The Pixel is Google’s new line of mobile phone, and it’s going to give the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy a third contender to battle for top dog. Google has been in the phone market for a few years already, but their line of Nexus phones were developed by other companies. The Pixel is the first phone built from the ground up by Google.
We’ve only been in the modern era of mobile phones for less than ten years. I remember seeing my older sister’s Razr flip phone and thinking it was cool as hell because everyone else had massive brick looking phones. Text messages took forever to type out because we had to click the 2 key three times to type “F.”
The iPhone came out in 2007 and instantly dominated the market. It was miles above anything else on the market. Then two years later, Apple got their first serious competitor with Samsung releasing their first Galaxy phone in 2009.
And that’s where we’ve been for the last seven years. Since then, no other serious competitor has arisen to shake the ranks of Apple and Samsung. There have been other good phones on the market, Google’s own Nexus line being one of them, but these are generally seen as budget alternatives to the major brands.
That’s all about to change based on what we’re seeing about the Google Pixel. The design quality and features are there. It’s just a matter of seeing if Google’s marketing team can convince people that this is a phone brand to be reckoned with.
Still unsure? Read on to see some of the features that place the Google Pixel at the top of the mobile phone market.
Your Personal Assistant
iPhone has Siri and Microsoft has Cortana, but Google is one of the originators of smart user interfaces with their Google searches. In the mobile market, they’ve had Google Now on Android devices for quite some time. Google Pixel, however, will ship with Google Assistant.
Google Assistant is Google Now on steroids, and it’s one of the main attractions of the Google Pixel. It can do so much more than Siri or Cortana.
You activate it by training your phone to listen to your voice, then simply saying “Ok Google.” Even if your phone is sleeping, it’ll wake up and be ready to assist.
One of the greatest things about Google Assistant is that it’ll grow smarter the more you use it as it begins to remember your preferences and remember details you may have forgot. Google’s intention is for Assistant to become more than a simple diversion used to search the web. They want it to be a full personal assistant to aid in everyday tasks.
For example, if you ask Assistant to find you a good Sushi restaurant, it’ll pull up information on local Sushi restaurants. This is where most smart UIs stop, but Assistant keeps going. From this point, you can use either voice commands or on screen buttons to ask for directions, look at the menu, or even book a table. And once you’ve booked a table, Assistant will even remind you about the appointment when it’s time to leave and automatically pull up directions for you.
This natural, conversational style interaction with Assistant makes it intuitively useful. It takes deep, technical features of this smartphone and makes use of them for you even if you don’t know they exist.
Infinite Media Storage
Google’s been in the phone market for a long time, but mostly on the software side with the Android operating system. But those who buy the Pixel get special Android treatment. All Google Pixel users will get unlimited photo and video cloud storage for the lifetime of the phone.
Here’s how it works. The Google Pixel ships with options for 32GB or 128GB of internal storage. This is a lot of memory, but it can fill up quickly with the size of apps and media these days, on top of the full music library many of us carry in on us. With the Google Pixel, once your allotted internal media storage fills up, Google will automatically shuffle your older photos and videos to your online storage at full resolution.
This isn’t an entirely new concept. Current Android users already have 15GB of cloud storage, as does anyone with a Google account. In fact, many android users even have unlimited media storage already. But there’s a caveat.
Currently, we have to choose between 15GB of full resolution media storage or unlimited high quality storage. High quality sounds nice, but it’s a much smaller size and lower quality of your original image or video.
You get best of both worlds with Google Pixel. Unlimited full resolution cloud media storage for the lifetime of your phone. You’ll never need to pull your hair out as you decide whether to delete Clash of Clans or the video from your family reunion. All your media will be up in the Google secured cloud.
All that storage space will be important, because the Google Pixel ships with the highest quality mobile phone camera on the market. It’s a 12.3MP camera with 1.55μm pixels to make sure you get the right picture no matter what the lighting is like. The DXOmark reference for image quality rates the camera at 89, which is higher than the S7, HTC 10, iPhone 7, or anything else on the market.
This is a camera you’ll love to use and use a lot. Those photos and videos will take up a lot of storage, but that won’t be a problem with your unlimited cloud media storage. It’s an impressive synergy of features.
The remaining Google Pixel build specs are equally impressive. The battery life is somewhere between eight and nine hours with typical daily usage, and it reaches full charge in under an hour. It’s not the longest battery life or the fastest charge on the market, but it reaches high grades for both marks.
Furthermore, Google has always made a point of releasing their phones SIM unlocked. The Pixel is no exception. You buy this as a phone and it isn’t attached to any carrier. You can sign up with your carrier of choice, switch when you like, and the phone won’t give you any hassle.
Finally, if you’re a fan of the Android system, the Google Pixel will give you the best Android experience possible. This phone is Google’s baby, and it will be the benchmark for the future of Android updates. Get the updates first and have them work best with Google’s own Pixel phone.
Since the mobile market switched to smartphones, it’s been dominated by Apple and Samsung. It’s long needed a third competitor to shake up the market, and after years of getting ready for the task, Google is clearly ready. The Google Pixel is an incredible phone and is guaranteed to leave its impact on the market.
Interested in other mobile news? Check out the latest on Samsung’s recall of the Galaxy Note 7