This morning Google announced their first smartphone branded specifically by Google called “Pixel.” It’s an Android phone of course, shipping with Android 7.1 Nougat and in two sizes, 5 and 5.5 inch. It will ship with three colors: Very Silver, Quite Black and our limited edition for the U.S. only, Really Blue. It will cost just $650 and will be available October 20. Here’s the thing though, it’s being heralded as having the “best smartphone camera ever” by DxO, and of course by Google.
— Google (@google) October 4, 2016
Here is the full rundown on what Google has to say about their new phone:
Meet your Google Assistant
Pixel is the first phone with the Google Assistant built in. With your Assistant, you can have a natural conversation with Google to find answers or get things done on the go. Say “Ok Google” or touch and hold the Home button and your Assistant is ready to help. Ask it for a brief update on your day or to play a video on YouTube. Look up traffic on the way home from work or when the nearest pharmacy closes. You can even say “show me my camping photos with Andrew” and it’ll instantly display the photos you’re looking for. Your Assistant can also offer help with what’s on-screen in any app. So if your friend texts you to meet up at a new restaurant, you can just say “navigate there”.
The best smartphone camera. Ever.
The Pixel camera is not only the best smartphone camera we’ve ever made, it’s the highest rated smartphone camera anyone has ever made. Our DxOMark Mobile score of 89 is a great example of what’s possible when great hardware meets great software. Pixel puts cutting-edge computational photography in an ultra-fast and easy-to-use camera.
Pixel has a 12.3MP camera, featuring an f/2.0 aperture and big 1.55 micron pixels to capture lots and lots of light. Our team of photography gurus and image processing experts have spent the last year designing and tirelessly optimizing our entire camera stack.
Pixel’s camera lets you take stunning photos in low light, bright light or any light. Catch action shots as they happen with Smartburst, which takes a rapid-fire sequence of shots and automatically selects the best one. Use Lens Blur to achieve shallow depth of field and bokeh effects, making your subject pop. You can capture dramatic landscapes or make faces glow with new exposure controls.
And as a special bonus for Pixel owners, we’re including free unlimited storage for original quality photos and videos at full resolution in Google Photos.
More to love
Pixel ships with the newest Android operating system, Android 7.1 Nougat. Phones will get software and security updates as soon as they’re available, directly from Google. We’ve also made the update process easier. When a new update is available, it can download and install in the background — no more waiting around for your phone to update.
The Pixel also comes with Google Duo and Allo pre-installed so you can video call and text with all your friends, whether they’re on Android or iOS.
Make it yours
Pixel comes in two sizes, 5” or 5.5”, and three colors: Very Silver, Quite Black and our limited edition for the U.S. only, Really Blue. And whatever you choose, we’ve got cases to match. In addition to customizing Live Cases with your favorite photos and places, we’re introducing a new Artworks collection that features exclusive designs from artists like Justin Maller, and photographers like Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. We’re also excited to offer a new collection of silicone and clear cases.
Pixel is available for pre-order today starting at $649 in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and Australia. Pre-orders in India will begin October 13. In the U.S., we’re teaming up exclusively with Verizon to make Pixel available nationwide at all Verizon retail outlets, including Best Buy stores. We’re also offering Pixel unlocked on the Google Store and, for you Project Fi fans out there, you’ll be happy to know that Pixel is the latest device to work on the Fi network.
Pixel is available for pre-order today starting at $649 in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and Australia. Pre-orders in India will begin October 13. In the U.S., Google is teaming up exclusively with Verizon to make Pixel available nationwide at all Verizon retail outlets, including Best Buy stores.
Where I want to really focus my attention is on DxOMark’s testing of the camera, which they are heralding as the best one they’ve ever tested on a phone:
Summary: The best smartphone camera we’ve tested to date
Simply put, the Pixel raises the bar for what is possible with a smartphone camera. Image quality continues to improve, and the increased use of HDR+ to render scenes that have previously been difficult for small sensors such as those in smartphones broadens what is possible with these ubiquitous devices. While we have reviewed other smartphone cameras that matched the Pixel’s numbers in a few categories, the Pixel is uniquely capable of capturing outstanding images under a wide variety of conditions, and is also among the best we have tested for video capture.
I encourage you to look at their full writeup on DxOMark, but that’s a super high bar they’re setting for a phone that has a couple more weeks of hype facing it.
We will reserve judgement until we get a chance to take a look at it, but for now… this is very exciting.