The back has a glass panel covering the top third of the device. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian
- The glass panel on the back aids grip by the index finger
- It only has one down-firing speaker on the bottom, which is easily blocked by hands when gaming
- Google Photos on the Pixel comes with free, unlimited full resolution photo and video backup, not just up to 16MP and 1080p video
- The notification LED is not enabled by default, but is available in notification settings
- Gif search is built into Googles Keyboard for apps that support it such as SMS Messenger app
- The calendar app now shows the correct date on the home screen
- The charging meter is inaccurate: at 96% it says four minutes until done but took 17 minutes to reach 100%
- Wallpapers are normally things I set and forget, but I really liked the new live Google Earth images
The Pixel costs 599 with 32GB of storage or 699 with 128GB of storage in black or silver. It is also available in blue in the US.
For comparison, Apples iPhone 7 costs 599 with 32GB of storage, Samsungs Galaxy S7 costs around 500, the Huawei P9 costs 449 and the OnePlus 3 costs 329.
The Pixel is an interesting device. A phone designed by Google, the maker of Android. The software side is top notch: the smoothest, newest and best optimised version of Android available at the moment and most probably into the future, what with rapid updates coming straight from Google.
But the phone itself is only up to par with the best of the rest and not leagues ahead. The design isnt as innovative or interesting as that produced by Samsung. Its not waterproof, either, and it doesnt have expandable storage. The camera is great, so is the screen and the build quality is excellent, all things youd expect from a 600 smartphone in 2016.
If Googles aim was to beat Apple, it has done so on battery life alone. If it was to challenge the current king of Android, Samsungs Galaxy S7 line, then the result is less clear.
Pros: great camera, good screen, a days battery life, Android 7.1 Nougat, Google Assistant, great fingerprint scanner
Cons: not waterproof, no expandable memory, no front-facing speakers, no wireless charging, expensive
A review of the larger Google Pixel XL with a 5.5in screen, the smartphone competing with the iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, will be available next week