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5 Reasons the Pixel and Pixel XL are Worth Buying

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If you decided that reading the 4,000 or so words in our Pixel and Pixel XL review wasn’t something you had time for, maybe this post will give you a quicker overview that will get you on your way to making a purchasing decision. Like we have done with most flagships this year, we have 5 straight forward reasons you may want to pick up one of Google’s new flagship offerings.

From the excellent camera to the best-in-Android software experience, there is a lot to like with the Pixel and Pixel XL, even if they are missing a few features, like true water resistance and an SD card slot. I don’t know that I would call either the “perfect” Android phone, but they sure are my favorites at the moment.

Here are 5 reasons the Pixel and Pixel XL are worth buying. 


1. Mmmm, those cameras.

Google absolutely nailed the camera experience on the Pixel and Pixel XL. Each phone features the same 12.3MP Sony camera (f/2.0, 1.55um) that is easily one of the best in the business. In fact, I’d put this camera right up there with Samsung and Apple’s best. The cameras in each phone are super quick to load (double-tap the power button), quicker to focus on subjects, and can shoot dozens of photos in seconds.

With the Pixel cameras, it’s all about speed, which to me is the most important aspect of a 2016 smartphone camera. Everyone’s smartphone camera is capable of taking a good photo at this point when the conditions are right, but it’s the speed that allows you to snap those good photos more often than not.

We’ve already done a full Google Pixel camera review that includes both a video overview and a bunch of samples. To get those details and see for yourself how good the Pixel camera is, head over to this link.

pixel xl camera

2. Who has better software?

As an Android fan, I don’t think there is a better Android experience than Google’s current Nougat build. It may not be as feature-packed as the skins from Samsung and LG, sure, but it has just the right amount of extra goodies and the performance to top it off. With the Pixel phones, Google is kicking their software approach up a notch by including exclusive features like Google Assistant, Night Light, a motion gesture on the fingerprint reader, access to the Pixel Launcher, and more.

So not only do you get the “pure” or “stock” look to Android that is often preferable, Google has found additional ways to improve on that with a handful of special Pixel-only features. Assistant, which is Google’s Siri-competitor, is going to take some time to get better, but has already proven to be very useful on the daily for setting reminders, checking weather, turning on alarms, and getting answers to general questions. Night Light, which is a night mode that turns your screen an amber-ish color, has me wondering why all phones haven’t had this for years. And even the Pixel Launcher has become a really nice simple launcher that is controlled with gestures.

While Samsung’s latest TouchWiz skin on the Note 7 was fabulous and might have been the best Android setup, that phone no longer exists. That leaves us with older phones or the Pixel phones. To me, the Pixel phones are the current best version of Android.

3. Choice of size.

For years, I have complained about companies only producing one oversized phone per season, leaving those of us with a need for a smaller phone without many options. To buck that trend a bit, Google has adopted Samsung and Apple’s approach to phone releases by giving us two serious choices of the Pixel and Pixel XL.

The Pixel weighs in with a display of 5-inches (1080p) and a battery of 2770mAh. The Pixel XL clocks in at 5.5-inch (QHD) and a battery of 3450mAh. And those are really the only noticeable differences, which means you get the exact same powerful and efficient phone in either size without having to give up any key features.

In the past, we have seen companies release Mini or Compact phones, but those often lacked high-end specs and were typically sold as mid-range phones to fill a particular market. The Pixel is by no means that and really is just a slightly smaller version of the slightly larger XL. You have the same Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM, metal body, fingerprint reader, camera, etc.

5-reasons-buy-pixel-xl

4. Unlocked for life.

As you guys know, I’ll probably buy unlocked phones for the rest of my life. I buy them because I switch carriers all of the time to test networks and specific features and to try and figure out which is the best deal at the moment. I also buy them because unlocked phones don’t have carrier interference in most situations, they aren’t loaded up with bloatware, and they are brand-free.

The Pixel and Pixel XL are sold fully unlocked with connectivity on all major networks no matter where you buy them from. You can even buy a Pixel from Verizon, walk it over to a T-Mobile store, and get service up and running in minutes. These phones just work everywhere, so you always have that flexibility should you want to switch up plans from month to month or travel abroad.

It’s shocking to think that there are still phones in 2016 that are locked to specific carriers. If you buy a Pixel or Pixel XL, you won’t ever have to worry about that.

5. Software updates when you want them.

So far, our understanding of the Pixel software update situation is that they will be treated very much like Nexus devices. That means monthly security patches and quarterly system updates. Verizon has also already said that it will update its Pixel phones at the same time that Google updates its unlocked versions.

Why is that important? If you own a Pixel or Pixel XL, you won’t have to be the guy complaining in the comments about it being 6 months before your phone gets the next big version of Android. Instead, you may already be running it.


Considering another phone? Feel free to take a look back at 5 reasons to buy other phones, like the Galaxy S7, OnePlus 3, or Moto Z in previous installments of this ongoing series.

  • Jake Montague

    Get $5 Samsung Pay promotion code 2D3C62!

  • schahram

    I love my Pixel XL. This phone is my first pure Android phone. It is smooth with the best user interface compared to all other Android phones that I have had in the past. The build quality is great. I switched from Note 7 and I am happy with my move. I think I wouldn’t go back to Samsung, if they don’t offer pure Android.

  • John Davis

    I just was looking at the OnePlus 3. $399, with 64 GB storage, 6 GB RAM. It’s only Full HD, which is fine for a small device and allows, in theory, longer battery life. Unibody aluminum. Good (not spectacular) camera finally. Impressive fast charging approach. Easily rootable, with unlockable bootloader. Snapdragon 820.

    Oh, two-sim capability. No Verizon support.

    Someone tell me: isn’t this the new Nexus that Google should have produced?

  • Sporttster

    Really ticks me off that Google went the iPhone route on pricing. And I’m very surprised this Android community is embracing it that quickly. HTC hasn’t exactly lit up the airwaves here much and this phone is not a Note quality phone, yet the praise continues. Baffling…..

  • The Dude

    Except for camera, none of these reasons are valid.

    – All the special Pixel features will come to other phones in a few months.
    – Who has better software – purely subjective.
    – Software updates – only for 2 years. Every other device also gets updates, its not just Nexus/Pixel. And Google’s track record of timely updates for Nexus is terrible. You can wait months, as N6 owners just found out when Nougat came out.
    – Unlocked for life, like a million other phones.

    The list of cons for Pixel is far greater. If it wasn’t made by Google it’d never get all this hype.

    • thereasoner

      Actually no, Android Police breaks down what features are exclusive to the Pixel and which ones are for all Android devices.

      Pixel product specific;
      -Pixel launcher, swipe up for apps,new search box/weather header
      -Google Assistant (system wide)
      -unlimited full resolution storage backup
      -smart storage/auto removal
      -24/7 on device live support with screen share
      -quick switch adapter
      -VR sensor hub that can also check the cameras EIS up to 200 times per second for excellent stability

      For all Androids in 7.1
      -night light
      -improved touch performance
      -seamless updates
      -Daydream VR mode (for supported devices)
      -manual storage manager
      -a bunch of developer features

      The Pixel is missing things like SD card support, wireless charging and improved water resistance but so what? Many flagships lack one or more of these features and they all can be had for Pixel owners with a simple case (OffGrid,LifeProof). The exclusive Pixel features can’t be had by other phones however including those not mentioned above like fast updates first, the latest /fastest SoC and the fantastic cameras .

      I’m not surprised that they’re selling well, I have one and I can say first hand that these are awesome smartphones!

  • JimmyHACK

    6) Because I can’t buy a Note 7.

  • cappy718

    I notice a lot of these pictures of this phone only show the back of it…probably because of them hideous bezels on it. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • Nick

    I love my Pixel, it truly is an awesome phone. I also love my Textra texting app, but seem to be having issues with sending some texts/mms. From what I’ve tested, it appears as though Textra (and sometimes even the stock messenger) cannot send texts (sometimes) or photos (always) to iPhones. I have confirmed the APN settings are correct (Straight Talk) and have had success sending texts/photos to myself and other android phones.

    Anyone else seeing this issue? I feel like I’m going crazy…

    • I use these for AT&T through Straight Talk…after entering restart and give it 20 minutes…mine started working.

      http://www.droid-life.com/2014/03/04/straight-talk-apn-settings/

      Name: straight talk

      APN: tfdata

      Proxy: Not Set

      Port: Not Set

      Username: Not Set

      Password: Not Set

      Server: Not Set

      MMSC: http://mms-tf.net

      MMS Proxy: mms3.tracfone.com

      MMS Port: 80

      Some have tweaked the following as well:

      MCC: 310

      MNC:410

      Auth Type: PAP

      APN type: default,supl,mms,hipri

      IPv4

      IPv4

      Bearer:uspecified

      MVNO type: None

      • Nick

        Appreciate the support sir. Those are the same settings that I currently use. I contacted the Textra developer and he confirmed that it is an issue with ATT and iPhones. It works on stock messenger, but not Textra. I am now exploring bumping down the file size of mms to see if that works.

        Thank you again for the information.

  • Snowbo13

    Dont most phones in 2016 have the night mode or blue light mode for night time? My note 7 had it and I know the s7’s have it along with apple.

    Picked up a 6p due to the wait on the pixel phone xl 128. I will just hold on to this and tinker with it slightly. It already thinks its a pixel with google assit and the pixel launcher. Might still upgrade when google emails me but I think I will wait for the note 8 or pixel 2 (most likely the pixel 2)

    edit: fixed capital letter

  • Messed around with it at the VZW store. Pretty impressive software.

  • Cowboydroid

    And one Big reason they aren’t: PRICE.

  • B Brad

    My note 4 is running great. It has wireless charging, replaceable battery, and a microsd slot. The pixel XL offers a smaller screen, less screensize/phone size, no wireless charging, no microsd slot, and an expoxied battery. So if the fragile USB port, the flash storage, the battery dies I’m out $900 or so (including the insurance). Is it too much to expect that a $900 phone last more than 2 years? Bet my note 4 outlasts most Pixel XLs, even with a 2 year head start.

    • M0nk

      The same is happening with my Note 3, I can’t find a worthy replacement. Unlocked bootloader, running AOSP Android 7. 128GB mSD UHS for $50. Real USB 3 connector and speed (not USB C with slow 2.0 speeds). New $20 battery every year. 3 years since I bought it and does not lag at all. I seriously doubt that the pixel battery can last 3 years like new and in the worst case that my phone dies, I have all my files safe on my SD. Phone speaker / mic is starting to degrade and my best option right now is the Lenovo phab pro with tango, if it ever goes to market…

  • MicroNix

    “With the Pixel cameras, it’s all about speed, which to me is the most important aspect of a 2016 smartphone camera. ”

    Actually any decent flagship has had fast cameras (you spent too long with a Nexus and Motos). In 2016, its still about making low light photos better.

    • Sporttster

      Nailed it. Yeah speed is important but most are already speedy enough, but few have the low light capability. THAT is the deciding factor anymore….

  • allansm

    By reading these comments it’s apparent that Droid Life has the cheapest readers on the Internet.

    If the phone is too expensive for you go cry a river in private, whining peons.

    • Cowboydroid

      Droid Life has readers who aren’t going to pay for brand, which is what iPhone users do. And that’s what you’re paying for with the Pixel, all brand.

      • allansm

        I bet you haven’t used it, and yet you’re making ridiculous, unfounded statements. Practically every reviewer has stated this phone smokes the competition in terms of performance.

        And here you are stating otherwise based on your non-use.

        These readers that you’re alluding to are cry babies who haven’t used the phone yet cry and whine about the price.

        • Cowboydroid

          Dude, it’s just a phone. Nobody here crying or whining about anything. All I see are individuals stating the price is way too high and so they aren’t making the purchase.

          Now, if that offends you, so be it. You probably shouldn’t get offended over someone claiming a price is too high. Maybe you feel like you need to justify your purchase… get over it.

          • allansm

            You’re right, it’s just a phone…. and because of that it’s absolutely ridiculous for individuals to visit every Pixel article and begin to WWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH about the sticker price.

            And get over what????

            I don’t even have the damn phone. Hence you haven’t seen me glorify OR bash it. ONCE I do buy it, I’ll make the determination to keep it or get something else.

            Funny thing, when the Note 7 launched readers on here bitched and moaned the EXACT same way.

            $650 to $850 IS THE MSRP of premium handsets. GET PHUCKING USED TO IT.

          • Cowboydroid

            You make my point.

          • Sporttster

            WTH is wrong with you? Basically what you are telling every reader on this board is it’s Google’s right to screw the consumer with ridiculous pricing JUST LIKE Apple does and we all should bend over and enjoy it. Stupid! You’ve been taken and don’t even know it…

      • James_75

        Nope.. I’m a DL reader and don’t fit in your box. The Pixel costs as much to mfg as both the iPhone and the S7 Edge and retails at the same premium price point. It has the best camera UX, latest SG processor, one of the best screens in the XL, performance/stability/updates on par with the iPhone (and better than Samsung) and includes unlimited media storage. There are several things I miss about the Note 7 but the Pixel is thus far worth the price of admission.

    • TC Infantino

      Except that this is a public forum for people to actually express their opinions about the subject of the article. People saying that the device is overpriced because that is their view is what this site is all about. So, if it bothers you, you might want to find a “safe place” to recover.

      • allansm

        You raise a fair point. However, a view that transpires through baseless opinions, and not by evidence, is nothing more than garbage. Hence the whining is being completely drowned out by those reviewers who ACTUALLY have used the device.

        And because this is a public forum, I’m completely free to argue that those sniveling, whining morons who bitch about the price, and have yet to use the phone, are nothing more than typical online gnats that complain about everything.

        When the Note 8 drops they’ll creep out again and bitch about money. Repeat for the next pixel, and so on.

        • Jaymus Lonestar

          It is expensive, IMO. But so was the iPhones, S7, Note 7, etc when they first came out. However, if I like it I will usually buy it. Simple as that.

          With that being said, your condescending way of grouping together and then negatively judging anyone here who doesn’t agree with your assessment or isn’t kissing the collective Pixels’ a*ses kinda makes you sound like the sniveling moron.

          • allansm

            Jaymus, my slow friend, reading comprehension is key.

            Slowly (and I mean slowly) review my posts and see where I’m kissing the “Pixels’ asses” or asking anyone else to. In fact, Kellen’s review was extremely accurate regards to the pros and cons.

            My objection is to the CONSTANT whining about the price when, LIKE YOU STATED, the device is inline with the other heavy hitters. That’s it. Really nothing more to it.

            Sorry; sometimes condescension is warranted when people can’t seem to comprehend basic concepts.

          • trevorsalienarms

            Price in line with other heavy hitters, yes. Features are not. (But you don’t care, because everything it doesn’t have is immediately deemed “unnecessary” or “bloat”.)

          • allansm

            I disagree.

            Processor, build quality, screen are all on par.

            Performance, according to reviewers, is unparalleled.

            As for the omissions:

            Wireless charging (I like it) seems to be only a Samsung thing now. And water resistance is a con. However, tests have shown it’s a lot more water resistant than stated.

            In conclusion, you’re not going to get a perfect phone. My Note 7 (RIP) had all of the great features people covet, but had pretty bad lag that’s well-documented.

            I’m on going to sit here and argue which phone is best as that’s fairly stupid and subjective. I will, however, point out that people complaining about the price have baseless arguments.

          • Jaymus Lonestar

            Oh, well ok then Donald.

  • John Davis

    The word is that this phone cost in the neighborhood of $275 to make. It’s claimed that this is typical of top end phones.

    Me, I’ll never spend that much for a phone in the future. Nor is it necessary. In another year, I’ll replace my Nexus 6P with a oneplus3. Wugfresh, whose Nexus Toolkit makes everything about a Nexus simple, is interested in updating his Bacon Toolkit for the OnePlus One.

    This is predatory behavior by Google.

    • Alex Louderback

      You do realize Google has to pay for the R&D too, right?? And still make a profit??? The phone costs more than an iPhone 7 and a Galaxy S7 to make, yet they still charge the same.

      • M0nk

        They could set a 100% markup to pay R&D, real marketing and still sold it for $500/550. All cool new features are software improvements, not hardware. A 6P could do the same with the same software. Sounds too Apple for me…

      • John Davis

        I don’t know how you’ve concluded that the phone costs more than the Galaxy and iPhone. Regardless, the mark-up is extreme.

    • Sporttster

      You nailed it. The entire argument against this phone is its asinine price. They want to sell it like a iPhone at iPhone prices yet it does not compare to that. This is exactly that, predatory pricing and it sucks. Google, you aren’t Apple.

  • mcdonsco

    And I officially need root on the pixel. Does a provisioning check out of the box for mobile hotspot 🙁

    Come on chainfire!

    • JSo

      Are you using a Verizon Pixel? Because you aren’t getting root with that one.

    • Harry Balsaq

      You WANT root you don’t NEED root.

      • mcdonsco

        Wow! You know what I want and need, you must be a god!

        /s

        • Harry Balsaq

          Yes I do know the difference between a want and a need.

          • mcdonsco

            You’re a troll…bu bye.

      • M0nk

        Root is not needed for many, but I need it for example: making full backups, install other ROMs and back (developing purposes). Run more than one ROM at a time. Change screen density on a per app basis, move files to or from /data or /system, advance logging, change system settings and drivers, etc. Nexus in general were good developer phones, but the pixel I’m not sure…

        • blackmagick20

          Haha. I remember when people NEEDED phones to make calls and send texts…and texts cost money for each one. Amazing how incredibly jaded some people have become..

    • knightracer

      Did you purchase from Verizon or Google?

    • Kevin L
  • Harry Balsaq

    1 big reason not to buy PRICE. Now way I’m paying $770 for the XL when I can get a V20 for $672.

  • John

    1) Note 7 is dead
    2) You hate iPhones
    3) You dont want the S7 Edge
    4) Great camera, allegedly
    5) You like phones with a big chin and forehead

    • Harry Balsaq

      6) you like paying $150 more than a phone is worth.

  • Jeff “BIG RED”
    • Jeff “BIG RED”

      OK in all seriousness I will be using the pixel xl in less then 2hrs. Sad to see my note 7 go.

  • Derek R

    I’m really enjoying my Pixel. This thing is fast and so smooth… No lag anywhere. In my opinion, it’s better than the sum of its parts. There is an indistinguishable quality about it that just makes me happy. So much more phone than any Nexus (I’ve had them all). I wish all of the haters would just go to best buy or verizon and play with one to understand.

    • Omg dude it’s so fast! Rocking my pixel reminds me of the days I used an iPhone(in a good way!). This phone is blazing fast and had excellent radio performance to boot. Camera is to notch, amazing build quantity, great battery life, and Google’s dedication to this platform will only get better. About damn time they did the right way!

    • Even though I agree that it’s fast and smooth and feels like a well build phone, I am gonna return my Pixel. My 6P actually takes better photos imo (mainly because the Pixel tends to overexpose).
      Take a look at some comparison shots if u like: https://goo.gl/photos/z6eseneFAT8DQrbu7

      • Marcin

        Quite interesting, nonetheless, I think after some updates it will get better. As good as 6P photos are, they are underexposed though – so making them a little brighter is a good thing. For now, the problem is to find the right balance. But looking at HTC 10 photos (especially at night), there are some comparable problems with Pixel – flares, etc.

        • The photos were made on very cloudy darkish October days. I can assure you that the 6P photos are not underexposed (exposure-wise they are very close to actual reality), but in fact the Pixel photos are definitely overexposed. 2 extreme examples would be the outdoor shot with the orange/reddish leaves and the indoor shot with the razor.

          • Marcin

            Hmmm… so maybe in your case they weren’t. I’ve got a 6P, too. Here are some my samples -> https://www.instagram.com/yakksiek/ . Nothing to compare since they are almost always (slightly) edited but they show how a good camera it still is.

            Did you use HDR+ in Pixel? Maybe that’s the case. From what I’ve seen watching a couple of comparisons, they are a little overprocessed, especially colours.

          • Most shots were taken in HDR+ Auto (since that’s the default mode on the Pixel and everytime u reopen the camera app it goes back in that mode), some were taken in HDR+ On, where u actually archive the best results (unless u manually adjust the exposure which u can actually do on the Pixel)

          • Marcin

            In your opinion, other things like snappiness, better screen, better battery or video stabilization aren’t worth it?

          • I liked how snappy it was, definitely. The screen on the 5″ Pixel didn’t look better than my 6P, liked the 6P a little better. Video Stabilization looks nice from what I’ve seen, didn’t really bother to test it though. The camera for still images is what is most important to me.
            So, my 6P recently received a little crack on the bottom of the screen and when I found out that this phone is going to be a pure Google phone and not a Nexus by HTC, I thought it might be a good one to switch to, especially since the camera was so high rated.
            But now I already got used to that little crack on the screen anyway (it’s mostly where the bottom speaker is, so no big deal) and I also had to realize after comparing it with the Pixel, how great this phone still really is. (These dope stereo speaker for example.) So for me it’s actually now an easy decision to send the phone back and then eventually upgrade to the PIxel XL 2. Maybe I’ll try out another Pixel (XL) in some months when I get a good deal. Will see…

    • Snowbo13

      not a hater but im going to head to best buy at lunch and check one out

  • DanSan

    I love how you have to make articles defending its price inflated price increase. That is how you know you done goofed.

    • OU812

      After having used it and returned it, it definitely is not a $800 phone. It’s a nice phone, but not for the asking price.

    • Orion

      Thank you!

    • James Cooper

      Or the rubbish excuse that “This is finally google doing it their way” marketing hype.
      Its an HTC running android 7.1 with a great camera and the processor most phones will soon be using.

      How is this such a huge difference from a 6p running the same Android build?

      • Mr. Android

        Carrier Aggregation. Pixel supports Carrier Agg = 3 x faster internet, eat up that data 3 times as fast!. 6p doesn’t support carrier agg.

    • Alex Louderback

      Except they’ve done this with every major Android phone for a while… You, my friend, are an idiot

      Proud owner of a Pixel XL, the best Android phone I’ve ever used by far

      • DanSan

        Maybe there is a pattern here… its like drinking cough medicine back in the day, nobody wants to drink it so they are trying to plug their nose while they do it. they are trying to remove the bad taste of overpriced smartphone from their mouth

        Glad you came here though to throw insults, you must be a great person to have a casual debate with.

      • seldomused

        Um, no hey haven’t. They changed their approach from affordable high range phones to “luxury” phones.

    • michael arazan

      It’s because their Carrier partners wouldn’t sell them without the $150-200 “Middle-Man” cut of the profit on the phone.

      Nexus 6 sold by carriers ay $650, 6P wasn’t and at $499. Still sucks though.

  • My 128GB Pixel XL was delivered by Verizon on launch day. I activated it first on Project Fi and was happy to see that none of the Verizon apps were installed. This is a big deal because Project Fi’s data rates for international usage can’t be beat by any U.S. carrier.

    People love to complain about the price of the Pixel phones, but the arguments are typically pretty flat.

    “I don’t need half of the features on there.”

    Then this isn’t the phone for you. Why are you complaining about a phone you don’t like? Find something better to do with your time.

    “My three year-old phone is running just fine, you know, except for the terrible battery life, janky lag, and cracked screen.”

    You’re wanting a premium phone for $400. That’s not what the Pixel is. The Pixel is a premium device and is priced accordingly.

    Overall, when you consider that these things are always going to have the latest and greatest version of Android installed (and security patches), the camera is pretty phenomenal, and it’s built really, REALLY well, it’s definitely worth the money. If it’s too pricey for you, move along. Go buy a OnePlus 3 or ZTE WhoCares. When the #PixelMasterRace is on Android 9.0, we’ll be laughing at those of you who complained about the price of the Pixels, but bought cheaper Chinese “flagship killers” and are still stuck on Android 7.1. Why will we be laughing? Because that’s what $400 gets you.

    • Wvic

      Thing is, nexus did all the things you say the pixel does for much less, it had monthly updates and hardware that competed with phones worth twice the price. I think it’s just paying more because people pay without questioning… Like why wouldn’t you charge more for something if the costumer is going to pay anyway? That’s what the pixel feels like to me… I don’t like paying more just because…

      • OS and security updates…yes, Nexus devices also had those.

        But pick every other feature, and no, the Nexus didn’t have them. With the exception of the Nexus One, which for its day was an amazing device (still in my top 3 ever), Nexus devices have never had features that were either best-in-class or runner-ups. Whether it’s the camera, screen, or battery life, Nexus devices were never in the conversation.

        • Wvic

          But they offered a very good phone for the price… Not the best in class but good enough that it was worth it…now there’s no choice if you want vanilla android and that affects me…. I don’t like skins but I’m not paying for an iPhone wannabe. There’s a reason there isn’t a nexus this year and that’s because given the choice it would end the pixel… I believe that this move wasnt pro-consumer but fans are eating it up

          • If you think the Pixel/Pixel XL is an iPhone wannabe, you should actually go to a Verizon store and look at one in person. The renders, to be fair, look iPhone-ish. In reality, however, the Pixel/Pixel XL is not an iPhone clone.

          • Sporttster

            It is in pricing and storage, which is really terrible. As one here said, you are paying more ‘just because’, well really just because they are trying to be like Apple and overcharge the hell out of their customers. That’s a terrible plan for most who can’t pay the absurd darned near grand price for a friggin phone with 128gb installed. It’s really disgusting what Google has done….just added more price to their phones….

        • tnt

          “best in class” is subjective, though… at least to a certain extent. The Pixel is near the top in a few categories, but I wouldn’t say it’s “best in class” at anything. And yes I have one and do think it’s a great device!

        • allansm

          Houston,

          Your arguing with people who base their opinions on spec sheets and nothing more.

          It’s futile.

    • compujas

      And you can buy a $400 “flagship killer” now and another $400 “flagship killer” in 2 years and be in the same spot you are except with hardware that is 2 years newer. Having “Pixel Android” and regular updates is only worth so much to most people. If that’s what is important to you then great, get a Pixel. For the rest of us it’s not that crucial and we’d rather have good value, and the Pixel isn’t that. If it had an SD card slot, IP68, and wireless charging at the same price point, then we could talk value, but it’s missing too many flagship features to sell at a top tier flagship price. Look at what the Note 7 had for its price. For $80 more than the 32GB Pixel XL you added 32GB of storage, bigger screen in a smaller and light phone, OIS, iris scanner and heart rate sensor, wireless charging, s-pen, dual edge display, sd card, and IP68. What does the Pixel have over the Note 7? Faster updates, unlocked bootloader, and “Pixel skin”. Like I said, if those features are at the top of your list, then that’s great, but you’re likely in the minority. When Google wasn’t looking to go mainstream that was fine since it came with a lower price point, but now that they’re targeting the masses it’s a tougher sell in my opinion.

      • What does the Pixel have over the Note 7?

        1) The Pixel/Pixel XL can be legally sold and purchased in the United States, and you can take it on both airplanes and trains.
        2) The Pixel/Pixel XL doesn’t double as a fire starter.

        The Note 7 can’t be used as a basis for comparison because it, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t exist anymore.

        • compujas

          That’s awfully nitpicky and semantic, and also has nothing to do with the value proposition of both phones as they were released. If the only thing you can hang your hat on in the Note 7 vs Pixel value debate is “well the Note 7 was recalled”, then you don’t have much of an argument to make. As far as price vs features, the Note 7 wins and it’s clear you can’t argue that.

          • This has nothing to do with semantics. You can’t legally use or purchase a Note 7 from ANY carrier. If the Note 7 was a phone you could actually buy and use, then a comparison could be made. Since you can’t, well, you can’t. The laundry list of features you listed don’t mean a thing because you can’t even use them.

          • MicroNix

            So compare it to an S7 Edge then. Besides the s-pen almost all points are valid.

          • The S7 Edge will get Nougat sometime between now and the end of days.

            On the other features…

            – Android treats SD cards like unwanted step-children.
            – Wireless charging is slow.
            – That stupid home button.
            – Why, for eff-sakes, do they have to put the back button on the right side? Idiotic at best.
            – IP68. Well, I don’t drop my phones into toilets. Or glasses of water. Or the ocean. Or the bathtub. Or the shower. Or anywhere that has water. I’m an adult.

            Just remember that the Galaxy S7 Edge is more expensive than the Pixel XL.

          • Synacks

            You can buy the S7 Edge brand new for under $600, so no, you’re wrong.

          • $792 on Verizon. Brand new. Try again.

          • Synacks

            What moron would walk into a Verizon store and hand over $792 for a retail cost phone that came out over 6 months ago?

            It doesn’t take but 30 seconds of searching on the internet to find out where you can buy it brand new for <$600. eBay is one place to find a ton. Again, brand new, not used or open box. New.

          • Apples to oranges comparison. MSRP is the only comparison you can make. The 128GB Pixel XL is going for $1,000+ on eBay roght now so eBay isn’t a reasonable barometer of how much phones cost.

          • Synacks

            Disagree. If a product is available and easily accessible at a retailer or online store then it can be considered as part of the discussion. The only reason why you don’t want to consider it is because the Pixels are only available at retail cost right now and even higher on eBay. It doesn’t fit your argument so you feel the need to dismiss it. The fact that I can go to several sites right now and have a new S7 Edge delivered to me in a few days for $550-650 by clicking a button is pretty awesome.

          • JRomeo

            the fact remains, this Pixel phone is priced just like any other top-notch phone… nothing to see here, the price is a non-issue.

          • MicroNix

            That home button is the choice of the MAJORITY of Android users. Just remember that fact. And the back button on the right side is also what the majority of Android users think is “normal”. Google’s interpretation of which side it should be on is not god’s word and is representative of the MINORITY of Android users. Having on it on left is just as stupid to someone used to Samsung phones as the right side is to you. SD cards, btw, are a great place for photos, music and videos which free up your main memory for apps and makes for the easiest movement of that data between phones.

            Nougat will come soon enough to Samsung S7 devices. FTTB, we’ll let you people with anxiety attacks for the next update beta test all the bugs reported with Nougat so that when we get it, its actually stable. Google’s track record on major releases hasn’t been that great and Nougat is no exception from the articles outlining issues. Not to mention Android, as an OS, has matured to a point where even the major releases are meh. With apps decoupled, there’s not the huge differences from version to version like in Android’s early days or even like current iOS releases which couple all the apps.

            Just remember that the Galaxy S7 Edge is 100x better looking than the Pixel.

          • G5

            No the home button is not preferred by majority of Android users. 200% wrong!! The majority of regular people by Samdung phones because they don’t know any better. The majority of real Android people hate the home button and hate hard keys. I won’t buy a phone with either. No matter how great it is. Those two stupid I-clone features are ridiculous

          • compujas

            “Android treats SD cards like unwanted step-children”
            Sure, that’s why they added Adoptable Storage, because they don’t care about SD cards.

            “Wireless charging is slow”
            It’s not that slow. Some of us prefer no wires over using a car battery to charge our phones in 38 seconds. I’d rather know that I’m not slowly destroying the USB port until one day the plug no longer makes connection. I almost exclusively charge my phone overnight anyway, so what do I care if it’s done charging 5 minutes after I go to sleep or 5 minutes before I wake up?

            “That stupid home button”
            That’s a highly personal choice. I would also prefer the button to be on the back, but as far as factoring into the value proposition, it’s extremely low on the list.

            “Back button on the right side”
            Again, I agree, but also again, it’s very low on the value proposition priority list.

            “I don’t drop my phones into toilets….”
            Good for you. I don’t either, but it’s nice to know that it has the capability. And when considering value, which is what this discussion is all about, IP68 tends to rank pretty highly. Certainly far higher than where the home button and back buttons are located. Also, being an adult doesn’t mean you don’t make mistakes. In fact, being an adult means you recognize that you’re fallible and taking steps to minimize the fallout from those mistakes, hence choosing to get a phone that is IP68 rated just in case.

            And yes, the S7 Edge ($792) is more expensive than the Pixel XL ($769), by $23 (3%), which for all intents and purposes in the phone world is the same price. If you don’t think that an SD card, wireless charging, IP68, etc. are worth basically nothing over the Pixel as extra features for the same price, then good for you. As for the majority of smartphone users, they probably don’t care about getting the latest .0.1 software increment from Google the instant it’s released, nor the ability to root and do custom roms. They’ll care about having more storage space capability and being able to have accidents with their $800 phones and not worry about whether it will turn back on or not.

          • thereasoner

            I liked my GS6 and Samsung in general but my Pixel brings it’s own advantages to the table.
            -Excellent smooth and fast performance,
            -unlimited free storage at full resolution,
            -24/7 on device support and Google’s partnership with ubreakifix for same day OEM parts repairs,
            -the latest/fastest CPU,
            -fast seamless updates first
            -high caliber VR sensors on board

            These Pixel devices and Samsung flagships are both fantastic devices with their own plus and minuses. Buy what you like, you’re getting one of the best devices available either way imo.

          • compujas

            It’s 100% semantics and a valid comparison. The Note 7 was designed and sold with all of those features for that price. Just because it ended up needing to be recalled doesn’t change the fact that it was designed and sold with those features for that price. If it didn’t have that problem, then what would you say? Was the Note 7 a fantastic value for its features before it was recalled and then afterwards it suddenly became a horrible value for its feature set? No. On paper the price they asked compared to the features it included was outstanding. It’s not as if they designed the “exploding battery” into the phone to save money and that’s how they got the value so high. Don’t be upset because you can’t defend the poor value of the Pixel phones.

          • allansm

            I had the Note 7,and judging from the reviews and videos the Pixel absolutely DESTROYS the Note 7 on performance.

            The Note 7 had quite a bit of lag,though I still liked it.

            If what practically EVERY reviewer is saying is true, that the Pixel flies, coupled with the camera, screen, processor, then the price is warranted.

        • Jaymus Lonestar

          If you can use a Chinese and/or “ZTE whocares” flagship killer phone as well as a self proclaimed ability to see into the future as a basis for comparison then he can use his Note 7 argument.

    • hoyce1212

      Verizon apps are only installed once a Verizon sim is inserted in the phone. I bought my Pixel XL from Google and when I inserted my Verizon Sim in, BOOM, 3 Verizon apps downloaded. All 3 were uninstallable.

      • Yeah. That was the first thing I did when I put my Verizon SIM in there. Nice to have a clean phone without all the Verizon bloat. I cleaned up my HTC 10 so my wife could use it. It’s amazing how much crap I had to disable on that thing.

    • Cowboydroid

      Stop apologizing for high prices. There’s nothing on this device that justifies the high prices. You’re literally paying for brand.

    • Jaymus Lonestar

      And by the time Android 9 comes out your current Pixel phone will more than likely be functioning like a $400 Chinese phone.

  • Ayyy

    Worth every freakin penny.

    Deuces Droid brand.

  • Mario

    going with the Honor 8 for now. till next generation pixel.

  • Bourne, Jason C.

    “It’s shocking to think that there are still phones in 2016 that are locked to specific carriers.” THIS.

  • seattle tech

    Take the HTC 10 vs Pixel challenge.. Install pixel laucher on the htc 10 for $500 and compare it to the pixel.

    • Pixel = Better camera
      Pixel = Faster performance
      Pixel = Better battery
      Pixel = Better screen
      Pixel = Faster Updates

      HTC = Better Sound
      HTC = Faster charging speeds
      HTC = Better front facing camera
      HTC = Micro SD Slot

      I had the HTC 10 as of last week, I loved it, but the Pixel is superior. Considering the regular Pixel is $649 and the HTC 10 is normally priced at $699, I’d say it’s a no brainer. HTC doesn’t have Nougat yet (vague Q4) and some apps do suck (HTC Dialer, HTC Messages, HTC Weather, HTC Lock Screen). I do miss the sound setup, though. Other than that, HTC, you still have some path to grow.

      • seattle tech

        I agree with your comparisons and wonder why those benefits on the htc 10 were left out. The original htc 10 price was one of the biggest reasons for its failure.

        • I don’t understand why Google didn’t go with a dual speaker setup. I just wish they could enable the main earpiece as a speaker with a simple update. And I think Google hates Qualcomm Quick Charge. Don’t quote me there. As for the micro SD slot, I can understand why. I had issues with the SD card on my HTC, didn’t always perform well. :/

          • seattle tech

            The lack of dual speaker was the most confusing part considering the bezels and the use in all htc phones. I have dual speaker mods on some of my phones and it is a simple software change. It is something that i love on my phones. I also think the removal of the sd had to do with the apple pricing scheme of a small 32gb to 128gb upgrade. That is one of the reason why i am disliking googles new methods. They seem to be copying exactly apples ways which was the main reason i moved to android.

          • My theory is that they want to convert some Apple users to Pixel. Many Apple users complaint that Android lacks certain iOS features or look. Pixel Launcher with the white dock and shortcuts are way too similar to iOS. Same with having uniform icons. I guess they want to make sure that if you’re an Apple fan you feel right home with Android.

          • Suicide_Note

            Google doesn’t use sd cards in their phones, so saying it was removed is incorrect. It was never an option to begin with.

          • seattle tech

            I’m aware no nexus has had a sd card (except i think there was one with an unactivated sd slot) But there is no real legitimate reason not to. The point was the pixel only offering a low 32gb and then moving to a 128gb instead of offering a 64gb option. Which is blatantly an apple money grab

          • Pretty sure Google’s issue with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 1.0/2.0/3.0 is that it’s an incorrect implementation of the USB-C specification. Somebody with way more knowledge can chime in on this.

          • I really wonder why. I will most likely research on this later.

  • Raven65

    I don’t care how good it is… I’m not paying that much for ANY phone. WAY too expensive.

    • vlkers7171

      Just curious, what phone DO you have? I agree it is pricey, but so are most of the other phones I’d consider.

      • Raven65

        I’m currently still rocking an OG Moto X Developer Edition that I bought outright for HALF of what a Pixel costs. It has been a fantastic phone for me, but has gotten to the point where it won’t hold a charge long enough and is slow to recharge. Battery is pretty much worn out. So… yesterday I jumped on the Amazon Prime “Deal of the day” – a Moto G4 (with Amazon ads) for $120 (and it’s easy to disable the ads and remove the Amazon bloat). Yeah, it’s not a flagship, but I don’t need flagship features. I’ve never even used the NFC that my X has, so I won’t miss that. Otherwise, it should be very comparable – if not better than my beloved X. Larger screen, faster processor, newest OS, fully unlocked… works on any carrier… all for a whopping $120. A solid deal in my book. Sure the Pixel is a lot more phone, but is it SIX TIMES the phone? I don’t think so.

        • arthuruscg

          I miss my MotoX DE, the phone was sized just right. Mine was working great except for the mic for calls stopped working. The Mic for recording videos still works.

        • Just curious…if you don’t need flagship features, why are you complaining about the price of a flagship device? This clearly isn’t the phone for you.

          • Raven65

            Clearly. I just think that it and all “Flagship” phones have gotten too expensive. Then again… so was the Moto X back in 2013 when I got mine – but I bought it during the big the Valentines Day sale and got to apply a $100 rebate for “trading up” from my POS Droid X2. I just can’t see spending $600-$800 for ANY phone… but hey, that’s the great thing about capitalism… they’ll sell for what the market will bear. Apparently I’m in the minority and there are plenty of people who are willing to spend that much. By all means shell out the cash for it if you can and want to. I can, but choose not to.

          • Sporttster

            Same. Is this thing twice the value of my MXPE?? No it’s not, so why on earth would I spend twice the money for it? I have more storage on mine, a bigger screen, unlocked BL and can use it anywhere and a great camera. Why would this thing change my mind?? For that ridiculous price I better be getting twice the phone!

    • Fozzybare

      no different than any samsung phone.

    • Lucky Armpit

      If it had wireless charging I would have bought one the day it came out. That’s the reason why I’m not buying one.

      • My issue with wireless charging is that it can be slow, even the faster charging options.

        • JSo

          The thing is, you can still use the regular method of charging. Having wireless charging doesn’t take that away. Wireless charging is nice for times you plan on leaving your phone alone for long periods of time. Like overnight or if you work at a desk. If you need a fast charge, you would obviously just use the charging port. Not you in particular, but I see a lot of people putting wireless charging down like it takes away the normal method of charging.

          • Jeremy Dale

            I have to ask, what is the appeal of wireless charging? I’m not trying to be a jerk, I just really don’t get it. Is it really a luxury to set your phone in a location and have it charge, rather than simply plugging it in?

            To me it would seem like more of a hindrance, because you couldn’t simultaneously use and charge your phone.

            When they first announced wireless charging (what, like 4 years ago?) I thought it would be another short lived gimmick, just another feature to list before we figure out truly wireless, non-contact charging.

            All of that said, I’ve never tried it, so maybe I’m missing something.

          • JSo

            Wireless charging isn’t something you use everywhere. It’s not like you are going to take the whole wireless charging pad at times when you bring a charger with you. So it’s really a “find a place for it and leave it there” type of thing. That’s why it’s good for night stands next you your bed or on a desk if you work at one all day. Somewhere where your phone is just going to sit and charge. It really is, as you say, a luxury to just drop your phone on it and move on.

            It’s not something to get a quick charge out of. If you’re going to be home for 10 minutes and you’re at 25%, you plug your phone in normally for the fast charging. I’ve never been the type of person to charge and use my phone at the same time. When my phone is charging, it’s charging. So maybe that’s why it’s more convenient for me. Although when I used it with my Nexus 5, I did have a slanted wireless charger at my work desk so I could actually do both if needed. So that was nice.

            It just depends on your use I guess. I had three of them with my Nexus 5. One next to my bed, one on a table next to my living room couch and one at my work desk. All just for charging when my phone would sit for longer periods of time. If I needed to charge faster, I would unplug the cable from the charging pad and plug it directly into my phone. But my phone was usually always at a high percentage so I never really needed that.

          • Jeremy Dale

            Guess it’s just not for me

          • TC Infantino

            ^^This. Exactly. I have a wireless charger by my bed and it is perfect for me to set it there overnight, and it allows me to quickly grab it if I get a notification or if I want to use it for whatever reason. I don’t need to unplug it and then plug it back in once I am done using it. I also have one in the living room for juicing it up and still have easy and cord free use.

  • Tim P

    Phone of the year.

    • Jaymus Lonestar

      But that laggy PixelWiz jank though…

  • ddevito

    5 Reasons not to get it

    1. P
    2. R
    3. I
    4. C
    5. E

    Also, Half-assed Assistant experience and functionality, boring design, lack of water resistance and lack of OIS. Oh and what’s up with the Halo effect on pics?

    Also, if you need to write to an article explaining why it’s worth buying, it probably isn’t

    • JRomeo

      haters gonna hate….. I already put my order in for the Pixel XL #PixelMasterRace

    • Droid Life has been doing these kind of articles for every major phone released. I guess none of them aren’t worth buying.

    • OligarchyAmbulance

      “boring design”

      I, personally, love the way this thing looks. And I love that the black model isn’t black, but actually gray.

      “lack of water resistance”

      Don’t care, never put my phones in water.

      “lack of OIS”

      Unnecessary for stills because it takes pictures so fast, unnecessary for video because EIS.

      “Oh and what’s up with the Halo effect on pics?”

      It’s being fixed in an OTA “in a few weeks.”

      And finally, the price. It is what it is. It’s worth it to me, and obviously worth it to everyone else who bought a Pixel.

      • ddevito

        OIS – needed for low light

        • OligarchyAmbulance

          It’s not. HDR+ which the Pixel uses actually purposefully underexposes all photos, meaning you can use a fast shutter speed. Fast shutter speed means you don’t need OIS. It uses those underexposed photos, and puts them all together, in order to reduce noise without losing details. Google went into all the details of this a while ago and explained how OIS is totally pointless on the Pixel.

        • https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/841f48d3dc2f7fa57ce74f0bb109989f48be36977a1072e0a63d13d1795208e6.jpg Not really, these are some shots I took and non seem to be blurry. They were captured quickly, no loading, nothing.

          • Colin Huber

            Dang, these are legit.

          • TC Infantino

            Pic is alright, but Damn, I Want That Lightsaber! Just awesome!

          • It’s Kylo Ren’s Black Series saber. It’s amazing. Worth the premium price.

          • ddevito

            a TON of noise in the towel and bikes on the bottom

          • OligarchyAmbulance

            And yet it still looks better than any other phone would have.

            If you want better photos, buy a real camera. You’re splitting hairs at this point, and nobody is falling for it.

          • kretz7

            I would consider this less than low light.

    • Greyhame

      Haha, you keep trying soooo hard. You’re just as bad as anyone saying this phone is the GOAT.

    • mickeyB88

      Boring design can always be covered up with a case. Not that it should, or that everyone likes to use a case, but the option is there.

    • Suicide_Note

      I’ve had no issues using Assistant, so any ‘half-assed functionality’ that gets added is simply a bonus to me.

      The design is bland, i agree, but my phones live in a case 24/7, so even if the phone was Note 7 gorgeous, the design wouldn’t matter to me.

      Don’t care about water resistance since, as a rule, i keep liquids away from my electronics, and lack of OIS is fine with me since the EIS does such a good job.

      None of my pictures/videos have a halo effect on them, so i don’t know what you’re talking about with that.

    • Latex beats nudity
    • Jacob Mustin

      Fyi people have done water tests on it and it withstands over an hour submerged dispute the rating it gets

  • taylor banasiak

    Lets talk about the halo that shows up when you take a picture or video…..

  • h4rr4r

    So far your understanding of updates is based on the claims of verizon, a known liar.
    I am taking a wait and see approach.

  • KleenDroid

    Amazing

    • Colin Huber

      Pretty sure you’re a bot that writes the same thing in every comment section, but I don’t care. Do you.

      • Suicide_Note

        Amazing

        • Amazing

          • Colin Huber

            We’ve hit Reddit levels.

          • Thanks guys…I got a good LOL out of this thread.

        • Speaking of which, is that you lighting up folks on AP man? You’re doing the lords work out there.

          • Suicide_Note

            That is indeed me, good sir. 🙂