Google, after eight years of releasing Android Phones, has decided to stop hiding behind their OEM partners and has decided to take on the likes of Apple and Samsung by finally releasing a phone that bears their branding through and through. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google earlier in the year stated that Google was going to be “more opinionated” about their Nexus design and this has apparently culminated in them releasing these handsets, set to be unveiled this October 4th. Here is everything we know about them so far:
- They will be manufactured by HTC. In what is a call-back to the first Google device ever, the HTC G1 over eight years ago, Google is back partnering with HTC to release not one, but two handsets. Unlike the Nexus brand of phones where Google and an OEM of their choosing designed a phone which bore the logo of the OEM and Google’s Nexus logo, HTC is said to be an ODM, or Original Device Manufacturer. That means HTC will simply manufacture the phone for Google and will have no HTC logo on it whatsoever. It’s a bit like the Foxconn and Apple arrangement, where Foxconn makes the iPhone according to Apple’s specifications and Apple slaps their branding on it. HTC has been struggling to gain traction in the phone market again, which it seems to be doing with their HTC 10, but I am sure this ODM arrangement works for them as a way to earn extra income.
- The new HTC made phones will bear the Pixel branding. The new handsets will be called the Pixel, for the smaller handset, and the Pixel XL for the larger handset. Right out the gate, Google wants to appeal to all segments of the smartphone market by making available two screen sizes. Previous Pixel branded devices before the Pixel and Pixel XL are the Chromebook Pixel, known for its high def screen, and the Pixel C tablet. Both are premium devices and are basically the best of what Google offer, which I am sure they are trying to emulate with the handsets by naming them Pixel devices too.
- The specs. The smaller Pixel will reportedly have a 5″ inch 1080P screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, 4GB RAM, 2,770mAh non-removable battery and an IP53 waterproof rating. The larger Pixel XL has a similar processor and RAM but differs with a 5.5″ screen and 3,450mAh non-removable battery Each will start at 32GB storage, all the way up to 128. It is said to also ship with Android’s first Nougat 7.0 maintenance update, Nougat 7.1, so if you haven’t even gotten an update to Nougat, here comes another version to wait for forever. As for the IP53 waterproof rating, do not go dunking your phone in water for too long, it can only withstand a few metres for a short period of time.
- It will be pricey as hell. The smaller Pixel is said to start at $649 so you know the larger one will be in $700 range. This is iPhone and Samsung territory people so you know Google is gunning for that spot. For that price, it better come shipped with JBL ear pods at least.
The Pixel phones however are not the only things to look forward to on October 4th. Rumor has it:
- There will be a new 7″inch Nexus tablet made by Huawei unveiled that day.
- The new Google Cast (formerly Chromecast) Ultra will be unveiled too. It will be available for $69 and can display your videos at 4K. So, if your TV doesn’t display at 4K, just get the older Chromecast which goes for just $35 where available.
- Finally, the long rumored mashup of Android and Chrome will be unleashed on the world and will be called “Andromeda”. It is rumored to be the OS on which the new Huawei Nexus tablet runs.
It looks set to be an interesting October 4th event to say the least.