After years of yearning from many a Nexus fan, Google’s first “Made by Google” Android-powered smartphones are official: the Pixel and Pixel XL.
Sharing the name of Google’s own first-party Chromebook, the Pixel and Pixel XL are Google’s answer to the iPhone. Carrying on in the direction recent Nexus devices were headed, the Pixels run a slightly customized version of Android with some Google enhancements. The core Pixel experience is based around the conversational Google Assistant, your own personal Google. Accessible by long pressing the home button, the Google Assistant will learn from you and grow, making your phone more personalized the more you use it.
Google said it was going to take more control over the design of future Nexus devices earlier this year, and the Pixel really shows it. Though not unique in its silhouette, the Pixel’s blue color option, rear-facing fingerprint scanners and large back glass panel are uniquely Pixel.
Internal specs for both devices fall near the high-end spectrum of smartphones with a 1080p 5 or Quad HD 5.5-inch display and a Snapdragon 821 (Daydream VR ready), 4GB of RAM, 12-megapixel camera (Google is touting the camera experience on the Pixel, something we will wait to see once its released) and either a 2770 mAh battery (Pixel), or 3450mAh (XL) battery.
More interesting than the phone itself will be seeing what the power of Google’s marketing machine is able to do for the Pixel. Only time will tell just how popular the Pixel and Pixel XL will be once Google throws its full weight behind it. If what we’ve seen leading up the event is any indication, there’s a lot of get excited about.
The Pixel and Pixel XL are coming exclusively to Verizon in the US in Silver, Black and limited edition Blue, and will be sold unlocked for $649, with preorder starting today.