At its media event in San Francisco today, Google unveiled a raft of new products, highlighted by its new flagship smartphone, the Pixel, and a new artificial intelligence initiative. The latter takes the form of Google Assistant, a personal Google for each user, which can take on everyday tasks -- play music, perform search queries, provide navigation -- in addition to engaging in conversation with the user. The technology will be available through a wide range of products, including devices for the home, as well as the company's new phones.
Speaking of which, Google finally unveiled the 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL, and yes, both bear a striking resemblance to the current iPhone (though there's no "unsightly" camera bump, and there is a 3.5mm headphone jack). The Pixel features a 1080p screen, while the XL has 1440 x 2160 resolution. Both sport Snapdragon 821 processors, fingerprint sensors on the back, 4GB of RAM, and 32 or 128GB of storage. There's a 2770mAh battery for the Pixel and a 3450mAh battery for the Pixel XL, with quick charging that delivers up to 7 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes.
Regarding the camera, Google says that Pixel has received the highest DxO Mark camera rating (89) of any smartphone on the market, a standard that the entire industry respects. The 12.3 megapixel camera has a f/2.0 aperture and features "Smartburst," which intelligently selects the best option from a series of images, while the HDR+ function allows for quality images in bright and low light conditions. You also get unlimited storage in Google Photos.
Running Android Nougat 7.1, which includes support for the Daydream virtual reality platform, the Pixel arrives with Google Assistant built in. During today's demo, the Assistant was used to bring up photos from a specific time or place, and also played music upon request, using the user's favorite music app by default.
Pixel will be available in 32GB and 128GB options as a Verizon exclusive in the United States, along with an unlocked version for $649 through the Google Store. Offered in "Very Silver," "Quite Black" and "Really Blue" colorways, the Pixel and Pixel XL are up for pre-order now.
In addition to the phones, Google unveiled Google Home ($129), the voice-powered assistant/Bluetooth speaker continuing the Google Assistant push into hardware; the Daydream View ($79), the company's new VR headset; Google Wi-Fi ($129); and the 4K video-ready Chromecast Ultra ($69). Lean more about each at madeby.google.com.