Google introduced its new line of mobile phones named Pixel at its October 4 event held in San Francisco. They have also confirmed that they have ‘no future plans’ for the Nexus series. Many Android fans have been lashing out at Google as the Pixel and Pixel XL will drill a much bigger hole in your pocket than what the Nexus did. Consumers do not see any specific reasons to buy Pixel or its bigger variant keeping in mind that many Chinese manufacturers are providing equally good or even better hardware at a much lower cost.
The price tag in the US for base variant being $649 and in India at Rs.57,000, it is at par with the not-so-pocket-friendly iPhone 7. It seemed like the new Pixel just has Daydream and the Google Assistant as an add-on which was not enough to attract buyers at the premium price tag. However, it turns out that Pixel has much more than that. All the attractive new features that Pixel has to its credit will be totally Pixel exclusive! This includes the standalone Google Assistant, built-in customer support, free unlimited back-up of full resolution pictures and video, Smart Storage to name some.
Reasons to buy Pixel and Pixel XL
These ‘Pixel-only’ details were earlier reported by AndroidPolice. Now, Google has confirmed that those features are indeed exclusively for Pixel. Now let us take a look at them in brief.
The Quick Switch adapter will be only shipped with the Pixel smartphones. It is basically an adapter cable which allows you to seamlessly transfer your data from iPhone to Android. It makes sense especially if you want to capture the market share of Apple.
The Google Pixel’s camera app is new, better and like everything we are going to talk about here, an exclusive for the Pixel series. It has Smartburst, video stabilization (image stabilization is the only thing other phones have) and a few other things.
The Pixel features a sensor hub processor which has tightly integrated sensors (including gyro, accelero, magneto) and connectivity.
Some people would say that Google offering unlimited storage is just a little marketing strategy. In fact, it is a feature which could be the USP for the click-aholics. They will be all praises for this one. However, another point to be noted here is that the iCloud storage service offered by Apple will cost you money. This further gives the Pixel an edge over the iPhone 7.
The biggest feature which other devices do not currently have access to is the Google Assistant. The virtual assistant is Google’s answer to Siri (Apple), Cortana (Microsoft) and Alexa (Amazon). It is a step ahead of the Google Now which is the virtual assistant that is being currently offered on other Android devices. Google Now is itself good enough. It communicates in natural language, gives you reminders, tells you about any scheduled meeting or flight and even searches for nearby places like a restaurant. Of course, it can also make calls and send text messages. Top that up with an A.I. and you have got yourself a winner. The A.I. makes it much more practical and useful as it can store and recall the teeny-tiny details that you share with it.
Knowing that Google Assistant has all these features but will be exclusive to the Pixels, for now (I will explain why I said this), makes me sad. Really, very sad. However, this might bring some reconciliation to you that Google Assistant is not going to be tied to the Pixel line forever. It will not be available via an OTA update, but it will come sooner or later.
A spokesperson for Google said, “Our goal is to make the Google Assistant widely available to users, and we’ll continue to launch new surfaces over the course of the next year.”
Okay, I agree I said that we are going to talk about all the ‘Pixel-only’ related things. IP53, which first saw daylight with the Xperia Z roughly three years ago, is not at all new, let alone Pixel exclusive. Well, if you’re forgetting something, we are talking about the reasons to buy Pixel. We said it long before the launch of the phones that the Pixel devices will be IP53 rated. Now, you must be thinking why I am talking about it when devices like S7 and iPhone 7 come with a much higher IP68 and IP67 rating.
The reason behind this is that Google has provided some protection against water in the form of IP53. It did not mention it as a feature because it is not one. It is a little preventive measure to make sure that your money does not go down the drain just because of a few drops of water.
Other Pixel exclusivities
Furthermore, the Pixel Launcher which gives the phone a refreshing new look is also Pixel Exclusive. It has various new additions like the Dynamic Calendar icon, a revamped set-up screen as well as a new wallpaper picker.
Anyways, there will be some new add-ons in the Android 7.1. We might talk at length about them in a later post. The Android 7.1 will begin rolling out by the end of this month in the form of a Developer Preview. However, Google did not confirm the date or the devices which will get the updates.
That were all the reasons to buy Pixel and Pixel XL. If you are still not satisfied or think that it is good enough, you should probably give it a pass.