Google Announces the Google Pixel and Pixel XL

At their event held today, Google announced their two new flagship Android devices, the Google Pixel and the Pixel XL.  The announcement was of little surprise given the promotional information from Google indicated a phone-shaped device was on the offer as well as the countless leaks over the course of the past two weeks.  Still, the phones are now official and you will be able to pre-order yours starting today.  Pixel and Pixel XL general availability will be October 20th.

Google Pixel, it is a 5″ Full HD display with 441 ppi and protected by Gorilla Glass 4.  It is powered by the quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor running at 2.15GHz and that is coupled with 4GB of RAM.  The main camera is 12.3MP f/2.0 shooter with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) while the front camera will be an 8MP unit.  It will have all of the normal base features of a contemporary phone such as a fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C connector and NFC.  Yes, it will have a 3.5mm headphone jack too.  Interestingly, the phone will have two storage options:  32GB or 128GB and it will be powered by Android Nougat 7.1.

As for the larger Google Pixel XL, a lot of the same specifications carry over between it and the Pixel.  The XL will have a 5.5″ Quad HD display with 534 ppi so it is a bit better and obviously the

Google Pixel

chassis itself will be slightly larger.  However, from an internals perspective, they are pretty much the same:  Same processor, same RAM, same Storage, same Cameras and same base features.  The battery is slightly larger (3450 versus 2770 mAh) but overall, these phones are going to have a lot of the same things going on.  Frankly I like that.  You as a consumer decide which size device fits your needs best but you aren’t compromising other features or performance.

Both of these phones will come standard with Android Nougat 7.1.  That will be the first maintenance release for Nougat and it will have a lot of changes.  Google Now as we know it will be replaced with Google Assistant throughout the phone and you can get to Assistant by be doing a tap-and-hold the Home button and bring it up to get help with anything.  You will also be able to use “OK Google” to bring up the Assistant.

Pricing of the new Pixel lineup, it was a bit higher than most expected.  The 5″ Google Pixel will start at $649 for 32GB of storage while the Google Pixel XL will start at $849 for 32GB of storage.

For the first time, Google will have their phones in retail locations.  Google announced that Verizon will be selling the phone online and in their retail locations.  On-Contract prices for the Google Pixel will start at $199.  Verizon will have the exclusive on Pixel XL that was announced today but there is no indication on how long that exclusivity will last.  For those of you in Canada, Rodgers will be selling the Pixel line up and EE will be doing the same in the UK.  The phone will be available directly from Google unlocked and it is compatible with Project Fi and can be purchased on a payment plan through the service.

The Google Pixel lineup comes with Google Photos and Google Duo installed and Photos will come with free, unlimited storage of full resolution videos and images you upload.  This is something that other users pay for with their Google Drive storage.  It will also come with 24/7 support by phone or chat with a screen sharing feature so you can get support directly on the device.

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