Google revealed a new smartphone at an event last night and it sports a new name and some incredibly high specifications.

Google has christened the phone the Pixel, a break-away from the Nexus brand its been using for some time. There will also be two iterations of the Pixel: a 5inch version and the larger 5.5inch Pixel XL.

The stand-out feature of the Pixel series according to Google, is its camera.

It’s a 12.3MP affair with an f/2.0 aperture and large 1.55 micron pixels. The firm claims that the Pixel “has the highest rated smartphone camera. Ever,” and that users will get great snaps no matter the lighting conditions.

Other than that, well it’s a high end Android smartphone.

On compute duties is a Snapdragon 821 chipset with a quad-core CPU (2.15GHz/1.6GHz) paired with 4GB of low power DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 128GB storage capacity.

The front snapper houses a large 8MP sensor with an f/2.4 aperture and fixed focus.

The Pixel will boast a 2 770mAh battery while the Pixel XL with its larger display will house a 3 450mAh battery. The firm claims that the battery will yield seven hours of life from a 15 minute charge.

Google has moved away from the terrible micro-USB port and traded up to a USB Type C connector.

On the connectivity side of things the Pixel can house one LTE SIM card and for WiFi you get support for the 802.11a/b/g/n/ac standards.

Daydream VR

Launching alongside the Pixel is a new mobile VR headset from Google, the Daydream View. Much like the Gear VR, the Pixel slots into the front of the viewer, but Daydream has a controller. The three-axis controller has a trackpad, volume buttons, a home button and an action button according to Ars Technica.

Google has also swapped out plastic for thermo-bond cloth which is stiff enough to support a smartphone, dense enough to block out light and can be washed by hand. An NFC chip in the phone compartment will launch the VR app and the whole package attaches to your head with Velcro straps.

Now for the bad news

Traditionally, Google phones such as the Nexus have not been available locally. Those that are desperate enough for one can use grey-importers to get their hands on the phone. While there’s nothing illegal about this it can become a problem when you need to get a repair done.

Thankfully, the price point of these handsets isn’t bad. The Pixel will start at $649 (~R9 000) and the Pixel XL at $769 (~R10 600) according to a report by CNET. While that is “cheap” for a high-end smartphone that price doesn’t take into account shipping cost, import duties and other sundry expenses.

The Pixel is set to launch in the US on 20th October.

[Source – Google]