Technology

SAN FRANCISCO (Web Desk) – Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday launched two own-brand smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, in a bid to take on Apple and its iPhone 7 head on.

The new phone starts at a price of $649, and Google is working exclusively with Verizon Communications in the United States, Google executives said at a launch event in San Francisco.

The two Android smartphones are the first to carry Google’s branding without being associated with another manufacturer and are a clear mark in the sand by the Android-maker: the fight with Apple is now on for the top premium smartphone.

Google even went as far as to reference Apple on stage, showing a “storage full” message from an iPhone, something it said the Pixel would avoid with unlimited full resolution backups of photos and videos using Google Photos’ cloud storage.