Google's own: Pixel and Pixel XL unveiled

Peter, 04 October 2016

If you've formed an emotional attachment to the Nexus brand, it's time to say goodbye. But this is good news - the legacy continues with the Pixel, a collaboration between Google and HTC, the same team that brought us both the original Android phone and the first Nexus.

Two phones - the Pixel and Pixel XL - cover the bases of size preference, 5" and 5.5" respectively. Both have AMOLED screens, with 1080p resolution for the small one (441ppi) and QHD for the big one (534ppi). Battery capacity is also different, 2,770mAh and 3,450mAh.

Beyond that, both Pixels are more similar than they are different. Qualcomm supplied a revamped chipset, the Snapdragon 821, Android 7.1 Nougat (yes, a point upgrade over what the LG V20 has) brings "sustained performance mode."

The camera boasts the same excellent qualities we loved on the last (ever?) pair of Nexus devices - 12MP sensor, 1.55µm pixels, f/2.0 aperture. But it adds Electronic Image Stabilization, which Google demoed on stage and looked pretty impressive.

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL have the same storage options - 32GB (for those that use Google Photos and Play Music) and 128GB (for those that prefer their data offline). By the way both Pixel phones get unlimited Google Photos storage for photos at full resolution.

Both come with 4GB of RAM - one better than the Nexus 6P, nothing extraordinary though a clean Android OS runs leaner.

While HTC built the phones, the Pixels branded only with the Google logo. And they are loaded to the teeth with Google services that cover everything from messaging, through cloud services to AI assistants. The search giant has a growing stable of self-branded devices - the Google phone can connect to a Google router and cast to a Google media player, you get the idea.

The Pixel brand debuted with the best Chromebook money can buy, then ventured into Android with the Pixel C tablet, clearly, it's a premium brand by Google. And the two phones are priced accordingly - they start $649 and will be available through a bunch of carriers and retailers. Check them out below. UK prices are £599/£699 for the 32GB/128GB Pixel and £719/£819 for the 32GB/128GB Pixel XL.

Pre-orders in the UK, US, Australia, Canada and Germany have already launched and in India will start on October 13, with actual sales beginning a week later, October 20. The phones will be available in Quite Black, Very Silver and Really Blue colors with the latter being a US exclusive.


Reader comments

Hi, thanks Paul, To be honest I don't mind the chin as I wouldn't press keys accidently and somewhere to hold. Another review said it grew on him too. The card slot doesn't bother be as plenty of storage and cloud. Actually my HTC A9 has 190gig ...

  • AnonD-569198
  • 19 Oct 2016
  • YdR

Thanks for the link. Here's why I think the Pixel line is run-of-the mill... No card slot Big chin with soft keys on the screen (Google, [err, HTC, cough] are you kidding?) Kind of thick Kind of heavy (granted, the nice-sized battery contr...

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