Google Pixel – Great Camera, Great Battery – The Future of Smartphones?

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By James Bagshawe | 2:32 pm, October 6, 2016
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Shots fired, Apple. You know your premium phone with that low-light camera you like so much? Well it seems like Google’s gone and one-upped you with a direct rival. It’s called the Pixel, it’s got the highest rated camera of any smartphone (still rubbish compared to an actual camera, but whatever) and – get this – it has a headphone jack. Boom!

The Pixel is the Big Daddy amongst the new Made by Google line that was recently unleashed upon the wider world. It is a premium smartphone that comes in two sizes: 5” or 5.5” (big or bigger) with a Snapdragon 821 Quad Core processor, gorilla glass (that means no scratches and it will not crack when you drop it), an AMOLED display with a pixel density well beyond what you actually need and either 32gb or 128gb of storage.

Google would tell you it has unlimited storage but it doesn’t. It will just store your photos in the cloud. Because that’s safe, right? … Guys? Right? Despite this rather dubious ‘feature’ at least the photos you take will look good. The camera on the Pixel is top-of-the-line stuff, according to the folks at DxOMark Mobile. I don’t know who they are, but I do know that a locked F2.0 aperture is a good thing so hopefully this camera will impress you with its ability to masquerade as a semi-competent bridge camera.

You’ll also find a new Siri-a-like called Google Assistant, a nice looking aluminium body that is apparently ‘aerospace grade’ (thank God for that!) and – of course – silly names for the colors: Quite Black, Very Silver or Really Blue. Oh, Google, how droll…

The real feature on this phone, for my money, is the fast-charging capability. Now here is an innovation in smartphones that I can get behind wholeheartedly. Plug the Pixel in for 15 minutes and you will be granted 7hrs of battery life. Damn, son. That’s pretty good. Particularly when you consider how the gizmos it has on it will doubtless drain that battery down. Just check out this laundry list of ‘ometers’: Accelerometer/Gyrometer, Magnetometer, Barometer and Fingerprint-ometer. Ok, the last one’s not strictly an ‘ometer’, but it does have a fingerprint sensor. The Pixel has all the toys and no doubt some will prove to be useful. The stabilisation on videos that the gyro provides, for example, seems to be very effective.

The Pixel is a like-for-like rival to the iPhone 7 and it has a price tag to match. If you want to fly the Google colors from Day One, you’ll be dropping $649 minimum. That’s not cheap. On the plus side, you will have a very capable phone in your possession but – as with any premium smartphone – are the extra bells and whistles worth trebling the price? Can Google successfully bottle the ‘ignore the pricetag’ formula that Apple have perfected? Shots Fired…