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Google Pixel / Pixel XL Review

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Google Pixel / Pixel XL Review

pixel xl review

What occurs when Google ditches its loved Nexus program to take smartphones significantly? You get Pixel and Pixel XL, two telephones with high-end specifications which might be “Made via Google” (in Taiwan by way of HTC), worth tiers that usually handiest Samsung and Apple can compete in, and an enormous advertising marketing campaign. In a different way to place this is – Google is in spite of everything in a position to be your subsequent smartphone maker, and now not in a back-alley tinkerer, “You'll be able to most effective come to my site to shop for the discounted items,” hacky and inexpensive more or less means. The Pixel telephones are meant to be as just right as any telephones and Google is telling you about them.

Google is the use of its top class Pixel line to not handiest spotlight their imaginative and prescient for Android, but in addition to give an unique set of options that they hope will permit those telephones to face out. I’m speaking Google Assistant, for probably the most phase. Then again, Google has a different launcher for Pixel, is tremendous hyped at the cameras they used, and will probably proceed so as to add on new options as those telephones obtain updates.

Did Google be triumphant this time round? They positive did construct a few in point of fact great telephones, I will be able to inform you that a lot. I’ve spent the easier a part of the previous two weeks switching between the common Pixel and the Pixel XL. It’s now time to speak about the revel in.

That is our Google Pixel assessment. 

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The Just right

Digital camera

When you had an opportunity to take a look at our Google Pixel camera review, then you understand how this segment goes to head. Briefly – the Pixel digital camera is considered one of our favorites of now not handiest the yr, however of all time. Google has considering creating a digital camera that launches temporarily and simply, focuses even quicker, and snaps a photograph or 5 or fifteen with out hesitation. The mix of the ones 3 issues is in point of fact what I search for in a digital camera, as a result of velocity is without equal deciding think about a time the place virtually everybody’s smartphone digital camera can seize a tight image.

Within the tool division, we have now a Google Digital camera app that has stepped forward considerably through the years. It’s fundamental with out being bare-bones, that means it has the choices you wish to have with out overdoing it. You'll be able to modify the most obvious settings, like flash, HDR, grid strains, a timer, and lighting fixtures prerequisites. If you wish to have extra, smartly, then you'll be able to transfer into modes for Sluggish Movement, Landscape, Photograph Sphere, and Lens Blur. You'll be able to additionally regulate decision, ratio, up the video to 4K, and toggle video stabilization on or off (tip: you’ll need it on). I in reality like what Google has accomplished with this app via fresh updates.

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In fact, what just right is a quick digital camera if it may well’t produce effects, proper? As I discussed above, this digital camera is definitely a winner. I might put it up there with Samsung’s Galaxy S7 cameras, that have been my favourite throughout the year. The photographs pop out temporarily, needless to say, however Google turns out to have taken a extra herbal strategy to processing. You gained’t in finding wild HDR tuning or over-done distinction and punchy colours. Google has tuned this Pixel digital camera to take pictures temporarily and with out a large number of doctoring at the back of the scenes.

Under, you’ll in finding our video evaluate, along side some other set of samples taken from a standard Pixel since the preliminary evaluate photographs have been all eager about a Pixel XL. Now not that there will have to be a distinction, since they're the use of the similar 12.3MP Sony sensor, however we idea a few of you may well be curious.


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Once more, if you wish to have to try much more samples, remember to hit up our Pixel camera  review.


I do know that this evaluate isn’t over with, however when you have been questioning, this can be my full-time phone going ahead (most probably the common Pixel). Why? The digital camera being in point of fact nice is among the primary causes. Then again, the opposite, as is all the time the case with Googles telephones, is the device. Google’s imaginative and prescient for Android has virtually all the time been the imaginative and prescient I revel in probably the most. It’s by no means stuffed with useless bloat, it isn’t dressed with horrible colour schemes, it’s insanely rapid, the settings I do know and use aren’t buried or in bizarre puts, and it’ll get updates prior to any person else.

With the Pixel and Pixel XL, Google is taking us on just a little of latest adventure, despite the fact that. You'll want to necessarily name this the “Google Pores and skin.” The use of the phrase “pores and skin” with a Google phone is almost definitely a bit of surprising, however listen me out. Google, for the primary time, is pushing an revel in that handiest the Pixel will get. That suggests even Nexus telephones are overlooked of this unique a laugh. The Pixel telephones have get entry to to Google Assistant and nobody else does. They get the Pixel Launcher. They get limitless full-resolution photograph backups via Google Pictures for lifestyles. They also have a particular colour accessory within the UI, a Night time Gentle mode, gestures in the course of the fingerprint reader (swipe down on it to amplify notifications), and customized navigation buttons that animate. This can be a customized revel in made for Pixel and Pixel XL. As you most likely guessed, it’s a just right one at that.

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I don’t know what it's or why precisely, however I’m already the use of Google Assistant virtually day by day. Even though it’s only for surroundings timers, checking the elements, including issues to my grocery record, getting instructions from position to put, and so on., I haven’t used this a lot voice command motion on a phone ever. Positive, Assistant must get extra tough, however Google is off to a just right get started right here. And glance, telephones have had get right of entry to to voice movements for a very long time now, I simply by no means discovered myself absolutely diving in till now. Perhaps that’s as a result of Google has bought me on Assistant getting higher the extra I exploit it, or perhaps the devoted UI is strictly what I used to be on the lookout for. If you wish to see extra on Assistant, hit up the walk-through video within the Movies segment beneath.

As for the remainder of the UI, it’s very vintage Google. The whole design continues to be identical to the inventory Android you in finding on Nexus telephones, so it gained’t glance unfamiliar to maximum. With that stated, the launcher has been adjusted to paintings with a swipe or two, app shortcuts get you into spaces of apps faster than prior to, the brand new mini fast settings tiles in Nougat are progressed and tremendous helpful, the use of Nougat’s new notifications device is a deal with (as a result of you'll be able to reply inside the notification space), I really like the additional knowledge supplied within the settings menu, Night time Gentle is saving my eyes one night time at a time, the dialer’s visible voicemail is unbelievable, the brand new folder icons are a laugh, the elements shortcut at the primary house display will get all kinds of use, and 24-7 chat or phone improve is there will have to I ever want it.

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I don’t know that there's anything else I might trade about this device revel in (Smartly, tap-to-wake can be great.). With Samsung and LG telephones, you all the time need to ditch their skins or colour schemes or re-arrange settings. For years, they struggled to offer easy capability, like lock display notifications or the best way an app drawer scrolls or types. With Google’s telephones, the Pixel being one, you realize what you're getting as a result of it's been a sluggish evolution of Android to this Pixel and Nougat revel in. It’s now not new, however then it nonetheless is with the added stuff.

With Google’s imaginative and prescient for Android on Pixel, I am getting the model of Android that I've all the time sought after.

Device updates

In fact, tool updates are extra essential for smartphones than ever and the Pixel and Pixel XL will all the time be the primary to get them from Google. Now not handiest will the unlocked fashions bought in the course of the Google Retailer get per month safety patches and quarterly gadget updates, the Verizon variations will as smartly, proper when Google has them in a position. That’s a primary for an Android phone bought by way of Verizon, no less than the ensure of the timing via Giant Pink.

I’m additionally beginning to wonder whether the Pixel line of telephones aren’t the most productive to get as this smartphone ecosystem continues to mature most commonly as a result of tool updates. What I imply there's that businesses can’t actually differentiate as simply via hardware anymore as they may be able to via tool. Google, for the primary time in its historical past, has made up our minds that it needs to take further device options additional critical to lend a hand the Pixel line standout. We're seeing that with the supply of Assistant, Pixel Launcher, Night time Gentle mode, and Movement gestures. Google is not handiest pushing safety and incremental updates to Android, additionally they give you the option to toss out logo new options as their telephones age. Since the Pixel and Pixel XL will all the time get updates the fastest, you might simply be at the slicing fringe of the most recent in tool in case you personal one.


The 5-inch (1080p) and 5.5-inch (1440p) AMOLED panels that Google used within the Pixel and Pixel XL are somewhat just right. As you’ll see within the symbol comparisons beneath of each and every phone to the Galaxy S7 and Nexus 6P, they hang their very own within the brightness area with the S7 and in addition in colour.

The Galaxy S7 does glance somewhat richer, particularly should you take a look at the blue symbol appearing on each and every phone. At the S7, you get a deep and colourful blue, whilst the Pixel telephones display blue most effective with a touch of brown all the way through as smartly. Fortunately, the greys, which in most cases display how cool or heat a show as been tuned, glance spot on for probably the most phase. The XL’s show is a little extra correct to my eye, whilst the Pixel does have a slight blueish hue.

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The picture at the proper is an try to display you the viewing angles for each and every. Each telephones have nice viewing angles, should you couldn’t inform. It takes a beautiful steep attitude for the show to start out breaking down with distorted colours and a dimming.

Clearly, the only primary distinction between the 2 is the display decision. After switching between each and every, the 1080p show at the Pixel didn’t trouble me in any respect. It’s nonetheless masses sharp for what I want. However yeah, in the event you plan to get in on some VR motion when Google’s Daydream View arrives, the Pixel XL and its QHD panel it is going to be a more sensible choice.



As new smartphones arrive, the Apple bloggers all pull out their benchmarks to peer if anything else can beat their valuable iPhones. Generally, Android telephones don’t they usually have fun as though someone over right here cares. What I will be able to inform is that benchmarks don’t imply sh*t if truth be told. The use of a phone, as in, in fact touching it, opening apps, and wearing out the hardest of duties and not using a hiccup is what really defines efficiency to me. With the Pixel and Pixel XL, you get a finely tuned beast from Google.

As you swipe into the app drawer at the Pixel Launcher the sophisticated fading animation by no means skips a body and Google Now’s left-side swipe is even lovely rattling clean. Folders and apps and menus and swipes all divulge clean animations that give off this feeling of fact as you navigate the UI. The digital camera quite a bit in a cut up 2d. Even the contact latency has supposedly been very much progressed.

Few telephones ever run Android as just right as Google’s personal telephones and the Pixels aren't any exception.


Google has given us two sizes to make a choice from with Pixel: 5-inch and 5.5-inch. As the fellow who hated seeing all telephones explode to 5.5-inches and past for a few years, having the selection of a 5-inch type that doesn’t lack the specifications of its larger brother has me giddy. I feel it’s necessary that businesses give us possible choices, which is why I additionally love the Galaxy S and Edge line. As a result of Google is giving us all a decision right here, the gang that desires the mega-media system may have it, whilst the remainder of us can settle right into a phone that may be managed with a unmarried hand.

Remember that the Pixel’s show tops out at 1080p, whilst the Pixel XL jumps all of the method as much as QHD and 1440p. The batteries are other as smartly, with the Pixel wearing a 2770mAh battery and the XL with a 3450mAh juice field. The ones are in reality the one variations out of doors of measurement. They use the similar Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM, garage choices, Sort-C ports, and implausible 12.3MP digital camera.

There aren’t many different firms that do the high-end phone in more than one sizes factor. For those who couldn’t inform, Google in point of fact is taking this release significantly.

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Like in earlier Google phone years, the Pixel and Pixel XL are absolutely unlocked and paintings on all primary US carriers. That suggests get entry to to 4G LTE on Verizon, AT&T, T-Cellular, Dash, and US Mobile. Even WiFi Calling works on Verizon and T-Cellular with those telephones. You don’t need to do anything else particular to get them to paintings – you simply insert an lively SIM and be in your means.

The model you'll be able to purchase during the Google Retailer is probably the most “open” if you wish to name it that. That suggests unlocked to be used far and wide, but in addition with an unlockable bootloader in case you wish to have to tinker. The Verizon model is absolutely unlocked as smartly, so it’ll paintings on all carriers too, however it does lack the tinkerer side with a supposedly locked bootloader.



As opposed to the glass panel at the bottom of the Pixel and Pixel XL, I don’t assume somebody goes to take a look at and persuade you that Google is doing one thing unique within the hardware design division. That’s to not say that those telephones are unsightly, however uninspired may well be a just right descriptor. I feel everyone knows that they appear very similar to HTC’s One A9 and the iPhone 6. The common silver Pixel, particularly, is principally an iPhone 6 or iPod Contact clone. Harsh? Sorry, simply talking some fact.

Now, I will be able to are living with this design, needless to say. The Pixel and Pixel XL are blank and equipped with top class metals and a laugh backsides. Their buttons are correctly positioned at the proper aspect of the phone, fingerprint readers in the most well liked rear location, Sort-C port at the backside is focused, there is not any digital camera hump, and each sizes really feel actually just right in-hand for probably the most phase. The smaller Pixel does get slightly slippery from time to time with its slender frame, whilst the larger Pixel XL is a great handful that doesn’t really feel obnoxious.

Significantly, even though, take a look at those telephones. Yeah, they aren’t offensive, however this can be a design we’ve noticed for 2-3 years now.

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Battery lifestyles

Battery lifestyles for me over the last couple of weeks with each a Pixel (2770mAh) and Pixel XL (3450mAh) has been lovely moderate. We’re speaking a just right 14 hours of use with 3-4 hours of display on time prior to I’m beginning to search for a charger. Once I say “beginning to search for a charger,” that’s when the 20% mark hits and I’m questioning if I've anything else happening that may require any other 3 or 4 or 5 hours of use. I've but to unplug both phone within the morning and move to mattress while not having to most sensible it off for somewhat.


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Pixel XL

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Lots of you are going to name this horrible battery lifestyles since you all have 8 hours in an afternoon to stare at your telephones, however would possibly I remind you that that is lovely conventional for me from all flagships. I noticed equivalent 14-16 battery lifestyles at the Observe 7, HTC 10, and LG G5. That is what I virtually all the time see whilst checking out a phone’s battery lifestyles in my Black Hollow of Sign Dying. Should you have been questioning, I examined those telephones on Verizon and T-Cellular and nonetheless noticed identical effects.

Will have to you be apprehensive about battery lifestyles? I’ll inform you this – return and take a look at our evaluations of previous telephones, see how your battery lifestyles on the ones telephones stacked as much as mine, after which pass from there. I appear to be an outlier for your eyes, however the effects are constant.

Availability and Worth

The supply of the Pixel and Pixel XL is lovely dangerous. At release, the telephones have been to be had at once from Google, however most of the choices bought out inside of every week or so. They have been/also are bought as Verizon fashions via Absolute best Purchase and Verizon retail outlets, although they aren’t rather as hacker-friendly for the ones of you into bootloaders and that mysterious discussion board global. The Verizon devices are nonetheless absolutely SIM unlocked and aren’t stuffed with bloatware in any respect, however now not everyone seems to be a Verizon buyer. As of submit time, you'll be able to’t purchase both phone at AT&T, T-Cellular, or Dash.

Google is speaking about this minimum service means love it has needed to get started from scratch to construct relationships with carriers and that it’s going to take time to get their telephones all over the place. However guy, this simply turns out like any such ignored alternative, particularly because the inventory at the Google Retailer bought out so temporarily that folks have needed to stay up for weeks to come up with one. Google is clearly in a position to actually promote all of the telephones they may be able to, however that’s simply now not going to be simple with out being in each and every service retailer.


As for the fee, you recognize that the Pixel and Pixel XL aren’t reasonable. The Pixel begins at $649 and the XL begins at $769. The ones are for the 32GB fashions, however if you wish to leap that as much as 128GB, it is important to upload any other $100 onto each and every worth. Those costs were rather surprising to long-time Nexus house owners who grew conversant in less expensive telephones from Google.

Are those telephones overpriced? I don’t essentially assume so. Do I want they have been less expensive? In fact. After all, that is Google short of to take a big-boy step into phone gross sales. So as to do this and probably make a large number of coin, it's a must to play within the most sensible tier. In an effort to play within the most sensible tier, particularly with service involvement, you must be priced with Samsung and Apple.


As I simply discussed, the Pixel and Pixel XL include both 32GB or 128GB of garage. Selection is just right, so just right task, Google! For the ones of you desiring that additional microSD card area, despite the fact that, you gained’t in finding that right here. As has been the case with Google telephones for years, there isn’t a microSD slot, so the garage quantity you select on day one is the garage quantity you're caught with. Is 32GB sufficient? It may well be. Will it's two years in? That’s a part of the danger right here.

Now, it's a must to understand that the leap from 32GB to 128GB will value you an additional $100. Individually, it’s more than likely value doing for those who plan to stay the Pixel or XL for a few years, simply to be protected. Simply remember that the 128GB Pixel is $749 and the 128GB XL is a whopping $869.



For probably the most phase, Google covered up the specs you wish to have to peer in a most sensible tier smartphone. They went with the top class steel construct to start out after which added a 2.15GHz Snapdragon 821 processor (quad-core, 64-bit), 4GB RAM, 5-inch (Pixel, FHD) and 5.5-inch (Pixel XL, QHD) AMOLED presentations, 32GB or 128GB garage (UFS 2.0), 12.3MP rear digital camera (f/2.0, 1.55um), 8MP entrance digital camera, 2770mAh (Pixel) and 3450mAh (Pixel XL) batteries, USB Sort-C port with rapid charging, fingerprint reader, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Bluetooth 4.2.

Sadly, whilst just right as that record of specifications is, it’s now not relatively matching as much as what Samsung and Apple driven this yr. You don’t have true water resistance (Samsung has IP68 and Apple has IP67) nor do you have got wireless charging or microSD card slots. Oh, Google skipped the stereo audio system this yr too. Are the ones lacking options deal-breakers? To a few, they could also be, yeah. I’ve already informed you that the Pixel is almost certainly the phone for me, however that doesn’t imply I gained’t whinge each and every time I step into the kitchen and need to set my phone a long way clear of any liquids, or when all the wireless chargers round my space are despatched packing.

The Now not-so-Just right

Water resistance

The Pixel and Pixel XL are rated IP53 for water and mud. That’s…now not nice. The 5 in that score method the telephones are “mud safe” and will have to be in a position to resist mud and mud getting into their steel our bodies. The 3 is the water resistance score and can also be described as “Water falling as a sprig at any attitude as much as 60° from the vertical shall don't have any destructive impact.” So no dunking. No swimming with. No rest room drops. And no washing off beneath the tap when your kid will get their sticky palms all over the place it.

Positive, you'll be able to take to YouTube and discover a bunch of novice water resistance testers sticking telephones in buckets and sinks for 30 or 60 mins to take a look at and inform you that you simply may well be OK in case your phone will get rainy. And also you may well be OK. Simply needless to say the authentic score is IP53 and also you will have to watch out round water. Will have to your phone get rainy and prevent running, don’t say we didn’t alert you to forget about the YouTubers.

Google reportedly advised WIRED that they didn’t come with water resistance as a result of they ran out of time. I assume subsequent yr is the yr? Ugh.

Different Notes

  • Fingerprint reader: The fingerprint reader at the common Pixel I’ve been checking out (silver style) has been most commonly rapid and unlocks the phone with out a lot effort. At the black Pixel XL, it felt rather sticky and in addition gave the impression adore it wanted a little of additional drive so as to unencumber. Tricky to inform if that’s a colour factor or phone type factor. Both method, I don’t assume I might name the fingerprint reader on both phone probably the most fastest within the industry, however they aren’t sluggish sufficient to make your lifestyles hell.
  • WiFi Calling: This works on each Verizon and T-Cellular.
  • Speaker: There's a unmarried, bottom-firing speaker at the Pixel and XL. I, in my opinion, don’t use my phone for far exterior audio, so dwelling with out stereo audio system in a phone is straightforward for me. If you wish to have a phone that may take over a room and act as a mini-speaker, this most likely isn’t the only for you.



First 10 issues to do

The use of Google Assistant


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The Verdict

Those telephones, or no less than this evaluation, is humorous in some way as a result of as you learn via it, on no account are all the packing containers checked. Nonetheless, even though, it might be onerous for me not to suggest you purchase the Pixel or Pixel XL as your subsequent phone. Even with out the actual water resistance, SD card slot, or an impressed design, you simply can’t beat the revel in.

The Pixel and Pixel XL are so just right within the tool and digital camera departments, that it’s now not even exhausting to forget one of the crucial troublesome areas. That is what Android is meant to feel and appear like, consistent with Google. And they have got nailed it.

BUY GOOGLE PIXEL:  Verizon | Best Buy | Google Store

Google Pixel / Pixel XL Review is a publish from: Droid Life


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