The Google Pixel 6 range with its first custom chip goes after the iPhone
(CNN) – Google’s Pixel smartphones are taking a big step forward to become a real competitor to Apple’s iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.
At a virtual press conference on Tuesday, the company showcased 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 since years. The devices feature near-bezel-less displays, a new camera system built into the horizontal camera bar that stretches along the back side, innovative photo functions, and a battery that can last nearly two hours. days by prioritizing the most used apps (and shutting down the rest).
But the real game changer is Google’s new in-house Tensor processor, which marks a departure from third-party chips commonly used in competing Android devices. The company said Tensor allows Pixel 6 phones to run 80% faster than the Pixel 5, enabling artificial intelligence on the device for features like voice recognition and more precise image processing. It also gives 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 shows that it is ready to create a personalized experience for its users and strive for a much larger share of the global smartphone market. (Right now, Google Pixel accounts for less than 1% of global smartphone sales, selling around 3.7 million units last year, according to market research firm IDC.)
“Google never wanted the Pixel to be a high-volume smartphone,” said David McQueen, research director at ABI Research. “The idea was that they would use Pixel devices to showcase the Android ecosystem, showing their partners what can be done with high-end hardware and the latest Android software.” But the benefits of a personalized Google Tensor chip could allow it to make new experiences possible, he added.
The Pixel 6 comes in three colors – Seafoam, Kinda Coral, and black – and starts at $ 599. Meanwhile, the Pixel 6 Pro is available in sunny, white, and black, starting at $ 899. The new Pixel 6 phones are now available for pre-order and will start shipping on October 28.
The launch comes during a busy week for tech product launches ahead of the holiday season. On Monday, Apple unveiled the new MacBook Pro laptops and its next-generation AirPods. And Samsung is organizing a mysterious press event on Wednesday. But these products are also being launched amid lingering concerns about global component shortages and logistics issues.
As with many smartphones, improvements to the camera are a key selling point. The Pixel 6 Pro has a new triple rear camera system with a professional-level telephoto lens with 4x optical zoom built into the camera bar and an 11-megapixel selfie camera on the front. The company said the sensor captures 150% more light, in an effort to bring more vivid colors and greater accuracy to photos. The company said it can capture the finest details, including a starry sky.
Google has also introduced new photo tools, including Face Unblur which better captures faces in difficult conditions, Magic Eraser in Google Photos which removes background distractions, and Motion Mode for action photos.
The company is also adding new security features to the Pixel, such as a security hub that puts passwords in one place and lets you turn off microphones and cameras (or choose which apps can use them). This effort comes against the backdrop of scrutiny of tech companies and their approach to user privacy.
It also deploys enhanced anti-phishing protection to detect potential risks and suspicious phone calls, texts, emails and links, notifying users. Meanwhile, its new personal safety app detects if the user has been in an accident and helps it reach first responders.
Earlier this year, Google introduced a new look for Android 12, with bigger buttons, a large clock on the home screen that changes size based on the number of notifications that appear, and muted pastel colors. It also features a slew of productivity updates, including an option to hold the power button down to have Google Assistant make a phone call or request an article to be read aloud, and reality tools. increased in Google Maps.
This story first appeared on CNN.com, “Google Pixel 6 line with first custom chip goes after iPhone.”