(CNN) – Google’s Pixel smartphones take a huge step towards becoming a real competitor to the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.
At a virtual press conference on Tuesday, the company showed the new 6.4-inch Pixel 6 and 6.7-inch Pixel 6 Pro, which run on Android 12, Google’s most significant software update in years. The devices have near-frameless displays, a new camera system built into the horizontal camera bar on the back, innovative photo capabilities, and a battery that can last almost two days by prioritizing the apps you use most (and shutting down the rest) . ).
But the real game changer is Google’s new in-house tensor processor, which marks a move away from the third-party chips commonly used in competing Android devices. The company said Tensor made the Pixel 6 phones run 80% faster than the Pixel 5, enabling artificial intelligence on the device for features like more accurate speech recognition and image processing. It also gives the phones more processing power for games and apps, and makes some of its new camera tools possible.
Apple, Huawei, and Samsung have been making their own chips for years, but Google’s efforts to double a bespoke processor for its own Google Android software show that it is ready to create a custom experience for its users and try to make one to achieve a much larger part of the global smartphone market. (Right now, Google Pixel accounts for less than 1% of global smartphone sales and sold about 3.7 million units last year, according to market research firm IDC.)
“Google never intended the Pixel to be a high-volume smartphone,” said David McQueen, director of research at ABI Research. “The idea was to use the Pixel devices to showcase the Android ecosystem and demonstrate to their partners what is possible with top-end hardware and the latest Android software.” But the benefits of a custom Google Tensor chip could allow new experiences to be made possible, he added.
The Pixel 6 comes in three colors – Seafoam, Kinda Coral, and Black – and starts at $ 599. The Pixel 6 Pro is now available in sunny, white, and black from $ 899. The new Pixel 6 smartphones can be pre-ordered now and will be delivered on October 28th.
Launch comes during a busy week of launching tech products before the Christmas season. On Monday, Apple unveiled new MacBook Pro laptops and its next-generation AirPods. And Samsung is holding a mysterious press event on Wednesday. However, these products are also being launched due to ongoing concerns about global component shortages and logistics issues.
As with many smartphones, improvements to the camera are a major selling point. The Pixel 6 Pro has a new triple rear view camera system with a professional telephoto lens with 4x optical zoom in the camera bar and an 11 megapixel selfie camera on the front. The company said the sensor captures 150% more light and aims to bring more vivid colors and greater accuracy into the photos. The company said it could capture the finest details, including a starry sky.
Google also introduced new photo tools, including Face Unblur, which captures faces better in difficult conditions, Magic Eraser in Google Photos, which removes background distractions, and Motion Mode for action shots.
The company is also adding new security features to the Pixel, such as: For example, a security hub that stores passwords in one place and allows you to turn off microphones and cameras (or choose which apps they can use). Efforts come amid the constant scrutiny of technology companies and their approach to user privacy.
It also introduces heightened anti-phishing protection to detect potential risks and suspicious phone calls, text messages, emails and links and report them to users. Meanwhile, the new Personal Safety App recognizes whether the user has had an accident and helps them to reach first aiders.
Earlier this year, Google unveiled a new look for Android 12, with bigger buttons, a large clock on the home screen that changes size depending on the number of notifications shown, and muted pastel colors. It also features a number of productivity updates, including an option to hold the power button on the Google Assistant to make a call or ask to read an article, as well as augmented reality tools on Google Maps.
That story was first published on CNN.com, “Google Pixel 6 lineup with its first bespoke chip goes after the iPhone.”