storage. The top-dog 128GB Pixel XL will cost $869. If you want one, you’re able to pre-order it today as long as you live in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, or Australia. Preorders in India will begin on October 13.