Google’s 2016 smartphone lineup, after leaking aggressively over the last few weeks, is now official revealing the new Pixel and Pixel XL. As the names suggest, both the handsets sport identical specifications with variations in display and battery sizes. However, apart from raw hardware and software (and *cough* the prices *cough*), there are some things that you probably missed. Hence, here are six such features of the new Pixel phones you must know about.


1. Unlimited High-Resolution Photo/Video Storage

Yes, if you purchase either the Pixel or Pixel XL, you can get lifetime high-resolution Google Photos storage. Hence, you can get all your 4K videos and full-resolution photos on the cloud and access them anywhere with no limitations at all. Now, it is currently uncertain whether this will also unlock your account allowing uploading on other configured phones too, but we’d doubt that. BTW, did you see Google’s subtle dig at Apple on this?

2. Background Update Installation

Usually, when a new software update arrives on a phone, it downloads and installs only when you hit the “Install Now” button and restart. However, with these new phones and Android 7.1, these updates will get verified and installed over to a separate memory partition and once you restart your phone normally, there’s your new update already good to go. Considering the past, we aren’t sure if this is a good move or not as initial updates can be buggy.

3. A Dedicated Adapter for Transferring Old Phone’s Data


Google also made switching to a new phone extremely easy with a dedicated USB-C adapter that can be attached to an iPhone or Android for quickly restoring things such as contacts, iMessages, photos, videos, music, and more. It is definitely a much-needed piece of hardware and will be surely adopted by other OEMs.

4. 24/7 Customer Support


Pixel owners will get absolutely free access to a 24/7 customer support portal where you can directly chat or talk with experts and resolve your queries. Additionally, you’ll be able to share your phone’s screen if required. So this is a virtual service center on your phone. Not the first time we are seeing something like this on a smartphone, but the 24×7 support is so cool.

5. DayDream VR support

Pixel and Pixel XL are, as one would expect, the first handsets which are compatible with Google’s dedicated Virtual Reality platform – DayDream. This will allow you to watch and experience content through the supported hardware like Google’s own Daydream View. Daydream features an intuitive interface baked right in Android Nougat through which you can watch YouTube videos, browse various locations in 360 degrees, play little games using the controller and a lot more.

6. Google Assistant


And lastly, there’s the Google Assistant, the heart, and soul of Google’s new strategy for taking on the iPhones and Samsung Galaxies of the world. Pixel and Pixel XL are heavily integrated with Google’s new virtual assistant that is contextually aware of what you’re doing and utilizes the search engine’s knowledge graph’s 70 Billion facts for fetching the perfect answer. It will be accessible directly from the home button and on one swipe, can provide relevant information regarding the data present on your screen at that moment. At this point, no other Android handset or Siri can match what Assistant is capable of.

Pixel and Pixel XL will be initially sold in six countries including India with premium price tags. To know more about the devices, check out our launch story.


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Shubham is based out of Ahmedabad, India and is studying to be a Computer Engineer, while specializing in mobile applications. He loves covering what's new in the smartphone space and aims to make it his primary profession some day.