Google Pixel XL Really Blue Version is Attractive But...

I don't think I've ever tried to hide the fact that Blue is my favorite color. It really is.

Earlier this year, some 'Apple insiders' hinted that the Cupertino company would finally release an iPhone with Blue anodized aluminum shell -- which obviously didn't turn out accurate. That was heartbreaking for me since I was already keen on getting the device in that hue. Now, I'm not even sure if I should upgrade from my Rose Gold Apple iPhone 6s Plus to the Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

The last Blue smartphone that I fell in love with was the Nokia N9 from 2010. I know. Technically, it's not Blue. It's Cyan -- but it's still within the same color family.

Google Pixel Blue

Looking at the freshly announced Google Pixel XL 'Really Blue' variant, I must admit I'm quite smitten. I'm not yet sure if I'm in love with it but I think I'm going to like it even more when I finally see the device in the flesh.

And that's the problem.

I honestly don't think that this model - along with the smaller Google Pixel - will be officially launched in the Philippines. So I really don't want to keep my hopes up and have my heart broken again.

I mean, Google's 2015 Nexus smartphones made by LG and Motorola were never released locally -- and I doubt that these HTC-crafted upgrades would have a better fate.

I'd love to be proven wrong, though.

Come on, Smart Postpaid!

The Google Pixel series officially supersedes and replaces the company's Nexus line of smartphones. Pixel models will still offer consumers the latest Android experience but they already come with more proprietary apps and they represent a clear and bold attempt by Google to rival giant smartphone manufacturers, including Apple, Samsung, and Huawei.

'Made by Google', this maiden Pixel release comes in two sizes. The regular one has a 5.2-inch Full HD AMOLED display and the other - called Pixel XL - has a larger 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED screen both protected by curved 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 touchscreen and complemented by an aerospace-grade anodized aluminum body with gorgeously chamfered edges.

In terms of specs and features, Google Pixel and Pixel XL sport a top-notch 12.3 MegaPixel autofocus main camera with f/2.0 aperture and large 1.55μm pixels, an 8 MP fixed focus with f/2.4 aperture and 1.4µm pixel size for clear and brilliant selfies, 4K 30fps video recorder (1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps ~ 720p @ 30fps, 60fps, 240fps), 4G LTE connectivity, Daydream View VR headset support, USB Type C port, and Fingerprint Scanner at the back for quickly unlocking the device with just a touch of a finger.

The main camera lacks optical image stabilization but according to Google, they tied the gyroscope into the camera system to make videos look more smooth and steady even with subtle shaking while clips are being recorded.

At its heart, both Pixel versions run the latest Android 7.1 Nougat operating system right out of the box with the beastly Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro chipset, have 4GB of RAM for multitasking, and come with 32GB or 128GB of non-expandable internal storage.

One thing that the company is particularly proud of about these models is that they have 'all-day' battery life -- thanks to the 2,770 mAh pack inside the Pixel and the 3,450 mAh battery powering the Pixel XL. They deliver 13 hours and 14 hours of internet use on WiFi or mobile data, respectively.

Just from looking at these smartphones' specs, you might think that there isn't particularly anything special in them compared to some devices that are already available in the market. But actually, Pixel and Pixel XL have at least one feature that's unique to them. To be specific, these two are the first to come with the all-new Google Assistant, which is more or less Google's version of Apple's Siri Virtual Assistant as it lets you manage everyday tasks, find photos faster, and keep tabs on your schedule simply by talking to it.

Google Pixel and Pixel XL are available in three colors - with funny names - Very Silver, Quite Black, and Really Blue. As for their prices, in the United States, Google Pixel 32GB and 128GB sell for $649 (Php 31,370, as of October 6, 2016) and $749 (Php 36,230) while Google Pixel XL 32GB and 128GB go for $769 (Php 37,190) and $869 (Php 42,030), respectively.

They're just slightly more affordable than Samsung's flagship offerings, which is another point I want to raise. Are these Google smartphones well worth it? You tell me. Let me know your thoughts about these Pixel handsets via our comments section below.

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