comscore From Google Assistant to Pixel Launcher and 24/7 chat support; these six features make Google Pixel, Pixel XL special
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From Google Assistant to Pixel Launcher and 24/7 chat support; these six features make Google Pixel, Pixel XL special

Google, with its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, has upped the game to compete with Apple’s iPhone. Here are six features that make the Google smartphones different from its competitors.

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The real Google Phones are finally here. At its event in San Francisco yesterday, Google unveiled the all new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, both of which are Made by Google . Unlike the Nexus smartphones that offered top-of-the-line hardware at affordable prices, with Pixel smartphones, Google wants to establish itself as premium smartphone manufacturer. Yes, you still get the best and the fastest hardware out there, but what makes the new smartphones different from other droids is the cutting edge experience of Google services. Also Read - Google Stadia comes to LG Smart TVs: How to play games online

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Right from the design to hardware on both smartphones, Google has paid close attention to each and every detail. Both, the Pixel and Pixel XL are powered by same hardware — with the only difference being their screen size, resolution and battery capacities. The Pixel sports a 5-inch full HD display and comes armed with a 2,770mAh battery, whereas the Pixel XL flaunts a 5.5-inch QHD display and armed with a slightly larger 3,450mAh battery. At the heart of both smartphones runs Qualcomm s 64-bit Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor paired with Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB of RAM. You can choose between 32GB and 128GB onboard storage options. With a 12.3-megapixel rear camera (Sony IMX 378 sensor) of aperture f/2.0, PDAF, laser auto-focus, and dual LED flash, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera is also present on both smartphones. Also Read - Google Pixel Watch renders reveal key design details: Know details

Usual set of connectivity options include USB Type-C charging and data transfer port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GPS, NFC and 4G LTE with VoLTE support. The smartphones will go on pre-order in India starting October 13 on Flipkart. The Pixel will set you back by Rs 57,000 for 32GB variant and Rs 66,000 for the 128GB variant, whereas the Pixel XL costs Rs 67,000 for the 32GB variant and Rs 76,000 for the 128GB storage variant. Now, let s look at everything that s new in the new Pixel smartphones. ALSO READ: Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL hands-on: The real Google phone is here!

Google Assistant

Built-in Google Assistant is one of the biggest features of the new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. With the new and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) based Google Assistant, Google aims to take on Apple s Siri and Amazon s Alexa. It is more capable from Google Now voice assistant, which is a part of most Android smartphones running on 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS. Besides being contextually aware about what s happening on your smartphone, you can interact with Google Assistant, like you do with humans. You can ask for questions like weather, distance from one place to the other, or route from source to destination, and more.

To invoke the Google Assistant, you need to long-press on home button. It can pull up relevant information from the questions you ask. So for instance, you can ask what artist is playing at the Hard Rock Caf near Churchgate and it will show you relevant information. If you text your friends asking whether they are free to attend the gig, and someone responds saying yes, but let s have dinner first at Taj, Google Assistant can not only reserve you a table for your specified time, but also show you the distance from the restaurant to the venue. What s more, it can also pull up information from third-party apps such as WhatsApp, OpenTable and more, when you give it the required permissions. Overall, it s all about the smarts with which Google is aiming to offer a completely different experience.

Pixel Launcher

Google, with its Nexus-smartphones, have always believed in offering no-frills Pure Android experience. While manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung and LG among others put fancy over-the-top customization, Google had always believed in keeping things sweet and simple. The same continues with the new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones too. You get a brand new home screen design with what Google calls Pixel Launcher.

The top left has Google s G logo, tapping on which opens up the search bar, whereas the right has weather details. App shortcuts on home screen now feature round icons. The app drawer from bottom dock is now gone, and swiping up from bottom brings up the list of installed games and apps. Also, swiping from the left to right on the home screen brings up Google Now screen with all the information and cards of your preference.

24/7 chat support

There are times when you have a problem with your smartphone, and at such times, even for the smallest ones, you have to visit the service centre. But how about getting expert assistance right without having to go anywhere? Yes, whether you are sitting in your office, at home, commuting in a cab or metro, in a restaurant or at the beach, Google Pixel and Pixel XL comes with chat support that works 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week.

Using the chat support is also pretty simple. Head over to the Settings Menu and you have two tabs one where you get all settings, and another tab called support. Here, you have two options; Phone to launch a voice call, and Chat to initiate a chat session with the customer support team. What makes this different is the screen sharing feature, allowing the Google employee to control your smartphone and show you how to fix the problem. It can be as easy as setting a ringtone or installing apps or configuring settings. You can also stop the screen sharing anytime you want.

Pixel Camera app

Until now, the stock Android camera app lacked features that you would otherwise get on custom camera apps from HTC, LG and other manufacturers. But, it s different when it comes to the new Pixel and Pixel XL. Both smartphones feature a 12.3-megapixel camera, touted as the best camera on any smartphone, ever. Besides features such as exposure compensation and balance control, the camera app now has even more features.

First off, you get the new smart burst mode that captures multiple shots at once, and then uses artificial intelligence to select the clearest shot. Google has also added HDR+ by default, which uses zero shutter lag to achieve maximum dynamic range for each photo.

Unlimited photos and videos backup

The new high-resolution cameras can capture crisp photos and 4K videos. But when you want quality, they also hog a lot of storage space. With Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, users also get unlimited free Google Photos backup option, allowing them to store all their 4K videos and photos on cloud.

While you get 32GB or 128GB of onboard storage on the Pixel and Pixel XL, there s no microSD card slot for further expansion. For those buying 128GB variant, I believe it is enough to suffice all the needs, but 32GB may not be just enough. Google knows this, and it has added a new feature called Smart Storage. Essentially, it will look for photos and videos that are present on the smartphone and cloud (Google Photos), and delete the local ones to create more space.

Easy update process

Google has also made the update process simpler. Until now, be it an iPhone, Windows Phone or Android, you download the software update and reboot the smartphone to complete the installation. The progress bar appears here, and you have to patiently wait for 20 odds minutes for the installation to complete.

However, with Pixel and Pixel XL, Google has changed the way updates are installed. The new phones will install the update in the background, and the next time you reboot, it be updated to the newest software version. Also, you will no longer have to waste your time, look at the progress bar to complete the installation.

These are all the new features of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. Are you excited to buy the new Made by Google smartphones while shelling out a fortune? Let us know about your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  • Published Date: October 5, 2016 4:35 PM IST
  • Updated Date: October 5, 2016 4:48 PM IST


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