Review Roundup: Google Pixel/XL

Google in 2016 ditched their Nexus lineup and started to create a more iPhone competitor like device called the Pixel and Pixel XL.

Besides the screen size and resolution, size of device and battery size, both of these devices are basically identical to each other in every other way possible.

So in this combined review roundup, here is what a lot of people on the internet are saying about these new devices.

Engadget

Pros:

  • Camera is better than expected, even in low light.
  • Displays are really punchy in colours and some may think it may be too saturated.
  • Impressively fast devices. Nothing made them break a sweat.
  • Unlimited Google Photos backups.
  • Google Assistant is tremendously flexible and more than a gimmick.

Cons:

  • Cameras sometimes struggle with focus.
  • Android 7.1 does not have much beyond 7.0 Nougat.

In Short:

Neither phone is perfect, but is closer to perfect than expected.

CNET

Pros:

  • Both look great in design, despite looking similar to iPhone.
  • Google Assistant can be useful and runs fast, but not perfect.
  • Launcher shortcuts is Google’s 3D Touch from the iPhone.
  • Snapdragon 821 is great for performance.
  • Lasted a full day of medium to heavy usage.
  • Both last 13hrs of continuous video playback on airplane mode.
  • 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • Camera is relatively good.

Cons:

  • Video Stabilization gives more of a drone like playback.
  • Not water resistant.
  • Screen is very dim in direct sunlight.

In Short:

Superb devices and you do not need to be an Android enthusiast, to enjoy them.

9to5Google

Pros:

  • Design is attractive enough. Google say glass on back is for better phone signal, but reviewer reckons its for aesthetics.
  • Great display.
  • 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • Pure Android with Pixel Launcher, Google Assistant and more.
  • Swipe down on Pixel Imprint to get notifications.
  • Unlimited full resolution photos and videos backup to Google Photos.
  • Performance is noticeably snappy and hardly ever notices a frame drop.
  • Camera is impressive with what it produces and its performance.
  • USB OTG Dongle comes in the box.

Cons:

  • Display not so great in direct sunlight.
  • Only a single mono speaker.
  • Not waterproof.
  • Vibration motor is better then Nexus but not as good as iPhones.
  • No OIS, but has EIS.

TechnoBuffalo

Pros:

  • Signal strength is unbelievable.
  • Google Assistant speaks naturally is marginally better than Google Now but sees it getting better.
  • About 29GB’s free of space on the 32GB model.
  • Display looks incredible.
  • All day battery life for average user.
  • App shortcuts like 3D Touch on iOS is great. Works with long press and not a hard press so can move icon or access shortcuts at the same time.

Cons:

  • Not a design award winning device. Looks like a mid to low priced device.
  • Large top and bottom bezels.
  • Pixel can get warm towards the top of the device occasionally.
  • Camera photos can sometimes look a bit mushy.
  • Price is very expensive.
  • No water resistant, removable battery, no stereo speakers.

In Short:

Should only buy this phone if you are an Android purist at heart and want instant updates etc.

Android Authority – Initial Review after a few days

Pros:

  • Phone feels sturdy and chamfer adds grip to the device.
  • Performance is great with the pure Android experience with the attention to detail.
  • Single bottom facing speaker is perhaps the best of its kind.
  • Battery does an average to above average job with heavy usage. 3.5-4hrs of screen on time over a 16hr period.
  • Can use EIS when recording in 4K.
  • Camera is very impressive and is better than most shooters out there, but still needs to do more testing.
  • Google Assistant is great.

Cons:

  • Design is split between people in terms of how it looks and it feels safe.
  • Bit more weight at the top and bottom of the device.
  • No OIS.

In Short:

This would be the best Android device, if it were the only Android device out there.

The Verge

Pros:

  • 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • Snapdragon 821 is very fast.
  • Displays with OLED technology is great.
  • The most responsive Android phone the reviewer has ever used.
  • Battery life is about 2hrs more than an iPhone or Nexus phone with screen on time.
  • Google Assistant has a long way to go but is the best out there currently.
  • App shortcuts in Android 7.1.
  • Unlimited full resolution photos and videos backup to Google Photos.

Cons:

  • Bit thicker than you might expect.
  • Fingerprint sensor on back is not good when on a table.
  • Not waterproof.
  • Camera is really great but not sure if it’s the best. Photos are not true to life as an iPhone camera.
  • No OIS.

In Short:

This is the best Android phone you can buy, period.

Conclusion:

From what I’ve seen, reviewers are basically saying that the phone is better than expected based off how it was presented at the recent Google event, but still not perfect.

For me it has a lot going for it, but for the price especially and being about AU$400 more expensive for the 128GB XL model compared to the Nexus 6P, I can’t seem to justify the high price for it.

That’s it for this roundup. If you enjoyed it and want to see more like this in the future, be sure to give it a like and follow me here and on Twitter @neilh_apps to get updates on when I make blog posts.

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