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This is My Android: November 2016

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Now that all of the major phones for 2016 have been released and are available for all to purchase, it seemed like the perfect time to catch up with another “This is My Android” segment. We tend to post these videos when things have calmed and we have had a chance to settle into a phone for a bit. That, of course, means that there is indeed a phone that will likely carry me through to next year’s Galaxy S8 and that phone is Google’s Pixel.Β 

Why the Pixel? As I mentioned in my Pixel review, this is a phone that provides the Android experience I want. From it hosting Google’s vision for Android to the exclusive Pixel-only features and the regular updates, I can’t think of a better software experience in mobile. But not only that, the Pixel offers a top tier camera, high-end hardware, and choices over size.

In this clip, I walk through my choice of Pixel, take a tour of some of my favorite software features, and my current home screen setup. This is my Android.

  • The Doctor

    I got a Pixel and used it for two days and returned it. The battery life was awful. I also have an iPhone 7 Plus and the battery life on that was far superior than on the Pixel. I had to charge the Pixel up after eight hours of use, after the set-up process (which I had the phone plugged in while I was setting it up). I don’t know why people would purchase a phone that has to be plugged in every 8 to 10 hours of moderate use, but that seems a bit much for me. I don’t want to have to charge up a phone twice a day. I’d rather deal with iOS 10 and a huge battery than my preferred software of choice, Android, and a terrible battery life.

  • grunt0300

    Not for me. I’m not ready to take out a bank loan, just to buy a flipping phone!!!

  • Matias

    Do all variants of Pixel/Pixel XL have the Google Wifi Assistant feature, or is it reserved just for the Project Fi?

  • disastrousrainbow

    I sprung for the blue Pixel and so far I’m on cloud nine with this phone. From performance to battery life I’ve been left so impressed that I don’t think I can go back to any other Android phone.

    But battery life is where it’s at for me and this phone did surprisingly well netting me over a day of use and nearly five hours of screen on time before it died. Considering I didn’t take any steps to help prolong it and its size, this easily tops all the phones I’ve used this year, and I’m so happy that I’m not losing out on battery by going with the smaller version of the Pixel.

    Even on a work day I still manage to squeeze out around 15 hours of total battery time with 3.5 hours of screen on time. If you’ve read my posts before, you know my work area is a hellish signal death zone. So yeah. This phone rocks!https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/963096f923a7c0ec4f670baf6b8d94ba2192fc27451542740b86bed5c05c76c3.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb5fa13ab53bc96ba5f8a5f5b2b2019a7d5aa888a5a6de35cf198f067706e177.png

  • Garrett Lee Reyman

    Also, where’s our show off your home screen day?

  • Garrett Lee Reyman

    Still holding on to the G3. I’m just waiting and nothing’s really blown me away.

  • disastrousrainbow

    I just rocked a regular Pixel yesterday and so far have come away pretty impressed. Pushing the battery to its limit (5β„… and less) netted me 3.5 hours of screen on time and 15 hours of total battery.

    As always I must state that’s really good for me because over half that use was at work where my LTE signal is either nonexistent or fluctuates from 1-2 bars all the way to 3G constantly.

    This was with no power saving modes enabled and Bluetooth use for about an hour+ along with high accuracy GPS enabled. In other words, this phone gave me usage on par with larger phones like the S7 Edge and better usage than small ones like the HTC 10 and S7 where I was lucky to get a little over two hours with the same total battery use with usage at work. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/546f550198b6178abd0f6ba2c6b3c7e04ca9b7fa97870dd6e04b554c6be09bed.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/736429821d8c76ff9e91811993d0654db6c10a6d4e3ed405e9ed47788bfc0e0c.png

    • Bald_Sasquach

      Meanwhile my year old 3rd gen Moto G is currently at 30% after 4h 13m screen on time. Dammit, I’m not getting a new phone till they can get 6 hours screen time.

  • SHunter

    ya dont really need a camera Home Icon, just double click power to start the camera.

  • deepbellybutton

    So the Nexus 5 stuck to my Mpow Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount with no additional disk. The 6P did not. What should I expect with the Pixel? Thanks!

  • SewWhat

    You had my respect until you said “skinny jeans”…..lol

  • @Kellen, did you buy it or are you using one Google gave you as a review unit?

  • Dan

    Still rockin my almost 2 year old N6, nothing has come out with enough “improvements” to make me want to upgrade. And Nougat has been great for battery life for me, ymmv. S8 with zero bezel, 6.2″ screen, and wireless charging (hope they keep that) might just be my next, as long as they do minimal edge like the note 7.

    • M3D1T8R

      Still waiting for Nougat update for my mostly stock N6. Been happy with it overall, with one exception: battery life. My use is not normal (I use it as a tablet basically), but it has gotten awful lately. Even with several extreme mods to improve it. Also performance seems to have gotten much worse of late. My 3 year old og Moto x sometimes feels faster.
      Really hoping next years Pixels correct the shortcomings (ff speakers, wireless charging, waterproofing, larger battery).

  • I’ve got a 32GB Pixel XL very silver i’m about to send back to Google as a return. Used it for 1 week, pristine condition. I settled on the Pixel instead. I’d be asking for full value + shipping (cause that’s what Google is going to give me back) but if one of those of you waiting doesn’t want to wait. reply and let me know if your interested.

    • JBR

      Curious why you settled on the Pixel after using the XL for a week. Weighing the same decision.

      • Simply put, the width. I loved moto x size. I had droid turbo 2 for a year and settled on width for software. The smaller pixel width is perfec for me. I didn’t want to settle again on the XL.

        • JBR

          Thank you for the reply. I’m thinking the same. I have a Nexus 5x now. I like the battery on the XL, but don’t think I’ll enjoy using the XL size. Thanks again.

          • For battery life, i pretty much have a charger everywhere anyway. Desk, car, bedside table. Even with Moto X, i never had a battery life issue.

  • JRomeo
  • ddevito

    OnePlus 3 is a way better value. Better performance than the Pixel XL, half the price. Add to that many customizations out of the box and very developer friendly with tons of XDA support. Not to mention the incoming 3T will have even better performance and most likely a better camera to compete with the Pixel, it will blow the Pixel away

    • NexusMan

      Zero chance it has better performance than the Pixel XL. Zero.

      • ddevito

        SUBJECTIVE (and OBJECTIVE):
        http://www.anandtech.com/show/10753/the-google-pixel-xl-review/8
        “Other Snapdragon 820 flagships, such as the Galaxy S7 and OnePlus 3, and Apple’s iPhone 7 are noticeably faster during use”
        -Anandtech

        OBJECTIVE:
        http://www.ubergizmo.com/products/lang/en_us/devices/google-pixel-xl,oneplus-3/

        Need more proof?

        • Brian Himes

          Someone is trying to justify their purchase I see.

          • ddevito

            no, just voicing an opinion and sharing others’ reviews and analysis., that’s how this works. Thanks

          • David Lo

            And they are voicing their opinions on your opinion. That’s how it works.

        • NexusMan

          My proof is my actual use. I use the Pixel XL as well as the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 is nowhere near as fast. You can choose to believe whatever you read from one person on one site, who likely came up with said conclusion from a benchmark or a very brief comparison. And that’s fine. I get my information from my own daily use with my own eyes and hands.

    • Tyler Burden

      Oh, OK!

  • Daishi

    I know its over a year old, but I’m still running my 64GB Moto X Pure Edition. I don’t think it is as responsive as my OG Moto X. Might be the microphones. I could issue commands to my OG across the room with no issue. With my PE, I basically have to be holding it in front of my face. Still, I dig the phone. We’ll see what happens throughout next year when another phone may grab my attention. Nothing this year did.

    • johntb

      I had my MXPE for about 9 months… had similar issues as you. responsiveness just wasn’t the same as my OG MX, in turns of overall experience. went ahead and went back on a VZW 2-year contract and picked up a Pixel XL… I’ve never been happier. although I do miss the Moto Actions/Display suite at times.

  • Dragos Dorobantu

    I’m torn between little Pixel and Galaxy S7. I’m using a Note 5 currently and while it performs quite well, I do want a smaller phone. The main reasons for GS7: water resistance, sd card, SAMSUNG PAY!! Maybe I should have started with that first. I use SAMSUNG PAY every 2-3 days, for me it’s a habit now.
    But Pixel offers the next gen cpu, unlimited Photos, mostly aluminum build and the Pure Android software.
    Which one to get, which one to get??

    • NexusMan

      As someone with both, the ONLY thing I miss miss from the GS7 is Samsung Pay. But I stopped using it at magnetic swipe machines as much as I used to anyway, and for non mag-swipes I still have Android Pay. It’s more of knowing that I had it if I needed it, and they had pretty great promotions too.

      • Dragos Dorobantu

        How do you find the battery life on Pixel, compared to GS7? I have noticed the quick charging on my Note 5 discharges much quicker than if I charge it at regular rate. Slower charge time brings more hours on that battery charge. How’s Pixel on this? Thanks!

        • NexusMan

          Battery has been really great so far, but honestly, it’s been too short of a time to give a definitive answer.

    • RazorSky

      Samsung pay got rejected about 30% of the time for me, so I just quit using it. I went from a GS6 to a Pixel XL and love it. Go pixel, use Android wallet where you can.

  • mcdonsco

    Kellen, stop saying ok Google in your videos! I watch ON MY PHONE, interrupts the video EVERY TIME.

    • Godzilla

      Do you have trusted voice on? If you are using trusted voice it should only respond to you or people who sound very similar to you

  • Ozyman666

    I hope you answered the door. (4:18)

  • trevorsalienarms

    Too many missing features that I expect for too high a price; immediately dated and uninspired design.

    • NexusMan

      This phone looks gorgeous in hand. Particularly the Really Blue and Quite Black models.

  • Austin

    When is the LG V20 coverage coming? Very excited to see what you guys have to say about the phone lol

    • Jerry Curl

      I second this, guys! I keep going back and forth on picking up that or an S7E.

      • A Magnet

        Having a V20 myself, I’d say the S7E. The V20’s camera is deeply unimpressive – if your lighting isn’t perfect and you don’t like fiddling with manual controls, any shot you take will have lots of noise. With the camera being really important on a smartphone, I just can’t justify the V20’s similar price tag.

        That said, type-c is awesome (never going back), and the second screen is super useful. It’s also really nice to have a removable battery again. Speaking of battery, I’m getting some pretty decent life on the V20 – my S6E+ would get to the end of the day at less than 20%, the V20 is more than doubling that. Doze actually seems to work on it – when the phone’s on my bed, I don’t lose much at all overnight, unlike the 10-15% I was losing on the S6E+

        • Jerry Curl

          Thanks, Magnet, I appreciate the information! Most places I’ve read about the phone seem to have come to the same conclusion on the camera and I think that’s going to be a deal breaker for me. As much as I would like some of the other features the V20 has, I’d much rather not have to dip into manual mode all the time to get a quick half way decent shot.

          • A Magnet

            If the camera’s important to you, S7E for sure. That camera’s a beast – so far the only thing that’s beat it out is the Note 7 and the Pixel. I suspect the Moto Z with the Hasselbrand (sp?) camera mod would beat all of them out..but then you’re dealing with the bulk of a decent size camera on your phone.

        • Rick_Diesel

          I have had no issues with the camera, but the one thing i have had is my battery NEVER gets to 100% when charging. It will charge to and stay at 98% when i unplug in the morning. Wonder why that could be

          • A Magnet

            That is odd. Mine will get all the way to 100%, and won’t move much until I head off to work.

  • BobButtons

    I seriously don’t get the chin though. Zero external purpose? Really?

    • NinoBr0wn

      I don’t get the chin complaints. It’s the same size as the top of the phone, and the Nexus 5X didn’t get the same complaints, nor did the Nexus 5.

      • BobButtons

        Never had a Nexus 5 but I have the 5X and the chin serves a purpose.

        • NinoBr0wn

          What does it serve that it doesn’t in the Pixel, or phone Y for that matter?

          • BobButtons

            It houses the speaker. There’s nothing there on the Pixel. You may ask what difference does it make if they put it there or not to which I’d say if they aren’t going to use it for anything they should get rid of it. Make it a more portable device. Through deduction all I can guess is they have it for 1 of 2 (or both) reasons, 1) interior space and/or 2) make the design more.. familiar. Either way I find it to look ridiculous. That’s not to say anything about the rest of the phone which could be incredible. Don’t know, don’t have one. Just by appearance, having not a single apparent use for that much of the front phone seems odd.

    • FrogVomit

      I don’t like the chin, but I understand that it is there because it needs to be … they need room to put stuff inside the phone! If it wasn’t there, they would need to sacrifice something like battery size or antenna placement.

      • BobButtons

        And I’d understand that position but think they could’ve designed it better to not have a big empty slab on the front. Another speaker would be nice, πŸ˜›

        • Not an idiot

          But then the components behind it would need to be elsewhere. I’m not sure why this is hard to understand. just because it’s blank on the front doesn’t mean nothing is in there. There’s a speaker, microphone, and USB charging port directly below the space. Do you believe they just work magically? There’s simply stuff there and adding a speaker would’ve meant other sacrifices or a bigger/fatter phone. I own the phone. It’s great. I’ve never once worried about the bottom. If the screen were right there, it’d actually be harder to work and you’d need to rest your finger somewhere.

          • BobButtons

            I accept that there’s internal workings which is why I specified external in the original post. It’s obviously possible to fit them all in without a big blank extension, just look at every phone without it, or the ones that do have it but also use that space for something else which is more what I’m getting at. I also didn’t mean for the comment to be taken as this huge of a deal needing that much of explaining. Just as an aesthetic choice, looking at it, to me it looks dumb. As mentioned in another comment, it may be an amazing phone otherwise, just thought the space could’ve been used better or done without even with there being hardware inside it.

      • I like being able to put my thumbs somewhere when i hold it horizontally to play games like Asphalt?

    • DanSan

      because they put zero effort into redesigning the front of the HTC A9 and figured, hey… lets use this.

    • James_75

      The best I can tell the chin exists for reasons of symmetry. If the screen were larger you would have to reach lower to hit the on key buttons plus the battery life would be worse with a larger screen. The chin bugged me before I got the phone however now that I use it a million times a day the form factor just works for me and the big chin has all but disappeared to me.

  • Cael

    Finally got my pixel xl on Tuesday and LOVE it.

    • NexusMan

      Same here! But Wednesday!

  • needa

    3T could come in and change the game. Prabably not, but you never know.

    • moew

      Knowing that company, they will need someone to drain the swamp before it works right. So done with them.

      • needa

        It’s better if you stay away from the community. Those guys are terrible.

        • moew

          Oh, I’m there. It is indeed terrible, full of lies and a waste of time. Sounds like someone that got drunk last night/early morning and couldn’t make her own concession speech on time until the docs gave her the right cocktail to stand straight. /centipede

  • Tom Luley

    Someone is at your door, K. Probably ya boy Trump πŸ˜‚

  • wickets

    Waiting for the mate 9 …. until then 6p still wins…. pixel is just an overrated money pit (I own it, so I speak from experience lol)

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    More fresh content. Love it.

  • Wes Nile

    Still waiting for my Pixel XL. I haven’t been this excited for a phone in a while.

    • rebretz000

      I think the OG Moto X was the last time I was this hyped for a phone release.

      • ki11ak3nn

        The OG Moto X didn’t live up to the hype for me. Battery life was terrible and the size was just a little too small for me. Last truly great phone was my LG G2.

        • tnt

          The LG G2 was greatness. Honestly it would probably still hold up against some of the mid level phones today.

      • Terry Camp

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj144d:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        !mj144d:
        ➽➽
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash144MarketTravelGetPay$97Hour β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…::::::!mj144d:….,….

      • NexusMan

        I was there with you for the OG Moto X, and after that the OG Nexus 6, then the GS7 Edge…until now with the Pixel.

    • Ryan N

      Got mine on launch. Best phone I’ve ever owned. Finally got what I always wanted “apple” quality hardware and Android software experience.

    • Butane87

      Pre-ordered mine (VZW model unfortunately) on Oct. 17th and apparently won’t see it until Dec. 2nd.

    • fexus

      NEXUS PRIME

    • Godzilla

      2 days with mine and im in love

  • rebretz000

    I’m getting the Pixel on Verizon during the black friday deal.
    $10 a month. Over $400 off, can’t beat that plus when I used the Pixel XL on AT&T where I lived had horrible reception.

    • moew

      You must live in Nebraska or a little west of there. I’m in a southern rural area and ATT has better reception in areas than VZW. To each their own!

      • rebretz000

        Pennsylvania. Verizon reception here is fantastic. Two towers in my city.

    • RazorSky

      I just got mine this week. I took the $300 off deal with trade in. It kills me they wouldn’t let me buy it outright and give me the $300 discount.

      • Jeff Badger

        The worst is that everything now is bill credits rather than immediate off the top.

        • RazorSky

          Yea thats why i wated a week more than I wanted. Also if you pay that phone off early you miss out on bill credits. It’s a scam I tell you!

    • J.McFly

      Is that deal only for new customers?

      • Jeff Badger

        No. The Black Friday ad going around the Internet just requires a device payment plan. It says nothing about new or existing customers.

        • J.McFly

          Awesome! In that case I will be a proud Pixel XL owner on Black Friday. And it’s cheaper than my Note 5. I hope it’s real!

          • Christian Naylor

            It’s only for the Pixel, not XL.

          • J.McFly

            Major bummer. I trying to find any excuse to upgrade to the XL from my note 5.

      • rebretz000
    • michael arazan

      Wish you had not said anything, wasn’t tempted before, but Now I am.

    • jorge

      Very notable, the Google Pixel is only $9.99/month for Verizon OUT THE DOOR at Best Buy. None of the gimmicks of “after bill credits, and trade-in credits” that you’ll find if you go to a verizon store or their website.
      And you get a $100 Best Buy gift card.
      Pfff… got mine. Better than the Black Friday deal. glad i waited.

  • LiterofCola

    Pixel XL here and loving it so far. Have the Verizon model on AT&T, still waiting for the November security update :/

    • RazorSky

      Check now. I just got an update. Installing it now.

      • inklenotrump

        I don’t have the check for update button anymoar…. πŸ™

        • RazorSky

          Settings cogs > All the way down to the bottom about phone > System Update should be top thing.

        • JRomeo

          that check for update button will be returned to you in the next security update.

        • NeilOMalley

          Just tap the screen and it will check, thats how mine worked.

      • LiterofCola

        got it this morning

    • JRomeo

      Does Verizon allow a non-verizon customer to do the monthly 0% Financing on the Pixel XL ?

      • Jeff Badger

        No. Need to be customer with Verizon to get their financing. You can do it through Best Buy and get the Verizon Pixel (or XL) to move to another carrier.