Google Pixel / 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.  (more…)

Google Pixel / Pixel XL Camera Review

At the unveiling of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, Google couldn’t help but brag about the 12.3MP Sony camera they included in each phone. With 1.55um pixels, f/2.0, video stabilization, and a supposed speedster of a shutter, the level of hype surrounding this shooter is up there with the best of them. But we all wanted to know if it could actually deliver on that hype during testing. Well, I spent the past several days with the Pixel and have pretty good news to share.

Is this the best smartphone camera ever in a smartphone as some of its early reviews suggest? I don’t know that I’m ready to go that far, but it’s certainly right up there with the best of them. Not only that, but it’s probably the camera I prefer of any smartphone at the moment. That’s right, I’ve fully bought into the hype.  (more…)

Google Pixel / Pixel XL Unboxing!

Your Google Pixel and Pixel XL orders will be arriving by the end of the week, since October 20 is launch day, so let’s go ahead and start getting you prepared for the big day. As you can probably tell by the wave of Pixel content that just hit our front page, we have been lucky enough to test a Pixel XL for the past several days and already have all sorts of fun stuff to share.

First, though, we have to get this Pixel unboxing out of the way. Traditions are traditions, right?  (more…)

Honor 8 Review

The Honor 8 is another device we wouldn’t typically review, but seeing as how options may seem limited given the circumstance surrounding the Galaxy Note 7, we wanted to spend time checking it out. Additionally, this tier of “mid-range” devices have become quite the little competitors, complete with what we would label as top-tier specs and features for a relatively inexpensive price.

While the 5.2″ FHD display and octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM certainly get the job done in terms of overall performance, the Honor 8 does have its shortcomings. It took me a solid week to really master all of the device’s software tweaks on EMUI, which is a skin I might rank as one of the lowest in terms of ease-of-use and appeal. However, a few of the features might make up for EMUI’s look, so I can’t sit here and stress over it too much.  (more…)

Galaxy Note 7 Owners: Which Phone Do You Get Now? We Have Some Options

Now that the Galaxy Note 7 is officially done for and not coming back, those of you (a cool million or so of you) who owned the phone are probably wondering which phone should be the replacement as you makes plans for a return. I have both good news and bad news on this subject. The good news is that there are quite a few really good phones out there (or that are coming in a couple of weeks). The bad news is that there are no phones like the Note 7. You will have to sacrifice a bit.

I know that may sound slightly depressing, but let’s run through some decent options and why they may be your best choice today or in a couple of weeks.  (more…)

Video: Google Pixel and Pixel XL First Look and Tour!

Well, we’re back from Google’s massive event today, where they unveiled two new phones – Pixel and Pixel XL – Google Home, Google WiFi, Daydream View, and Chromecast Ultra. Seriously, there was so much new stuff out of today’s event that I don’t know how any of us are keeping up. We’re trying, though! And by trying, we present to you our 5-minute look at the Pixel and Pixel XL after spending a good 30 minutes with each.

We will have much deeper analysis of these phones once we have review units in hand, but I’ll tell you this – these phones are really nice. Now, I know that many of you are turned off by the price and I can’t fault you there. But if you look outside of that and get one in hand, I think you’ll probably agree that Google has done something impressive here.  (more…)

Moto Z Play Review

For the Moto Z Play, being a mid-range phone that we wouldn’t typically review, we took a different approach to sharing our final thoughts on it. Hey, look, a video review from Droid Life! This should be interesting.

If you have watched the DL Show in recent weeks or follow us on Twitter, you probably know that I’ve actually become quite a big fan of this phone. It might be the legitimate 2-day battery life that has me brainwashed. Seriously, I have never in all my years reviewing phones, seen one that can last this long on a single charge. You get battery estimates from companies as they announce new phones, yet none ever live up to those numbers. This phone does and I am incredibly impressed.  (more…)