While September is the month when Apple dominates the headlines, October, on the other hand, is when Google grabs your attention.
Every year, Google presents a new iteration of the diminutive Nexus, made by a hardware partner, alongside accompanying products.
Well, this year is no different, and Google has some surprises up its sleeve in the way of its new phones.
Meet the Pixel, a “Phone by Google”.
1. This Is The First All Google Phone
The Nexus program was initiated by Google as a means to make a line of reference devices capable of running the latest version of Android for developers. Also, as part of that initiative, Google partnered with other phone manufacturers to design and build these phones.
We have seen HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and Huawei each taking turns to take up the Nexus torch, and today, that fire has officially been put out.
With the Pixel and Pixel XL, Google is now making their own phones, officially dropping the Nexus branding.
This new phone now sits in line with the naming of Google’s other product, the Pixel C tablet, while also putting the phone into a more premium price range, unlike Nexus devices, to compete with every flagship smartphone on the market today.
Speaking of Google products that have been put to rest, we also say goodbye to Android’s voice assistant, Google Now.
In its place comes Google Assistant.
The Pixel will be the first Android phone to (naturally) come with Google Assistant built in. It is more than just a search engine for the times when your hands are busy, and you can only use your voice to find stuff on the internet.
As its name suggest, it seeks to be your own personal assistant. Whether its checking on your calendar for your day’s schedule, asking for directions, finding out the nearest place to get something, making restaurant reservations, or movie plans with your friends – the list simply goes on.
3. That Camera
The fact that the camera was even mentioned straight after Google Assistant shows how much faith they have in it.
No fancy gimmicks here: there’s just one camera backed by a powerful sensor, thanks to Google’s team of photography gurus and image processing experts.
In terms of specifications, what we are looking at is a 12.3 megapixel camera, with an f/2.0 aperture and big 1.55 micron pixels to capture all the light in the world.
Confidence in the camera is at an all-time high that Google even quietly sent it in for certification by world renowned image sensor experts, DXO Mark, even before the phone was released.
Up it went in their charts for the best smartphone camera sensor to date, making it arguably the best camera to be found on a smartphone at the moment.
Of course, lab tests are not representative of real life situation, and reviewers will definitely put this claim to the test.
4. Unlimited Online Storage For Your Photos And Videos
Right out of the box when you get this phone, you will have either 32 or 128GB of storage in your phone.
Users who heavily rely on multimedia on-the-go will still want some space for the many pictures and videos that they will eventually take with that kickass camera.
Logically, for these people then, their option is limited to the 128GB option, but on the other hand, some may not be willing to fork out that extra US$120 for 4 times the storage, to save some cash on an already pricey phone.
Luckily, the Pixel has Google Photos in it, and with it you will get free unlimited storage for original quality photos and videos at full resolution in Google Photos.
Your photos at their full 12 megapixels, and videos in their full 4K glory will be able to find home online in your personal albums on Google Photos without restrictions.
Oh, and penny pinchers rejoice! Even with the 32GB option, you will still be able to store all your photos and videos somewhere, and still have space for everything else on your phone.
Just make sure your data plan is up to task to handle the constant uploads! Or just hit up a wifi spot every time you need to backup.
5. Get A Full Day’s Charge… In 15 Minutes
In the digital age where Pokémon GO has ruined our lives, this is perhaps THE most important reason why this phone is perfect for the smartphone generation.
The Google Pixel is designed to have a battery that could technically give you up to 7 hours of up-time with just 15 minutes of charging.
7 hours is typically almost a day’s worth of usage for most people.
With the Pixel having a 2,770 mAh battery, and the XL a 3,450 mAh battery, you will definitely have more than enough juice to power through your day.
If anything, just hit up a wall outlet, or plug your Pixel into your portable charger, and take a good 15 minute break.
6. Questionable Naming Of Colours
The new Pixel and Pixel XL is said to come in 3 colours, and they are each called Quite Black, Very Silver, or Really Blue.
I’ll just let that sink in.
But obviously, the blue was the first to be sold out.
7. Switching To A Pixel Is A Breeze
Lastly, since this is a new phone, Google obviously wants you to buy one.
The problem with getting a new phone, though, is that people feel that it is a pain in the butt to backup data, and transfer multimedia and contacts into said new phone.
Google recognises this, especially when you are switching from iOS.
With the Pixel, Google is including a switch adapter that you can plug in your old phone via a USB cable to seamlessly transfer ALL your data (even iMessages) into your shiny new Pixel.
Finally, here’s the bad news for Singapore and Malaysian fans of the pure Android experience: the phone will not be available here, much less in any part of Asia at launch (except in India from October 13).
So, as usual, you will have to import it through a forwarder, or from someone you know living in either the Unite States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, or India.
Come on Google, spread some love for your new phone.
For a complete overview of the new Pixels, check out Google’s page here: https://madeby.google.com/phone/