Google’s newly-launched artificial intelligence-powered premium device Pixel will impact Apple’s iPhone ecosystem and even Samsung’s flagship premium device Note 7 to an extent, experts have said. Samsung has delayed on its Note 7 owing to battery explosion fears, thus creating a void in the premium segment.
India is among the first six countries where Pixel is being launched. Starting at Rs, 57,000, the device will be available for pre-order in the country starting October 13. “Google, while merging software and hardware towards creating a new ecosystem, poses a direct threat to the Apple ecosystem. Pixel will come with the newest Android operating system — Android 7.1 Nougat. Pixel phones will also get software and security updates as soon as they are available, directly from Google,” Tarun Pathak, Senior Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems at New Delhi-based Counterpoint Research, told IANS.
“On the other hand, the void created by the absence of Note 7 is also going to help Pixel cement its position in the premium segment. Note 7 is yet to arrive in India so Pixel may have a headstart here,” Pathak told IANS. Pixel comes in two sizes — 5 and 5.5-inch — with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protected super AMOLED display. Pixel is first smartphone with Google Assistant — a built-in AI programme that works as an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator like Apple’s “Siri”.
Users can have a natural conversation with Google to find answers or get things done on the go. Say “Ok Google” or touch and hold the Home button and Assistant is ready to help. According to Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, Google now has a complete ecosystem in place and needs to focus on bolstering its distribution network.
“Having said that, it can’t outsell devices like iPhone7 or Note 7 right now as Apple and Samsung have hundred and thousands of touchpoints. Overnight, Google can’t outsell these brands. It has to build a robut distribution network to gain ground,” Gupta told IANS. “With controlling both hardware and software, Google is making a statement here to deliver the best product powered with Google Assistant. Good news is that the company will now reach out directly to its customers and not via partners,” Gupta added. Although HTC has manufactured the smartphones, the new devices bear Google branding.
Google is also offering free and unlimited online storage for photos and videos — in original quality. Pixel also comes pre-installed with Google Duo video calling app and messaging app Allo. With powerhouse specifications, both the devices have similar hardware under the hood. Pixel smartphones are fitted with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 821 Quad core (2x 2.15 Ghz and 2×1.6 Ghz) processors and 4GB RAM. Pixel has a 2770 battery while the 5.5-inch device has 3450 mAh battery. Both devices support “Quick Charge” technology, promising 7 hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging.