The new Pixel smartphone was launched in front of hundreds at an event in London’s East End
Google has launched its first own-branded smartphone called the Pixel today (October 4), claiming it has a ‘best-in-class’ camera.
Mobile News was amongst hundreds of journalists at the new device’s UK launch at a venue in London’s trendy East End. A live stream of the main event in California, which was introduced by CEO Sundar Pichai, was shown to all those in attendance. Two sizes are available; a five-inch and 5.5-inch version.
Google senior vice president Rick Osterloh unveiled the new handset. The product was developed over recent years, influenced by Google’s research in artificial intelligence. Google claims the USP of the new devices is the ‘Google Assistant,’ a personal assistant similar to Apple’s Siri, and its ‘best-in-class’ camera.
It is the first phone with Google Assistant built in, which the tech giant claimed makes everyday tasks easy. Users, for example, can press the home button and use voice commands to ask the device to search for photographs from a certain date or location. It can also be asked to send texts to contacts, or offer directions to a requested location. Reservations can also be made at restaurants without the user needing to make a phone call. They simply give the most basic information to the Google Assistant.
The camera comes with a 12MP camera and has been given an DXOmark rating of 89. This is an industry benchmark for smartphone cameras and Google claims it is the highest score ever given to a mobile camera. Technology designed to reduce blur and accurately balance light within each photograph has been installed. There is no delay when taking pictures according to Google. The company also claimed it has a quicker capture time than any camera on a rival smartphone. 4K video capture is another feature.
Up to seven hours of battery life can be gained with just 15 minutes of charge from the included fast charger. It also comes with Google’s latest operating system Nougat. There is an app offering 24-hour assistance for the phone. Additional features include a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Google has been involved in the development and marketing of smartphones since the Nexus One launched in 2010. The Nexus series has been available in eight different iterations; with various products in the range being created in partnership with HTC, Samsung and Huawei. This is the first smartphone, however, to carry the Google branding.
EE was the only operator to tease the unveiling of the device today, both on its own website and social media.
— EE (@EE) October 4, 2016
Available colours include black, blue and silver. EE is the exclusive operator selling the device, whilst Carphone is the exclusive retailer. Pricing ranges from £599 (32GB) and £699 (128GB). The XL ranges between £719 (32GB) and £819 (128GB). It is available to preorder now, with general sale starting on October 20.
A VR headset, called Dream, was also unveiled. Google claims it is 30 per cent lighter than similar headsets on the market and has been designed to fit over glasses. Connection to a handset can also be done wirelessly.
Headset colours include grey, white and burgundy. The Pixel is the first Daydream ready phone.