Google Pixel Review

Updated June 18, 2018 By Pulse 2.0 Staff


The Pixel and Pixel XL are Android smartphones developed by Google. The devices which were announced in October 2016 are the first smartphones in the Google Pixel hardware line. The Pixel devices are high-end devices that are comparable to the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 devices. The Google Pixel and Pixel XL was designed by Google itself while HTC handles the assembly. Below is a review of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL.

Design

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL were designed with a combination of aluminum and Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The edges and back are round and the devices feel lighter than they appear. The Google Pixel XL is narrower than the iPhone 7 Plus so it easily fits in the palm of your hand.

One of the downsides of the design is there is a large amount of bezel space on the top and bottom of the devices. This seems like wasted space. Instead, Google decided to put the fingerprint sensor at the back of the devices instead.

The top bezel area is where the front-facing camera, an earpiece and the infrared proximity sensor sits. And towards the bottom edge is a USB Type-C port, a microphone, and a loudspeaker. On the back is the Google logo and the rear-facing camera. Adding to the aesthetics of the phones, the rear-facing camera sits flush.

Display

The display of the Pixel is a 5-inch 1080p panel whereas the display on the Pixel XL is a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED. The Quad HD AMOLED on the Pixel XL definitely makes a difference when you compare the two side-by-side. The Pixel XL has more details and vivid colors than the smaller device.

One of the features that stands out on the Pixel and Pixel XL compared to other Android phones is the Pixel Launcher user interface. You will notice that when you hard dress on certain app icons, there will be certain actions. This is similar to the Quick Actions feature built into Apple?s 3D Touch on the iPhone 6S and later.

Performance

Inside of the Pixel and Pixel XL are Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipsets with 4GB of RAM. Between Google’s ability to control the fully software and hardware, the Pixel and Pixel XL is one of the fastest Android devices on the market.¬†Opening apps, scrolling through websites and multitasking showed no signs of lag.

Storage

There are two variants of the Pixel and Pixel XL. There is a 32GB version and a 128GB version. Unfortunately, there isn?t a microSD slot to expand the storage.

Camera

The cameras on the Pixel and Pixel XL were ranked the best in class at the time of launch. For example, DxOMark gave the Pixel and Pixel the #1 spot in its photographic rankings. The cameras even perform excellently in bright and dim conditions.

Front-Facing Camera

It is rare to see a front-facing camera anything higher than 5-megapixel, but the Pixel and Pixel XL surpassed those expectations. The front-facing camera of the Pixel and Pixel XL is 8-megapixels so your selfies will be nice and sharp. The front-facing camera has a f/2.4 aperture at a 1.4?m pixel size.

Rear-Facing Camera

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL have solid 12.3-megapixel rear cameras. The 12.3-megapixel sensors on the cameras have a f/2.0 aperture at a 1.55?m pixel size. Another reason why the Pixel devices have better cameras is because of enhanced Google HDR+ modes. The Google HDR+ modes essentially combines multiple RAW images in near real-time to create an enhanced JPEG file with lower noise and offers a better dynamic range. It can also detect rapid motion in order to activate the enhanced Google HDR+ modes. Google originally introduced the HDR+ modes in the Nexus 6P. The cameras also have electronic image stabilization rather than optical image stabilization. Electronic image stabilization on the camera does a good job at handling video recording, but there can be some motion blurs in low light conditions.

IP Rating

The IP rating of the Pixel and Pixel XL is IP53. This means that it cannot handle dirt or water submersion. And it is only partially resistant to dust and water.

Ports

At the left edge of the device is a microSIM slot. And there is a 3.5mm jack at the top of the device.

Additional Features

The Pixel and Pixel XL supports Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, and it is Daydream VR ready.

Battery

The battery on the Pixel is 2,770 mAh (26 hours of talk time, 13 hours of Wi-Fi browsing 13 hours of LTE browsing, 13 hours of video playback), but the Pixel XL has a generous 3,450 mAh (32 hours of talk time, 14 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 14 hours of LTE browsing, 14 hours of video playback). If you tend to spend a lot of time on your phone every day, I would recommend buying the Pixel XL instead of the smaller-sized version. Inside of the box is a fast 18W charger, which can power up the devices from 0-100% in an hour and fifty minutes. And it can go from 0% to 7 hours of use in only 15 minutes of charging.

What Are The Pros And Cons?

Pros:

1.) Amazing cameras

2.) Aesthetic design

3.) Fast charging

Cons:

1.) Lack of expandable storage

2.) Not that great of an IP rating

3.) Higher priced

Google Pixel Specs

– Size: 5.66 x 2.74 x 0.33 in (143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5mm)

– Weight: 143g (5.04 oz)

– Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821

– GPU: Adreno 530

– Network: GSM/CDMA/HSPA/EVDO/LTE

– RAM: 4GB

– Display: 5-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen

– Resolution: 1080 x 1920 (441ppi)

– Storage: 32/128GB

– Rear-Facing Camera: 12.3-megapixel with f/2.0 aperture (4K video capture), 1.55 ?m pixel size, and electronic image stabilization

– Front-Facing Camera: 8-megapixel with f/2.4 aperture and 1.4 ?m pixel size (1080p video capture)

– OS: Android 7.1 Nougat

– IP Rating: IP53 meaning protected from limited dust ingress and protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical

– Battery: 2,770 mAh battery

– Port(s): Nano-SIM

– Sensors: Fingerprint, NFC

– Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.2

– Additional Features: Daydream VR support, Pixel Launcher user interface, Electronic image stabilization on the camera, Google HDR+ modes

– Released: October 2016

Google Pixel XL Specs

– Size: 6.09 x 2.98 x 0.33 in (154.7 x 75.7 x 8.5 mm)

– Weight: 168g (5.93 oz)

– Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821

– GPU: Adreno 530

– Network: GSM/CDMA/HSPA/EVDO/LTE

– RAM: 4GB

– Display: 5.5-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen

– Resolution: 1440 x 2560 pixels (534 ppi)

– Storage: 32/128GB

– Rear-Facing Camera: 12.3-megapixel with f/2.0 aperture (4K video capture), 1.55 ?m pixel size, and electronic image stabilization

– Front-Facing Camera: 8-megapixel with f/2.4 aperture and 1.4 ?m pixel size (1080p video capture)

– OS: Android 7.1 Nougat

– IP Rating: IP53 meaning protected from limited dust ingress and protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical

– Battery: 3,450 mAh battery

– Port(s): Nano-SIM

– Sensors: Fingerprint, NFC

– Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.2

– Additional Features: Daydream VR support, Pixel Launcher user interface, Google HDR+ modes

– Released: October 2016