Google's new Pixel, Pixel XL Android smartphones touch down

By David Flynn, October 5 2016
Google's new Pixel, Pixel XL Android smartphones touch down

Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones will launch in Australia later this month through the Google Store and exclusive mobile partner Telstra.

The Pixel family – details of which were revealed earlier this week, and are now posted at the MadeByGoogle website – are Google's new flagship Android smartphones, replacing the Nexus and moving into premium turf to take on Apple and Samsung.

And they'll come with premium prices, too.

The 5.0 inch Pixel will start at $1,079 for 32GB of storage, with $1,229 for the 128GB model.

For the larger 5.5 inch Pixel XL, be prepared to stump up $1,269 or $1,419 for either 32GB or 128GB.

Those are outright prices listed through the Google Store, with colour choices between silver and black and delivery from October 24.

JB Hi-Fi will be Google Pixel's sole Aussie retail partner, while Telstra is taking advance orders for the Pixel twins at across a range of plans.

PREVIOUS | Android power users, meet your next smartphone.

Google's Pixel and Pixel XL – which replace the Nexus as the search supremo's own-brand hero phones – have broken cover ahead of their official launch early Wednesday morning, Australian time.

That's bad news for the handful of overly eager beaver retailers and mobile networks which jumped the gun, but good news if you've been hanging out for details – although these are largely in line with months of drip-feed leaks leading up to the event.

The standard Pixel will sport a 5 inch 1080p screen, with the Pixel XL upping the ante to a 5.5 inch quad-HD panel.

Apart from that, they'll share top-shelf specs: Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor backed by 4GB of RAM, 12-megapixel cameras, fingerprint scanners (located on the rear panel, rather than the front) and an aluminium unibody design.

The capacious batteries will support fast-charge technology capable of a seven hour boost in just 15 minutes.

The jury's still out on if the Pixel twins will also pack a microSD card slot, but at least there's a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

They'll also introduce the Android 7.1 'Nougat' OS, tweaked for Pixel and containing some exclusive touches.

We should know pricing later this week, but that's tipped to be in line with Apple and Samsung's flagship models.

The Pixels will carry only Google's branding, although indications are that they'll be manufactured by HTC.

Also on the menu: Google's new Allo instant messaging app and Google Assistant helper...

... and Allo's Facetime-like videochat sibling Duo.

Pixels aside, there's still plenty more to expect from Google this week – including the debut of the Google Home voice-controlled assistant, a 4K version of Chromecast, a new Google Wi-Fi smart router and perhaps a first look at Andromeda, the rumoured next-gen platform which will combine elements of Chrome OS and Android for tablets and laptops.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 692

It will be interesting to see just how 'optimized' the HTC handsets will be, given the exit of Huawei from the project. Here's a small backgrounder from droidLife:

Generally, nothing wrong with the HTC product. But perhaps HTC may be short-changed on the actual level of customisation for the new 'Google' flagship product?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2014

Total posts 50

Well that's an interesting story. 

Personally I would have liked to have seen the phone made by Sony, at least then it may have had an interesting design. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1377

Should be mentioned that Allo and Duo are available for almost all existing Android devices, and iphone for that matter.

Being a Google phone not expecting SD card, nor dual-SIM.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 77

One of the great things about the older Google Nexus phones is that they are among the best value in the market. You can currently buy a Nexus 5X on Kogan for $350 (1/3 of the price of the Pixel) and a Nexus 6P for $600 (1/2 the price of the Pixel). I previously replaced a iphone 5C with the Nexus 5X and not only was it a vastly superior phone, it was also half the price. My initial reaction is the Pixel is priced too high. It will be interesting to see what the demand is like, and what kind of discount is offered if demand is soft.

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