Just as expected, Google on Tuesday announced the new Pixel smartphones, in addition to a string of other announcements.
Rumours surrounding the Pixel phones have been doing rounds for some time now. With the official release at a San Francisco event, we now have access to conclusive specifications and features to be expected in the premium device.
Google, from the beginning, has been claiming to have “designed and built” the handsets, giving less credibility to speculations that HTC is its primary manufacturer.
“Since 2010, we’ve partnered closely with mobile handset partners around the world to bring you the best of Android. Through Nexus, the goal was to work with these various partners to push the boundaries of what’s possible with a smartphone. We’ve now decided to take the next step and provide our take on the best Google experience, by bringing hardware and software design together under one roof,” Brian Rakowski, VP Product Management at Google, wrote in a blog post.
Google has tied up with HTC in the past, notably for the Nexus One series that began at 2010. However, for the Pixel devices, Google is keeping HTC in less spotlight and marketing the device as a complete Google make.
That has not stopped Jeff Gordon, Senior Global Online Communications Manager at HTC, to confirm with press that the Taiwanese company is in fact Google’s manufacturing partner for the Pixel.
“HTC is excited to work with Google to create the new Pixel smartphones,” Gordon wrote in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. “Google and HTC have a long and storied history together.”
The Pixel phones are aimed at the same markets as Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy flagship phones. The devices will be sold online, through retail chains and various wireless carriers around the world.
For a brief overview on the specifications, the devices come in 5-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes and runs on Qualcomm’s 64-bit quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor. The processor is paired with 4GB of RAM and comes in 32GB and 128GB internal storage variants.
On the camera front, the device sports a 12.3-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel frontshooter. The Pixel phone is powered by a 2,770mAh battery, while the Pixel XL has a 3,450mAh battery. Both the phones support quick charging.
Pixel is the first phone with the Google Assistant built in. The handsets feature a Siri-like virtual assistant and are the first to boast Android’s new Nougat 7.1 operating system. The handsets will be available in black and silver color options. In addition to smartphones, Google is al so expected to soon unveil Pixel branded notebooks and tablets.