Google's new Pixel phones may be its most ambitious smartphones to date.
The devices, home toGoogle Assistant and what Google says is the best smartphone camera ever, are the company's first to launch under a name other than Nexus. While Google emphasized its manufacturer partners with the Nexus line, for Pixel, Google has joined its hardware and software efforts to create the "best Google experience."
Picking up the Pixel and the Pixel XL, it's clear their time was well spent.
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From the moment the first Pixel images leaked, it was apparent the handsets would closely resemble iPhones. This is even more obvious when you see them up close, and that's a good thing. The finish is a lot like that of the iPhone 6 and 6S (Apple's is a tad more glossy), and the bezel looks very close to that of an iPhone, though the bottom part feels large considering there isn't a hardware button.
The phones themselves come in three bizarrely-named colors : quite black, very silver and really blue. Weird names aside, the colors look good, though the "quite black" looks more silver/gray than black, and the silver looks more white.
Image: jason henry/mashable
Like the Nexus 5X and 6P, the fingerprint sensor is on the back of the device. Half of the Pixel's backside is a glass panel that makes the phones look unusual. The piece — made of Corning Gorilla Glass — apparently serves no purpose and is just a "design element," according to a Google spokesperson. While some may appreciate the look, it does make the phone a lot more slippery, and I'm not sure that adding an unnecessary glass element to an already slippery phone is a wise design choice.
Unlike last year's release of the 5X and 6P, there are very few differences between the Pixel and Pixel XL. The only differences between the two are the display size (5.2-inches for the Pixel and 5.5-inches for the XL), resolution (1920 x 1080p vs. 2560 x 1440p) and battery capacity (2,770mAh for the Pixel, compared with 3,450mAh for the Pixel XL.)
This is a good thing, as it makes the choice much clearer for those considering buying one of the devices. You don't have to sacrifice features or a better camera for a smaller size