If you’ve been paying attention to the news as of late, you’ve probably noticed that Google has some big plans in the works. With an October 4th event on the horizon, we’ve been hearing a lot about Google’s upcoming “Pixel” smartphones, so here’s what you need to know.
Two Models, Top-Tier Specs
Just like with 2015’s Nexus lineup, Google will be releasing the Pixel in two sizes, but this time, it’ll come with the same design. The smaller Pixel will come with a 5-inch AMOLED display, presumably Quad HD, while the larger Pixel XL will come with a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display.
Under the hood, Google isn’t messing around with these phones. The company is expected to bring the highest end hardware to these devices, including the Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, and anywhere between 32GB and 128GB of storage. The camera is supposed to remain at 12MP, but with a few hidden tricks up its sleeve. USB C, a fingerprint sensor, and even IP56 protection against water and dust are also expected on these devices.
Pricing To Match
With these top of the line specs, it seems Google plans to ask a price to match. While Nexus devices have mostly been priced reasonably, the Pixel line is expected to start, at $649. Yikes.
Luckily, it’s rumored that Google is planning to offer financing options for unlocked models and also to sell the device in carrier stores, although Verizon may be getting an exclusive as far as carrier availability is concerned. $649 is definitely a flagship price, so Google seems pretty confident that these devices are going to be able to compete with the likes of the iPhone 7, Galaxy S7, and other recently debuted devices.
It’s A, Well, Let’s Just Say Familiar Design…
In this day and age everything leaks and the Pixel phones are absolutely no exception. We’ve seen these devices leak on multiple occasions, and, let’s just say things look familiar.
It’s basically an iPhone. Why Google went with such a similar design? I can’t say. It could be that these phones are based on HTC’s One A9 since HTC is building these devices, but we really just don’t know. It could be that pictures just don’t do it justice and that these phones look different in person, but yeah, they basically look like iPhones…
New Brand, New Legacy
Google’s Nexus line has always remained true to Stock Android when it comes to software, but it seems that may be changing with the Pixel line. We’ve heard multiple reports in recent weeks that these new phones will run a custom skin, albeit a light one, on top of stock Android. This includes a few color changes, some custom icons, and a few extra features. A new launcher is also expected to release exclusively on these devices, aptly named the “Pixel Launcher.” You can actually download a preview of that already here.
Recently we’ve also heard that Google will be previewing a new piece of software at this event called “Andromeda.” This is the apparent codename for Google’s long-rumored Android/Chrome OS merger. While we don’t expect to see anything more than a brief preview of Andromeda at this event, it should be a pretty big deal.
Last but not least, Google is expected to launch new hardware at this event alongside the Pixel devices. This includes, but is not limited to, the Google Home (a competitor to the Amazon Echo), “Google WiFi,” a new 4K-capable Chromecast, the Xiaomi Mi Box Android TV, and possibly a new 7-inch Nexus tablet built in collaboration with Huawei.