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Google Pixel / Pixel XL Review

pixel xl review

What happens when Google ditches its beloved Nexus program to take smartphones seriously? You get Pixel and Pixel XL, two phones with high-end specs that are “Made by Google” (in Taiwan by HTC), price tiers that typically only Samsung and Apple can compete in, and a massive marketing campaign. Another way to put that is – Google is finally ready to be your next smartphone maker, and not in a back-alley tinkerer, “You can only come to my website to buy the discounted goods,” hacky and cheap kind of way. The Pixel phones are supposed to be as good as any phones and Google is telling you about them.

Google is using its premium Pixel line to now not only highlight their vision for Android, but also to present an exclusive set of features that they hope will allow these phones to stand out. I’m talking Google Assistant, for the most part. However, Google has a special launcher for Pixel, is super hyped on the cameras they used, and will more than likely continue to add on new features as these phones receive updates.

Did Google succeed this time around? They sure did build a couple of really nice phones, I can tell you that much. I’ve spent the better part of the past two weeks switching between the regular Pixel and the Pixel XL. It’s now time to talk about the experience.

This is our Google Pixel review. 

The Good


Camera

If you had a chance to check out our Google Pixel camera review, then you know how this section is going to go. In short – the Pixel camera is one of our favorites of not only the year, but of all time. Google has focused on making a camera that launches quickly and easily, focuses even faster, and snaps a photo or five or fifteen without hesitation. The combination of those three things is really what I look for in a camera, because speed is the ultimate deciding factor in a time where almost everyone’s smartphone camera can capture a decent picture.

In the software department, we have a Google Camera app that has improved substantially over the years. It’s basic without being bare-bones, meaning it has the options you need without overdoing it. You can adjust the obvious settings, like flash, HDR, grid lines, a timer, and lighting conditions. If you want more, well, then you can switch into modes for Slow Motion, Panorama, Photo Sphere, and Lens Blur. You can also adjust resolution, ratio, up the video to 4K, and toggle video stabilization on or off (tip: you’ll want it on). I really like what Google has done with this app through recent updates.

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Of course, what good is a fast camera if it can’t produce results, right? As I mentioned above, this camera is without a doubt a winner. I would put it up there with Samsung’s Galaxy S7 cameras, which have been my favorite all year long. The pictures come out quickly, for sure, but Google seems to have taken a more natural approach to processing. You won’t find wild HDR tuning or over-done contrast and punchy colors. Google has tuned this Pixel camera to take photos quickly and without a lot of doctoring behind the scenes.

Below, you’ll find our video review, along with another set of samples taken from a regular Pixel because the initial review shots were all taken with a Pixel XL. Not that there should be a difference, since they are using the same 12.3MP Sony sensor, but we thought some of you might be curious.

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Again, if you want to take a look at even more samples, be sure to hit up our Pixel camera  review.

Software

I know that this review isn’t over with, but in case you were wondering, this will be my full-time phone going forward (likely the regular Pixel). Why? The camera being really great is one of the major reasons. However, the other, as is always the case with Googles phones, is the software. Google’s vision for Android has almost always been the vision I enjoy the most. It’s never filled with unnecessary bloat, it isn’t dressed with terrible color schemes, it’s insanely fast, the settings I know and use aren’t buried or in odd places, and it’ll get updates before anyone else.

With the Pixel and Pixel XL, Google is taking us on a bit of new journey, though. You could essentially call this the “Google Skin.” Using the word “skin” with a Google phone is probably a bit shocking, but hear me out. Google, for the first time, is pushing an experience that only the Pixel gets. That means even Nexus phones are left out of this exclusive fun. The Pixel phones have access to Google Assistant and no one else does. They get the Pixel Launcher. They get unlimited full-resolution photo backups through Google Photos for life. They even have a special color accent in the UI, a Night Light mode, gestures through the fingerprint reader (swipe down on it to expand notifications), and custom navigation buttons that animate. This is a custom experience made for Pixel and Pixel XL. As you probably guessed, it’s a good one at that.

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I don’t know what it is or why exactly, but I’m already using Google Assistant almost daily. Even if it’s just for setting timers, checking the weather, adding things to my grocery list, getting directions from place to place, etc., I haven’t used this much voice command action on a phone ever. Sure, Assistant needs to get more powerful, but Google is off to a good start here. And look, phones have had access to voice actions for a long time now, I just never found myself fully diving in until now. Maybe that’s because Google has sold me on Assistant getting better the more I use it, or maybe the dedicated UI is exactly what I was looking for. If you want to see more on Assistant, hit up the walk-through video in the Videos section below.

As for the rest of the UI, it’s very classic Google. The overall design is still just like the stock Android you find on Nexus phones, so it won’t look unfamiliar to most. With that said, the launcher has been adjusted to work with a swipe or two, app shortcuts get you into areas of apps quicker than before, the new mini quick settings tiles in Nougat are improved and super useful, using Nougat’s new notifications system is a treat (because you can respond within the notification area), I love the extra information provided in the settings menu, Night Light is saving my eyes one night at a time, the dialer’s visual voicemail is fantastic, the new folder icons are fun, the weather shortcut on the main home screen gets all sorts of use, and 24-7 chat or phone support is there should I ever need it.

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I don’t know that there is anything I would change about this software experience (Well, tap-to-wake would be nice.). With Samsung and LG phones, you always want to ditch their skins or color schemes or re-arrange settings. For years, they struggled to present simple functionality, like lock screen notifications or the way an app drawer scrolls or sorts. With Google’s phones, the Pixel being one, you know what you are getting because it has been a slow evolution of Android to this Pixel and Nougat experience. It’s not new, but then it still is with the added stuff.

With Google’s vision for Android on Pixel, I get the version of Android that I have always wanted.

Software updates

Of course, software updates are more important for smartphones than ever and the Pixel and Pixel XL will always be the first to get them from Google. Not only will the unlocked models sold through the Google Store get monthly security patches and quarterly system updates, the Verizon versions will as well, right when Google has them ready. That’s a first for an Android phone sold by Verizon, at least the guarantee of the timing by Big Red.

I’m also starting to wonder if the Pixel line of phones aren’t the best to get as this smartphone ecosystem continues to mature mostly because of software updates. What I mean there is that companies can’t really differentiate as easily through hardware anymore as they can through software. Google, for the first time in its history, has decided that it wants to take additional software features extra serious to help the Pixel line standout. We are seeing that with the availability of Assistant, Pixel Launcher, Night Light mode, and Motion gestures. Google is now not only pushing security and incremental updates to Android, they also have the opportunity to toss out brand new features as their phones age. Because the Pixel and Pixel XL will always get updates the quickest, you may just be on the cutting edge of the latest in software if you own one.

Display

The 5-inch (1080p) and 5.5-inch (1440p) AMOLED panels that Google used in the Pixel and Pixel XL are quite good. As you’ll see in the image comparisons below of each phone to the Galaxy S7 and Nexus 6P, they hold their own in the brightness arena with the S7 and also in color.

The Galaxy S7 does look slightly richer, especially if you look at the blue image showing on each phone. On the S7, you get a deep and vibrant blue, while the Pixel phones show blue only with a hint of brown throughout as well. Thankfully, the greys, which typically show how cool or warm a display as been tuned, look spot on for the most part. The XL’s display is a bit more accurate to my eye, while the Pixel does have a slight blueish hue.

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The image on the right is an attempt to show you the viewing angles for each. Both phones have great viewing angles, in case you couldn’t tell. It takes a pretty steep angle for the display to start breaking down with distorted colors and a dimming.

Obviously, the one major difference between the two is the screen resolution. After switching between each, the 1080p display on the Pixel didn’t bother me at all. It’s still plenty sharp for what I need. But yeah, if you plan to get in on some VR action when Google’s Daydream View arrives, the Pixel XL and its QHD panel will probably be a better choice.

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Performance

As new smartphones arrive, the Apple bloggers all pull out their benchmarks to see if anything can beat their precious iPhones. In most cases, Android phones don’t and they celebrate as if anyone over here cares. What I can tell is that benchmarks don’t mean sh*t in reality. Using a phone, as in, actually touching it, opening apps, and carrying out the toughest of tasks without a hiccup is what truly defines performance to me. With the Pixel and Pixel XL, you get a finely tuned beast from Google.

As you swipe into the app drawer on the Pixel Launcher the subtle fading animation never skips a frame and Google Now’s left-side swipe is even pretty damn smooth. Folders and apps and menus and swipes all reveal smooth animations that give off this sense of reality as you navigate the UI. The camera loads in a split second. Even the touch latency has supposedly been greatly improved.

Few phones ever run Android as good as Google’s own phones and the Pixels are no exception.

Size

Google has given us two sizes to choose from with Pixel: 5-inch and 5.5-inch. As the guy who hated seeing all phones explode to 5.5-inches and beyond for a couple of years, having the choice of a 5-inch model that doesn’t lack the specs of its bigger brother has me giddy. I think it’s important that companies give us choices, which is why I also love the Galaxy S and Edge line. Because Google is giving us all a choice here, the crowd that wants the mega-media machine can have it, while the rest of us can settle into a phone that can be controlled with a single hand.

Keep in mind that the Pixel’s display tops out at 1080p, while the Pixel XL jumps all the way up to QHD and 1440p. The batteries are different as well, with the Pixel sporting a 2770mAh battery and the XL with a 3450mAh juice box. Those are really the only differences outside of size. They use the same Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM, storage options, Type-C ports, and fantastic 12.3MP camera.

There aren’t many other companies that do the high-end phone in multiple sizes thing. In case you couldn’t tell, Google really is taking this launch seriously.

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Unlocked

Like in previous Google phone years, the Pixel and Pixel XL are fully unlocked and work on all major US carriers. That means access to 4G LTE on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. Even WiFi Calling works on Verizon and T-Mobile with these phones. You don’t have to do anything special to get them to work – you just insert an active SIM and be on your way.

The version you can buy through the Google Store is the most “open” if you want to call it that. That means unlocked for use everywhere, but also with an unlockable bootloader in case you want to tinker. The Verizon version is fully unlocked as well, so it’ll work on all carriers too, but it does lack the tinkerer aspect with a supposedly locked bootloader.

Somewhere-in-the-Middle


Design

Other than the glass panel on the backside of the Pixel and Pixel XL, I don’t think anyone is going to try and convince you that Google is doing something original in the hardware design department. That’s not to say that these phones are ugly, but uninspired might be a good descriptor. I think we all know that they look very much like HTC’s One A9 and the iPhone 6. The regular silver Pixel, in particular, is basically an iPhone 6 or iPod Touch clone. Harsh? Sorry, just speaking some truth.

Now, I can live with this design, for sure. The Pixel and Pixel XL are clean and outfitted with premium metals and fun backsides. Their buttons are properly placed on the right side of the phone, fingerprint readers in the preferred rear location, Type-C port on the bottom is centered, there is no camera hump, and both sizes feel really good in-hand for the most part. The smaller Pixel does get a bit slippery at times with its narrow body, while the bigger Pixel XL is a good handful that doesn’t feel obnoxious.

Seriously, though, look at these phones. Yeah, they aren’t offensive, but this is a design we’ve seen for 2-3 years now.

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Battery life

Battery life for me over the past couple of weeks with both a Pixel (2770mAh) and Pixel XL (3450mAh) has been pretty average. We’re talking a good 14 hours of use with 3-4 hours of screen on time before I’m starting to look for a charger. When I say “starting to look for a charger,” that’s when the 20% mark hits and I’m wondering if I have anything going on that will require another 3 or 4 or 5 hours of use. I have yet to unplug either phone in the morning and go to bed without needing to top it off for a bit.

Pixel

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Pixel XL

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Many of you will call this terrible battery life because you all have 8 hours in a day to stare at your phones, but might I remind you that this is pretty typical for me from all flagships. I saw similar 14-16 battery life on the Note 7, HTC 10, and LG G5. This is what I almost always see while testing a phone’s battery life in my Black Hole of Signal Death. In case you were wondering, I tested these phones on Verizon and T-Mobile and still saw similar results.

Should you be worried about battery life? I’ll tell you this – go back and look at our reviews of past phones, see how your battery life on those phones stacked up to mine, and then go from there. I seem to be an outlier in your eyes, but the results are consistent.

Availability and Price

The availability of the Pixel and Pixel XL is pretty bad. At launch, the phones were available directly from Google, but many of the options sold out within a week or so. They were/are also sold as Verizon models through Best Buy and Verizon stores, though they aren’t quite as hacker-friendly for those of you into bootloaders and that mysterious forum world. The Verizon units are still fully SIM unlocked and aren’t filled with bloatware by any means, but not everyone is a Verizon customer. As of publish time, you can’t buy either phone at AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint.

Google is talking about this minimal carrier approach like it has had to start from scratch to build relationships with carriers and that it’s going to take time to get their phones everywhere. But man, this just seems like such a missed opportunity, especially since the stock on the Google Store sold out so quickly that people have had to wait for weeks to get a hold of one. Google is obviously ready to really sell all the phones they can, but that’s just not going to be easy without being in every carrier store.

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As for the price, you already know that the Pixel and Pixel XL aren’t cheap. The Pixel starts at $649 and the XL starts at $769. Those are for the 32GB models, but if you want to jump that up to 128GB, you will need to add another $100 onto each price. These prices have been somewhat shocking to long-time Nexus owners who grew accustomed to cheaper phones from Google.

Are these phones overpriced? I don’t necessarily think so. Do I wish they were cheaper? Of course. In the end, this is Google wanting to take a big-boy step into phone sales. In order to do that and potentially make a lot of coin, you have to play in the top tier. In order to play in the top tier, especially with carrier involvement, you have to be priced with Samsung and Apple.

Storage

As I just mentioned, the Pixel and Pixel XL come with either 32GB or 128GB of storage. Choice is good, so good job, Google! For those of you needing that extra microSD card space, though, you won’t find that here. As has been the case with Google phones for years, there isn’t a microSD slot, so the storage amount you choose on day one is the storage amount you are stuck with. Is 32GB enough? It might be. Will it be two years in? That’s part of the risk here.

Now, you have to remember that the jump from 32GB to 128GB will cost you an extra $100. In my opinion, it’s probably worth doing if you plan to keep the Pixel or XL for a couple of years, just to be safe. Just keep in mind that the 128GB Pixel is $749 and the 128GB XL is a whopping $869.

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Specs

For the most part, Google lined up the specs you want to see in a top tier smartphone. They went with the premium metal build to start and then 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 displays, 32GB or 128GB storage (UFS 2.0), 12.3MP rear camera (f/2.0, 1.55um), 8MP front camera, 2770mAh (Pixel) and 3450mAh (Pixel XL) batteries, USB Type-C port with fast charging, fingerprint reader, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Bluetooth 4.2.

Unfortunately, even as good as that list of specs is, it’s not quite matching up to what Samsung and Apple pushed this year. You don’t have true water resistance (Samsung has IP68 and Apple has IP67) nor do you have wireless charging or microSD card slots. Oh, Google skipped the stereo speakers this year too. Are those missing features deal-breakers? To some, they may be, yeah. I’ve already told you that the Pixel is probably the phone for me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t complain every time I step into the kitchen and have to set my phone far away from any liquids, or when all of the wireless chargers around my house are sent packing.

The Not-so-Good


Water resistance

The Pixel and Pixel XL are rated IP53 for water and dust. That’s…not great. The 5 in that rating means the phones are “dust protected” and should be able to withstand dust and dirt entering their metal bodies. The 3 is the water resistance rating and can be described as “Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.” So no dunking. No swimming with. No toilet drops. And no washing off under the faucet when your child gets their sticky hands all over it.

Sure, you can take to YouTube and find a bunch of amateur water resistance testers sticking phones in buckets and sinks for 30 or 60 minutes to try and tell you that you might be OK if your phone gets wet. And you might be OK. Just understand that the official rating is IP53 and you should be careful around water. Should your phone get wet and stop working, don’t say we didn’t warn you to ignore the YouTubers.

Google reportedly told WIRED that they didn’t include water resistance because they ran out of time. I guess next year is the year? Ugh.

Other Notes


  • Fingerprint reader: The fingerprint reader on the regular Pixel I’ve been testing (silver model) has been mostly speedy and unlocks the phone without much effort. On the black Pixel XL, it felt somewhat sticky and also seemed like it needed a bit of extra pressure in order to unlock. Tough to tell if that’s a color issue or phone model issue. Either way, I don’t think I would call the fingerprint reader on either phone one of the quickest in the business, but they aren’t slow enough to make your life hell.
  • WiFi Calling: This works on both Verizon and T-Mobile.
  • Speaker: There is a single, bottom-firing speaker on the Pixel and XL. I, personally, don’t use my phone for much external audio, so living without stereo speakers in a phone is easy for me. If you need a phone that can take over a room and act as a mini-speaker, this probably isn’t the one for you.

Video


Unboxing

First 10 things to do

Using Google Assistant

Gallery


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The Verdict


These phones, or at least this review, is funny in a way because as you read through it, by no means are all of the boxes checked. Still, though, it would be hard for me to not recommend you buy the Pixel or Pixel XL as your next phone. Even without the real water resistance, SD card slot, or an inspired design, you just can’t beat the experience.

The Pixel and Pixel XL are so good in the software and camera departments, that it’s not even hard to overlook some of the problem areas. This is what Android is supposed to look and feel like, according to Google. And they have nailed it.


BUY GOOGLE PIXEL:  Verizon | Best Buy | Google Store
  • Jeovanny Valdez

    With the Verizon Pixel is it possible to use a international SIM Card when I go overseas?

  • AJA0

    How’s this stack up against the S7 Edge? Which do you prefer?

  • Jacob Hanson

    Ok I didn’t see anything about storage read/write speeds. Can we please get benchmarks for these different phone variants? I am curious because the iPhone 7 and 7+ seems to have much different speeds.

  • Tyler Shortt

    So about that glass on the back… it sure scratches REALLY easily. Had it out of the box for less than an hour and on my desk… already scratched and scuffed and I have no idea what caused it

  • Kevin L

    Warning: Google does provisioning check for mobile hotspot out of box. I bought from google, activated over wifi, and later inserted https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/24d0c2278b60d47e354374caae20721e0140807836edf18362682b26742936c4.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ba816e305199f0e873f604dda5a788948d6ba8ecef6f9563f550764782bc5ea3.png my unlimited data verizon sim only to find hotspot is blocked.

    • LionStone

      Well did you contact customer service yet?

  • RichardB

    No wireless charging, no expanded memory, no water resistance. Deal breaker. I don’t buy a phone for it just to “work”. I buy it to work well. The “experience” seems good enough but they really missed a huge opportunity here.

    • NexusMan

      You define “work well,” by having wireless charging, an sd card slot and water resistance?

      • RichardB

        Why yes, yes I do. This ain’t 2012 and we’re not discussing some crappy iPhone. This is Android and this is Google. Saying you didn’t have time to put in something like water resistance is ridiculous. Putting one crappy speaker on a top of the line phone is ridiculous. No SD slot? No wireless charging? Like I said this isn’t 2012. So they made a nice “software” experience and then demanded a premium price for a not very premium phone. No thanks, I’ll pass. And honestly any reviewer that tries to pass this phone off as the next great thing when it’s coming with that asking price and missing so many key ingredients sounds just as bad as any Apple fanboy that pretends iPhone has anything on Android.

        • NexusMan

          Your definitions are off. There’s millions of people around the globe who would laugh at you, since by your definition no iPhone has ever “worked well.”

          Every year Apple puts out a phone with a new feature it coulda shoulda woulda had last year. This is nothing new. The world will go on and everyone will be fine with water resistance coming gen 2. From all accounts, including my own, the speaker is not crappy. I personally don’t need an sd card slot with 128gb of on board storage AND free unlimited, full resolution cloud storage of all my photos and videos. Wireless charging is a luxury not a necessity, that MOST smartphone users don’t regularly take advantage of. You are well within your right to pass. No one’s forcing you to use what most are calling the best Android phone ever made. Apparently you like clutter, stutters and jank, and that’s your prerogative. The rest of us like pure, speedy, fantastic performance and experience from beginning to end.

          • John Davis

            No clutter, stutter, jank on Nexus 6P running MM.

          • NexusMan

            My comment wasn’t directed toward you.

          • John Davis

            No, it couldn’t be because yours was made before mine.

          • NexusMan

            Exactly. So I’m not sure why you directed your comment as a reply to me. It should have just been a general, new comment, because telling me your 6P has no clutter, stutters or jank, implies I said it did. Which I didn’t.

          • John Davis

            Dude, I’m just pointing out that your argument for the Pixel is unconvincing.

          • NexusMan

            Dude, I’m just pointing out that no one was talking to you nor talking about the Nexus 6P, so your interjection is silly, meaningless and irrelevant.

          • John Davis

            If you want to talk to someone directly, Disqus is the wrong forum. If you comment, you should expect anyone who reads your comment to reply. If you don’t like that then beat it.

            Your point was inane on its face, and I don’t care that you would prefer me not to have made that clear.

            However, I’ll try to block you because you’re unintelligent.

          • NexusMan

            I don’t know why this has been so hard for you to understand. I’ll attempt to explain this to you one last time. I have zero problem with someone responding to my comments, otherwise, obviously, I would not post them in a public forum. The problem with YOUR response to me is that it had NOTHING to do with what I was saying. Once again, not only was I not talking to you, I also wasn’t talking about the Nexus 6P, therefore, you interjecting yourself and responding to my comment made to someone else by saying, “No clutter, stutter, jank on Nexus 6P running MM,” was just plain dumb. My response to that is…AND? OK, why are you telling me that? Good for you.

            Hopefully, this will be the end of your little episode, but if not, from here on in, like you did earlier, I’ll proceed to respond to your replies making statements that have nothing to do with what YOU’RE talking about. Maybe that will make you finally understand.

    • Naibas

      Personally wireless charging or water resistance wouldn’t be a ‘deal breaker’ for me, I can understand how it might be for you, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say any of those are requirements in 2016 for a phone to be in the premium category or be worth of premium pricing. I would mostly only consider processor, ram, resolution, connectivity, premium build materials and design, and software/experience to be deemed worthy of a premium price and I believe the Pixels has all those boxes checked off.

      I would make my decision to select a phone as my daily driver based on whether or not I could live without those additional features. For example, while I don’t agree expandable memory is a requirement, charging $100 to go up to 128gb is a marketing ploy to increase profit margins when you can buy 128gb cards for $20 or less. So I couldn’t argue that the 32gb variant is not worth its price tag, I could easily argue the 128gb variant is not worth $100 more, but that’s more on principal of the matter.

  • T H

    Kellex- I’m so on the fence about which model to get. I originally ordered the Pixel, then when the XL was back in stock, I ordered one and cancelled my Pixel order. I’ve since ordered another Pixel and left my XL order active as well. I need help deciding. I think with quick charging, battery shouldn’t be an issue for me. Help me decide!!! Lol

    • NexusMan

      Do you normally like big or small phones? The XL was a given for me, because I don’t like small phones. The higher res screen and bigger battery was further icing on the cake.

      • T H

        I do normally like smaller phones but for the past couple of years that has meant that you sacrifice specs too so I’ve been all over the place. iPhone 6S was probably my favorite phone comfort wise. Note 7 was really nice too but borderline too big. Now that there’s actually a flagship available with the same specs as the larger phone (minus screen resolution and battery) i should be totally sold on the smaller version but something has me second guessing myself.

        • Neal Alquiza

          The smaller phone with flagship specs now exists and I’m loving my Pixel. I normally like smaller phones as well so my Nexus 6P will have to warm the bench for now. Plus I’m getting better battery life out of my Pixel… anywhere between 4.5 to 5.5 hours of screen on time with pretty heavy usage. You won’t regret buying the smaller phone this time.

          • T H

            That’s awesome! I love hearing that. Thanks for the input!

  • instrument

    With htc making these i expected boom sound and an awful camera, was disappointed on both.

  • Paul Elledge

    My biggest question is real world battery life between the pixel and pixel xl.

  • Bryan

    I really feel like the people hating this phone have clearly not used it. I was a bit skeptical about leaving my Nexus 6p behind for this, with it shortcomings. But there’s just something about holding and using it that I can’t explain. This is the best Android phone ever, period, and I feel that many people would need to use it to believe it.

    • NexusMan

      Of course.

  • All I hear, at this point, from phone reviews is “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” Phone innovation in now at a snails pace. Not to mention boring. Please someone, anyone, blow us away!

  • NexusMan

    Where’s the video? Why is there a video review posted of everything but the actual phone?

  • John Davis

    Another key issue: does the Nexus 6P perform much worse with Nougat than the Pixel XL?

    • Godzilla

      By your logic we shouldnt get a new phone every year from google.

      • John Davis

        Depends on the price.

  • John Davis

    If you care about Android, you should reject Google’s abandonment of the Nexus by refusing to buy the Pixel.

    The Pixel cost (allegedly) $275 to build. The mark-up makes it less likely to attract developers. Google is killing off the Android concept.

    I say feh!

    • NexusMan

      You’re comment makes no sense.

      • John Davis

        At least it was grammatical.

  • trixnkix637

    Loving my 32GB black Pixel XL. Coming from an N6, this is an upgrade in every sense of the word. Even tested the speakers of both devices before buying and you can’t tell a difference really. Have not encountered the finger print issue as mine is fast and responsive. Great job Google!

  • Mitch Martin

    “In case you couldn’t tell, Google really is taking this launch seriously.” “The availability of the Pixel and Pixel XL is pretty bad.” Seriously conflicting statements, even if in different review areas. No way they can be given kudos for taking launch seriously if the phone isn’t more readily available than it was. Piss-poor planning, if you ask me…

    • Douglass Price

      Well you can’t get an iPhone 7 Plus 128gb until December 7 on Verizon so it’s not really that bad.

      • Josh Matthews

        Isn’t that just for Jet Black though? Or is it all colors now?

        • Douglass Price

          Pretty much all colors, I wanted the white and silver but it was back ordered until Dec. 7th 2016.

          • lost_limey

            A date that will live in infamy.

          • Defenestratus

            It’s pathetic that most people reading this blog won’t recognize what your comment refers to without needing to Google it.

      • s0uth

        Apple probably filled 100x more orders than the pixel though…..

        • NexusMan

          Apple has been at this 10x more years than the Pixel though…

    • Godzilla

      Compared to apple right now? Or samsung?

  • Douglass Price

    I have had my black Pixel XL for 5 days now, coming from the Note 7 I wanted to say a few things.
    First of all, the Pixel is no comparison to the Note 7 in the beauty department as I had the Blue Coral which was amazing to look at. Secondly the screen on the Pixel is a little less nice as the Note 7. I do miss my S Pen and I do miss the fact that it’s not waterproof even though I never really needed waterproofing so far. I don’t really use much storage so the 32gb with free picture back up seems to be okay, I am not a glutton for space anyways. I really haven’t gotten used to the bezel or the chin as some call it, I don’t know, just seems to fit in my hand a little odd but I am getting used to it. So some good things about the Pixel XL, of course the camera, I thought the Note 7 camera was the best I had ever owned but the Pixel now takes that award. The camera on the Pixel is hands down the best cell phone camera I have ever used. The speed of the OS is way faster then the Note 7, things just fly around, apps push when you don’t even touch them sometimes which is kind of weird. Super fast is all I can say. Now about that “chin”. I was kind of trying to figure out why that is there as it really does nothing but extend the phone then I discovered something. The speaker! Now the speaker might not be as loud as other devices but I can say this without a doubt, the external speaker on this device sounds amazing. The depth and clarity are superb compared to the Note 7 and my GF’s iPhone 6s. I wonder if that “chin” actually houses some kind of speaker box or something as when you are listening to music and you put your finger over the sound port you can actually feel reverberation on your finger and it’s pretty strong. Google assistant is really strong, we did a comparison with Siri and the assistant wins hands down, she even plays games and tells jokes with you so that is pretty cool. Overall I think the Pixel is pretty good. I am not in love with it by any means but at this point coming from the Note 7 I really had no options and I wasn’t upgrading to an 8 month old S7 Edge. I still have some time for a return and I still might consider it if Samsung would do something special for us Note 7 users but I don’t see that happening. Mind you I came from an iPhone 6 Plus to the Note 7 now to the Pixel XL. What a strange trip this has been…

  • Patrick Bynum

    I have been so burned out on how half-baked Android seems to come off. I’m taking an Android break, but this phone is definitely going in the right direction. We’ll see about the timely updates. I’m not going to crown them when it comes to something that they’ve been so atrocious at until it actually happens. It seems like a really good device, and hopefully they don’t fail at marketing, and people other than hardcores, which you really don’t have to market to because they will buy anyway, buy the phone. It’s all about marketing to casuals. That’s where the money is.

    • J Harrell

      Who has been atrocious at timely updates? Verizon has been pretty bad (other than being the first to push an update for the S4 a few years ago), but Google/Nexus is always going to be the first with an update because no carrier interaction needed.

      • NexusMan

        Verizon also pushed the Moto X update 1st.

  • paul_cus

    So the thinking is that Night Light mode is only going to be on the Pixel?

  • snoty

    All these Pixel posts make me more and more anxious for mine to arrive tomorrow!!!!!!!

  • Sporttster

    I’m rather stunned so many are ‘raving’ about a phone basically made….. by HTC.

    • Because it’s a damn good phone, even if many wanted to hate it just because the price or uninspiring design.

      • Sporttster

        Price, Design, Waterproof issue, bottom speaker…go on…

        • Benneth

          No touchwiz, no touchwiz, no touchwiz, no touchwiz… i can keep going…

  • Sporttster

    Gonna stick with my MUCH cheaper and still going strong MXPE. No way in hades I’m paying darned near $900(!) for a phone with less storage! Crazy…

    • NexusMan

      Be Together Not The Same.

  • xgrinder911

    I honestly can’t believe Google is putting a premium on a consistently smooth experience along with timely updates.

    They’ve always tried to convince you that they’re the opposite of Apple, but this is right in the first chapter of how to do business, an Apple story.

    And dear Kellen, I don’t believe in a year or two from now you’ll be sticking by your words. You’ll most likely be joining the bandwagon of people saying the pixel wasn’t worth it at some point which is the truth then and now. These phones are in no way future proof, even if they get updated 5 years from now. Battery life alone is already two years old, where Samsung and upcoming companies realize that customers want to be able to actually use their $1,000 phones.

    Be careful man, that’s all im saying. Google has brought us great hope, but they’ve also brought us crushing disappointment. And im afraid, wether this is just the beginning of something great or not, that the Pixels are better left on Google’s new retail store shelves.

    • Patrick Bynum

      It is funny that they put a premium on things that should just be. It’s like a parent saying, “I take care of my kids.” You’re supposed to, you goof, LMAO!.

      • NexusMan

        Should just be. LOL. Welcome to Planet Earth. You have no frills Cranberry Juice in the the drugstore that costs $1 for a gallon and tastes like castor oil, and you have delicious, mouth watering, thirst quenching Cranberry juice that costs $4 or $5. You can spend a couple hundred dollars on a tv or a couple thousand. You always get what you pay for. This is not a new concept.

    • NexusMan

      They’ll get updated for 3 years. Not 5.

  • William R. Washington

    Something tells me you’ve got a faulty unit. I’m using a Pixel XL and the fingerprint reader has been blowing my mind with how fast it is. I’d put it on par with the iPhone 6S Plus for how effortlessly I’ve been able to just unlock this thing.

    • theswillmerchant

      Yeah my fingerprint reader works much better than the one on my Galaxy s6. I have the XL as well.

    • NexusMan

      That’s actually what I’ve been hearing from everyone, so I was surprised when he wrote that.

  • theswillmerchant

    One of my main reasons for switching to the Pixel XL from the Galaxy s6 is battery life. My s6 was a year old but struggled to make it through 7 hours of normal use before needing to be charged (basically it would lose a percent per minute the screen was on). I love the Pixel XL. I have been getting much better battery life than what was stated in this article so far. Yesterday, I had 6 hours on screen time with 3 hours and 40 minutes of google maps navigation and I plugged it in at around 15% battery after about 17 hours on battery. Very pleased with the battery life. Also the phone is great overall.

  • Erik O

    Great review. But one thing I still don’t get… I remember someone did a layover gif showing the Pixel vs HTC One A9 and how they were essentially identical. Yet with the same size screen (5″) they have completely different dimensions at 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5 mm for the Pixel and 145.8 x 70.8 x 7.3 mm for the A9. What gives?

    Whatever the reason may be, I’m still grateful. The extra 2mm in height and 1mm in width goes a long way. That being said, it’s like trading a Jay Leno chin for a Bruce Campbell chin. It’s noticeably gigantic next to that S7.

    Still, since I got the Pixel and not the Pixel XL, it’s a tiny, tiny gripe for an otherwise perfect (for me) phone.

  • V_Mena

    I’ve always been an avid Android user. I’ve never owned anything else. I have used any Android phone Verizon has allowed me to use. Last year I went from the Samsung S6, which I loved but hated the battery life, to the Nexus 6p. I felt that was a great phone but extremely to large for me. I prefer smaller phones. I went to the S7 edge after the 6p and I like the phone but the curved screen was annoying, especially when just using 1 hand. I just purchased a regular S7 because on the smaller form factor.

    I have ordered a Pixel 128gb.i realize for many the price us an issue. I just want a phone that runs well, either stock or skinned Android is fine. I also want the phone to be updated and last for more than a year. If Google is going to play with the bigger names then they needed to jump head first in that arena. I realize that we are used to lesser expensive phones with Google, but we can’t criticize them for not keeping up that tradition and then try to justify the criticism with a lack of what we feel the phone should have.

    The average consumer what’s a good phone experience with decent battery life and a good camera. Everything else is just a gimmick. We can complain about price but lets hope the Pixel does well cause that will mean the Pixel 2 will be even better.

  • Colin Huber

    I get two days of batter out of the XL, it’s insane.

  • Snowbo13

    I was waiting for a 128gb pixel xl but have since got a Nexus 6p (had a note 7) and have flashed it so it thinks its a pixel with all the pixel glory… except the new camera, faster processor and more ram. I think I will hold out till next year and hope for a water proof pixel 2.

    dont see the need now to update have a new to me phone with google assist on it and 7.1.1

  • km75sr

    Everybody is praising assistant..I even want it. But the fact that it can only be used via voice is stupid on Googles part. I mean how often do you ever hear people talking to their various assistants while out in public? The only people I’ve ever heard use a voice assistant is family and friends. I have yet to hear someone (a stranger) use a voice assistant via voice in public. To not have a via text option baffles me. So it seems like the phones best feature won’t be used as Google would like.

    • Flying_Timbus

      allo has assistant built in.

      • km75sr

        I know.. I use allo strictly for that reason. Allo isn’t Google Assistant which is what I’m talking about.

        • Flying_Timbus

          So, I don’t understand your complaint. Yes, allo isn’t Google Assistant, but you can access Assistant with text via allo.

          • km75sr

            Actually I’m not complaining. I don’t even own the Pixel. I was making an observation. People are still allowed to do that right? But let me help you out. Assistant is system wide. Allo isn’t. IMHO it would make sense to enable text input on the system wide application. If people have to go to Allo every time they want to chat with assistant via text (which is most likely what most people will do) what’s the point of making assistant system wide? Make sense?

          • Flying_Timbus

            My mistake, I did not realize you were making an observation. Thank you for helping me in my misunderstanding.

    • NexusMan

      If you want to type, you can use Google search, just like you do now…Or Allo. They have different methods for you to get the info you need. What’s wrong with that? I’ve never owned an iPhone, but do you type at Siri?

      • km75sr

        I don’t have an iPhone. So I don’t know. I think that having the option to communicate via text (which most people use) AND via voice would make sense. After all that is how Google Now and Allo works (the option to do both baked in). And with Google emphasizing Assistant so much I personally think that it would be smart to do so with Assistant. It’s like they are saying “use Assistant all the time…unless you want to chat via text.. then don’t use assistant.” Do you want me to use your EXCLUSIVE software or not? That’s just me though.

        • NexusMan

          I think the point is they see the future as hands free. It’s perfectly in line with the soon to be released Google Home, which is another extension of their hands free future. If you want to type, there are other options.

          • km75sr

            That I get. I just go back to the fact that I never see people talking to any voice assistant out in public.

          • NexusMan

            Could it be that they conceal it well? I talk to my watch all the time, but I will say that I usually wait to get away from people to do it. Also, you can very easily talk into a phone or via a bluetooth headset or headphones to your phone and no one would know the difference.

  • Shawn John

    Anyone get a waterproof Life proof case yet for their Pixel XL?

    • Justin Martin

      I’m waiting on it to be released. I will be ordering one.

  • capncoad

    As someone who opted for an iPhone 7 this year, I feel like Apple and Google switched places when I wasn’t looking. One phone has a hefty list of useful hardware features and functions, and the other has smooth software experience, simplicity and ease of use.

    If I didn’t spend so much money on video games and other tech gadgets I’d own both phones for no good reason.

  • Shawn John

    Don’t let the misleading “Only on Verizon” jargon fool you, I bought mine through verizon and took it straight to T-Mobile where they used a hole puncher of sorts on my sim card off my Nexus 5 to shrink it to make it fit in the Pixel XL. In 1 minute I was up and running, this is after the tech was asking me if the phone is unlocked.

    • Artune

      #Boss

    • Flying_Timbus

      so they trimmed your sim? interesting.

    • NexusMan

      Verizon has already stated that one could purchase the phone from their carrier store and bring it to another carrier.

      • Shawn John

        Not in the commercial.

        • NexusMan

          I know. They’re not gonna pay to advertise other carriers. But they issued a statement saying so.

  • Justin Martin

    I really don’t get why everyone are saying the hardware is not premium. It has a CPU that you can’t get anywhere else, 4 GB of RAM. a top 5 camera, a very good fingerprint sensor, QHD screen, USB Type C fast charging, all metal body. What more does it need to be premium, a retina scanner? give me a break. It doesn’t get any better than this.

    • Cael

      It’s not premium because it doesn’t have an sd card or waterproofing lol

    • Person Dude

      Yes it does. The bar for being a premium device goes up every year. This year, you need waterproofing, stereo speakers, and an SD slot to be premium. The Pixel lacks all of these.

      • Justin Martin

        The lack of these things doesn’t make it any less premium.

        • Person Dude

          Uh, yes it does. Premium doesn’t just mean higher quality, it means more features as well. I’d like to see what your definition of “premium” is.

          • NexusMan

            I say the lack of a super fast DxoMark 89 rated camera with sick video stabilization (fast to open, fast to focus, fast to take excellent pictures) makes something less premium.

          • Person Dude

            Dude, just stop. Someone named “Nexusman” obviously has a strong attraction to Nexus devices and therefore cannot be trusted to give an unbiased opinion when it comes to Google phones. You have a track record on this website and other Android websites of being a Nexus fanboy.

          • NexusMan

            You took the words right out of my mouth…”Dude, just stop.”

            Someone named “Person Dude” and who has their account set as private obviously has some ulterior motive and something to hide. You have a track record for making ignorant, incorrect statements online filled with anger for no apparent reason.

          • Person Dude

            Maybe I just don’t want all my info on the internet to be accessible by any stranger out there. Accusing me of having an “ulterior motive” just because I’m private when you have no evidence is laughable.

            I’m not ignoring the features the Pixel does have. I agree that its camera is amazing. But I never said it wasn’t premium, I’m saying that the features that it lacks makes it LESS premium. You, on the other hand, do the opposite of me: consistently ignore the features it doesn’t have. You’re trying to justify the Pixel, which you shouldn’t have to do if it’s truly the great phone you think it is. Bottom line is, it’s a great phone with great software and a great camera, but its lack of features that other competitors have make it a bit overpriced. As for your last sentence, speak for yourself. There are plenty of people out there who would take an SD slot, waterproofing, and stereo speakers over the best camera, myself included.

            I’m no Nexus and Google phone hater. I used to own a 6P before I realized 128gb isn’t enough storage for my needs. Even though it was a great phone, I won’t become a Google Sheep.

      • NexusMan

        Obviously you don’t.

      • NexusMan

        The bar does go up. Google is proving you need a super fast, amazing video stabilizing, best rated smartphone camera ever. Every other smartphone on the camera lacks that.

    • netanil

      No OIS
      No wireless charging
      No QHD (Pixel)
      No stereo
      No IP67
      No microSD

      • JSo

        So it doesn’t have “Features” you want. Doesn’t mean the phone isn’t made out of premium stuff inside and out.

        • NexusMan

          Exactly.

      • ultravisitor

        All that missing…and I’d still rather have a Pixel than ever have to touch a Samsung.

      • NexusMan

        The reverse could be said about phones you probably would call premium….

        No EIS
        No USB C Fast Charging
        No 5.5″ AMOLED QHD (2560 x 1440) 534ppi display
        No Adaptive audio amplifier to maximize speaker performance and durability & 3 microphones with noise cancellation
        No Snapdragon 821
        No DxoMark 89 Rated Camera

        See how that works? Just because YOU are keen a select few features does not mean the device is not premium, as it has other features that everyone who is actually enjoying on the phone, which are definitely premium.

    • Bane

      That “CPU that you can’t get anywhere else” is just an overclocked 820. It’s not new tech.

    • NexusMan

      Because people are silly. Apparently “premium” means waterproof and sd card. Apparently the iPhone has never even come close to premium until this year.

  • Jeff

    “Not only will the unlocked models sold through the Google Store get monthly security patches and quarterly system updates, the Verizon versions will as well, right when Google has them ready.”

    Are you including Fi in the “Google Store”?

    • MJ

      Yes

  • JC

    After reading through these comments, this might have to be the final Pixel article I read on this site or any other.

    • Shawn John

      Yes this is what’s known as a “Pillar” post or review, where 2 years from now if you search for Pixel XL review this post will show up.

  • Erick

    Only wishlist item here might be having the choice of 5 inch screen and 5.7 inch (instead of 5.5) + wireless charging. Though, sadly I’m finding wireless charging to look like a dead technology these days, as I see fewer phones with that feature.

    They look to be good phones, hope they turn out to be as good as the hype.

    Still using the good ol’ Whale, Nexus 6 here. I’d personally be sad to lose the larger screen and wireless, but I’m excited with the potential in the new software.

  • Dean Harrelson

    As someone that spends workdays in an office environment, many times in meetings, the concept that I have to interact with Google Assistant via voice is problematic. I would really love to see the option to interact via text. Without this capability, one of the biggest selling points is limited for people like me.

    • JSo

      Just out of curiosity, what type of things would you use Google Assistant for via text?

      • Dean Harrelson

        I would do many of the things mentioned in this review, add reminders, add calendar appointments, add to the grocery list, etc. as those things occurred to me. Also, as the Assistant matures, it would be great to ask the assistant to make dinner reservations, buy movie tickets, send flowers to my wife and other tasks like that. According to Flying_Timbus, above, it sounds like Allo on a Pixel would allow full text-based access to the Assistant. Hopefully we can get positive confirmation of that.

        • Bryan

          In some of those cases (like a shopping list or calendar item) wouldn’t it just be easier to go into the specific app and add the item directly if you have to pick up the phone and interact with it anyway?

    • Flying_Timbus

      you can use Assistant in allo via “text” chat.

      • Dean Harrelson

        That’s great! That is actually something I have not seen confirmation of in any reviews. I was wondering if Allo on a Pixel gives you the “full” assistant, or the more “beta” version you get when using Allo on other phones. Do you have a Pixel and can you confirm that you are getting the “full” assistant?

        • Flying_Timbus

          I’ll have mine tomorrow sometime so I’ll be able to confirm, but I don’t see why it would not allow for full Assistant integration through allo. I could be wrong, but if not, it would be pretty sweet.

        • Flying_Timbus

          I just tested adding a reminder through allo and it seems to have done what you mention in your reply to JSo. It did not add to my calendar but I guess there is a “reminders” area. I also tried adding something to my calendar and it worked as well through allo.

  • Defenestratus

    Kellen

    I find yout unabashed hatred of reasonably sized (5.7″ or more) phones to be very disturbing.

    I’m going to need to get you re-educated.

    • I don’t think I’ll ever get it. Got this V20 right here and man, it’s just way too damn huge.

      • Defenestratus

        Grow some hands boy.

    • Person Dude

      Well, you’re in the minority. 5.7″ and above is big, and 5-5.5″ is reasonable.

    • ultravisitor

      5.7″ or more = “reasonably sized”?

      LOL

      • Defenestratus

        5.7″ is the smallest screensize I’ll tolerate. Anything smaller feels like a child’s toy in my bear paw.

        (I’m an ex-defensive lineman)

  • cdm283813

    I can only hope that the 6P drops to $200-$300 for Black Friday.

  • bhillegass

    I, like many others, were on the fence about the Pixel. I actually commented that the price was too high to justify what we were being offered. However, I got the opportunity to test one in-house before giving to users at our office. I’ve spent a few days with the XL, and it pains me to admit I was VERY wrong. The more I use it, the more I have to have it. Until you get a hands on, the fluidity of the software is worth the price you are paying. My 6P feels like a first gen Nexus after getting to use it. So much so, I placed an order for one as a personal device (and put my Nexus in the drawer because i’m so angry there is that much of a difference). Its like playing a game averaging 20 FPS and then playing on ultra settings at 60 FPS. You feel the difference. I have NEVER seen an Android device run like this (and I’ve had almost all of them). Also, this is sort of weird, but the onscreen touch on the device feels really good? Not sure what they did to achieve that, but onscreen button presses feel very satisfying (never thought id comment on something like that). You can root, put the launcher on, assistant, and icons, but still won’t get the Pixel experience. You can put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig. Not knocking other devices we all use and love, but this is something truly different from an experience perspective.

    • j6nguyen

      I concur!

    • trevorsalienarms

      Until it slows down, like all Android phones do. “OS rot”, I believe it’s called.

      “The fluidity of the software is worth the price you’re paying” sounds exactly like something an Apple enthusiast would say, so I guess that’s a win for Google, if in fact that’s what they were going for.

      It also sounds like a bit of an excuse for a device that’s lacking in some areas that it probably shouldn’t be.

      • bhillegass

        Absolutely fair point @trevor, and I agree to a certain extent (there aren’t some of the extras we see on other phones). I do use an Apple behind closed doors (please don’t tell anyone), but I love both platforms. This OS is very iOS like so far in how consistent its been. If it can age as well as iOS does on older devices, Google will have struck gold.

      • NexusMan

        The most important place I phone should not be lacking in is the software experience.

    • John Davis

      Do you have Nougat installed on the 6P?

  • James

    “Because the Pixel and Pixel XL will always get updates the quickest, you may just be on the cutting edge of the latest in software if you own one.”

    As a Nexus 6P owner, I have to shake my head at that line.

    • Killzowned

      Haven’t you been proven wrong already?

  • Jorhay

    My cell reception so far has been HORRIBLE. Ridiculously worse reception than my 6P. But that’s the only complaint I’ve got in my first 12 hours.

  • Ant

    Coming from someone who has owned EVERY nexus phone, OnePlus phone and my fair share of samsung phones s4,S5, S6 and Note 7 i have to say I LOVE THE PIXEL XL !!! The software is smooth and just works. Feels good in the hand, camera is phenomenal, battery easily gets me through a day with heavy use. The screen is crisp and i use SRGB mode for more realistic colors. I have the 128GB model which is more than enough storage and i can expand the storage with my Meenova Type C OTG device to another 128GB in addition to the google unlimited picture and video backup. The speaker to my ears is loud enough for me and i find using the assistant with the screen off extremely useful. Im also a fan of the new notification light. Also reception is exceptional with AT&T almost 5 bars everywhere i go. Honestly well done Google.

  • Xious

    I am very impressed with how fast and smooth the Pixel is. I have never had an Android phone, Nexus or not, be this consistently responsive. The camera takes amazing pictures and the battery is definitely a lot better than I thought it would be. The design is definitely boring, but the all-metal body makes it feel sturdy. I am happy with this phone and will probably have it longer than any phone I’ve had before.

    • trevorsalienarms

      #thingspeoplealwayssaywhenthyegetanewphone

      • Xious

        False! My Nexus 5x was annoyingly jankish. My Droid Turbo 2 was nice but I didn’t like the plastic screen or how wide it was. I could go on and on as I’ve had many phones and my initial impression was never as good as this one. We’ll see if the Pixel remains as impressive after a couple months.

  • HollowLog

    I’ve been looking most forward to this review for a plethora of reasons.
    1) I feel like Droid Life reviews are written better.
    2) I knew they’d take their time. Reviews, while helpful, don’t have to be published the moment the embargoes are lifted. I know my feelings for a phone change from week one to week two. I like reviews that also take those considerations.
    3) I knew the hangups wouldn’t overshadow the review as a whole.

    Good job, gang!

    • Thank you!

      And yeah, Google sent out review units 5 days before embargo lifted, so every review last week was done in 4-5 days. We didn’t feel that was long enough to really get to know the phone, so that’s why we posted it today.

      • HollowLog

        Well thank you for not just trying to get those day one clicks. It’s really appreciated.

  • tnt

    The camera is good, maybe even great. But IMHO it still doesn’t beat the S7 or iPhone 7 overall. It has trouble focusing in macro shots; it tends to be more dim/dark than the alternatives (though maybe more realistic at times?) in well-lit scenarios. It’s fast, but if you want to quickly preview the photo you just took, you’ll have to wait a second as it’s processing the HDR in the background. It’s a really really good camera when compared to prior Nexuses and other Android devices, but still isn’t quite on par with Samsung/Apple when you factor in the whole package.

  • Jesse Blacklock

    Don’t forget to mention the phone is available on fi.google.com as well. The first day i ended up having to get it from fi because the store was sold out already

  • OU812

    Already returned mine and went back to the S7. The Pixel is a nice phone but the S7 provides many more features that i use on a daily basis. I couldn’t give up Samsung Pay, water resistance, much better multi window features, wireless charging, and it looks prettier.

    I’m looking forward to next year’s model of the Pixel. Hopefully it will incorporate some of the features that are lacking in this one.

    • tnt

      This is my dilemma as well. About the only thing the Pixel has over the S7 is super fast/fluid (thoough less-featured) software, and better updates going forward. Albeit, it is an incredibly nice software experience!

  • sinfoman

    13 is my limit on schnitzengruben.

    • There are a few of us who get it. 🙂

      • sinfoman

        BWAHAHA! I hoped, but… sometimes it’s a tough crowd, you know? 😉

      • sinfoman

        Unrelated: I really like what you guys are doing here. Keep up the good work!

  • David Hyman

    I feel like I need a review that compares the 6p to the XL. Ideally it would focus on using the year old device running the latest dev preview and how much better the new phone is

    • John Davis

      Thank you.

  • seattle tech

    One of big positive of the google pixel is its os speed. I have installed pixel launcher on my s7 edge and it is extremely fast since it is so lightweight. I have noticed too that the app drawer has zero lag. If you install pixel and android assistant on any phone it will run much faster.

  • Eric

    I love how the pricing is put under “somewhere in the middle” category. Yet the HTC10’s pricing is put under “not so good” category???

    • Chris

      The only reason I could think of is because the Pixel has the best smartphone camera, an arguably better display, and some of the best smartphone performance. The HTC 10 is a great phone, but I agree it was overpriced. I also think the Pixel is overpriced, though.

    • My thought there is that HTC wanted $700 for a phone that wasn’t the best at anything, really. It was priced over the S7, which it doesn’t even really compare to. Sure the regular Pixel is $650, but the Google experience, better camera, and support, to me, make the price much more justifiable.

  • John

    Alllllll that wasted space on the front of the phone. I have to honestly say I will not support that kind of poor design decisions. They are basically selling us an iCrap 6s Plus. Would have loved a 5.7in screen and it would have fitted no problem, but instead we got Jay Leno’s chin and forehead.

  • ddevito

    They had 9 months to get this thing ready and it shows, it was rushed. The design and lack of high end features is the end result, it’s an HTC A9 and that’s that, plain and simple. Just wait for the Pixel 2, hopefully it will justify the premium moniker. This one, does not.

    Oh, and who knows what Google will do next year, that’s their OTHER big problem. Oh right, and Assistant is still half baked.

    • David Lo

      You must be a joy at parties

  • ncick

    At these price points may as well go Apple or Sammy.

  • asorrentino

    I’m on at&t and I’m not seeing anything for the dialer visual voicemail unless I download their app

  • Farplaner

    I found myself missing the .3 inches of screen size from the Nexus 6P a bit. I’m sure I’d get over it soon though. The speed increase (especially the camera) is quite noticeable, and if the reports are right, battery life gains should be amazing.

    • vzwuser76

      It’s only .2 inches difference, 5.5 on the XL vs 5.7 on the 6p.

  • NastyEmu

    I can deal with the high price, but I can’t deal with that massive chin.

    • GatorHands

      I thought it would bother me but I honestly don’t even notice it after a few days. It puts the nav buttons in a comfortable position.

  • mcdonsco

    Have a 32gb regular one arriving today, but already thinking I should have done a 128gb. Wonder if Google can cross ship (my current phone is sold, need to ship it out, so will only have that pixel after today)???

  • Phil Harkins

    Have you been getting notification issues from the Pixel? My pixel screen does not wake up in ambient mode when you pick up the phone. Not sure if this is a bug or a decision made by Google.

    • JSo

      Did you go into the “Moves” section in settings and turn on the “Lift to check phone” option? Ambient display also has to be enabled

      • Phil Harkins

        No option to Lift to check phone in moves

        • JSo

          That’s weird. Also, I don’t know if the Pixel phones have a notification LED light. I thought they did. But if they do, you can also enable that in Settings>Notifications and then hit the gear up top. I think it comes disabled by default by some reason.

          • Phil Harkins

            I ended up turning the notification LED light on since I was missing so many notifications. Though I wish I could get the lift to wake feature back. 🙁

    • IUse2Phones

      Looks to be by choice. No option in settings.

    • AxemRed

      On my Nexus 5X, the screen would light up when I received a notification and continue to light up occasionally until I cleared the notification. It would also light up when I picked up the phone. The Pixel does none of this. It lights up once when a notification is received, and after that, you have to rely on the LED. It’s disappointing.

    • Pixels do not have lift-to-wake, they only have ambient when notifications arrive. It’s not a good omission by Google. Hopefully it changes or they give us tap to wake or something.

      • Phil Harkins

        Thanks for confirming. The feature will be missed.

      • James

        Damn. Yes, this is needed. Of course, lift-to-wake is pretty finicky on my 6P anyway.

  • rebretz000

    I have the Nexus 5X and just received a Pixel XL. I’m using AT&T as my network.

    I noticed that my Pixel XL has an extremely weak cellular signal. At my house it shows -115dBm while my Nexus 5X has -95dBm. They talked up the Pixel and it’s three antennas and the phone having great signal strength but mine is horrible. I was wondering if anyone else who went from a 5X to a Pixel have similar strength issues or if my phone is defective.

    I have since received another Google Pixel XL and the signal strength is just as bad. I have tried three different SIM cards and even went to the AT&T store to get a brand new SIM card and the signal strength is still awful. The weak signal strength also killed the battery. My Nexus 5X always has green signal strength. Look at how bad the Pixel XL is.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/61642097afb76670a7e67ee1bcc800eb1476e91ff73a9dd44f185dcb0391d587.png

    • Gregg

      This is interesting. I have ATT as well, so when ever my XL shows up (ordered Oct 4!) I’ll be sure to make note of this.

  • wickets

    +kellex…you dont mention lack of ambient display…..did the lack of such not bother you at all???

    • Well, it has it…like half of it. It lights up with notifications, but the pick-up-to-wake is gone. I did mention that I would like to see tap-to-wake. But yeah, I’m also about to write a story about how all phones need always on at this point.

      • wickets

        Thanks. It’s weird because in 7.1.1 under “Moves” lift to check phone is an actual on/off option….really surprised it isnt included with the pixeliciousness haha

        • Erik O

          I think it’s in store for the future. AP leaked a few features that had animations clearly belonging to the Moves section, which included tap-to-wake among others. So hopefully it just wasn’t perfected by launch, and will come in a later update.

      • Jaymus Lonestar

        What about a notification LED? Is there one and if so, is it RGB or just RG?

        • JSo

          Go into settings>notifications and tap the gear up top. Do you have the option to turn it on?

        • It’s RGB. It matches colors per app. (FB = Blue, Allo = Purple (I don’t know why) WA = Green, and so on…)

          • Yep this.

          • It kinda bothers me it doesn’t light up when it’s charging.

          • JSo

            Try out Light Manager. Everyone always uses LightFlow but this one has always worked with no issues for me. I don’t use the battery light option but everything else runs like it’s built into the system for me. But there is an option to enable the light while charging

            https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.koo.lightmanager&hl=en

      • Higher_Ground

        Will you try to include any current phones that do have ambient display (the kind found in the 2014 moto x?)

        I really like the whole “wave you hand” to see what time it is or what notifications you have. Beats the heck out of using colored LEDs…

        Would love something that’s 1) waterproof 2) ambient display & 3) not super fragile (coming off of two broken moto x’s)

    • IUse2Phones

      Yeah, not sure why lift to wake is missing.

      • Michael Cousins

        This is the only thing I think the phone is missing..

    • AxemRed

      This is frustrating to me coming from the Nexus 5X. I didn’t expect them to remove a feature like this.

      • Greyhame

        It’s supposed to be coming back in the next update. Read that somewhere (sorry, no link). I wouldn’t stress it.

    • JSo

      Personally, this is one feature I never liked. I have always relied on a multi colored LED light for notifications.

  • Shadowstare

    So Waterproofing is now a requirement now?

    • The Doctor

      It’s a feature added on most other high-end phones. The iPhone 7 has it. The S7/S7 edge has it. The Note7 has/had it.

      For those of us, me included, who value water-resistance, we’ll look to other devices that won’t die when it gets dunked in a toilet or puddle.

      • glimmerman76

        and if apple didnt include it no one would say a thing.

        • The Doctor

          But Apple did include it, so…

          • JSo

            They only just added it with their last phone. They haven’t always had it. I’m sure next years Pixel will have it. Like the article says:

            “Google reportedly told WIRED that they didn’t include water resistance because they ran out of time.”

          • vzwuser76

            Last year the devices from Apple and Samsung were priced about the same and the iPhones didn’t have water resistance. Samsung has had water resistance for a few years now. And Casio devices had them before anyone else did. So then it was ok to not have water resistance, but now that Apple has it, everyone else has to? You’re essentially saying if Apple does it everyone else has to as well. Next year everyone’s going to have to remove their headphone jacks as well I suppose.

          • The Doctor

            That’s not what I’m saying at all.

          • Higher_Ground

            as someone who had a casio (non smartphone) and dearly missed waterproofing for the past decade or so it’s nice that flagship phones are finally starting to include it by default. There have always been some waterproof android phones but they were always middling and never going to be up to date software-wise. Now we finally have several flagships – thanks in part to Apple.

            If I valued not having headphone jacks then of course I would look for that in a new phone… but I don’t.

          • vzwuser76

            I wouldn’t say it’s thanks in part to Apple. Samsung has been the one that’s had them for the last 3 models. And there are some that have gone the water resistant route besides Samsung, but I would imagine now that Apple has decided it’s worth it, more will follow. But I’d also say that if it weren’t for Samsung, Apple most likely wouldn’t have included it either.

      • Chris M

        how many times has this happened to you? ive been using cell phones since lates 90s and not once, not ever have i dropped it into a body of water. if its a common occurrence there may be other issues at hand.

        • The Doctor

          My house has never burned down but I’ve been paying for fire insurance for the last 10 years on my house.

        • Higher_Ground

          Believe me, once is enough. Plus, I like to kayak and not having to worry about the phone getting wet or sitting in a puddle would be great. Opening the dry box to grab it often makes too much noise or takes too long and I can potentially miss a shot.

          I’m sure there’s an entire segment of 18-34 males who would enjoy “listening to music” in the shower.

          Maybe it’s not so much about damaging the phone as making it more useful.

    • Bourne, Jason C.

      Once the “big boys” (Apple, Samsung, etc) deliver it consistently on their phones then it pretty much becomes one of the minimum requirements; especially when you look at price. It’s just another one of those things people don’t really think about until a phone is delivered without it… Or they drop it in the toilet/sink/puddle or can only use a charger for 15 quick minutes.

      • Shadowstare

        Your probably right. Once Apple says it, its Gospel in the eyes of the tech world.

        • Higher_Ground

          It’s certainly turning a corner, isn’t it?

          • Shadowstare

            Waterproofing is an improvement…but I just don’t consider it a requirement. I look it like a SD Card slot. Its nice to have, but not a deal breaker to me.

    • I feel like it should be. We’ve been hammering on companies all year for not doing it.

    • DanG
      • Higher_Ground

        did you know there are more non-human cells in your body than human? Just about all of that is bacteria…

    • Chris M

      Seriously when did this become a thing? I recall a friend of mine saying that he was unimpressed with the Pixel because it was not waterproof. Really? Like this is a huge issue with people? Are people submerging their phones these days….just because? I think this falls into the i cant find something to complain about soooooo……..ftw its not waterproof. SMH!!!

      • JSo

        Because Apple just added it so now everyone else needs to have it

      • trevorsalienarms

        It became a thing the moment it was shown to be possible. No one’s going around intentionally dunking their devices, but if you can have that feature why wouldn’t you want it?

        And it’s not like Google themselves thought it wasn’t necessary…they admitted they just ran out of time. lol.

        • vzwuser76

          It has nothing to do with it being possible. Samsung has had it since the Galaxy S5, and Casio devices had it years before that (their Brigade was waterproof back in 2010). So it had nothing to do with it being “possible”. But it has everything to do with Apple all of the sudden having that capability. The Galaxy S6 was the second year Samsung released water resistant flagships. Did anyone care that the 5x or 6p weren’t?

      • Shadowstare

        I agree. It’s nice to have, but I don’t consider it a requirement to make a phone great or not.

  • MichaelFranz

    I’m still so torn. I really want to like/love this phone but the little things that it doesnt have at the price point its set at are what scares me away.

    Meanwhile Xiaomi just annouced 2 killer looking devices at great price points even for US$, however they have MIUI on top of Android 6.0.

    Probably going to stick with my 6P just a little while longer. Love the review though guys. It’s the one I looked forward to most.

    • ddevito

      Give the Chinese OEMs another year or so, the market will follow.

    • seattle tech

      If you have a 6p just sideload the pixel launcher and android assistant. It will make your 6p faster and you won’t regret not getting the pixel besides the smaller size and camera.

      • MichaelFranz

        yea I already have that all. But its the update internals and camera that tempt me

        • j6nguyen

          I have the 6P and the XL. XL is very nice. Camera is definitely great. Returned the Note 7 after a week, couldn’t deal with TouchWiz, and then the whole battery fiasco. People complaining about the price? Well, obviously phones are expensive, especially if you are upgrading every year. You can buy Chinese phones, but if people start complaining about the lack of software support, well, you do get what you pay for… If you can hold onto your 6P for another year, then do it. You save yourself some money and hopefully get a Pixel XL 2 with water resistance.

          • Michael Cousins

            If you don’t like it or think the price is outrageous don’t buy one.. Everybody has their own boxes that need checked for them, water resistance is something that I have never even noticed for my personal device, I try to keep most of my electronics away from it.. I think the build quality is pretty good and feel just as premium as similarly priced phones.. It is definitely the smoothest android experience I have had, I have used HTC, Samsung and Moto phones in the past 5 years..

      • Josh Matthews

        I have 5x, 6p, and Pixel. I would hold onto the 6p another year but not the 5x. The Pixel is significantly better in the performance, efficiency, and camera departments, but overall the 6p is decent enough to last until Pixel 2.

    • LP

      Agreed.

  • The Doctor

    I really enjoy reading Droid Life’s reviews because I feel you guys are brutally honest and you guys don’t sugarcoat anything. Android Central really sugarcoats everything and ignores a phone’s flaws. Android Authority, I feel, does the same as AC.

    This is the most honest review of the Pixel/Pixel XL I have read and it’s refreshing; however, I would have put the availability of the Pixel/Pixel XL in the Not-so-good category just because all of the 128GB Pixel XLs are not in stock online or in Verizon stores.

    • Glad you liked it! We certainly feel it’s our job to share our true opinions, whether they are harsh or not.

      Yeah I thought about moving availability into that section, actually. I killed HTC for it earlier this year because they weren’t on AT&T. But I think because the Google Store (is supposed to) carries stock, as does Best Buy, plus you get Verizon, I gave them a bit of a break. But it could totally be in that category because the availability is pretty bad.

      • The Doctor

        I value that you share your true opinions. That’s why when I make a phone purchasing decision, I check with Droid Life’s reviews first.

  • trevorsalienarms

    Uninspiring design, lacks any sort of true innovation, poor feature per dollar ratio.

    Seems like they’re charging a premium because they finally figured out how to give one of their devices a really good camera…two to three years after everyone else did. Assistant is just Now.

  • JRomeo

    #PixelMasterRace

    • Person Dude

      No. #nexusmasterrace was annoying as hell and I’m glad it died, let’s not start this one up.

  • My contract is up in mid December… I was debating on upgrading my Droid Turbo to either a Turbo 2, LG V20 or Pixel XL. Honestly this review didn’t persuade me towards the Pixel. The Google Assistant is a slight push but doesn’t really overtake the Wireless charging and standby (and other Moto) features of the Turbo 2 or the dual camera and DAC on the V20. I think this just confirmed my decision will be between the Turbo 2 and V20.

    • Straylight

      I was in the same boat. I just upgraded from a turbo myself. I loved that phone but it didnt have a fingerprint scanner. battery life was amazing though.

      • Yeah I worry about moving away from the Turbo line. I’m so used to having everything enabled and easily having my battery last 24+ hours while listening to music for 8+ of those hours and watching some YouTube and whatnot. Not having a battery last all day after that would be pretty frustrating.

        • Straylight

          For what its worth, Last week I took the cheaper route and bought a Moto Z Play. I’m extremely impressed with the battery life. Its HUGE compared to the Turbo though. Its taking some getting used to.

        • Person Dude

          I second Straylight’s Moto Z Play recommendation. I also have one, and 8-10hrs SOT over 2 days is no problem with this thing. Sure, the camera may not be the best (better than the Moto X Pure/Turbo 2 though) and its bezels are big, but this kind of battery life has a way of making any flaw on a smartphone forgivable. That, and the low price too.

    • Would go Pixel XL or V20…though I say V20 with hesitation. I have one sitting here and it’s just such a monster of a phone. As in, it’s so big this review is going to be painful. 😛

      • Hm.. I’ll have to stop by a store and check out the V20 in person. I didn’t realize the size might be an issue. If it doesn’t fit comfortably in my front pocket while driving/sitting then I know I’ll drop it 1000 times getting in/out of cars.

        • It’s probably a half-inch taller than the XL. It’s also quite wide. Definitely a two handed device that isn’t all that pocket friendly heh.

          • DanG

            I just can’t understand LG’s reasoning behind making V34 Japan-exclusive. If I have to guess, LG is stereotyping U.S. market that only the large display phones sell well in the U.S.

          • If the V34 was in the US, damn it would be a really great option.

      • seattle tech

        I like large phones but hated the v10’s size. 5.7″ needs to be no larger than a note 7. So i would think even average consumers will think the v20 is still too big to be a huge success. Was hoping the v20 would be a little smaller but nope

    • TC Infantino

      I went from the Turbo to the Turbo 2 and I am loving it. Plus, the Turbo 2 just recently got WiFi calling. It really is a great phone and it is water resistant, has wireless charging, expandable storage, and all the Moto goodness. And as far as I have seen, Google Now works just as good as Assistant. And it is a hell of a better deal price wise.

  • Defenestratus

    It’s not that the price is high Kellen – its that the high price isn’t justified.

    If you want a metal bodied phone with a 1440p screen, crap speakers and no water resistance you can find one for half the price. What you’re paying for here is Google’s software, which, I’m sorry, I have little faith in. Google’s entire software development mantra consists of throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. Currently Assistant is on deck and we’re seeing just how much of a mess its going to leave on the wall before it falls off.

    After playing with Assistant on Allo and comparing it to what we have in Google Now on the nexus devices, I don’t think that the premium price tag is worth it.

    • illregal

      Thats like… your opinion man.

      • Defenestratus

        Go figure that a subjective review of a device is going to have subjective comments made about it.

        Even saying “The phone is expensive” isn’t objective. “A lot of money” means different things to different people.

      • ddevito

        that’s like….the opinion of MANY right now.

        • illregal

          No, it really isn’t. Some samsung turds are downplaying how nice the pixel is. Probably paid off, like in past years with samsung. But that is not the opinion of the general public. And the samsung fans aren’t mentally stable to begin with.

          • ddevito

            You can knock Samsung all you want, personally the only Sammy phone I ever owned was the GNex, and that’s intentional (see: TouchWiz), but they did it all the right way, Google needs to learn from them. They came out of nowhere, got in bed with the carriers, did their due diligence, threw the kitchen sink into their phones, then marketing the freakin hell out of it. They made the anti-iPhone and it worked. Yeah, the Note debacle will hurt them but it won’t bury them, Samsung is a strong brand, WAY stronger than Google hardware.

            The phones are fabulous (sans TouchWiz and Android rot acceleration) but the average user doesn’t care, all they know is it’s not an iPhone it’s a “Galaxy”. The Pixel is just another phone, the media is in bed with it because they desperately want an iPhone competitor – which we all do – but this phone just isn’t quite it yet. Google needs more time to perfect it, but given their track record who knows what that will be.

            Plus the market is SATURATED right now, what will define its success? Google as a hardware OEM is in question right now and will be for a long time.

          • Greyhame

            I think you’re underestimating Google’s push here. Hiroshi’s tweet was about Google diving head first into making new hardware and becoming a player in the premium smartphone game. Time will tell, but I am having a hard time being quite so pessimistic.

          • ddevito

            Of course he said that, they HAVE to say that when they’re launching a new revenue stream. I hope they’re right but I’m saying be very VERY cautious.

          • Greyhame

            He’s saying that because they are going to push, and push hard (as is already evident with their marketing campaign), to succeed in the premium smartphone market, and make sure people know what Android is capable of when not bogged down by bloat and inconsistencies common in other Android smartphone offerings.

          • DCN2NFan

            Great review. My XL is arriving today, and I am incredibly excited about it. My Nexus 4 was probably my favorite phone, and I still have it as a backup for the reasons stated in the article-although not sure how I would activate it now. It seemed super snappy, the UI wasn’t bogged down by bloat or Touchwiz, and I could tinker/flash ROMs to my heart’s content. I just gave up my completely locked down Note 7 to go back to Google after years with Samsung, and I am also optimistic that they are going to stand behind this product for several years to come. From what I have seen, Assistant takes Siri to the next level being able to remember your searches-that means that your searches build on one another. google = simple interface, unlocked, and cutting edge updates. Kind of like minimalist décor in a house, IMO.

          • glimmerman76

            And samsung had to patent infringe to get into the smartphone market and it cost them 290million for it

          • ddevito

            I’d say it was well worth it, don’t you agree? It was damn freaking smart.

            Let me ask – is Google doing anything different? Don’t you think it resembles an iPhone? Seriously?! lol

          • glimmerman76

            almost all phones look the same from the front. Samsung has an image problem right now. There getting sued in South Korea by users for the first time in history…

          • David Lo

            Yes they are doing something different. They’re are trying to bring Google Phone to the masses. This is the first time I ever seen Google advertise this much for a product they made.

          • Jessica Durden

            Exactly.

          • Jaymus Lonestar

            Why’d you have to bring up Samsung to try and make your point? Does that mean you’re a Pixel turd? The OP made a comment that many have agreed with. If you’ve truly read through all the different comments in these varied Pixel postings you would have notice a lot of people both praising and NOT praising them. Many of those not praising them were hardcore Nexus fans.

            You don’t have to be a Nexus/Google fanboy to appreciate the Pixels. However, people that don’t automatically kiss the Pixels’ a*ses are not haters or Samsung/Apple/HTC turds either.

        • Greyhame

          The opinion of “many” is that the cost isn’t justified? Most reviewers are honest and agree it’s expensive, but I would say that hardly are they saying the cost isn’t justified. I would say that stating the Pixel’s price isn’t justified is a minority viewpoint.

          • ddevito

            That’s because it’s from Google directly, of course they’re not going to say it isn’t worth it. If my income depended on reviewing the Pixel you’re damn right I’d be playing it up too. Every review I’ve read has said the price is high – when you read that the author is saying it’s a problem – then every review mentions the features its lacking. But because it’s from Google and it;s fast and has a great camera (sans lens flare that many are reporting) and because the Note 7 is dead OF COURSE they’re all going to give it good reviews, otherwise it will make Android as a platform look terrible compared to Apple.

          • Greyhame

            I’m not buying this argument at all. Not even close. They’re all talking about price because it’s sticker shock relative to the more budget priced Nexus offerings. If Google is too expensive, then so is Apple and Samsung. Yet, people buy their phones in droves. Nope, not buying this at all.

          • Defenestratus

            Apple and Samsung both offer compelling products at this price point. The pixel’s main selling point? Assistant? Google software? The Camera?

            The pixel is decent but not outstanding hardware with the latest software.

            If you think that software is worth it, well then I have a bridge to sell you….

          • Jessica Durden

            This. ^

          • ddevito

            I’m not comparing Nexus phones. It’s like bizarro world – just because Apple does it, then that makes it automatically justified? I mean think about it, look at the auto industry – if Audi made a $90k car to compete with Mercedes and the reviewers felt it wasn’t worth $90k Audi would be SHAMED. But the smartphone industry, because of the carriers, justifies a high cost because Apple has owned it and got there first, Samsung got there 2nd, now Google gets there and:

            1. Doesn’t offer the hardware quality, performance or overall fit and finish as an iPhone
            2. Doesn’t offer nearly as many features as Samsung phones

            But offers a great camera (same playing field as Apple and Samsung) and fast updates and a half-baked Assistant experience and somehow that all just equates to high end by default? Google is getting such a pass and it baffles me.

            I’ve seen this behavior from Apple fans for over 15 years and called them shills, now I see Google fans do it and I feel like I’m living in bizarro world.

          • Defenestratus

            Thank you. Very eloquently stated. Agree 100%

          • Greyhame

            I’m not saying it’s okay because Apple does it. I’m saying they’re pricing their phone into the premium segment because that is where they want to play. And that longtime fans that were accustomed to Nexus pricing are feeling the pain. Are there shortcomings to this first effort of theirs? Yes, absolutely. And no one [that uses any objectivity to come to their conclusions] is denying that. But to come out of the gates swinging like they have is an achievement that isn’t going unnoticed, and that will provide them a great foundation to build upon for their second effort.

          • Defenestratus

            You seem to be missing the point. Those of us that are saying “it’s not worth the price” aren’t saying that because its more expensive than past Nexus devices.

            We’re saying that because when you compare it to the iPhone and Galaxy – the phones its priced against, it doesn’t stack up.

            Nexus has absolutely nothing to do with our value calculation.

          • Greyhame

            I’m not missing the point at all, as I’ve stated the device has shortcomings (no micro SD card support, no stereo speakers, no waterproofing). You’re missing my point that many of those comments (although not all, like I [incorrectly] stated previously) are stemming from comparisons to previous Nexus pricing.

            For an Android phone to have an excellent and speedy camera, receive updates as soon as they are ready (even when tied to a carrier), have a cohesive and well thought out user interface without similar competing apps, have no bloat, and have an interface through which the user can “make Google their own” is a first in one package.

            This is the premium line of phones many have been waiting for, shortcomings (in this first attempt) notwithstanding.

          • GotSka81

            I have to point out that “have no bloat” isn’t 100% true. If a customer gets their Pixel from Verizon, it will include a handful of bloatware apps that are not included in the unlocked version. This is not true of the iPhone, which is the main competitor for the Pixel (in my opinion). Hopefully the Pixel 2 won’t have this problem.

          • Greyhame

            Out of all of that you picked that nit? Haha, okay, true. But you can uninstall them. Also, they’re service apps that some VZW customers will find useful. =)

          • Wishinitwas

            The “Bloat” is like 3 apps that are DL from the app store and you can just uninstall them …

          • Greyhame

            What I meant by coming out of the gate swinging is that this is Google’s first smartphone, and it is receiving critical acclaim and high recommendation marks from bloggers around the internet. I’d say that’s a pretty damn good start for a first effort. So it doesn’t have some features that power users claim are must haves. Those features are most certainly not deal breakers for the majority (read “average”) smartphone user.

          • Alex Louderback

            As someone who has used iPhone an iPhone 6S, a Galaxy S7, and now a Pixel XL, I can attest to the quality of the Pixel. The Pixel just works better than both the iPhone and especially the Galaxy.

            In a previous comment, someone else said it doesn’t have the hardware quality of an iPhone or Galaxy. This is simply false. I actually like the feel of the Pixel better than the iPhone, although I do like the glass back of the Galaxy the most. However, I was constantly worried about cracking my Galaxy.

            This phone performs better than my iPhone 6S did. Maybe not in benchmarks, but in real world use, I saw less lag, stutter, and it was more responsive.

            This phone WITHOUT A DOUBT not only justifies the price, it makes the price a good deal. I am an owner of a 32 GB Pixel XL, I would have paid 1000 dollars for this phone. It’s the best phone I’ve ever used.

          • David

            If google assistant is half baked then I wonder what Siri is lol.

          • lsh99

            Google assistant is definitely half baked. That may change when 3rd-party support is properly and thoroughly integrated as promised, but not before. Siri is quarter baked.

          • capncoad

            fully baked will spell doom for all of humanity however.

          • Jessica Durden

            Agreed. Also: I bought this phone for my son and we are happy with it.

          • David Lo

            No software in its first generation is fully baked.

          • TC Infantino

            True, but Assistant is so close to just being a renamed Google Now that it really isn’t a first generation. I literally did everything that was shown in the Assistant video with Google Now on my Turbo 2. Google Now was the first generation of Assistant.

          • David Lo

            If you consider Assistant as a renamed Google Now, then you’re basically saying Google Now is half baked as well. The point is, software rarely come fully baked even in 2nd, 3rd, 4th generations of software. There’s always more features to add. Only mature software that has been out for many many years should be considered as fully baked.

        • JohnW

          No, its just the vocal minority. Also, loved your work in Matilda.

    • David P.

      keep in mind, any phone you purchase going forward will never be up to date if you dont go the pixel route. So i believe the price is justified.

      Pixel xl owner. And a very happy one at that

      • ddevito

        define “up to date”

        • David P

          Anytime google rolls an update out, you won’t get it for months. There’s a possibility you might not even get it at all.

          • ddevito

            Wait until the Pixel is released then you can come back and re-read your comment 😉

          • vzwuser76

            Did you mean wait until the Pixel 2 is released? Because the Pixel is released.

          • ddevito

            yes, corrected. Thanks

          • David P

            No worries. I’ll be upgrading when the pixel 2 comes out.

          • Frettfreak

            google has already promised updates for 2 years. you should come back and read yours when the pixel 2 comes out. ;P

    • seattle tech

      You are paying and extra $300 for a better camera and the pixel launcher software. The pixel launcher can be sideloaded on many phones and it will bring the operational speed up to the pixel phone

      • Anto D

        Very very wrong. The sideloaded software was made FOR the Pixel XL and Pixel. What does this mean exactly? It means the perfect optimization for the hardware and software. Side loading will get the feaures, but not the speed and smoothness will not be optimized. This hardware and software trick has made ios smooth, and from what i’ve seen on these phones, it is just what the doctor ordered.

        • seattle tech

          Lol you sound like someone that takes googles magical words and believes it to be all true. The pixel launcher was originally the google launcher and yes it is very basic making it faster than other launchers. I think i can tell the difference since i have it installed on a few phones including nexus

          • Snowbo13

            ran the pixel launcher for 2 days and am now back with Nova Launcher… I missed my gestures and I still get google assistant just not the swipe right for google now

          • seattle tech

            Yeah i’m so use to having gestures as fast shortcuts.

        • Snowbo13

          got it on my 6p no issue. the phone just thinks its a pixel now. (had to flash 2 files)

    • Greyhame

      I agree with some of what you’re saying here. But please tell me how new software features are supposed to be implemented if not starting from somewhere. “…throwing things at the wall to see what sticks,” sure, sure.. because everything a developer dreams up is supposed to work completely flawlessly, and be an idea that is totally brand new and never done before. Rrright. I’m sorry, but that’s not how things work. New features aren’t born alone in a vacuum, they are built off of other ideas, some good and some not so good. But to claim Google isn’t on to something with the software they have implemented in their camera, or with their new Assistant is just putting your head in the sand.

      • Defenestratus

        /me stares at his Huawei watch.

        yep. This one is slipping from the wall too.

        • Greyhame

          For as many successes as Google have had, there are bound to be some failures. But it’s better to play the game than not try to innovate at all. I agree that Android Wear is in some serious trouble. Even myself as a hardcore Android enthusiast didn’t bother to purchase a wear device. Hopefully Wear 2.0 really brings it, cause if it doesn’t…….

          • Defenestratus

            So the problem here is – when a product doesn’t succeed or doesn’t fit into the utopian vision of Google’s constantly changing master plan, then the products are left to rot on the vine and eventually die. I’m willing to bet that if Allo doesn’t gain steam in the next 6 months, you’ll never hear it mentioned again by Google.

            For a reasonable cost of entry, I’m willing to accept that whatever I buy into might not have a life span of more than 2 years. However, if I’m being charged a premium for features by Google, I want to make sure that those features are clean, polished, and receive continued support. Thats something that is just NOT what Google does. Their software is always “in beta” no matter what it actually is, and its yet to prove itself as a reliable hardware vendor.

          • Greyhame

            Agree to disagree on Google’s software endeavors. They were all over the place, to be sure. But I think their new CFO is putting the screws to those lose ends. This is evident by some major hardware projects (e.g. Ara) being put to bed.

          • ddevito

            The new CFO could be a double-edged sword if the Pixel doesn’t make much money for them

          • Greyhame

            Why do you want this thing to fail? It’s amusing, your contempt.

          • vzwuser76

            And Samsung’s software is completely polished and works flawlessly? I remember trying out their eye tracking feature that was supposed to keep the screen on while you were looking at it. I don’t know if it took my blinks as an indicator that I looked away, but it never worked reliably for me. And then there’s S-Voice…. Now sure they don’t remove or discontinue those features when they don’t work, but then again now you have a bunch of stuff that doesn’t work reliably that is clogging up the OS. If something doesn’t work reliably or isn’t widely used, then maybe it does need to go.

            That said Google certainly does have ADD when it comes to their projects, I don’t think anyone disputes that. But to say that every one will turn out that way isn’t realistic either. Google started their self driving cars before Apple started work on theirs. Google is still moving forward with it and Apple has apparently thrown in the towel on it. And that’s one I thought for sure was going to be a bust, but they appear to be serious on making it work. So while they have a multitude of faults, let’s not assume everything they do will he abandoned.

          • Frettfreak

            and whatever messaging app they move on to will still be compatible with your phone. Your point is flawed or are you saying you think google will leave pixel to die on the vine? but if you really dislike google’s stuff so much there are other platforms. no one is forcing you to stay on android. You are being charged a premium for a solid device, and PLATFORM (not features). They have already promised minimum update times, have 24/7 support, and no way you could say android 7.1 is not clean and polished….. ???

    • greeba

      Yup, Just like Kellen said, “by no means are all of the boxes checked.” For a price this high, I want all the boxes checked.

      • Shawn John

        People in hell want ice water. It’s a great phone for what it offers, would I have wanted all the boxes checked? of Course, but even with some of the “unchecked” features it still delivers.

        • greeba

          Very true, it all comes down to what people are personally willing to spend compared to what they get, and that threshold is different for everyone. For example, there were people who had no problem paying for an apple watch….

          • Greyhame

            Zing!

      • Colin Huber

        No phone exists that checks all the boxes.

        • greeba

          It depends on the individual as to which boxes need to be checked. It’s probable that the pixel checks all of the boxes for most people, for others the price tag may not be an issue for all the boxes not being checked. But for me, either the price needs to come down, or more boxes need to be checked to justify the purchase.

    • Shawn John

      The question remains, however, just how much money are Google making on these devices? Well, if a report from IHS is to be believed, the answer would be a lot.

      The analyst firm took apart a 32GB Pixel XL, and after taking a look at the pats and materials, deemed that a price in the region of $285.75 is how much this particular model would cost to make. Considering that Google sells a 32GB Pixel XL for a sizable $769, it’d be easy to say that Google is making a lot of money of them, but we can’t be quite sure how accurate the math behind the IHS calculation is, and without knowing how much Google is paying HTC per unit, we might not ever know how much money Google is making on these devices. A smartphone such as the Google Pixel XL is of course made up of all manner of components and such, but the Super AMOLED display, manufactured by none other than Samsung was one of the more expensive parts at $58, while the Snapdragon 820 made up $50 of that $285 fee. A key part of the Pixel experience is of course the camera, and IHS estimated that the whole camera assembly in the Pixel XL cost just $17.50.

      • MJ

        Did you really write a whole essay thinking the only cost involved in selling smartphone is the parts? LOL

        • ddevito

          Okay, well that’s true, there’s more to it than that – but are you saying it’s worth the extra price for the marketing and distribution? I’ll give you marketing, I think most (not all) ads miss the best points but I’ll give them credit for pushing it hard.

          Distribution on the other hand, well….

          • MJ

            Yes, there is marketing, OS and software development, support, and labor (employees) costs in putting out a phone. What it costs Google to make has nothing to do with if the phones are worth it to a consumer anyway. No product is priced on margin alone but what the market will bear. All indicators point to the Pixel selling better than previous Nexus phones but we have no hard numbers.

            Personally, I think the phones are over priced based on hardware features alone but… I really value stock Android, fast updates, and an unlocked bootloader and no other phone offers all three so I did buy a Pixel XL (which was also the right size display for me).

            EDIT: Right on cue in regards to Pixel sales –> http://www.androidpolice.com/2016/10/25/google-says-pixel-pre-orders-exceeding-expectations-causing-delays/

          • TC Infantino

            But, no where in the article does it say how many were made and how many have been sold. The funny thing is that this quote says that this time is different from all the other Nexus device releases. “Google has bungled Nexus released in the past simply because it didn’t have very much hardware to sell. That doesn’t seem to be the case this time.” But, there doesn’t seem to be a single difference between then and now. Device is made available for pre-order, device sells out within hours, device is then listed as on back-order…… See a pattern?

        • Jessica Durden

          Afterall, Google had to spend the money to purchase an already in-progress HTC phone and re-brand it.

    • NT Shaun

      Here’s the deal, you seem like someone who is used to going to the store and getting some great sale on a phone when you sign a new two year agreement. And now you are butt hurt because you don’t have Verizon and don’t want to pay 649 for a new phone. Reality check bro, this is how the market works. Back in 2005, you know how much the HTC pocket pc cost from Alltel cost without a service agreement? 800+.

      Get off that high horse. You are paying in the leagues of an iPhone (non contract…again.) for a phone that is being built to rival it.

      You know what happens if they don’t price and market it this way? It’s the budget phone. Like how you wanted it to be.

    • thereasoner

      What about the Pixels;
      top end, if not the best cameras?,
      fast seamless updates first for the latest features and best security ? ,
      free unlimited back up storage at full resolution for photos and videos?,
      on board live support along with the Google and ubreakifix collaboration for sameday OEM part repairs? ,
      the latest/fastest processor and high end VR sensor hub combining for the best/fastest Android experience?,
      3 Android OS versions (including the version it launches with) along with security patches continuing into year 4?
      exclusive UI and features that includes a system wide AI Assistant?
      Can you point out phones at half the price with these?…or even any flagships for that matter?

      You’re right that there are premium midrange Chinese phones out there in the price range that Nexus phones used to be in and that’s probably why Google got out of that segment, its hard to compete there now. That said, you still get what you pay for in smartphones as those devices have there own issues and still lack plenty themselves. I can have things like SD card support or better water proofing from a 3rd party case for my Pixel, where are other smartphones getting the extra things and superior performance that my excellent Pixel has to offer?

  • Larry Simpson

    “High ends specs” is a misleading way to describe the Pixel but ok. Definitely a mid-tier phone that is priced too high

    • JSo

      What’s not high end about the specs? The Camera? The Processor? The Battery? The RAM? The materials it’s made of?

      • It doesn’t have water resistance. Of course is a mid ranger.

    • Yeah I’m confused, what’s not high end about it? It has a processor that no other phone has, top tier camera, 4GB RAM, up to 128GB UFS 2.0 storage, metal body, Type-C, fast charging, fingerprint reader, really nice AMOLED display…

      Lack of water resistance and SD slot doesn’t make it mid-tier.

      • MichaelFranz

        you forgot, samsung design is now a spec….

        • Hah, well, yeah I can’t win that battle.

      • Jaymus Lonestar

        I think maybe he forgot to put a :/ in his comment. Because like it or not, spec-wise the Pixel(XL) is not mid tier.

      • Mike Sims
    • allansm

      Should also be branded as “High end software” because I guarantee it’ll blow whichever phone you’re currently coveting out of the water in real world performance usage.

      But keep going to with the “mid-level” crap. If you say it enough it’ll eventually gain some traction.

    • Colin Huber

      Not a good comment.

  • Straylight

    I love Kellens “black hole of Signal Death” battery life test. It’s the ideal test of a phones longevity of on screen time from a power used while the phone itself struggles to maintain a signal.

    Really a worst case scenario and a good benchmark if you’re looking for battery life assesments.

    • After looking back at results from the past year or two, the numbers really have become pretty consistent heh.

      • vzwuser76

        It does help those of us who also live in a black hole of signal death. In my case, I’ve got to use Network Extenders in our home to be able to make calls, and that is dependant on if they’re actually working or not (I swear Verizon’s Network Extenders are the most finicky and touchy electronic devices I’ve ever seen). So beyond how well it does with cellular signal, I’m looking forward to being able to use WiFi to make calls since according to Verizon, that functionality will never come to my 6p.

        And according to Verizon, their new 4G LTE Network Extenders require a good LTE signal to operate, which puzzles me on two fronts. If it needs an LTE signal, then why is it plugged into my home data hub? And if it needs a GOOD LTE connection, well if I had that I wouldn’t need it in the first place would I?

        • TC Infantino

          The Turbo 2 has WiFi calling now. Bad signal at my house was really the only pain point with Verizon and this phone. I am pretty sure that there are also other VZW phones that currently have WiFi calling capabilities.

          • vzwuser76

            I know it does, as do a few others like Galaxy phones and iPhones. But the only way to get fast updates, pure Android, and WiFi calling/HD Voice in am unlocked device is to get a Pixel. It’s the reason I bought a 6p, and I assumed they’d allow phones that worked on their network access to those features. But unfortunately, the Pixels and the iPhones are the only unlocked devices that get them. Even the recent Galaxy S7/S7 Edge released this summer can’t do WiFi calling. After owning an unlocked device that gets timely updates, I don’t want to go back to a carrier locked devices whose updates are at the mercy of the carrier.

          • TC Infantino

            After owning the original Turbo, I can only agree completely. Waiting for the only major update that it ever got was painful to say the least.

          • vzwuser76

            I owned it as well. Considering the Turbo 2 has so far gone from Lollipop to Marshmallow. It may or may not get to Nougat, but I wouldn’t bet money on it.

          • TC Infantino

            I am with you on this. I am seriously just hoping against all odds that the Turbo 2 sees Android 7.

  • hkklife

    Where on earth are the “real” V20 reviews? Is the review embargo still in place? Is LG still supposedly awaiting final retail hardware & software? I haven’t seen a smartphone launch bungled as badly as the V20’s since, oh, the OG One Plus One.

    • Tyler Durden

      Pretty sure the V10 was the same at release even after everybody says “pre release software” that’s just to save themselves when something doesn’t work or looks bad in early hands on

    • I’ve got a retail Verizon unit in house now. Was told embargo was supposed to be last Friday, but I have yet to really see any reviews and we just weren’t ready to push ours out yet. If anything, this Friday you should see some. Ours will probably be next week.

      • Jaymus Lonestar

        Hey Kellex, any chance of getting an Axon 7 in house sometime soon?

    • Charlie

      don’t forget the Bionic, and possibly the Blunderbolt (although the Blunderbolt’s launch wasn’t so much botched, as it was just a really crappy, over-hyped phone…)

      • hkklife

        I could never, ever forget those. They just predated the One Plus One. The all-time smartphone launch disaster might have been the Palm Pre but the Bionic’s complete reworking between CES and launch is still impressive in its own right but even with all of that the Bionic STILL ended up as the best Android device of 2011 (IMO)!

  • Jared Muskovitz

    I have been absolutely loving my Pixel XL, and my fingerprint sensor isn’t “sticky” so I’m wondering if it’s just the one you have, Kellen. With the S6 Edge, the sensor failed at least half the time. When the sensor fails on the Pixel, I can usually tell it was my fault. It works 95% of the time for me so far on the first try. The haptic feedback is great too.

    I financed mine through Verizon so my bill is essentially unchanged going from a 64 GB S6 edge to the 128 Pixel XL (like 1.50 more a month). Here’s to hoping VZW does a trade in deal like they do with iPhones next fall – if they don’t, though, this is the first phone I’ve used since the Galaxy Nexus that I know will be not chugging 2 years from now, so I’ll have no issues waiting for Pixel 3 if I have to.

    • Could just me the phone I have. It’s not that the fingerprint reader didn’t work every time, it just needed some extra pressure that most other phones don’t.

      Glad you are enjoying it though! Really nice phone.

  • Suicide_Note

    Interesting that Kellen was having trouble with the fingerprint reader. I’ve got the Pixel XL in black, and haven’t had any issues. It’s just as fast as the one on my 6P, and doesn’t require any extra pressure to read my print. Maybe a faulty reader or device?

    • Could very well be the unit, because the smaller white Pixel I have is quite a bit quicker and different.

      • My Pixel XL fingerprint reader is ultra fast. Silver model.

  • Cael

    Been 20 days and I’m still stuck on Preordered status while people after the fact have had the same phones shipped. Thanks Google!

  • James Fry

    lol apple is humping benchmark scores and android is touting real world performance. When did that switch??

    • Tyler Durden

      Right? iPhones consistently win in both categories while Android it may benchmark good but real world performance is a lottery. After using almost every flagship in the last year or so.

    • Feel like Apple has humped benchmarks for years. :

  • Tyler Durden

    You should have thrown in some iPhones or the HTC A9 to see if anybody could tell them apart 😉

    Great review though. Sounds like a nice phone, but not one that I want.

    • Suicide_Note

      It’d be simple to see the differences between them just by looking at the software or exterior designs.

      • Tyler Durden

        I’m talking about with the display off and laid on its back. But yeah the back is different /s

        • Suicide_Note

          Eh, so the fronts look similar. Still doesn’t change the fact that the Pixel is a fantastic device.

    • Thought about it, but I think my iPhone is buried in the bottom of a drawer that it will never come out from. And we didn’t bother picking up a One A9 heh.

    • Jaymus Lonestar

      Why?

  • Ramana

    Hmmm, surprising the finger print reader is an issue for you. It’s been flawless and spectacularly fast. Coming from an iPhone 6s.

  • Mario

    it is a start, but I will look forward to the 2nd generation passing on this one

  • Man, I’ve been getting consistent 14 hours of battery and over 5 hours of SoT on my Pixel XL. That’s heavy using the phone. It has been the best battery I have ever had in a cellphone.

    • Jared Muskovitz

      Same here – averaging 5 hours SoT. Best battery I’ve had since my Droid Maxx.

      • Tyler Durden

        Should try an S7 Edge 😛
        7 hours SOT. Goat

        • To be fair, I had an S7 edge for 6 months, I wish it pulled 5 hours of SoT. At least in my case pulled around 3 and a half. :/

          • Tyler Durden

            Sounds like a dud, but who knows. Glad the Pixel XL is better with a smaller battery for you

          • I tried disabling most of the crap Samsung bundles, as well as the bloat T-Mobile puts, but no dice. I actually got better battery performance in an HTC 10 (12 hours, 4 SoT).

        • Jared Muskovitz

          My experience with the S6 edge was so bad, I ruled it out immediately. That said, my buddy got one and he loves it. It’s definitely a huge improvement over the S6 edge.

        • Tyler Burden

          One time at iPhone camp, we all shoved iPhones up our bu…

        • Greyhame

          S7 Edge the GOAT? Hahaha, come on.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Going through my first full heavy use day with the Regular Pixel. I’ll see how it turns out at the end of the day.

      • cromo8

        Let me know your thoughts on the phone. Debating jumping from the 6P. Its either the Pixel or a 4K TV

        • glimmerman76

          4k tv if you have stuff to drive it like xbox 1s or shield tv.

        • j6nguyen

          I have both the 6P and the XL… Personally, I use the XL much more than a TV, so I would like the XL. Its a great phone. I get much better battery life than before, but otherwise, its still a fast android phone. If the 6P is fast enough for you, then you don’t HAVE to upgrade. Obviously, most of us frequent sites like this because we like to see what’s the latest and greatest. Its a great phone. But spend your money on what makes you happy. I’m pretty happy with the XL.

          • cromo8

            I wouldnt want the XL. Looking for feedback on the Pixel. Back to normal sized phones is what im looking for.

            I can get a 4K TV in about 60-65″ for close to the same price and is a lot more useful for me than a phone. Nexus 6p running strong here still since day one and I can keep it until something else arrives if necessary.

            Ive used over 25 android phones in the past if not more and I can gladly say that the 6P is the best one by far. Just too big is the only downside.

          • Fozzybare

            I switched from the 6P to the normal Pixel. 100% on board with my decision.

    • Arkitech

      Everyone uses their phone different. There are just WAY too many factors to account for when it comes to reporting battery life.

      – GPS on all the time? What apps do you use that poll your location throughout the day?
      – Avg signal quality to your carrier? What carrier?
      – Do you use Bluetooth? Is it on all day? What apps/devices do you normally pair it with throughout the day?
      – Wi-Fi? Are you on WiFi all day? If not, do you keep it on when not connected?
      – Screen brightness?
      – What background apps do you use and do they poll for data or phone resources? How often?
      – Do you use NFC? If not, do you keep it enabled? If so, how much do you utilize it throughout the day?
      – How many notifications do you get a day on average? Texts? E-mails? Phone calls? Other (push or pull)?

      You get the idea.

      • Here
        – GPS: Battery Saving mode most of the time
        – Average Signal: full bars at work, horrible reception in my apartment. T-Mobile
        – Bluetooth all day: I have a Gear S2 connected
        – Wi-Fi at home only, Off when not at home
        – Screen Brightness is set to auto, keeping the bar to the middle.
        – Background Apps: Gmail, FB (always pulling), Twitter, Instagram
        – NFC is always on in my case.

        Thing is, using other phones with the exact same settings turn out to be inconsistent. With the Pixel, so far every day has pulled similar battery numbers. Hopefully it will stay that way.

        • ddevito

          Only 4 background apps? lol Screen brightness is auto or manually set to middle?

          • Tyler

            Both, you set the preferred screen brightness to where you like it and it will fluctuate around that depending on the lighting.

          • This.

          • Plus whatsapp running, camera usage, allo, system apps. But still, I get worse on other devices using exact same apps and settings.

    • j6nguyen

      Agreed. My 6P always required a mid-day recharge, but the XL goes till 10pm without requiring a recharge. I use both phones the same. Maybe it will change with time? But when I had to get a new 6P, because I dropped mine and cracked the screen, the new one I got still had the same battery life as my old one.

  • ozzyager

    Here’s a comment about the price – grrr on the price!

    • Yeah, it’s still a tough pill to swallow. Guessing by next year we’ll all forget about cheap Nexus phones and just buy the new Pixel at whatever price Google tosses out.

      • JRomeo

        Next year, instead of being a verizon exclusive, it will be on the big 4 carriers right? then we can all buy it subsidized on contract the way we’re used to.

        • Hope so. Guessing that’s Google’s plan.

        • glimmerman76

          there are no subsidized phones on any of the big 4 except verizon who allows customers on certain plans to get 2 year upgrades,

      • ozzyager

        Honestly the price doesn’t bother me all THAT much – it is steep, but I am hopeful that it’s a good sign of what’s to come next year as far as quality. It seems to be selling well enough, so they shouldn’t ditch the Pixel brand!

      • Jaymus Lonestar

        “and just buy the new Pixel at whatever price Google tosses out”

        Hmm… where have we seen that mentality from before? And to think how much it was made fun of too. Oh how the times have changed. 🙂

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Sooo…Are we getting a Video Review?

    • Sick at the moment, but hoping to later this week or early next week.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Get well soon man!

  • Chris Bailey

    But… is it worth upgrading over the Nexus 6P? 🙂

    • ozzyager

      I’ve commented before that I’m kind of glad that I don’t feel a need to upgrade this year like I normally do. I’m personally still very happy with my 6P. I’m more excited now for Pixel 2 next year…

    • Aaron MacNaughton

      For myself I don’t think so. I still love my 6P and it’s in great condition so don’t see myself upgrading anytime soon. Basically people with perfectly fine 6Ps don’t really have a reason to upgrade unless they are dying to spend about $700 bucks lol.

      • Chris Bailey

        I wanted to upgrade, but I don’t really feel I need to. I figured if I got a decent price for my 6P on swappa I would do it, however it’s a) flooded with examples and b) I realized that my phone, though cased for 95% of it’s life has some decent wear on the back where the dark bits have rubbed off… Seeing as how there are many pristine examples out there, I probably wouldn’t have an easy time selling.

    • JSo

      I’ve always felt phones were better updated every other year. So if you have last years Nexus, you’re probably fine sticking with that until next years Pixel at least

      • Aaron MacNaughton

        What this guy said

    • doode

      For me…..YES. I just can’t take the throttling any longer.

    • Suicide_Note

      I upgraded from the 6P to the Pixel XL, and I’m completely satisfied. However, it depends on your budget and your needs.

      • Josh Linn

        i upgraded to Pixel XL from 6P

    • Mario

      not worth it unless you can get a real good deal on it like 400 bucks

      • Trade in your 6P and that’ll probably drop the price to around $400 or $500.

    • I have the Pixel XL and the 6P…and I’m deciding if I really want to try to unload my 6P for $350ish (with OG box, charger, cables, screen protectors, and 3 different cases) and keep the XL. I REALLY like the size better, and of course its smooth and has some internal improvements. The Pixel 2 or whatever next year should probably be a better value proposition – and will still probably be in the $700 range to start. I don’t care about water resistance personally, but it would be nice to have. So – I’d say, if you can stick it out with the 6P for another year’s time, and are fine with the size, stand pat. If you think the 6P is just a little too large, try the Pixel out in a retail store and make the call after that. Its a great phone though.

    • Defenestratus

      No.

      I’m sticking with my 6P. I wish I was sticking with my original Nexus 6 but it died a long time ago.

      • Orion

        Still have my Nexus 6 and there’s no way I’m getting the pixel phones. Too small.

        • JSo

          Well it’s hard to believe that Google will make another phone that big again. I think they felt they went a little too big with that one.

          • Orion

            Nexus 6 size is perfect for me. The large screen has spoiled me. Well, Google could have just left the “XL” at 5.7 like the 6P. But they keep going smaller and smaller. They make two freakin phones and the biggest they can go is 5.5? That’s not even a phablet these days lol. XL? Yeah ok.

    • Droid-Lifer

      Depends. For me I’m considering giving my 6P to my wife (who currently has a Moto X 2nd Gen) and getting Pixel (not the XL). I don’t really think VR will be a make/break feature for me (at least not yet).

    • You’ll probably be fine. The 6P is a great phone still. These are just the new new, so they are a bit faster, a bit more polished, etc. But I don’t think you need to run to the store and buy one today, no. Well, unless you have a way to do it without breaking the bank heh.

    • Dan

      I’m not even compelled to upgrade from my Nexus 6. Gain a fingerprint sensor, lose wireless charging and a lot of screen real estate. Nougat has given my N6 a nice uplift in battery life over M or even L, at least for me, ymmv. One more year on the N6 and thinking of buying one for a spare.

  • Marvin Nicoleau

    I must say, I’ve read over 20 reviews but this was the one I looked forward to the most.

    • Well that’s awesome, hopefully it delivered heh.

      • Marvin Nicoleau

        AHHHHHH my first response from Kellex! lol. It was an excellent review btw

      • Erik O

        Glad you didn’t rush to be the first to post a review. Can always count on DL to be thoughtful and dispassionate.

      • I must say, I’ve read a lot of reviews, but I’m still looking for a phone review that reviews the phone. How does the audio sound? Is the transducer so small that the speaker sounds nasty and chirpy? Are the earpiece and microphone positioned in such a way as to enhance clear sound or do you have to move it around your ear to find the sweet spot to hear?

        Some of us still use a smartphone to make phone calls and would appreciate insight into the usability of the phone as a phone. Thanks.

        • Chris K

          By no means am I a phone reviewer and I typically purchase the Samsung flagships, but this earpiece is as good as the Note 7 and the bottom firing speaker is better and louder on phone calls and quick YouTube videos.

    • Ben Landwehr
      • NexusPhan

        Did you even read the review? Or did you just scroll to the battery screen shots and decide to take over the top to post another random, personal case, not representative of everyone’s usage battery screen shot?

      • Arkitech

        You need to also post screenshots for the Android OS ‘Use details’ and for Android System as well. It’s more telling of how you use the device.

    • needa

      I have seen so many that all I did as scroll to the conclusion. The saying ‘better late than never’ doesn’t apply to reviews. Though it would be nice if all reviewers took a bit more than four days to write their reviews.

      • NexusPhan

        I actually thought the exact opposite. “Finally a site that didn’t rush to be first so I get a better, more comprehensive review”

        The age of the internet is ruining writing

        • needa

          I would think that if this were a ‘polarizing’ phone. But every review so far has said the same thing. Great phone. High Priced. Sub-par design. No waterproofing. etc. etc.

          • NT Shaun

            I’ve never once ruined a phone from water damage. And I’m talking going back to 2004.

            And I’m a guy that sold cellphones for 6 years for corporate and got phones at cost, so why not be careless?

            All I’m saying is this phone is actually exciting. As someone coming from an iPhone to the Pixel, I’m ecstatic and I personally won’t let some silly thing like waterproofing get me down. TAKE CARE OF YOUR STUFF.

          • needa

            You misinterpreted. I was just summing up his 4k words in a dozen or so. I have no issues washing my phone’s off under the sink, and have been doing so for the last few years. I think it is annoying how these bloggers jump on a bandwagon and stick to it until the next one comes along. Before waterproofing it was monthly updates. Before that it was big phones. Befo…..

          • NT Shaun

            My apologies then! I totally did! ha

          • Frettfreak

            I have yet to ruin one due to water and that goes for the pagers i owned WAY back in the day as well. I also thought… “i dont need waterproofing” And i dont NEED it… but holy SH!T is it convenient and something i am not going to live without unless i must again. Take my phone in the shower to listen to tunes now. Was in my short with me at the water park, and i have been know to give it to my kids in the pool to shoot some underwater pics and vids. Absolutely LOVE it now. Basically, dont knock it til you try it

    • Jenny

      Pixel phones are now on sale only at PixelPhoneDeals:com