San Francisco/ Bangalore,October 7 2016: Having dominated the web software-n-service space with its Google search engine, Chrome browser and Android operating system for phones, Google has entered the only remaining arena in IT -- hardware.
At a launch event in SanFrancisco this week, it unveiled 2 models of a new Google-branded smart-phone -- Pixel -- completely designed and developed inhouse. The phones will be manufactured by Taiwan-based HTC. Pixel and Pixel plus as they are called sport 4G RAM, and the storage is a choice of 32 GB or 128 GB. The front and back cameras on both models are 12.3 MP and 8 MP -- claimed to be the best in the industry. Pixel is a 5 inch full HD screen.
Pixel Plus is larger at 5.5 inch. Both are single-SIM devices in an era of twin-SIM phones. They come with the new Type C USB, though they still helpfully sport a 3.5mm audio jack and also the older standard USB 3 port. The phones are fueled by the upcoming Android 7 nougat version of the OS. The phones come built-in with a new Google Assistant, similar to iPhone's Siri, Amazon's Alexa and Windows' Cortana. Google claims that Assistant runs on Artificial Intelligence -- presumably making it cleverer, more intuitive. We have to wait and see if that is true. Pixel's batteries are good but not the biggest on offer: 2770 mAh and 3450 mAh respectively -- but they promise all -day working. Pixel phones will cost Rs 57,000 - Rs 75,000 in India. Pixel Plus if sold here, will cost more, how much has not been announced.
In San Francisco, Google has also launched a Virtual Reality headset, Daydream View, for $ 79 (Rs 5500), new version of its video streaming dongle, Chromecast, that is updated for 4K ( $ 69 /Rs4800), and a smart Google Home speaker for $ 129 ( Rs 9000). That makes four hardware items from the world's biggest Internet software company! Clearly a turning point for Google! Pixel can be booked in India from October 13.