Google Pixel and Pixel XL hands on

Review

Google's first standalone smartphone...
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Google Pixel and Pixel XL hands on

Google's first ever standalone smartphones

At Google’s special event in San Francisco today (9am local time, 5pm in the UK), the tech giant proudly revealed its first ever smartphones. So let’s meet Pixel and Pixel XL, and find out what’s so special about a phone by Google…

The Pixel, phone by Google, is the first ever phone to be branded with the Mountain View company’s iconic ‘G’ logo. It actually comes in two sizes, so as well as the Pixel with its 5-inch display, there’s a larger Pixel XL with a 5.5-inch display.

Apart from those different displays, both phones are almost identical. The only other difference is that the Pixel XL has a bigger battery (see ‘Under the hood’ for details).

Build and design

The Pixel is a striking looking phone, with an aluminium unibody and polished glass design. The front has fairly large bezels at the top and bottom of the display, and a glass mirror-finish panel makes up the top half of the rear. This is where you’ll find the camera and handily-placed fingerprint sensor. Meanwhile near the matte-finish bottom, you’ve got that familiar logo.

Display


As we said, the Pixel’s 5-inch Full HD screen is slightly smaller than the 5.5-inch Quad HD display on the Pixel XL. Both are AMOLED displays (so they’ll produce deep blacks and rich, vibrant colours), and both have the same super-tough Gorilla Glass 4 keeping them safe and scratch-free.

The power of Google

Because the Pixel is a Google phone, it comes with some of Google’s best apps and features already built-in. These include Allofor messaging, Duo for video calls, Photos for unlimited photo storage, and best of all – Google Assistant.

Google Assistant is like your own personal Google, always ready to help. You can ask it questions, tell it do things, and the more you use it, the more useful it gets.

As you might expect, the Pixel and Pixel XL will be running on the very latest Android software, 7.1 Nougat. This is an update to Android 7.0 that launched in August, and it adds even more exciting features, including an app launcher and some smart new designs.

Camera and photo storage

Both the 8MP front and 12MP back cameras are capable of capturing crisp photographs, even in low light. There’s also a smartburst feature to help you capture great action shots, and the 'capture time' is shorter than any other smartphone camera that Google has tested.

Your photo storage is taken care of too, with Google Photos providing free unlimited backups at maximum resolution.

Under the hood

Both Pixel sizes are powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 821 processor, with 4GB RAM, and the option of either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage.

The Pixel XL has a 3,540mAh battery compared to the Pixel’s 2,770mAh, and both have fast charging – the reversible USB Type-C charger will give you up to 7 hours of power from a 15-minute charge.

Pixel, Phone by Google, exclusively from Carphone Warehouse

Both the Pixel and Pixel XL are available to order now - click the banner to be taken to our website.

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