News about the Pixel smartphone didn’t just leak out of Google; it poured out in torrents of information splashed across gadget sites all over the web. Therefore, we knew early on that this was going to be an impressive piece of consumer kit. And that Google was setting it up as Android’s answer to Apple’s iPhone 7.
This is billed as the first phone made by Google “inside and out” – from the carefully positioned fingerprint scanner to the latest version of Android running under the bonnet.
So, with Apple continuing to divide opinion with the iPhone 7 and Samsung busy cleaning up after its Galaxy Note 7 (literally) backfired – is this the time to defect to Google? We’ve spent some quality time with the Pixel in order to find out.
As soon as you get it in your hands, the similarities with Apple’s phone are apparent. From the curved look of the aluminium casing to the choice of 5-inch or 5.5-inch screens. Even though the Pixel (and its larger brother, the Pixel XL) were built by Taiwanese company HTC, you won’t find any evidence of it.
Google might be trying to outdo Apple, but that doesn’t include undercutting it. The Pixel and Pixel XL are priced exactly the same as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
The 5-inch Pixel costs £599 for the 32GB model and £699 for the 128GB version. That goes up to £719 for the 32GB Pixel XL and £819 for the 128GB one. These kind of prices take the Pixel out of any kind of secondary or replacement device territory and right into the upper echelons of the smartphone market.
It also means the stakes are high for Google to deliver a genuinely market-leading smartphone that’s going to be able to justify a two, three or four year investment.