Google breaks from tradition by unveiling 2 new smartphones

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicked off the launch of the new smartphones in a break from tradition. "Today was the first time we've ever announced two phones at once," he said. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Google unveiled not one but two new smartphones on Tuesday, along with some other new gadgets.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicked off the launch of the new smartphones in a break from tradition. "Today was the first time we've ever announced two phones at once," Android Engineering V.P. Dave Burke said.



As CNET's Lynn La points out, one size no longer fits all. "They really want to show two options are possible for people who want kind of a big, big screen phone or phablet as it's called, or a smaller phone," she said.

The 5X is plastic and made by LG. The bigger 6P is metal and made by Google's new partner, Huawei.



Both have a new fingerprint sensor. "Your finger is already on the back of the device, so we place the sensor right where you normally hold the phone," Burke said.

They both also have a gargantuan camera. "In low-light environments, the Nexus 6P outperforms all of the other phones we tested," Burke said.

They claim the 6P takes the world's best selfies. "This kind of selfie generation, having improvements on the front-facing camera seems to be a real demand amongst users," La said.

One of the biggest features of the new phones is longer battery life. There's also good news for users of older Android phones - a lot of the improvements in here are actually software that you can download.

"You'll especially notice the improvement if you leave your device down and forget to charge it overnight," Burke said.

Android Marshmallow puts phones into a deeper sleep when they haven't moved in a while. It rolls out to older devices over the coming weeks.



Also rolling out is a new Chromecast. Google's tiny TV streaming device is still $35 but now with better WiFi and instant playback.

"The Netflix app says hey, there's a Chromecast on my network and so it starts downloading the app onto the Chromecast," Google Product Management V.P. Mario Queiroz said.

There's a new version, Chromecast Audio, for your speakers. They say it beats Bluetooth.

"We're taking away the burden of having to be close to the device, the burden of having to pair," Queiroz said.

There was one more thing. "Slide the tablet off, touch it to the back of the keyboard and lift."

The Pixel C for Convertible is Google's pricey new Android tablet.

It's not out yet but the phones can be preordered now.


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