Google unveils new Pixel smartphone

Oct 4, 2016 | Biz/Tech

By: Kylie Vaillancourt

Google announced a new phone on Wednesday known as Pixel.

The company made the announcement at a press conference today in San Francisco. CEO Sundar Pichai started off the conference saying the invention of smartphones created a mobile revolution “that’s changed people’s lives.”

For the first time with this new phone, the software and hardware are being made directly by Google.

Senior Vice President of Hardware, Rick Osterloh, said, “We’ve designed everything about Pixel from the industrial design to the user experience. Everything is simple and easy to use. Something Google’s always stood for.”

Pixel is the first Google phone to feature “Google Assistant.” It’s similar to Apple’s Siri as it will do any tasks asked of it.

In the announcement, Google cited praise for the product from DXOMark Mobile, a group that rates the camera quality of cellphones and DSLR cameras.

The group, Google said, gave Pixel a rating of 89, which is the highest rating a smartphone has ever received. The phone has a 12.3 megapixel rear facing camera.

The phone comes in two sizes, 5” and 5.5” and comes in three colours – Quite Black, Very Silver and the limited edition Really Blue.

The phone is capable of giving the user up to seven hours of battery life with only 15 minutes of charging. The device also has a video chatting app known as Google Duo which allows users to be able to video chat with Android and iOS users. The phones will be available at Rogers, Telus and Bell.

Google's new phone comes in three different colours, one being a limited edition. (Google/Youtube)

Google’s new phone comes in three different colours, one being a limited edition. (Google/Youtube)

Pixel supports mobile virtual reality. The device comes with an application, Daydream, which allows individuals to experience virtual reality through a variety of the phone’s applications. The only downfall is that the user needs a headset, Daydream View, to be able to live the virtual reality experience. The application connects to street view on Google maps and can allow the user to tour many different places around the world.

Two students Humber News spoke with said they have low expectations for the phone.

Aihzra Zelaya, a 21-year-old cosmetic management student believes that the phone won’t be comparable to other competitors.

“Everyone gets either Samsung or the iPhone, like not even Sony. Nothing really compares to the two right now. So if google comes out with a new phone, it’s just going to be like Nexus – just kind of unheard of,” said Zelaya.

Fitness and Health Promotion student Kevin LeBar, 20, doesn’t expect high sales for the device compared to Samsung or Apple Products.

“Google has come out with different devices in the past and as far as I know, they’ve all seemed to fail and disappear. A good example being the Google Glass or the Nexus phone. I just don’t think it’ll work out in the end,” said LeBar.

People are available to preorder the phone now before its release on Oct. 20.