Can the Google Pixel cut it against the heavyweights?
Apple and Samsung have dominated the smartphone universe for years, but now Google is trying to barge its way into the mix and upset the equilibrium with the new Google Pixel and Pixel XL. Will the computer and internet giant be able to shake up the established smartphone hierarchy? With Samsung having a nightmare with its exploding Note 7 range and Apple facing stick from scrapping the traditional headphone socket, now could be the perfect time for Google to capitalize. Let’s take a look at some of the key features of the Pixel XL.
A clever part of the advertising campaign for the new Pixel range is the fact that it has retained the headphone jack, something which is “satisfyingly not new,” in an obvious dig at Apple’s decision to get rid of it. Some of the other main features that many users will find appealing are the fact that the battery can be charged in a record time of fifteen minutes; it is powered by a 1.6 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor; it comes with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. One downside is that the storage cannot be expanded – Apple and Samsung both offer options with greater amounts of space.
Aside from these aspects, the phone has a sleek design that is just as aesthetically pleasing as the competition.
One of the primary uses for smartphones nowadays is mobile gaming. According to Statista, mobile gaming revenue in the USA totals over $2.1 billion, with those figures steadily rising. Game developers have recognized that users with busy schedules enjoy the pick-up-and-play appeal of smartphone apps that can be played at a moment’s notice. To enhance these games and make them more enjoyable for the player, it is imperative that the phone has a high-resolution screen that’s large enough for players to click on things. When users play roulette at sites like Betway they need to be able to place their chips exactly where they want to bet. Likewise, when gamers are playing technical games like Score! Hero they must be able to swipe the screen with pinpoint accuracy.
The Google Pixel AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16MB colors doesn’t disappoint on these counts. The size is 5.5 inches with a 71.2% screen-to-body ratio, and the resolution is 1440 x 2560 pixels which is the same as the Note 7. It also has Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. In comparison, the iPhone 7 has 750 x 1334 pixels, meaning that the Google and Samsung offerings will provide a more enhanced picture for gaming. The larger screen size than the iPhone also helps to make games more immersive.
The Pixel has a 12.3 MP camera, f/2.0 lens, phase and laser AF, dual-LED and dual-tone flash with 30/60/120fps video capture – making it one of the most advanced cameras ever to be installed on a phone. In addition to that, it has an 8MP selfie camera with an f/2.4 lens. Camera use on smartphones is of an even higher importance than gaming for most buyers, with 92% of smartphone owners using them for the camera compared to 65% for gaming according to research gathered in 2014. The Note 7 camera is only 12MP with f/1.7 and doesn’t have the dual-tone flash, and the iPhone 7 has similar specs to Samsung’s offering. For those who place camera and picture quality as of utmost importance, the Pixel XL is the phone to buy.
The Google Pixel is easily sufficiently advanced to cut it against the big boys, but has it done enough to budge the competition aside and become the number one choice? Starting at $729 in the USA, the price tag may just put a fair few people off stepping out into the unknown and away from their trusted favorites.