If the early reviews are any indicator, Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will have a big hit on its hands with its brand new Pixel smartphone.
The Google parent company unveiled the Pixel phone earlier this month, and tech reviewers just got their hands on the device. All reviewers note that the Pixel’s hardware design bears a striking resemblance to the iPhone. Just like the iPhone, it even comes in two sizes — one with a 5″ screen, and another with a 5.5″ display. Both the iPhone and Pixel also have great cameras.
But that’s largely where the similarities end. Pixel comes with an ultra-fast version of Google’s Android operating system, completely free of “bloatware,” which refers to extra software that carriers often force onto the specialized Android versions their devices run. Bloatware tends to slow devices down significantly, and you won’t find any of it on the Pixel.
Along with the snappiness of its operating system, the new Google Assistant feature is receiving rave reviews. Unlike Apple’s Siri assistant, which users frequently complain about or simply don’t use at all, Assistant appears to be incredibly useful. From Business Insider:
Google Assistant pulls information from everything you do in Google’s services, from Search to Gmail to Calendar to Photos. The more Google services you use, the better Assistant becomes at helping you.
Assistant is smart enough to understand context across a variety of services to get you that one thing you want. It’s shocking and magical when it works, and it’s just the first step in Google’s ambition to create a personalized Google for everyone.
Wired also had great things to say about Assistant:
Assistant is the best voice assistant yet—though not as far ahead as advertised. Its lead is the difference between being surprised when Siri works and being surprised when Assistant doesn’t. Its speech-to-text recognition is almost perfect.
Other differentiators include the inclusion of a VR headset for free when pre-ordering the device, as well as unlimited free photo and video storage with Google Photos.
The Pixel arrives for users on Thursday, Oct. 20th. Its price starts at $650 for the “normal” sized model and $770 for the larger Pixel XL.
Alphabet shares rose $19.93 (+2.47%) to $826.77 in Tuesday afternoon trading, earning new all-time highs in no small part due to the bevy of positive reviews for its new flagship device. Year-to-date, GOOGL has risen 6.11%.