Google Pixel review roundup: iPhone’s toughest Android competitor

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The Pixel comes in beautiful blue.
Google's first phones are a hit.
Photo: Google

Google stepped up its fight against the iPhone with its new Pixel smartphone, but has it found a formula that’s good enough to worry Cupertino?

The Pixel looks pretty at first glance, and it’s the first handset to offer Google’s latest Android 7.1 Nougat software. It also promises a great display, stunning photos, and peak performance. Here’s what the first reviews have to say about it.

Google’s Apple Watch rivals to land in early 2017

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Photo of two alleged Google Nexus smartwatches
They'll bring the Google Assistant to your wrist.
Photo: Android Police

Google stepped up its fight against the iPhone when it launched its new Pixel smartphones earlier this month, and now it’s preparing to take on Apple Watch, too.

According to the latest whispers, the company will launch its first Android Wear watches — complete with Google Assistant — in early 2017.

Apple vs Samsung patent battle has U.S. Supreme Court confused

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Apple vs Samsung is going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

U.S. Supreme Court justices appear to be confused over how much Apple’s patented iPhone design should worth.

Lawyers for Apple and Samsung faced off this morning at the nation’s highest court. The two sides argued whether breaking a design patent should be worth most of a product’s profits, or if the thousands of other patents that go into a smartphone should be viewed as equally valuable to the contribution of profits.

Billions of dollars and the future of patent law is at stake in the case that hinges on a law written in 1887. But the justices didn’t give much indication which side they’ll take.

Revamped iPads and next-era Apple tech, this week on The CultCast

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Apple's bold vision of future tech inches closer to reality.
Apple's bold vision of future tech inches closer to reality.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: Revamped iPads coming this spring; Apple lays the groundwork for the next era of personal technology; how smart homes get hacked; Google’s Pixel phone versus iPhone 7; and we reveal our favorite new iOS and Mac apps!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to build a website that looks beautiful on any device that visits at Squarespace.com. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10 percent off.

AirPods point to Apple’s domination of ‘ambient paradigm’

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AirPods may miss Christmas while Apple works out audio problems.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Watch and new AirPods may seam like silly side projects to fans, but some analysts on Wall Street believe the company is using the two new products to lay the groundwork for the next era of personal technology.

While Silicon Valley is obssessed with virtual reality headsets, Apple is obsessed with making gadgetry less visible. UBS analysts Steven Milunovich and Benjamin Wilson told clients that while many firms see a lot of downside for Apple, the company’s “ambient paradigm” could be a huge money maker.

iPhone 7 smashes Pixel in early benchmark tests

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The Pixel comes in beautiful blue.
The Pixel comes in beautiful blue.
Photo: Google

Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL may pack the fastest smartphone camera, but when it comes to raw processing power the iPhone 7 leaves the new handsets in the dust.

Early benchmarks for the Pixel have already leaked for the device, which was unveiled Tuesday. And according to the tests, Google’s phone can’t even top the performance of the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE.

Google Pixel first impressions: Solid build, fugly back

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The Pixel comes in beautiful blue.
The Pixel comes in beautiful blue.
Photo: Google

Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are ready to do battle with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and based on the first hands-on reviews, Apple could learn a few things from the new devices.

Apple’s shadow loomed large during today’s Google event. Exec from the search engine giant threw plenty of shade at the iPhone-maker for its lack of a headphone jack and storage limitations. Even though Google’s new devices look like total iPhone ripoffs the initial reaction has been mostly positive.

We’ll have to test Pixel in the wild before making our final judgement but here are some of the first reactions to the device from people that got to play with it:

With new hardware trio, Google makes major play for your home

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google home speaker
Google Home is taking on the Amazon Echo.
Photo: Google

Not only does Google want to replace your iPhone with a Pixel, the search giant revealed today that it plans to invade homes with three new products that directly compete with offerings from Apple and Amazon.

During an event in San Francisco today, Google unveiled a new Wi-Fi router, an improved Chromecast and a new Google Home device that’s a lot like Amazon’s Echo smart speaker, only it’s powered by Google Assistant.