Google is trying to lure users away from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus with the launch of two new phones. Google has ditched the Nexus brand in favour of Pixel, a name previously used by the company for its laptop and tablet devices.
Pitched as the ‘first phone built by Google inside and out’, the tech giant is offering the smartphones at roughly the same price point as the Apple iPhone. Buying direct from Google or Carphone warehouse, you can pick up a SIM-free 5-inch Pixel for £599. The larger model, the 5.5-inch Pixel XL, is priced at £719.
The phones, offering either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage, both feature the Google Assistant – a challenger to Apple’s Siri – as well as Google Duo and unlimited cloud storage for pics and videos.
CBR looks at some of the key features of Google Pixel which may sway users away from rival smartphones.
Google has really stepped up to the mark when it comes to the Pixel’s camera. The camera starts capturing images the second it is launched, continuously capturing images in order to minimise any shutter lag.
The tech underpinning the camera is called HDR+ by Google and built specially on Qualcomm’s Hexagon chip technology. Features like Smartburst allow for the rapid-fire taking of pictures and for all you bad photographers, the feature even picks the best shot for you. The unlimited cloud storage offered by Google lets you store as many pictures that you want, all in full resolution.
Digging into the specs of the camera, Google boasts a best-ever 89 DxOMark Mobile score alongside 12.3 MP for sharp images and large 1.55μm pixels for ‘great shots in any light’. Bright, even photos are also ensured with the f/2.0 aperture.
For Google, Pixel delivers on the wow when it comes to the camera.
The Pixel beats the iPhone when it comes to battery life – just. Google has promised seven hours of battery life with a 15 minute charge with the Pixel, boasting a total capacity of 3,450mAh.
Although Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus has the largest battery to date in an iPhone, the Pixel rival falls short on capacity and the lack of quick-charging technology.
Software updates are a frequent bugbear with both Android and iOS users – but Google may have an answer to this irritation.
All updates will be done in the background and installed with the next restart. Not only will they not be an irritation, but users will also be the first to get updates, guaranteed for two years. Google also plans to increase the number of updates to four a year, an increase on the current twice yearly updates. That means new features and enhanced capabilities delivered direct to the phone, four times a year. Nougat 7.1 comes as standard.
Google should have the best integration with Andoid, seeing as Pixel is developed by Google. Another advantage lies in the fact that the Pixel smartphone will be completely free of third-party bloatware commonly loaded by other manufacturers onto Android phones.
Amazon has Alexa, Apple has Siri, Microsoft has Cortana – and now we have Google Assistant.
Google’s digital assistant has been praised for its high IQ, earning further praise with the features like smart reply. This feature, described by Google as “appropriate, contextually aware smart suggestions for quick replies”, learns how a user replies to questions in order to deliver a tailored response.
Although Google Assistant works very much like other AI software, it’s this personalisation that sets the Assistant ahead of the pack. To access the Assistant, users need only press on the home button and say ‘OK Google’.
The Assistant connects to the phone’s apps and tracks things like location in order to provide more personalised advice and responses.
While it may not be on top of your must-haves, a notable difference between the iPhone and Pixel, is the headphone jack. While Apple drew the ire of users who were angry at the loss of the 3.5m headphone jack in the iPhone 7, Google is sticking with the traditional jack.
A small feature which may swing some potential buyers.