It was rumoured that Google originally intended to ask Huawei to work on the new phone together, but as we know now, they worked from the software to the hardware to create their own new NEW phone. This is Pixel. Phone by Google, and Google only.
However, HTC has confirmed that they are the manufuring partner of Google for the Pixel. So people starts questioning; why is the Google phone even more expensive than the HTC 10? And why Google claim they own the phone and do not leave a HTC logo on Pixel like how they did for the Nexus One in 2010? The answer is that the Pixel is like the iPhone. It’s an icon of change and Google pose the Pixel as a competitor to iPhone, so it will be expensive. Also, HTC did not design anything, they are only the factory for literally manufacturing the product, like Foxconn to Apple, thus not credited as they were in 2010.
Then what is so special about the Pixel that allows Google to claim it to be the “new new”? Let’s look into the specs first:
OS: Android 7.1 Nougat
Display: 5.5″ QHD w/ 534ppi or 5″ FHD w/ 441ppi AMOLED Display
Cameras: Rear: 12.3 MP ; Front: 8 MP
Processors: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 821 ; 2.15Ghz + 1.6Ghz, 64Bit Quad-Core processor ; Adreno™ 530 GPU
Memory & Storage: 4GB LPDDR4 RAM ; 32GB or 128GB
Media: single bottom-firing speaker ; Adaptive audio amplifier ; 3 microphones (2 front, 1 rear) with noise cancellation
Battery: Pixel: 2,770 mAh ; Pixel XL: 3,450 mAh
Charging: Fast charging up to 7 hours of use from only 15 minutes of charging
Sensor: Pixel Imprint (Fingerprint) ; Accelerometer
Ports: USB-C ; Nano SIM slot ; 3.5mm audio jack ; USB 3.0 data transfer
Connectivity: 4G LTE ; Wi-Fi ; Bluetooth 4.2 ; NFC
Location: GPS ; GLONASS ; digital compass
Body: Anodized aluminium unibody ; 2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4
It seems there’s nothing really new about the phone in terms of specs. Also, open hardware features that the Nexus allowed, like add-on SD Card and replacable battery, are removed. Moreover, you only get 2,770 mAh for battery if you are not getting the XL model. Not to mention that it looks very similar to the iPhone… So why do Google think that they can add $200 to the price tag? We try looking for answers by going deeper into the functions and compatible accessories that Google Pixel offers:
The first and the most important selling point put forward by Google is the Google Assistant. It’s an AI that acts as your personal Google. Just think of it as JARVIS, or maybe FRIDAY and starts with “OK Google”. Quite “futuristic” and helpful if it truly fuctions that smoothly.
On the other hand, the Pixel helps you to set up backups for photos and videos taken on the phone to your Google Account. Google also worked on the camera to give you the best camera, but I’m not sure how good it is when comparing to Samsung’s and Sony’s latest flagships. They introduce the Duo, a video calling function for across Android and iPhone, and included the new Knock Knock feature, in which you can even see the caller before you pick up. Yet, we can’t say it’s entirely new.
Moving on to the operating system, as Android is owned by Google, the Pixel will get software and security updates as soon as they’re available, directly from Google. The update process becomes easier too; the update can be downloaded and installed in the background, no need to wait. So this might be an advantage. There’s also the Daydream View VR which the Pixel is optimised for. Google claim that it is lightweight and comfortable when put on. We’ll look into the details in another article.
Whether the Pixel will successfully become a revolution in the smartphone industry is still unknown, but Google’s eagerness to battle with Apple is clear, and we know this is only the beginning.