10 Features That Make Google Pixel a Serious Smartphone Contender

1 - 10 Features That Make Google Pixel a Serious Smartphone Contender
2 - Trust in Google
3 - An Overall Solid Design
4 - Finding Value in Google Assistant
5 - The Best Smartphone Camera, Google Says
6 - Unlimited (and Free) Storage
7 - A Little VR Support From Google Daydream
8 - It's Nice to See Two Screen Sizes
9 - Let's Talk About Support
10 - A Word About Verizon
11 - A Price That Delivers Value
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10 Features That Make Google Pixel a Serious Smartphone Contender

Despite being the first smartphone designed and engineered by Google, the Pixel still has what it takes to take on the likes of Apple's iPhone 7. Here's why.

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Trust in Google

Although this is Google's first leap into smartphone design and engineering, there's little reason to be concerned. The company has long held to high standards of care for hardware engineering, and those who have already held the Pixel say it feels (and performs) the way a smartphone should. Google might be the latest entrant into the smartphone market, but with ample cash in the bank and a strong desire to take on—and eventually beat—Apple, early adopters shouldn't have too much cause for concern. This isn't a startup; it's Google.

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An Overall Solid Design

Google's Pixel comes with an attractive design, featuring a slim profile, rounded edges, and comfortable placement for the fingerprint sensor and mechanical buttons. Its metal finish is a design element that trumps many of the plastic Android-based handsets already on store shelves. In sum, the Google Pixel looks like the high-end smartphone it is.

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Finding Value in Google Assistant

Google Assistant is the search giant's latest attempt at utilizing machine learning to deliver smarter solutions to its users, and the Google Pixel will be the first smartphone to support it. The feature is designed to help users find answers to questions, manage their tasks and even keep track of their travel itinerary. Best of all, Google Assistant will get smarter as time goes on, rewarding users for employing the service early and often.

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The Best Smartphone Camera, Google Says

Google said at its press event that the Pixel will ship with the world's best smartphone camera. It will achieve that by offering a 12.3-megapixel rear-facing sensor with an f/2.0 aperture. In addition, it supports HDR+ for better color representation. Add that to the camera's strong performance and low light, and it might snap pictures that are at least on par with many digital SLR cameras.

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Unlimited (and Free) Storage

Google said that Pixel owners will get unlimited storage for all of their photos and videos free of charge through its cloud-based servers. Better yet, all of that content will be stored in their raw format, so users don't lose quality by transferring videos or photos to and from their devices. It's also a great way to save precious storage space on a smartphone, which already comes with up to 128GB of storage.

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A Little VR Support From Google Daydream

To boost its presence in virtual reality, Google said the Pixel will work with its new virtual reality headset, the Daydream View. At first glance, the Daydream View looks quite similar to Samsung' Gear VR, which also lets users insert a smartphone into the device to watch VR content. Anyone who preorders a Pixel will get a Daydream View headset free of charge.

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It's Nice to See Two Screen Sizes

Choice is everything in the smartphone market, and Google understands that. Customers will be able to choose the Pixel in a 5-inch or a 5.5-inch version. The 5-inch version has full-HD resolution and 441 pixels per inch, while the 5.5-inch option comes in at 534 pixels per inch and boasts a slightly better quad-HD resolution.

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Let's Talk About Support

Google will offer a support service for the Pixel called Care by Google. The service will be available 24/7 through an app bundled with the smartphone. When users open the app, they'll be given the option to chat with a Google expert or talk on the phone. The app also includes a screen-sharing feature so the support person can see what's happening on the device and fix it.

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A Word About Verizon

Verizon will be Google's exclusive carrier partner with the Pixel. However, "exclusive" is a loaded term in this case. In addition to selling a Verizon-locked device at the carrier's stores, Google will sell an unlocked version for customers who don't want to be tied to the cellular provider. The Google Pixel also will be available on the company's Project Fi service.

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A Price That Delivers Value

The Pixel starts at $649, putting it on par with other high-end smartphones such as the iPhone 7. Customers who want the 5.5-inch version, known as the Pixel XL, will pay $769. Boosting the device's storage from 32GB to 128GB adds another $100 to that price. A top-notch Pixel, in other words, could touch $869. Verizon is selling its Pixel at the same price, though customers also can choose a monthly installment plan that starts at $27.08. In either case, the Google Pixel is slated to start shipping Oct. 20.

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