Made by Google, sort of...

Google Pixel and Pixel XL: Tech specs, features, pricing

Google's Pixel and Pixel XL phones come with the best rated camera, premium design, and unlimited storage for photos and videos. Here's all you need to know.

Hello Pixel and Pixel XL, goodbye Nexus. These new phones are made by Google, designed by Google, and manufactured by Google — although, technically HTC is the company making them. These are Google phones through and through, as you can see no branding other than the “G” Google logo in the back.

Unlike the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, these Pixel phones are top-shelf devices with premium features, and they come to the market to compete head-to-head with Samsung Galaxy and Apple’s iPhone (and if you look closely they even look a little bit like the iPhone 7).

Pixel variants

The new Google phone comes in two variants, including the 5-inch (Pixel) and the 5.5-inch (Pixel XL), and both handsets sport most of the same hardware specs.

Pixels are available in three colors, including “very silver,” “quite black,” and there is also the “really blue” color option, but it’s only limited to the U.S. market initially.

Google Pixel colors: “very silver,” “quite black,” “really blue”
Google Pixel colors: “very silver,” “quite black,” “really blue”

Pixel design

The handsets feature an aluminum unibody design, and on the back of the phone, you’ll notice two types of finish: A metal finish on bottom and a glossy “glass shade” with a coat of Gorilla Glass 4 to make it scratch resistant (but it’s a fingerprint magnet) on the top, which also helps the antennas get better reception. In addition to the rounded edges that helps to make it less slippery.

Google Pixel front and back view
Google Pixel front and back view

Pixel tech specs

 PixelPixel XL
Display
Display5.0 inches
FHD AMOLED at 441ppi
2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4
5.5 inches
QHD AMOLED at 534ppi
2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Size5.6 x 2.7 x 0.2 ~ 0.3 inches
143.8 x 69.5 x 7.3 ~ 8.5 mm
6.0 x 2.9 x 0.2 ~ 0.34 inches
154.7 x 75.7 x 7.3 ~ 8.5 mm
Battery2,770 mAh battery
Standby time (LTE): up to 19 days
Talk time (3g/WCDMA): up to 26 hours
Internet use time (Wi-Fi): up to 13 hours
Internet use time (LTE): up to 13 hours
Video playback: up to 13 hours
Audio playback (via headset): up to 110 hours
Fast charging: up to 7 hours of use from only 15 minutes of charging
3,450 mAh battery
Standby time (LTE): up to 23 days
Talk time (3g/WCDMA): up to 32 hours
Internet use time (Wi-Fi): up to 14 hours
Internet use time (LTE): up to 14 hours
Video playback: up to 14 hours
Audio playback (via headset): up to 130 hours
Fast charging: up to 7 hours of use from only 15 minutes of charging
ON BOTH DEVICES
Operating SystemAndroid 7.1 Nougat
DesignAerospace-grade aluminum unibody
Glass shade with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon™ 821 (MSM8996 pro)
Quad Core 2x 2.15GHz / 2x 1.6GHz
Display100% NTSC
100000:1, super contrast ratio
True black level
Full 24-bits depth or 16.77 million colors
Less than 40% brightness decrease at 30 degree viewing angle
Memory4GB LPDDR4 RAM
Storage32GB
128GB
Video1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps
720p @ 30fps, 60fps, 240fps
4K @ 30fps
CameraFront-facing Camera:
12.3MP
Large 1.55μm pixels
Phase detection autofocus + laser detection autofocus
f/2.0 Aperture

Back-facing Camera:
8MP
1.4µm pixels
f/2.4 Aperture
Fixed focus
MediaSingle bottom-firing speaker
3 Mics
Noise Suppression
ConnectivitySupports up to CAT 12 (600Mbps DL / 75Mbps UL) depending on carrier support
GPS
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2x2 MIMO
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC
SensorsProximity / ALS
Accelerometer / Gyrometer
Magnetometer
Pixel Imprint – Back-mounted fingerprint sensor for fast unlocking
Barometer
Hall effect sensor
Android Sensor Hub
Advanced x-axis haptics for sharper / defined response
ChargingUSB Type-C 18W adaptor with USB-PD
18W charging
Ports and SlotsUSB Type-C
USB 3.0
3.5mm headset jack
Single Nano SIM
ColorsQuite Black
Very Silver
Really Blue
In BoxUSB Type-C™ 18W adaptor with USB-PD
A-C cable (USB 3.0)
C-C cable (USB 2.0)
SIM tool
Quick switch adapter

Features only on Pixel

There are a few features that set the Pixels apart from the rest, and even from other Google phones. Perhaps the most important feature is that they are currently the only devices including Google Assistant out-of-the-box, which is Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and even Amazon’s Alexa, and it comes preloaded with Android 7.1 (Nougat).

Pixel owners can also store every photo and video captured with these phones with their original resolutions for the life of the device, meaning never running out of space anymore even when recording 4K videos.

If you ever need help, a Google technician can quickly remote into your phone to offer support.

Google is also proud to ship Pixel with a 3.5mm headphone jack — unlike the iPhone 7.

Pixel camera

According to the company the 12-megapixel camera is the best camera on a mobile device with an overall DxOMark Mobile score of 89, which is high number and huge deal. People using these phones will notice no more delays when rotating the phone to take pictures on portrait or landscape, and after autofocus.

Then there is the front-facing camera which features an 8-megapixel sensor, and rotating the phone back and forth will switch back and front-facing camera.

Pixel battery life and ports

The Pixels sport the updated version of USB Type-C port for data transfer and charging. You can’t remove the battery, but you should get up to 13 hours of battery life surfing the internet and watching videos on the Pixel, and about 14 hours on the Pixel XL. Google also claims that a 15 minutes charge will give you up to 7 hours of battery life.

While the Pixel phones will do a pretty decent job when it comes to water resistance, but they’re only rated to IP53, which are not as good as the other phones like the ones from Apple and Samsung.

How to get a Google Pixel

Pixel pricing starts at $649 for the 32GB, and then goes up to $749 for the 128GB, and $769 and $869 for the Pixel XL.

You can pre-order the phones now unlocked from the Google Store, or in the United States, you can also get them exclusively on Verizon. Keep in mind that if you purchase the phone from Verizon, the company will control updates roll out, not Google. This means that you may not get new features and improvements as soon as Google releases them.