Google Pixel : Built for Android Lovers

Google Pixel XL Review

Google Pixel / XL has been designed by one of giant search engine company “Google”. Google launched Pixel smartphones to competite in market with apple and samsung. Therefore, they are replacing their Nexus series with Pixel. All manufacturing of the phone like designing, engineering and testing has been done wholly in-house. With release of Pixel XL smartphone it is clear that Google is trying to competite with apple. While unpacking the phone you can easily see the similarities right from messages to tones. With lot of new added features, equipped with high performance hardware and camera still there are few drawbacks of phone at such a higher price. Is it worth buying? Is Google Pixel more better then apple iPhone 7? Let’s answer these questions and find out more in detail with Google Pixel review.

Google Pixel XL review: Software

Google Pixel has been packed with lot of tricks which knows your interests like your browsing habits, what are you going to buy next? including your all contacts and much more providing a minutiae of our personal life. All these can be found in “G shaped spoon” that can also be opened wider.

This smartphone has been equipped with Google Assistant where it promises of providing accurate and personal responses. If we have a look at Google’s past smartphones we can see that Google has been much engaged in simplifying things out similar to Google Assistant which has been advanced to super-powered Siri. Similar, to Siri, Google Assistant has been placed at front in center. Changes in home scree has been done in new Pixel so that it accommodates new Pixel launcher interface provided with many opportunities to easily access Google Assistant. As we all know Google always downplays links to Google Now, however, its Assistant can still be accessed or launched by much familiar “OK Google”

Standard tasks like launching apps, browsing internet, starting a stop watch, placing an alarm, etc can be easily carried out with Google Assistant. One most interesting thing about Assistant is that it also asks for time or location in-order to trigger the timer. The Siri has been designed much more faster than Google Assistant while writing. Talking about third party apps interactions have been placed off the table. However, if you are thinking that Google can help you to get a cab with apps like Uber, then you need to wait longer.

Regarding these changes Google has already notified their developers which might be noticed in coming versions of Google Pixel more likely in coming December. This clearly means that interactions with Spotify, etc needs more improvement but at the launch time, Google confirmed that Assistant will work fine with smart home devices like Samsung Smart Things and Philips Hue. These are smaller things however, are more beneficial and saves time which was expected from Google Assistant. It’s a good thing that software can respond to all of our queries and questions but it has some limitations as it is not useful in case we need to complete our business elsewhere. For example if you are searching for a restaurant then Google Pixel will easily tell you nearby restaurant however, it fails to book table and similar things. This means Google easily tells us where the home is but fails to answer or perform activities further which includes home in questions. Also, Geo fencing alerts was expected which right now seems to be missing.At this time Assistant has been designed for sending messages, check calendar, make calls, news, weather report, play music and open apps. Any further expectations with Assistant will leave you disappointed. Talking about Pixel launcher which looks like stock Android has been made with small changes like round app icons with new searchbox. This also can be used as an alternative to an app drawer which can be accessed simply by upward swipe. Google Pixel has been powered with latest Android Nougat with updated features like Night Light also known as blue light filter including manually storing facility providing ease of availability by simply swiping for notifications.

Nexus devices were aimed to provide notifications with greater power also, dip in and out of Android Action Bar was easy due to rear mounted fingerprint reader. This does not works perfect and Pixel also suffered due to wrong placement of fingerprint. The nexus devices were built for Android lovers with powerful OS update system. The same has been repeated in Google Pixel XL, however if you will use the phone for only 5 minutes, then you will come to know for which audience it suits the best.

Google promises to provide you 24 hours and 7 days a week support also you will get a bundled adapter through which you can easily migrate your previous phone data with new Pixel XL. Price of this phone has been kept much higher with two years of android OS updates with security updates of three years.

Google Pixel XL review: Design and Build Quality

Before concluding why Pixel has been created, let’s have a look on what Google actually wants to deliver. Pixel handsets made by HTC, has been built to provide high end performance in Android world. The phone has been loaded with 821SoC consisting of 4GB RAM and internal storage options of 32GB or 128GB. Both Pixel and Pixel XL has one of the best cameras ever built in a phone. These phones operates on Android 7.1 Nougat with new Google Assistant Voice command system including Daydream compatible phone.

Google Pixel front and back side view

When seen from outside Pixel XL looks quite good when compared with apple iPhone 7 consisting of metal body containing large bezels at top and bottom side of screen. Front side of the phone has been designed to give clean look without any branding. Screen size of Pixel XL consists of 5.5″ which looks big especially when compared with Galaxy S7 Edge.

Pixel XL when seen from side, you will notice that wedge shape has been given with bottom a bit thinner as compared with top. This provides a slimmer look, however the phone has been built slim which is 8.5 mm thin. Edges of the phone has been built rounded which also gives a glossy look. At backside of phone you can find two tone colors where 2/3 of phone’s bottom has been made with metal body at both top and bottom of the phone.Due to metal body structure Google pixel can easily withstand shocks and drops as when dropped most of the time corners are damaged. Talking about water resistant, the phone is not water resistant containing IP53 rating. It has been seen that many damages are also due to water but in this case it looks like Google did not get time to make this phone water resistant.

At top 3.5mm jack has been provided and power & volume buttons have been placed at the right side of the phone. In left side you can find SIM tray. The phone fails to provide microSD slot. USB Type – C charging port can be found at the bottom of the screen which has high charging capacity along with two speakers. The sound quality of Pixel XL is good, however at this price range it is expected though.

Google Pixel XL review: Display

Display of Google Pixel XL consists of AMOLED screen containing display QHD/2560 x 1440 (534 PPI) resolution. 534 PPI pixel density screen is a good choice as it provides excellent sharp images ideal for your eyesight providing you larger chassis. Also, the image quality has vivid colors, decent brightness ~343 NITs and good contrast. When compared with Sansung Galaxy S7 Edge, it fails to comepetite it as S7 Edge has 540 NITs which is better then Pixel. When using phone in outdoors, brightness is a must in direct sunlight. Brightness increases readability in direct sunlight.

As already informed bezels can be found on sides, it doesn’t looks so impressive also they are wider in size when compared with S7 Edge. Also, more space has been provided at top and bottom of the phone.Pixel XL can be easily awoken by simply double tapping on screen.

Google Pixel XL review: Camera

Camera of Google Pixel phones are excellent. This has been also proclaimed by VP Brian Rakowski that these phones have the best camera ever made. Google Pixel XL camera has the capability to capture fantastic images in more detailed and in crisp way. It also displays most of the time correct colors. One more advantage of Pixel camera is that it can work in bright as well as in dim situations also. When compared with iPhone 7, Pixel has 12.3 megapixel cameras with f/2.0 aperture and sensors are large as well with 1.5µm which is pretty good.

Google Pixel XL Camera Image Sample

Google Pixel XL Camera Image Sample. [Courtesy – Isaac Reynolds]

Google has returned its HDR+ mode, also it is fast than the past one. In most HDR mode cameras, one long exposure of image is taken and processed to improve clarity and dynamic range. However, when compared with Pixel phones, their HDR+ mode is designed to capture exposures in brief and then stitches them altogether. Due to good horsepower provided by Pixel chipsets and Hexagon processor, the process doesn’t take too much time. This has one more benefit that it gives appealing shots both in bright and dim conditions. Besides this Pixel lacks in providing optical image stabilization, however, electronic image stabilization keeps the image blur for any issues. This can be usually found when you are shooting a video.

It is a known fact that One more interesting and useful thing about Pixel is that images can be captured easily by holding shutter button through which you can capture many shots continuously in one go. After that device automatically stitches all images in a GIF format from where you can choose your best photo to keep.

Google Pixel XL review: Performance and Battery

According to Qualcomm, Snapdragon 821’s processor has clock speed of 2.4Ghz. However, varions used in Pixel smartphones comes out to be 2.15 GHz. This is because Google wants to balance performance with battery life. Therefore, they used somewhat lower version chipset as the company does not want to lack behind in phone’s speed. They optimized things which rendered on screen also reduced touch latency to improve launching speed of apps.

When testing phone for multitasking with Facebook, Outlook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. with games like Asphalt and Mortal Combat, it didn’t provide any complaints. However, the phone got heated up sometimes but that is okay.

Battery life of Pixel XL is excellent as well wherein it lasted for 14 hours when HD videos connected to WiFi was used keeping screen brightness to 50%. Through this test, Pixel also beats Galaxy Note 7 by seven minutes. In normal day to day usage Pixel XL can withstand up-to 46% till evening and without charging it can last till almost two days. It depends on what apps are being used.

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