OnQ Blog

Pixel phones: made by Google, powered by Snapdragon 821

Oct 4, 2016

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Today, Google announced Pixel, the first phone made by Google. The 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL are among the first smartphones to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor.

Featuring a custom quad-core Qualcomm Kryo CPU and a Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU, the Snapdragon 821 is engineered to provide the new flagship phones from Google with cutting-edge processing power. That includes the integrated Snapdragon X12 LTE modem, designed to support super-fast data rates and up to Cat 12 speeds (up to 600-Mbps downlink), which will be extremely useful for the Pixel’s “unlimited storage” feature, ensuring that your content backed up in the cloud is immediately accessible.

And when it's time to make a call, the X12 LTE modem is engineered to allow the Pixel to use the EVS codec—better known as Ultra HD Voice—for phone calls over VoLTE or Wi-Fi on supporting networks, so calls can sound even clearer than regular HD Voice, and stay connected longer in weaker signal conditions.

The power of the Snapdragon 821 processor extends into the Pixel smartphones’ audio capabilities through stunning Hi-Fi audio playback. The phone features the Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec, designed to deliver high dynamic range and high-resolution playback up to 192kHz/24bit to create a remarkable audio experience designed to match the demands of the modern audiophile.

The Pixel phones also feature Qualcomm Fluence Pro technology, designed to deliver crystal-clear calls through a series of innovative noise cancellation technologies, providing crisp clarity for both speakers and listeners. Two mic noise cancellation for the handset and three mic noise cancellation for speaker phone mode help block out background noise during a call. And the noise cancellation technology also works on incoming calls—even if the caller’s phone doesn’t have noise cancellation features.

Given their names, it’s no surprise that Google Camera plays an important role in the Pixel phones. The Google HDR+ camera algorithm runs on the Snapdragon HVX core instead of the CPU, engineered to reduce power consumption and improve performance. The 12.3MP main camera is made to let users take stunning photos quickly and with sharper detail, even in the most challenging lighting. Users can also capture slo-mo videos at 240fps. And all of these memories can be saved in perpetuity thanks to the Pixels’ unlimited storage. Smart storage provides automatic backup and cleanup suggestions while Google Photos organizes users’ photos and videos so they’re easily searchable.

The multimedia experience doesn’t end there. Built on the heterogeneous compute capabilities of the Snapdragon 821, the Pixel supports functionality for Google Daydream View, a VR headset designed to deliver immersive experiences. And don’t worry about the fun ending too soon—the Snapdragon 821 is made to run at a very low power allowing you to experience VR without quickly killing your battery.

A smarter messaging tool application called Allo lets the phones make the most of the Google mobile experience. They’re easily unlocked with Pixel Imprint, an intuitive and intelligent fingerprint scanner located on the back of the phones, designed so users can unlock them with nothing more than their natural grip. Additionally, the new Google Assistant feature is designed to learn from users in order to surface the most useful information at just the right time.

The 4GB Pixel phones come in three colors (Really Blue (Limited Edition US), Very Silver, and Quite Black) with 32GB or 128GB of storage. They’re available for pre-order starting today and at select U.S, U.K., Canada, Germany, Australia retailers and the Google Store beginning October 20 and in India later in November.

Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Kryo, Qualcomm Adreno, Qualcomm Aqstic, and Qualcomm Fluence are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.