Unboxing for business: Google Pixel

    Look who’s back in the smartphone hardware game.

    Don’t search the answer: it’s Google. And we’re not talking about another Nexus device. Google is bringing two brand new devices to market with the Pixel and Pixel XL. We’ve got the larger model right here.

    It doesn’t take long before you can see what Google is doing here. It’s made the Pixel to go head to head with the iPhone. The design is similar and the approach is similar. Instead of working with a partner, Google is designing the device and the OS now. Although HTC did manufacture this device. Like Apple, Google will push out updates directly to the Pixel.

    The most obvious difference from the iPhone, or any other smartphone for that matter, is the button on the back. It’s actually not a button, just a fingerprint sensor. You can use it to unlock your device. Also, turn on a “Move” in the settings menu and you can swipe down on it to see your notifications. Otherwise, the only other hardware buttons on the device are for power and volume.

    Apple has Siri so Google has Google Assistant. Google’s voice-activated assistant understands your questions and some of your requests too. Just call on it by saying “OK Google” and it can mark off time in your calendar, or send a message to a contact. Or you can, you know, Google something.

    Google’s been hyping up the camera, describing it as the highest-rated ever. Most of the spcts are the same as on the most recent Nexus. A 12.3-megapixel resolution with 1.55 micron pixels and an F 2 aperture. But there’s some extra technology at play here. Google says it has the shortest capture time of any smartphone camera. There’s also on-board video stabilization.

    You won’t have to worry about running out of storage for all those high-res photos and videos you’ll be taking. Google says every Pixel user gets unlimited cloud storage for this content.

    Google says the Pixel provides all-day battery life with average mixed use. When it is drained, plugging it in to charge for 15 minutes gets you seven more hours of juice.

    Google is making it easy to switch from your old device – even if it is an iPhone. An included cable will transfer all the data from your old smartphone to the Pixel in a matter of minutes.

    Google’s Pixel is expected to be available in stores and from major carriers starting October 20. The 5-inch model starts at $899. The 5.5-inch model starts at $1,049. The base model gets you 32 GB. There’s also a 128 GB option, but that will cost you more.