'Best phone camera ever' on Google Pixel
A day after Google's latest foray into the world of smartphones was leaked, the company has officially revealed its new device - which, considering its impressive camera quality, has aptly been called a Pixel.
The Pixel is Google's first self-branded phone and they've commenced their newfound rivalry with Apple and Samsung with a bang, unveiling a camera that eclipses anything on the iPhone or Galaxy.
At an event in San Francisco, the head of Google's product management Brian Rakowski revealed that the Pixel has the highest-ranked camera of any smartphone in history, according to image rating quality website DxO Mark.
Thanks to the Google Pixel's F2.0 aperture, 12-megapixel sensor, video stabilisation, smartburst and low shutter lag features, they've given the Google Pixel a rating of 89 - three points higher than the previous best, the iPhone 7.
The smartphone comes in two types - the 5-inch Pixel and the 5.5-inch Pixel XL, a variability that mirrors Apple's option of either an iPhone or iPhone Plus model.
The basic Pixel will retail in the United States for US$649 (NZ$900). The phones will initially only be available in the US, the UK, Australia, Germany and Canada.
A release date has not been confirmed for New Zealand.
Notably, the phones have been designed in-house, unlike its previous phones which were designed in collaboration with outside partners. It's understood the phones will be manufactured by HTC.
The phones will run on a new version of the Android system, so they will be going head-to-head against Samsung - but Google will also be hoping to encourage some of Apple's customers to switch.
To encourage customers to buy the phones Google is offering unlimited cloud storage for photos and high-resolution video, echoing a similar strategy announced back in 2004, to win email market share.
Google is also launching a virtual reality headset called Daydream VR. It will sell in the United States for US$79 (NZ$110), pitching against Samsung's Gear VR headset.
The move into the phone and VR markets is part of Google's push towards AI. Google's new VR feature will be able to be used with the Pixel.
Other announcements made at the event on Wednesday morning (NZT) include Google Home, which is similar to other existing smart television features and will go head-to-head with Amazon's Echo service, and a new, high-definition Chromecast Ultra.