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Google’s Pixel phone is official and ambitious

Under the Nexus moniker, Google has sold Android phones of its own since 2010. But the new phone it’s announcing at its San Francisco event has a new-to-phones brand: Pixel. And the company seems to be newly serious about phone hardware being a core competency rather than a hobby.

Here are some of the details:

• The Pixel is the first phone to ship with Android Nougat and the first to support Google Assistant, the new, AI-infused version of the company’s voice assistant and Daydream VR, its new VR platform.

• The camera, which received the highest rating ever for a smartphone camera from DxOMark, is optimized for zero lag, tricky lighting situations, and action photos.

• Google includes cloud storage for photos and videos at original quality.

• The phone offers seven hours of battery life after 15 minutes of charging.

•  There will be 5″ and 5.5″ models, available in “quite black,” “very silver,” and “really blue,” starting at $649.

• The Pixel will be available from Verizon and as an unlocked phone from Google’s own online store.HM