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Google Pixel and Pixel XL : Review

Highlight – A world class camera, 24/7 support and unlimited backup are just the start of what makes the Pixel amazing.
As the world watches an unprecedented recall and product scrapping from its biggest electronics and smartphone manufacturer, Google has been quietly readying a Trojan horse that might just be the answer to many people’s questions of where to go next. For over six years now Google has run its Nexus program, selecting a different manufacturer mostly each year to build a phone that was meant to be sort of a reference device for manufacturers going forward.


Now with the Nexus program officially gone, Google is looking toward an alternate future for itself, one that involves its own designs and manufacturing instead of outsourcing most of it to someone else. Do the Pixel and Pixel XL stand as a cut above the rest instead of a reference design as we’ve seen in Nexus phones of yore? 

Let’s take a look!

Specs

Many Nexus phones have been generally sold well under regular flagship levels of pricing, but those sort of expectations should be left at the door when considering a Google Pixel. Falling right in line with most flagship devices out there, the Google Pixel’s retail price begins at $649.99 for the model with 32GB internal storage and a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED screen.

For $100 more ($749.99) you can bump that up to 128GB of internal storage as well. $769.99 will get you the Pixel XL, which features a 5.5-inch quad-HD AMOLED screen and 32GB of RAM. Just as with its smaller brother, $100 more ($869) will get you the Pixel XL with 128GB internal storage. The smaller Pixel features a 2,770mAh non-removable battery, while the larger Pixel XL contains a subsequently larger 3,450mAh non-removable battery.

Aside from the screen size and resolution, both Pixel models feature identical specs in every other respect. Sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 2.15GHz quad-core processor, an Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, the Pixel team is made to shine in every area of performance. Each Pixel’s screen is covered in Gorilla Glass 4, and an 8-megapixel Sony Exmor IMX179 sensor sits above the screen to take some ultra high quality selfies. On the back you’ll find a 12.3-megapixel Sony Exmor IMX378 sensor with 1.55-micron sized pixels and Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) aboard. That Snapdragon 821 SoC also sports a brand new X12 LTE modem inside and comes unlocked straight from Google, meaning you’ll have some of the widest support for worldwide LTE spectrum out of the box.


Both phones ship with Android 7.1 Nougat aboard as well as some custom software by the Pixel team, and you’ll be able to get the device in one of three colors: Quite Black, Really Blue and Very Silver. As of this writing the Really Blue color had completely sold out in 24 hours of the pre-order opening, and with Google saying this was a limited edition color there’s no telling how difficult it will be to net one of these in the future. The smaller Google Pixel measures in at 143.8mm high by 69.5mm wide by 8.6mm thick, and weighs a less than average 143 grams. The larger Pixel XL is a bit larger, clocking in at 154.7mm high by 75.7mm wide by 8.6mm thick, and weighs a slightly above average 168 grams.

In The Box

Google knows you need more than just a phone and a charger, and they’ve included a little bit more than usual in the Pixel box for its users. Underneath the phone you’ll find a pair of USB cables, one of which carries a USB Type-C to USB Type-C connection, while the other is a USB Type-C to USB Type-A connection. A transfer dongle is here for easy data transfer from your previous phone, and there’s also a super fast 5v/3a 15W wall charger as well. 


A set of manuals will guide you through the steps needed to setup the phone and transfer your data, as well as a walk through Google Assistant and all the things it can do. Lastly you’ll also find a SIM tray eject tool for dropping that SIM card right into your new Pixel.

The Good
Incredibly high quality build
Fast, fast, fast
Great battery life
Industry-leading AMOLED screen
Big step for mobile VR
Best of the best camera
Ultra high quality 24-bit audio output
3.5mm audio jack
Easy transfer utility
24/7 phone or chat support with Google
Unlimited full-sized photo and video cloud backup
Google Assistant is an amazing advancement from Google Now
Bands that should work anywhere in the world and with any carrier

The Bad
Styling might be too close to an iPhone for some
Single bottom-facing speaker
No microSD card support
Verizon carrier sale exclusivity in the US
Not water-resistant

Shrey Kapoor is a Tech-Enthusiast, Harvard certified Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics Expert. He Founder Techphlie.com, which is one of the India's Top Tech News Website. Even Forbes and many other renowned publishers took his articles reference. Shrey is a Technology analyst, strategic thinker and creative writer who is passionate to deliver the best, latest possible Tech-News to his followers and subscribers. He completed his masters in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, certified in IPR, T.Q.M. & ISO 9001:2008 In Quality Management Systems.

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