We didn’t expect it to come as soon as it did, but Google’s first solely self-branded smartphone, the Google Pixel, is finally here. In light of how mature the smartphone market has become in the last few years, it’s hard for a new phone to stand out as something that takes anything more than a few baby steps forward. This phone isn’t that much different. But what is different is that it isn’t just any Android phone made by one of Google’s partners. This one is Google’s, and that’s special.
It’s special because Google really has made an effort at building a good top-to-bottom user experience. It’s special because Google has made some clear — in some cases major — improvements to its software and how it works with the hardware. It’s special because it has a great camera. It’s special because it’s the first Android phone to ship with the Google Assistant. It’s special because it’s the first Daydream-ready smartphone. It’s special because it’s the best portal to Google’s services, full stop.
But most of all, I think the Pixel is special because it seems to me that Google’s newly-rebirthed smartphone line has a lot of potential. Yes, there are some things that this phone doesn’t have. But what phone doesn’t? Let’s talk about what the Pixel has going for it.
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