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DxOMark says the Pixel phone has the best smartphone camera around

Google takes pride in its smartphone cameras. The company has long sought to make taking photos a primary part of the Nexus experience, with hit or miss results. Now it's looking like the development team has another hit on its hands. At today's event, Google was proud to announce that DxOMark has given the Pixel phone its highest score for a smartphone camera yet.

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Confirmed: the Verizon Pixel's bootloader will not be unlockable

Thought that Verizon was warming up to the idea of less carrier intrusion because there aren't any obnoxious Verizon logos on the device? Well, you thought wrong. Just minutes before the event, @evleaks tweeted that the Verizon Pixels' bootloaders would not be able to be unlocked; that information has now been affirmed by a Google representative at the San Francisco event.

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Google says Pixel Launcher is exclusive to Pixel phones, will consider expanding it later

Long before Google announced the Pixel phones, and even before we knew they would be called "Pixel," we heard about the Nexus Launcher. That mysterious new home screen from Google eventually became the Pixel Launcher, and now it's official as part of the Pixel and Pixel XL. However, Google has confirmed that the Pixel Launcher will be exclusive to its namesake phone, at least for a while.

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Pixel phones come with Quick Switch Adapter, can migrate data from another iOS or Android device

Moving all your data to a new device can be annoying at best, and one of the Pixel's newest features aims to help that. Google's Pixel devices ship with an OTG adapter, referred to as the 'Quick Switch Adapter', that allows you to easily transfer all your data to a Pixel phone. The process works with any iOS device running iOS 8 and up, as well as most Android devices running 5.0 Lollipop or higher.

So how does it work? Simply connect the adapter to your Pixel, and plug your old phone's charging/data cable into it. Once you are signed in with your Google account, you can choose what data to copy.

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Google has sold over 30 million Chromecast devices since 2013

At today's Pixel event, Google announced an impressive statistic -- it has sold over 30 million Chromecast devices to date.

That's not bad for a little dongle that, at the time of its launch, was a rather unique device. The original Chromecast wasn't the only media stick you could plug into a TV, but an impulse-buy $35 price point and remote control-free design made it special.

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The Pixel and Pixel XL's cameras do not have optical image stabilization (OIS)

Considering the Pixel's score of 89 by DxOMark, Google is clearly pushing the camera as a major selling point. However, contrary to what was rumored and what was stated on Carphone Warehouse's spec sheets, Google's latest phones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, do not have optical image stabilization (OIS) built into their main cameras.

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Buying a Pixel phone means free, unlimited Photos storage for pictures and video at maximum quality

As Cody found in his teardown of Google Photos v1.21 back in March, and Carphone Warehouse listed in its 'gone-live-early' promotion page, Google has announced free, unlimited photo storage for anyone who buys a new Google Pixel phone. This means any photos you take will be backed up to Photos at the original size, and not the "high quality" size that is uploaded by default. That's not all: 4K videos, which the Pixel phones can shoot, are also supported with unlimited storage and no quality decrease.

It's not clear how long this will last - if it's forever or for two years, like the 100GB of Google Drive storage is when bought with a Chromebook.

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Google Store financing is not exclusive to the Pixel, available on any purchase $149 or higher

Google is pricing this year's new Pixel phones higher than the nexus devices, but it's also offering financing. That was previously only available on Project Fi, but that's not the full extent of the expansion. Financing is actually an option for any purchase on the Google Store of more than $150.

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Nexus 5X and 6P removed from Google Store, NVIDIA Shield and VR headsets gone too

To make way for the new products announced at today's event, Google has removed several items from their online store. Most notable is the removal of the Nexus 5X and 6P, Google's smartphone lineup from last year, now replaced by the Pixel devices. Also gone from the virtual shelves is the NVIDIA Shield console, still arguably the best Android TV device on the market. The Mattel View-Master VR Starter Pack and Goggle Tech C1-Glass VR Viewer are both removed as well, now that Daydream is the focus of Google's VR efforts. Finally, the Dell Chromebook 13 is gone.

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Pixel will be Verizon carrier exclusive in the US, pre-orders get free Daydream View headsets

Well, it's official - Verizon is the only carrier in the United States that will be carrying the Pixel phones. If the rumors from two months ago didn't convince you, the leak from late last night surely did. Verizon will also give free Daydream View VR headsets to Pixel buyers.

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