Earlier today, Google finally put all of the rumors surrounding the new Nexus devices to bed as they officially announced the new Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. We’ve been covering as much as we can about the new phones, and while they are very much the Nexus devices that they are replacing, there appears to be a lot more to them than that overall. Ever since the first rumors about these new devices started swirling, it was clear that Google were looking to produce something a little different from the past offerings. So, what makes the new Google Pixel stand out from the crowd as well as from the Nexus devices of old?
For a start, this is a device that’s “Made by Google”, and doesn’t come with a tagline like “Made by LG” or “Made by Huawei”, as Google now owns their own smartphones from start-to-finish. While these will no doubt have been manufactured by some sort of third-party, they’re being marketed as Google devices overall, which is a pretty big deal. The Google Pixel is something that will be a true Google-phone, and to push that point even further, Google is including Android 7.1 here, making it even more up-to-date than Nexus devices already available. Elsewhere, Google is including some special features in the software here to make the Pixel stand out from other devices that run stock Android. Those include the new Pixel Launcher, which is an improved and again, more Google-centric, launcher that evolves the Google Now Launcher of old. Slight tweaks such as the new back, home and recents buttons are a new touch that you won’t find elsewhere in another Android device.
On top of that,Google is clearly giving the Pixel and Pixel XL the sort of preferential treatment Nexus owners have been yearning for. These include unlimited uploads of full resolution images and videos to Google Photos, Android 7.1 Nougat before even the Nexus devices have a taste, and a tailored camera experience that DxOMark says is the absolute best out there.
Then there’s the design of the Pixel. While many might not realize it, the Pixel design was established back in 2013 with the original Chromebook Pixel, and has since transferred over to last year’s Pixel C tablet. Slowly but surely, this aluminum and slightly blocky appeal is making its way to more hardware from Google. These devices might have rounded edges, but the Pixel look and feel is still very similar to the first Chromebook Pixel. This is a design language that Google themselves have come up with, which ultimately makes these devices more Google-y than other previous efforts have been in the past.