Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones have finally been unveiled by the search giant. Google Pixel and Pixel XL are entirely ‘made by Google’ devices and the company has worked on its hardware as well as software bits. Google Pixel and Pixel XL are the first Google smartphones to come with Google Assistant, company’s AI-powered voice-assistant, built-in. Google’s Pixel smartphones start at $649 dollars in the US and at Rs 57,000 in India. The pre-orders for Pixel and Pixel XL begin on October 13 on Flipkart in India. The smartphones will be available in ‘Very Silver, ‘Quite Black’ and a limited edition ‘Really Blue’ colour options.
Google, along with Pixel smartphones, announced a slew of other hardware devices including its smart speaker – Google Home – which comes with Google Assistant built-in. Other devices include 4K Chromecast Ultra, Daydream View VR headset and Google WiFi. Let us take a look at everything that Google announced at its Pixel event, India availability, price and more:
Google Pixel and Pixel XL
Google Pixel and Pixel XL come with a similar specifications sheet except for display and battery size. Google Pixel gets a 5-inch full HD display, while Pixel XL comes with a 5.5-inch Quad HD screen. The smartphones feature an aluminum unibody design with polished glass finish. Plus, Pixel and Pixel now come with a new Pixel launcher, which has a rounded home button for cleaner look. Also, Google has done away with the Search bar at the top for Pixel and Pixel XL.
Google Pixel and Pixel XL come in two storage variant – 64GB ROM and 128GB ROM. They run the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor coupled with 4GB RAM. The highlight of Google’s Pixel smartphones is their 12.3MP primary camera 1.55 micron pixels and f/2.0 aperture, which the company claims is the best in any smartphone camera. The rear camera supports 4K video recording and video-stabilisation; and come with HDR + and Smartburst mode. The front camera is 8 MP.
Google Pixel and Pixel XL have a Pixel imprint fingerprint sensor on the back. The smartphones use USB-C port for charging. While Pixel gets a 2,770 mAh battery; Pixel XL has a bigger 3,450mAh battery. Both phones are a single-SIM and there is no microSD card.
India pricing and availability
Google Pixel and Pixel XL will come to India in October. The pre-orders for the smartphones begin October 13 on Flipkart. Google’s new Pixel smartphones will be sold on Reliance Digital, and Croma stores was well. The 32GB storage variant for Pixel is priced at Rs 57,000; and 128GB ROM variant costs Rs 66,000. Pixel XL starts at Rs 67,000 for 32GB ROM version and Rs 76,000 for 128GB ROM variant.
Google’s AI-powered voice-assistant Google Assistant is a direct challenger to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon Alexa. Google Pixel and XL smartphones as well as Google Home are the first Google devices to get Google Assistant.
Google Assistant can be used to book Uber on Google Home, and communicate with Pixel smartphones hands-free. The home button can be long-pressed to activate Google Assistant. Google is planning to open Google Assistant to developers in December.
Google Chromecast Ultra, Google WiFi, Daydream View and Google Home
Google Home is company’s smart speaker, which comes with Google Assistant built-in. Google is hoping to take on Amazon’s Alexa with its new speaker. The speaker has a modular design and the bottom portion can be swapped off for different colour variants. Google Assistant in Google Home can be activated to play songs, browse through playlist, book an Uber etc. With Google Home, the serach giant is stepping in to a segment that is largely dominated by Amazon Alexa in most places where it is available. According to an AP report, “One key to the Echo’s success was Amazon’s willingness to work with third-party developers, allowing it to add new functions each week, making it easy for owners of the speaker to discover new ways to use it.” We’ll have to wait and see if Google does the same.
The biggest change with Google’s new Chromecast device is its ability to support 4K format. Google has made streaming 4K content really affordable with its Chromecast Ultra. Google Chromecast Ultra costs $69. However, Google will face competition from Xiaomi’s Mi Box, which has been recently announced. Then there’s Roku when it comes to streaming devices.
Google has introduced a new WiFi router as well. The device is called Google WiFi and costs $130. Google is offering a three-pack unit as well which is priced at $300. Google WiFi is similar to Eero. Also, Google Wi-Fi is a modular device, that allows users to add new components based on the space available in their houses.
Next up is Google’s first Daydream compatible VR headset called ‘Daydream View’. This is a part of Google’s larger plan to make Virtual Reality (VR) an integral part of Android. Google’s Daydream will compete against Samsung Gear VR, and Facebook’s Oculus powered Gear VR; which have already made its way to global markets. It features a separate motion controller and will be compatible with a wide array of smartphones when OEMs start supporting Daydream by default with Android 7.1 Nougat.
According to Google, the apps and games on Daydream will be powered by 50 partners, with more on the way. Google is bundling other services such as Photos, YouTube and Street View maps with Daydream View. Google’s ‘Daydream View’ VR headset and the controller will be out in November for $79.