At an event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Google unveiled the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, first Google-branded smartphones. As we’d reported in August, India is one of the launch markets for the phone, with Google Pixel price in India to start at Rs. 57,000, with pre-orders set to begin October 13. The phone will be available from Flipkart, Reliance Digital, and Croma, as well as smaller retailers, with a retail availability at the “end of October” according to Google.
The Google Pixel costs $649 (approximately Rs. 43,000) for 32GB variant in the US, $749 (approximately Rs. 50,000) for 128GB; Pixel XL costs $769 (approximately Rs. 51,000) for 32GB, $869 (approximately Rs. 58,000) for 128GB. Pre-orders in the US are already underway.
The launch event was however one of the worst kept secrets from Google, and almost everything was leaked in advance of the event. As widely expected, Pixel and Pixel XL are the first phones with Google Assistant built-in. The Google Pixel sports a 5-inch full-HD Amoled display and the Google Pixel XL sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD Amoled display – both with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Both the models will be available with almost identical innards except the screen size and battery size.
The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL will be available exclusively via Verizon and unlocked version from Google store. The smartphone will be available for pre-orders starting Tuesday in Australia, Canada, Germany, UK, and the US. It will be available in Quite Black, Really Blue (limited edition), and Very Silver colour variants, though it seems the blue colour will not launch in India just yet.
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones sport an aluminium unibody and also feature polished glass combination at the back. Both phones are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, with two cores clocked at 1.6GHz, and two cores clocked at 2.15GHz. The Pixel and Pixel XL will pack 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and sport Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor. The smartphones sport 12.3-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX378 sensor, PDAF, a large f/2.0 aperture and 1.55-micron pixels. Both sport an 8-megapixel front camera with a Sony IMX179 sensor, an f/2.4 aperture and 1.4-micron pixels.
As rumoured ahead of the launch, Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones will only come in 32GB and 128GB storage models. Google has specified however that both smartphones have access to unlimited storage for full-resolution photos and videos via Google Photos. The Android 7.1 Nougat-based Pixel smartphones will come with a USB Type-C port and will include the 3.5mm audio jack. The smartphones are also IP53 rated for dust and water resistance. The Google Pixel smartphone will come with 24×7 customer care feature which can help resolve issues on the device real-time. Pixel users will have access to a toll free phone support number along with 54 walk in service centres across over 30 cities in India.
At the event, Google also unveiled the Daydream VR headset, Chromecast Ultra with 4K HDR, Google Wifi, and a price tag for Google Home, its Amazon Echo competitor.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the launch discussed the company’s efforts with artificial intelligence and machine learning to build tools like the Google Assistant. To recall, the Google Assistant was first unveiled at Google I/O, and has already reached the general public with the Google Allo instant messaging app. Rick Osterloh, the new head of Google’s newly formed hardware division, introduced the presence of Assistant in two new surfaces – in the context of the Pixel phone, and the Google Home speaker.