Google has lifted the lid on two new Pixel-branded smartphones, teaming a 12-megapixel camera and fast-charge mode with the latest Nougat version of its Android software and a much improved voice-activated digital assistant.
Available to pre-order now, the standard Pixel phone features a five-inch 1080p display, while the Pixel Xl's Quad HD screen comes in at 5.5-inches. Both phones offer support for Google's VR video and gaming platform.
The Pixel phones, which replace Google’s long-established Nexus range of handsets and feature a premium metal construction, are the first smartphones to come with the Android 7.1 Nougat software and the first to be equipped with the Google Assistant built-in. The voice-activated assistant is smarter and more helpful than the ageing Google Now and understands a greater range of commands.
Both phones feature a USB-C port and a fast charge mode that's apparently capable of juicing up a phone with seven hours of battery life with a 15-minute charge.
There's also a fingerprint scanner on the back for enhanced security and a choice of 32GB or 128GB storage options. Users get unlimited storage for photos and videos via the pre-installed Photos app.
Powered by a Qualcomm 821 processor, the Pixel phones are equipped with a 12.3-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilisation for video. The camera can also automatically select the best photo when a selection of shots are taken in a 'burst'. An eight-megapixel front camera handles selfies and video calls.
According to Google, independent camera ratings agency DXOMark has scored the Pixel as the highest smartphone camera ever.
The standard Pixel model is priced from £599 when bought SIM-free and off-contract. The XL edition starts at £719. Both are available to pre-order now, ahead of their official on-sale date of October 20th.
EE is the sole UK network offering the Pixel phones directly and will be selling the standard model free on monthly contracts from £50.99 per month. The XL edition is up for grabs from £55.99 per month.
However, you'll be able to buy it from Carphone Warehouse on a range of carriers.
Android Nougat 7.0 was recently made available to download for recent Nexus phones. You can get a précis of its key features with our hands-on review.