Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL phones sport the latest in processing power, screen technology, and incredibly solid and satisfying build, as well as the latest in software technology. Launching with Android 7.1 Nougat, it’s pretty clear that Google’s vision for the future of smartphones is in a more tightly controlled, AI-assisted future, and one that it can oversee the quality and design of. This certainly doesn’t mean we’re saying goodbye to Android as we knew it, far from it in fact, but Google’s phones going forward are going to be a different version of what we’ve come to know in the past.
What’s not changing are the number of carrier-specific features that Google’s phones support, and it’s clear that Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL have been built with the widest compatibility for modern carriers we’ve seen yet in any Android phone. Sold exclusively through Verizon in the US, EE in the UK and a number of other notable carriers throughout the world, Google’s Pixel is here to support technologies like HD Voice through LTE connections, as well as WiFi calling for those times that the network just won’t reach where you’re at. Whether it be in a basement, somewhere high in the peaks of the mountains, or maybe just on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, wherever a WiFi network can be reached your phone can operate 100% as normal via WiFi calling.
T-Mobile may have pioneered the WiFi calling effort here in the US, but since its invention and adoption so many years ago, a number of other carriers in the US and worldwide have taken up the technology as their own. Passing data through a secure channel, data exchanged via WiFi calling is encrypted and secured much in the same way it is through your carrier’s cell network. Given that the Pixel and Pixel XL are only sold through Verizon in the US, it’s certainly no surprise to see official support for Verizon’s WiFi Calling service, and marks a first for any Google phone to support such tech. What might come as a bit of a surprise is full support for T-Mobile’s WiFi Calling, which has been available since last year’s Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, but are refreshing to see considering the phone is being sold unlocked through the Google Store. There is no word yet on WiFi calling support for international carriers or other US carriers at this point, but time and updates will certainly tell.