Google has finally launched its own Pixel-branded smartphones as part of 'Made by Google' campaign to eliminate the need for outsourcing all research and development work on necessary hardware components for its flagship phones.
Designed by Google, the Pixel and Pixel XL phones come with aerospace-grade aluminium body and include a rear glass panel with 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 protection against accidental damage. The fingerprint scanner is now relocated at the rear of the device, which should come in handy for unlocking the phone or invoking the notification bar with a single swipe.
In its recent launch event, Google has officially claimed that its primary camera features a 12.3MP sensor with the highest-ever rating from DxOMark Mobile. Featuring both PDAF and LaserAF functions, its camera is expected to capture sharp and accurate snapshots with superior control on Auto Focus.
Although the Pixel phones lack the Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) feature, they enjoy superior image quality with improved Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS). With an improved Camera app, the Pixel phone is capable of taking multiple still-images in quick succession using the Smartburst mode.
Furthermore, the HDR+ feature on the camera enables you to take crisp and clear, high-resolution photos even in low-light conditions. There is no shutter lag on Pixel phones, unlike the previous Nexus phones.
Other salient features
The Pixel and Pixel XL phones feature the following specifications as confirmed from the official sources:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor chipset running at 2.15GHz
- Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB of RAM
- Available in 32GB and 128GB storage models
- 3.5mm audio-jack
- Android 7.1 Nougat pre-installed
- Smarter and efficient Google Assistant now replaces the original Google Now feature. Note: Just hit the Home button to bring up the Assistant.
Pricing and Availability
Both the Pixel and Pixel XL are up for pre-orders starting 4 October in the US, UK, Germany, Canada and Australia. The initial stocks for both these smartphones will hit the retail stores on 20 October.
Google Pixel is priced at USD $649 (SGD $890) while the XL variant starts at USD $769 in the US. There is no word on the phones' availability yet in Singapore.
Meanwhile, official sources have confirmed that pre-orders for Pixel phones will kick off on 13 October in India. Here are the pricing details for all the variants of Pixel phones in the sub-continent:
- 32GB Pixel: ₹57,000
- 128GB Pixel: ₹66,000
- 32GB Pixel XL: ₹67,000
- 128GB Pixel XL: ₹76,000
Where to buy in India
Both the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones can be bought via Flipkart, Reliance Digital and Croma. The stocks for the phone on all three outlets are expected to start selling from next week.
Where to buy in the US
The unlocked versions of the Pixel phone are available via Google Store (US) with the following pricing options:
- Pixel (32GB) in Very Silver, Quite Black or Really Blue: $649 or $27.04/month for 24 months with Google Store Financing
- Pixel (128GB) in Very Silver or Quite Black: $749 or $31.21/month for 24 months with Google Store Financing
- Pixel XL (32GB) in Very Silver, Quite Black or Really Blue: $769 or $32.04/month for 24 months with Google Store Financing
- Pixel XL (128GB) in Very Silver or Quite Black: $869 or $36.21/month for 24 months with Google Store Financing
Members of Project Fi can grab their favourite Pixel phone by just logging into their account and pre-ordering the phone via the member portal. Also, the customers will be eligible for a free Google Daydream headset worth $80 when they pre-order the Pixel device via Project Fi.
Google Pixel and Pixel XL can be bought via Best Buy and Verizon in the US, once the stocks are made available by these vendors.