In early October, Google unveiled two devices that have been rumored in tech blogs for months: the Pixel smartphone and its larger sibling, the Pixel XL. The touchscreen phones look very much like high-end iPhones and Samsung devices. They are priced similarly as well, and have generally received positive reviews: Veteran tech journalist Walt Mossberg opined that the Pixel was “easily the best Android phone I’ve ever tested.” It is the first smartphone that is completely designed and engineered by Google, with high-end finishes and features that aim to deliver a pure Android experience.
The Pixel comes in either a 5-inch or 5.5-inch Gorilla Glass display with a 12.3-megapixel rear-facing camera. It promises fast charging: 15 minutes provides seven hours of usage. The smartphone can record video in 4K ultra HD and comes with a headphone jack, although it is not water-resistant. Google provides 24/7 customer service for Pixel and unlimited cloud storage of photos and videos in full resolution. Virtual helper Google Assistant is preinstalled, along with the Google Duo video chat app. It is compatible with Google’s Daydream virtual reality viewer. Prices start at $649.