While we've been used to Google hosting annual Nexus launch events every year to give phone buyers a pure Android experience, we'll be witnessing the internet giant following the course by launching two new phones next month, except that the company doesn't like the Nexus name anymore. As per available leaks and rumours, the new phones will be named Pixel and Pixel XL.
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The images would suggest that there is very little separating Pixel phones with last year's Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P phones in terms of looks. The phones feature similarly-sized displays, curve smoothly on all four ends and the cameras are located where they were in the Nexus phones. Thanks to these images, we now have a good idea of what the Pixel phones will look like and if there will be any surprises, it could be on the features front.
On the software front, Pixel and Pixel XL will run the latest Android 7.0 Nougat operating system, feature Allo and Duo- instant messaging and video calling apps, include a few new swipe-down and notification options and probably a few new toggles in settings. The phones will be compatible with Google's Daydream VR and it is possible that Google may ship free Daydream View headsets with Pixel and Pixel XL purchases for a limited time. As per reports, Google will also be launching a new version of Chromecast which will support 4K content on October 4 along with Daydream View VR headset which may support apps like YouTube and HBO Now to begin with.
Hardware-wise, Android Police claims that the 5-inch Pixel smartphone will arrive with a Full HD display, a 64-bit Quad Core processor, 32GB of internal storage, 4GB of RAM and a 2,770 mAh battery. According to LlabTooFeR, a leakster on Twitter specializing on ruining HTC's product surprises, both the larger 5.5-inch Pixel XL (Marlin) and the smaller 5-inch Pixel (Sailfish) phones will arrive with Sony's IMX378 (12 MP) main cameras and IMX179 (8 MP) front cameras. According to Forbes, the two phones are expected to be priced at $449 and $549 respectively for their 32GB variants.
The larger Pixel XL isn't expected to brings in too many spec upgrades except for a larger 5.5-inch display which may have a better resolution and a larger battery to support it, very much like what Nexus 6P was compared to the Nexus 5X. From what we know so far, both Pixel and Pixel XL phones will be available only in 32GB standard storage variants along with a choice of colours.
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October is coming. #madebygoogle https://t.co/UNMr2cJXhk pic.twitter.com/LzyswaEBjh— Google (@google) September 20, 2016
October is coming. #madebygoogle https://t.co/UNMr2cJXhk pic.twitter.com/LzyswaEBjh
We always love surprises, and given that Nexus phones have never been spectacular hits, it will be interesting to see how Google will market the new phones and how it intends to make users picture the Pixel or Pixel XL as better offerings compared to the latest iPhones or Samsung's Galaxy S7 range. The internet search giant has already created a website dedicated to its upcoming launch event which will take place on October 4 and has also made it clear through animation on the site that the phones will be the main products to be revealed.
According to Android Police, the smaller Pixel phone will be priced at USD 649 (£500) once launched and the larger Pixel XL may cost significantly higher. The pricing suggests that even though Pixel may be a bit cheaper than the iPhone 7, it will take on other premium Android phones like the LG G5, Samsung's Galaxy S7, HTC 10 or Huawei's P9. At the same time, Pixel XL may arrive as an alternative to Samsung's beleaguered Galaxy Note 7 and Apple's iPhone 7 Plus phablets.
Image source: VentureBeat