A strong statement of intent and a gazillion leaks later, they are finally here – the Pixel and Pixel XL are the first Google-branded smartphones. As evident from the launch event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Google is positioning the Pixel smartphones against Apple’s iPhone, at the premium-end of the segment, though some believe the phones may end up hurting the likes of Samsung instead. We spent some hands on time with the Pixel and Pixel XL at the demo area after the event and here are our first impressions.
In terms of industrial design, there’s nothing pathbreaking about the new Pixel phones, but that shouldn’t bother anyone. The physical similarities to the iPhone are evident at first glance, but like most Android phones the screen-to-body ratio of the Pixel XL, for example, is much better than the iPhone 7 Plus, making the former – and indeed most Android phones – a much more manageable overall size, despite sporting the same display size.