Google unveils new Pixel smartphones

Google has unveiled its hotly-anticipated new Pixel smartphones, which are branded with the Google logo on the back.

The new glass and aluminum phones come with Google Assistant included, a made-by-Google artificially-intelligent assistant that can do things like make dinner reservations through OpenTable. The devices come in two sizes, 5 and 5.5 inches, and are available immediately for pre-order, Google said.

“While Pixel’s beautiful, what really makes it come to life is how the hardware and software work together,” Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of Google’s hardware division, said at the San Francisco event, during which they heavily emphasized the importance of the Google Assistant.

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The Pixel phones will come in three colors, which Google calls “quite black,” “very silver” and “really blue.” Pricing begins at $649, or $27 a month.

The phones both feature a 12.3 megapixel camera and free unlimited photo and video storage through Google Photos. Also, the device has “no unsightly camera bump,” Osterloh said— a dig at Apple’s latest smartphones, which have cameras that protrude from the device.

Google also touted Pixel’s other features, like customer service built into the phone, and a quick-charging feature that they said could give it seven hours of power in 15 minutes.

Also unlike Apple’s newest iPhones, the new Pixel phones have a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Google also revealed more details about its Google Home device, a Wi-Fi enabled speaker that channels the Google Assistant to do things like play music through services such as YouTube or Spotify, answer questions, and even translate phrases.

“We think you’re going to love the combination of a great sounding Wi-Fi speaker with voice control from the Google Assistant,” Google vice president Rishi Chandra said, while demonstrating the device.

Chandra added that Google Home will be able to communicate with your television through a Google Chromecast device.

Google Home is available for pre-order immediately, and will be available on November 4 through the Google Store and retailers like Best Buy. It will cost $129.

Because the device is meant to blend into the aesthetics of a home, Google has designed it so that the color and material of the base can be switched. Options include colors called “mango” and “marine.”

Follow Rob Verger on Twitter: @robverger