10.11.2016

Google Details Pixel Phones

A step in the right direction?

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Google’s Pixel phones hope to fight it out with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Nexus phone lines. The 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL will have exclusive features. By selecting its own components, Google will now have its own flagship instead of tweaking other company’s products into a Nexus. (Which is good considering Samsung’s exploding Note 7 devices).

So what about the specs? Both Pixel phones will have quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processors, with two cores running at 2.15GHz and two at 1.6GHz. The processors also get a boost from Qualcomm’ Hexagon technology, speeding up image and audio processing. With OLED screens, 4GB of memory and either 32 or 128GB of storage, these certainly sound like premium phones.

“With OLED screens, 4GB of memory and either 32 or 128GB of storage, these certainly sound like premium phones.”

The starting price of $649 for the Pixel 32GB model will match Apple’s iPhone 7 and Samsung’s Galaxy S7. The Pixel 128GB will retail for $749, and the Pixel XL will be $769 for 32GB and $869 for 128GB. Be warned, the Pixel phones will not have expandable memory. Google will instead provide unlimited photo and video cloud storage to purchasers.

The phones will come in three colors: “very silver”, “quite black” and “really blue”. Pixel phones will have a fingerprint reader on the back. They will also have fast battery charging and a 12.3 MP camera sensor (beating the iPhone’s 12 MP camera). The Pixel phones will be the first Daydream compatible phones. Daydream is Google’s latest affordable VR option, which includes a headset and remote for $79.

Google Assistant will be in the Pixel phones from the start and aim to be a central part of the software.”

Google Assistant will be in the Pixel phones from the start and, much like Microsoft’s Cortana, aim to be a central part of the software. The latest version of Android, 7.1 Nougat, will debut on the phone. During support calls, Google Support will be able to take remote control of your phone. And the best part of all? A headphone jack.

Google knows what it’s doing here. By making a phone brand which it controls exclusively, Google may be able to get away from some of Android’s historic problems. Slow to nonexistent manufacturer updates created a fragmented ecosystem. As a result, many Android users have given up on receiving the newest security patches. In the future, Google’s users may have less insecure OEM bloatware which they can’t remove from their devices. Anyone interested can pre-order one of the Pixel models here.

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