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Google announces Google Pixel phones

The Google Pixel phones have been leaked in rumors and even commercials, but the day has now come. Today, Google announced the new phones with the usual fanfare, with the exception being that the Pixel phones are the first to be designed and engineered by Google (as opposed to the Nexus brand whose phones were outsourced and designed by other companies; the Nexus 5 had LG’s design language, for example).

The Google Pixel phones come in two types: the 5-inch Google Pixel and the 5.5-inch Google Pixel XL (the names themselves match Microsoft’s Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL in moniker). Both the Pixel and Pixel XL feature aluminum unibody and polished glass combination in terms of build quality, AMOLED panels, the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor (an updated SoC from the Snapdragon 820), 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM (the latest RAM), 32GB/128GB storage configurations, a 12MP back camera with f/2.0 aperture, the Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor (formerly Nexus Imprint), USB Type-C charging, 3.5mm headphone jack (no, Google didn’t remove the headphone jack this year, unlike another well-known tech company), Bluetooth 4.2, and either a 2,770mAh/3,450mAh battery. Google gave the 2,770mAh battery to the 5-inch Pixel, while the 3,450mAh battery went to the Pixel XL.

The Google Pixel phones have 5 standout features, Google says: 1) Google Assistant (which will be exclusive to Pixel phones for some time), 2) the best smartphone camera in the world right now according to mobile photography expert DxOMark Mobile, 3) Unlimited Photo Storage at Full Resolution for all photos (including 4K video support and Quad HD photos; no more uploading them in 1080p), 4) Duo video calling, and 5) Daydream VR compatibility.

Both devices also come pre-loaded with Android 7.0 Nougat, which means that you won’t have to wait for the Nougat update with these new devices.

The Google Pixel phones will come unlocked at the Google Play Store but are a carrier exclusive in the US with Verizon Wireless, which is rather unfortunate for many carrier customers who may have had an interest in these phones in the US. In Canada, Rogers, TELUS, and Bell will all see the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, and in India, Flipkart will sell the Pixel phones, among other worldwide sellers and distributors. Pre-orders start today for the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, and the UK, with India pre-sales to start October 13th.

The Google Pixel phones come in Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really, Really Blue colors (yes, these are the color names) and will cost $649 outright or $27 per month.

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