Pixel vision: How Google's new flagships came to be

The Pixel and Pixel XL are the first truly “Google in-and-out” smartphones and as such, a lot of care and attention have been put into their development. Taking a page from Apple's book, the Big G has built a duo of smartphones, with an overarching design consistency in mind from the very beginning. Proud of its achievement, Google has published an insightful article on how the various facets of the Pixels' design work together to showcase the best of what Android has to offer.

The key focus points for Google's design teams were “simplicity, intelligence, customization, and trustworthiness” – qualities which had to be highlighted in an unobtrusive and minimalistic manner, ensuring the most intuitive and seamless user experience possible. To achieve this, the design teams behind the project paid great attention to the Pixels' audiovisual identity, creating memorable wallpapers and soundscapes that drive the user experience and are able to stand out among the rest as distinctly “Pixel”.


As Google's product design lead, Daniel Walsh, puts it, “for a device wallpaper to be successful, it must clearly express the company’s brand while functioning as a passive layer behind the UI, and, most importantly, allow for the user’s self expression.” With this in mind, Google's design teams have collaborated with various artists to put together a vast assortment of unique backgrounds, building on top of previously established by the Nexus line aesthetic conventions — such as abstract color schemes and composed satellite imagery — while adding new layers of depth and interactivity to them. The result of this work is a collection of wallpapers spanning 3D CGI renditions of natural and man-made landmarks, contextually aware colorscapes that respond to various factors such as location and battery percentage, and abstract compositions rich in color and deep blacks showcase the power of the AMOLED technology.

Sounds – minimalist, non-intrusive, memorable

During the design process, as much attention was paid to how the Pixel phones sound, as it was paid to their looks,, which lead to the creation of a distinctive sound scheme spanning system sounds, notifications, alarms, and ringtones.

“As the playful dots animate into Google’s signature G, the subtle piano sound resolves into a G chord to match,” explains Google sound design lead, Connor O'Sullivan.

This sort of attention to the detail can be felt throughout the system – from the subtle but distinctive touch sounds, to the non-intrusive click punctuating the quick camera shutter, to the pleasant chimes of the ringtones.

If you want to learn more about the design process behind the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, check out the official blog post, penned by Google design leads Daniel Walsh and Connor O'Sullivan. And, as a bonus, we have provided a download link for the official Pixel ringtones and notification sounds at the end of this article.


Read more:

source: Google

Related phones

  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2770 mAh(26h talk time)
Pixel XL
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3450 mAh(32h talk time)



1. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Nexus> Pixel

2. jellmoo

Posts: 2620; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

For what? As a developer device? Sure. As a low cost option? Some of them, yeah. As a consumer centric device? No, not at all.

3. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I don't know about that, the camera alone has me wishing I could upgrade right now from my Nexus 6P, and the fact that there are two size variants where the only difference is screen resolution and battery capacity makes me long for a smaller device that has no other tradeoffs from its larger sibling.

5. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

You mean only the camera right?? Camera is the only plus point pixel has over Nexus 6P. In all other aspects 6P is greater or equal than Pixel.

6. jellmoo

Posts: 2620; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

In what world does a SD 810, with all of its many flaws, outperform a SD 821?

8. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Better processor and more RAM gives better performance. We also see better battery life, higher audio out level, and sturdier build. I have a 6p, and most likely won't upgrade this time around, but to say the camera is the only plus point is talking out of your a$$. I've talked with people that have them, seen the reviews, and used them in person. There are more plus points than just the camera.

4. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

People like you astonish me, DeusExKane... I mean, DeusExCellula... I remember when The so called "Big G" launched 5.0 Lollipop... There were people like you who were condemning Google for making Android look 'hideous' and were bragging about how their Kitkat consume less battery power because of its 'dark nature' and this and that and blah blah blah... And now, no one looks back to Kitkat... All it takes is time... Keep in mind that this is coming from a Nexus 5 owner... But I LOVE PIXEL... And if it weren't so darn expensive, I'd have bought one instead of The Galaxy S6... G'Day!

7. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

Name wise, definitely! But as for the products themselves........no.

9. tnuc2014

Posts: 294; Member since: Sep 12, 2014

They have clearly done a great job on this because as hard as I try, I can't ignore this device. The design is not the most inspiring, but the whole package adds up to something very special indeed. My only concern is the price, as this is in the same expensive bracket as the iPhone. You don't need to spend £50-£60 to get a very good device nowadays, as I can testify to with my current device...the Honor 8...at £17 per month!! Yes it's Honor brand with what many would consider are mid range specs, but it's fine for me for the time being. The Sony Xperia XZ is £27 per month and the HTC 10 is £35 per month. If the Pixel XL eventually settles at the £35 per month level, I will have a try for sure.

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