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Google Pixel and Pixel XL: Here’s what you need to know


This is it! Google has pulled the covers off their brand new smartphones — the Pixel and Pixel XL — and they’re pretty much everything you’d want in a flagship Android smartphone plus a little more. Ready? Let’s dive in.


Google’s Pixel is the first smartphone that’s #madebygoogle. This 5-inch device comes with a Full HD AMOLED panel in front, tucked under the protective arm of Gorilla Glass 4. Inside, it’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor paired to 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a choice of 32GB or 128GB of internal storage. Other hardware features include a 2,770 mAh battery with support for fast charging (15 mins gives 7 hrs of talk time) via USB Type-C, a Pixel Imprint fingerprint scanner and a 3.5mm headphone jack.


Now all that sounds great, but Google also wants you to focus on their brand new smartphone’s “best in class” camera. This primary shooter is a 12.3-megapixel snapper with an f/2.0 aperture lens and optical image stabilisation. Similar to the Nexus 6P, Pixel’s camera has large 1.55 micron pixels for better low-light performance. In fact, this camera is so good that Google says it received a DxOMark score of 89 — the highest score they’ve ever given to a smartphone. In front, the Pixel gets an 8-megapixel selfie camera with large 1.4-micron pixels and an f/2.4 aperture lens.


If you want a larger device, Google’s new smartphone also comes in a larger 5.5-inch form factor called the Pixel XL. This particular device shares a lot of the hardware specs with the Pixel — including the same Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, the 12.3MP/8MP cameras as well either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage — with only a few differences.

Of course the biggest difference between them would be the display as the Pixel XL comes with a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED panel that boasts a massive 534 ppi. It also gets a larger 3,450 mAh battery to go alongside its higher resolution display.

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Hardware specifications aren’t the only thing that’s shared across both Pixel smartphones, however. Besides shipping out-of-the-box with Android 7.1 Nougat with Pixel Launcher — though, Google says it will only provide OS updates for 2 years — both Pixels also get the brand new Google Assistant built-in, which is designed to be at the heart of all of Google’s brand new devices.


This new Assistant can be accessed by saying “Ok Google” or by holding down the home button. It also integrates Now On Tap functionality, which now requires a swipe up after holding down the home button, with new graphics to represent the new Assistant.

Google’s Assistant is also designed to be personal so it knows, when you ask it to play music for example, which default application to play it from, be it Spotify or YouTube. What’s more, you can also use the Google Assistant to make reservations at restaurants using only your voice via applications that are already installed on your Google Pixel.


Pixel also comes with Google’s new Duo chat application pre-installed. Users who pick up the Google Pixel smartphones will also have unlimited storage on Google Photos, allowing them to store photos and 4K videos on the cloud without compression restrictions.

When it comes to connectivity, the Pixel will have 4G LTE connectivity (via a nano SIM slot), NFC, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO dual-band WiFi, a digital compass, GPS and GLONASS as well as Bluetooth 4.2. The handset also features 24/7 live phone support that’s built right into the device’s software. With this support, a tech support operator can see exactly what’s on your screen and help you solve your problem better.

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Google’s Pixel is also the first Daydream-ready smartphone which you can use with Google’s newly announced Daydream View VR headset. Google really wants you to switch to their new Pixel smartphones so they’ve included a Quick Switch Adapter that works with both iPhone and Android devices.


The search engine giant isn’t compromising on build quality either as both handsets come with an anodised aluminium unibody design that looks pretty darn seamless. The only standout bit would be the large glass window that occupies 1/3 of the smartphone’s back. Google says it gives the Pixel character, but from the pictures, it just looks a little silly. Still, I didn’t like the Nexus 6P’s visor and look how things have changed since I first saw it.


According to The Verge, the Google Pixel will be priced at USD649 (about RM2,697) for the 32GB model and USD 749 (around RM3,111) for the 128GB model while the Pixel XL will see a price tag of USD769 (around RM3,194) for the 32GB model and USD869 (around RM3,612) for the 128GB model. Both smartphones will come in a choice of three colours called Quite Black, Very Silver and a limited edition Really Blue.

For more information on the device itself, check out Google’s product page.

Thoughts? Leave them in the comments below.