Google Pixel and Pixel XL: 5 Things You May Not Know

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 4 Oct 2016


Google today unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL after months of rumors and leaks. The latest handsets from the company are packed to the brim with top-notch internals and new features that we will only see in the next generation of Android smartphones.

While you must have already read gone through the spec sheets of the Pixel and Pixel XL, here are five things that you might have missed about the device, which also help set the devices apart from other Android smartphones in the market.

Same specs, different size

Unlike last year, where the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P had slightly different internals, the Pixel and Pixel XL sport the exact same internals with only a few minor differences. Both phones are powered by Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 821 chipset running at 2.15GHz. They also sport 4GB RAM and will be available in 32GB and 128GB storage variants. The only two differences between the two handsets are in their screen size and battery capacity. The Pixel features a 5-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display and a 2770mAh battery, while the Pixel XL comes with a 5.5-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display and 3450mAh battery.

Great Cameras

After years of fittings its Nexus phones with potato cameras, Google finally stepped up its game last year with the 12.3MP shooter of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. This year, the company is further building on the camera strengths of its previous Nexus devices. The Pixel and Pixel XL come with Sony’s IMX378 sensor, which is the successor to the IMX377 sensor found on the 5X and 6P. This means that we are still looking at an excellent 12.3MP shooter that features large 1.55u pixels. The sensor is paired with a f/2.0 aperture lens, but to improve autofocus times Google has added laserAF and PDAF to it.

Google boasted at the event that the Pixel and Pixel XL cameras have the highest rating — 89 –ever given by DxOMark Mobile to a smartphone camera. While the camera setup on both phones lack OIS, Google has built a the gyroscope sensor directly into the camera setup that makes software stabilisation accurate than ever before.  Additionally, Google notes that HDR+ is now enabled by default on Pixel smartphones and has no processing times. Under HDR+ mode, the Pixel and Pixel XL will take multiple photos and combine them into one for better details and contrast.

Free Unlimited Storage on Google Photos

To complement the great cameras on the Pixel and Pixel XL, Google will be offering free unlimited storage on Google Photos with the handsets. This includes full high-resolution photos shot from the phone as well as 4K videos taken from the phone.

Once photos and videos are backed up, Google Photos will automatically prompt you to delete them from the device to free up storage space on it. This way, Google will ensure that 32GB Pixel owners don’t ever get a notification about running out of storage space on the device.

Fingerprint scanner becomes useful

Google first debuted its Nexus Imprint fingerprint scanner with the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X last year. However, on those devices, the fingerprint scanner could only be used to unlock the device and not much. Thankfully, on the Pixel and Pixel XL, the fingerprint scanner can be used for quickly bringing up the notification shade as well via a simple swipe.

Seamless Updates

With Android 7,1 Nougat and Pixel and Pixel XL, Google is debuting its new seamless updates feature. While the Pixel phones will get directly security and Android updates from Google, they will be automatically downloaded in the background when the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Once downloaded, the update will also be installed in the background seamlessly, and once you restart your Pixel, the device will automatically be running the latest security or software update that is available for it. The dreaded ‘Android is upgrading’ screen will no longer show up since Google has taken a cue from its ChromeOS team to ensure updates are seamlessly installed on Pixel and Pixel XL.

Don’t forget Google Assistant!

Google is using its new Pixel devices as the launch platform for Google Assistant, its successor to Google Now. The new assistant from the company is smarter and more conversational than ever before. And since it will be running on Google Home as well, it will be available almost everywhere. One can quickly trigger Google Assistant on the Pixel and Pixel XL by long pressing the home button. Google Assistant to make hotel reservations, hold conversations, pull up relevant information to a particular event, dig up your flight tickets, and more.


What are you favorite features of the Pixel adn Pixel XL? Do you plan on buying one? Drop a comment below and let us know.