Google Makes Triumphant Comeback To The Smartphone Industry With Pixel, Pixel XL Phones

Google Makes Triumphant Comeback To The Smartphone Industry With Pixel, Pixel XL Phones
In the weeks leading up to the release of the Pixel and Pixel XL, there was doubt to why Google decided to drop the established Nexus branding. Nevertheless, the company has undoubtedly outdone itself. Photo : Marques Brownlee/YouTube

Google's Nexus brand of smartphones was always well-received, so there were those that questioned why the company decided to jump ship and create another Pixel brand from scratch. Nevertheless, there was plenty of positive hype coming from the imminent reveal of the Pixel and Pixel XL. And now that the unveiling has come and gone, Google seems to have outdone itself.

So Why Did Google Drop The Nexus?

The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL devices were made completely by the search engine giant, which is part of what makes them so special. Unlike the Nexus phones, whose hardware was reliant on other handheld manufacturers, these new offerings from Google were made by the company 100 percent.

As Google itself explains, the "Pixel" branding has been used previously, for other hardware products that the company believed provided the best possible Google experience. And, apparently, it thinks that the Pixel and Pixel XL fall into this category.

Are The Specs Any Good?

Coming out in the later part of the year does have its benefits, which of course include the best specs that the market can currently offer. In terms of specifications, the handhelds only differ from each other in size, pixel resolution and battery capacity. The smaller Pixel, as CNet notes, has a 5-inch screen with 1920x1090 pixel resolution and a 2770 mAh battery. Meanwhile, the larger Pixel XL has a 5.5-inch screen with 2560x1440 pixel resolution and a 3450 mAh battery.

However, both devices are powered by what is arguable the best and most powerful processor that is currently in the market - the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821. The rear cameras are 12.3 megapixels, while the front cameras are 8 megapixels. Both the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL are capable of taking 4K videos and have 32GB and 128GB of internal storage options.

Straight from the box, both options run on Android 7.1 Nougat and 4GB of RAM. However, neither unit has an offering for expandable storage.

Do They Have Special Features?

Google Assistant has made its debut in the handheld world with the Pixel and Pixel XL devices. Users can have full conversations with the digital assistant. Quickly, it can report various information like the weather, schedule, nearby facilities and even playing videos. Both handhelds are also the first devices that act as the power and display of Google's newest Daydream VR headset.

Design And Cost

Aesthetically, neither the Pixel nor the Pixel XL are special. Both have a unibody metal design, which is broken midway at the back to make room for a plastic upper half, where the fingerprint sensor is also found. Both options are available in Very Silver, Quite Black and Really Blue. 

For the Pixel, the 128GB option is currently priced at US$649. The larger 128GB option costs US$749. Meanwhile, the Pixel XL costs US$769 and US$819 for the 32GB and 128GB variants respectively.

So What Is The Deal?

There is absolutely no doubt that the Pixel and Pixel XL from Google both sport some of the best specs in the current smartphone market. The only surprise really is the pricing of both units, as they are definitely more pricey than previous Nexus offerings. That is, however, the apparent tradeoff - one that seems worth it for a unit of such quality.

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