Google claims its new Pixel smartphones, unveiled today in San Francisco, combine big artificial intelligence gains with some of the best smartphone hardware available, particularly when it comes to photography.

The Pixel and Pixel XL, which have 5- and 5.5-inch high-definition displays, respectively, are the first smartphones with Google Assistant, the Siri-like voice-activated search tool, built in.

Google claims the 12.3-megapixel rear-facing cameras on these models will beat the cameras on any other smartphone out there—a claim that we'll be testing in our labs. 

Phone industry analysts have suggested the Pixel smartphones represent Google’s bid to compete with Apple, whose iPhones come in two models of about the same size (the iPhone 7 has a smaller, 4.7-inch display). 

Preorders for delivery beginning Oct. 20 are available at Verizon and the online Google store. Pricing starts at $649 for the smaller phone and $769 for the XL. 

Here are more details:

It’s an eavesdropper. The Google Assistant on both Pixel smartphones promises to provide detailed assistance to users that some could find creepy. When providing information, the assistant will consider your location, the apps you have open or use frequently, and even messages you send and receive.

For instance, if you tell the assistant to “call John” but have eight people with that name in your contacts, the phone will assume you mean the John you call or text most.

If someone sends you a text using Google's Allo app and mentions a concert venue, you can get more information by long-pressing the screen and swiping up. You can see the location on Google Maps and get help making restaurant reservations for the same evening.

The “best” camera. Google says the Pixel’s 12.3-megapixel rear-facing camera will excel at low-light photography, thanks in part to its wide, f2.0 aperture. Other features include an ultrafast image-capture time and “zero” shutter lag, which promises to have the camera instantly ready for life’s next spontaneous moment.

Instead of taking one long exposure in low light, the Pixel camera will take multiple short exposures, Google says. Our engineers will have to evaluate how that affects picture quality. Pixel also boasts video stabilization, featuring a gyroscope that makes adjustments 200 times per second to minimize shake.

The phone’s default photo gallery is Google’s Photos app, which can be set to automatically back up all your photos and videos to your Gmail account.

Google normally offers its account holders 15GB of free file storage, including photos and videos. But for a limited time, Pixel smartphone buyers will get unlimited cloud storage for photos and videos.

Customer Assistance. Google promises 24/7 live customer support via the phones that sounds very much like the Mayday service Amazon puts on its premium Kindle tablets. Google also says there’ll be tools to help you transfer all your contacts, apps, and other cherished belongings from your old phone to a Pixel in one step.

Compelling specs. The Pixel has a 2,770mAh battery; phones in our tests with batteries that size often deliver at least 8 hours of talk time. The XL feeds its larger 5.5-inch display with a 3,450mAh battery, which could mean its owners will be able to stay on the phone for more than 24 hours straight. (This is an area we'll be testing in detail once we purchases Pixels for our lab testing.)

The batteries support rapid charging, which Google says will enable you to get 7 hours of battery life from a dead battery after only 15 minutes of charging.

Both phones will have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor and 4 GB of RAM—a powerful processing combination that should help Google Assistant respond quickly to your requests. Onboard storage is either 32GB or 128GB. The phones are available in three colors: black, silver, and blue.