HTC may have built both smartphones, but Google is taking full credit for the design. Google also is pushing HTC branding aside, and instead brands each as a “Phone by Google”. So what about the hardware lurking inside these phones? Let’s get to it, shall we?
The Pixel’s 5-inch display has a 1080p resolution, while the larger Pixel XL’s 5.5-inch display gets the full QHD (2560x1440) treatment. Both are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processors with 4GB of RAM, and both are available with either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage. If you want a microSD slot, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Google has included a 12.3MP rear camera (1.55-micron pixels, f/2.0 aperture) which it says is the best smartphone camera in the world, and of course includes such niceties as a USB-C port, Bluetooth 4.2, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a fingerprint sensor, and yes, a 3.5mm headphone jack (take that, Apple!).
The Pixel and Pixel XL come with a 2770 mAh or 3450 mAh battery respectively, and support fast charging. Google says that users can expect to get 7 hours of battery life from a swift 15-minute charge.
The Pixel family is the first to feature Google Assistant built-in. Google Assistant can be invoked by issuing an actionable voice command or holding the Home button. In addition, Google is providing unlimited cloud storage for photos with Pixel, meaning that you can store full-resolution images shot on the 12.3MP camera using Google Photos. Even 4K video storage can be stored in the cloud, unlimited without compression.
Pixel owners will thankfully receive all the latest updates direct from Google as soon as they are released, and the search giant is stepping up its support game with 24-hour live support that bares more than a passing resemblance to Amazon Mayday. Customers will be able to chat with a tech support representative right away, and support reps will be able to see exactly what you’re seeing on the phone’s display to better diagnose problems.
The Pixel is priced at $649 with 32GB of onboard storage, or $749 with 128GB. The Pixel XL starts at $769 for 32GB and jump to $869 for 128GB. All of those prices are for unlocked phones, which will be available in silver or black. Verizon will also sell the phone (albeit only in a 32GB capaciy) and will have an exclusive blue finish as a third color option. There is no word yet on if any additional U.S. carriers will be selling the Pixel and Pixel XL directly.