Jump to content
  • Sign in to follow this  

    Google Pixel pre-review: These are the droids you’ve been looking for


    PaulOBrien

    Introduction

    I have only had a Pixel for a few days now, so I’m not ready to do a full review, but I can give you my first impressions. I’m also taking questions on Twitter, so feel free to hit me up.

    I have the Pixel XL, the 5.5” model which is also joined by the 5” ‘regular’ Pixel. As well as the smaller screen, the junior model also has a FHD rather than QHD screen and a 2770mAh battery rather than the 3450mAh cell in the XL. Those tweaks aside, the specs are the same - you get a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB or 128GB storage, a rear mounted fingerprint reader, metal chassis with a glass panel, a choice of silver or black (I have a Silver XL) and, of course, Android 7.1, currently a Pixel exclusive and with exclusive Pixel features too.

    Although not a Nexus in name, let’s be honest and say that the Pixel is the next in a long line of Google devices that started with the original G1, a HTC built device (just like the Pixels). It’s fair to say that despite some very fondly remembered devices (the Nexus One being a particular highlight, again a HTC device), Nexus phones have often disappointed. Despite Google making big noises about photography, the cameras have generally been pretty poor (let down by a weak camera app too). Battery life has been underwhelming and there have been other issues too… but in generally they have been good value, or even cheap. The Pixels are not, starting at £599 for a 32GB Pixel and rising to an eye watering £819 for a 128GB Pixel XL.

    So, premium pricing for sure, but do you get what you pay for?

    No compromises

    Good news folks. These phones are the real deal.

    A record breaking score of 89 on DxoMark is completely synthetic, but in my testing so far, the Pixel camera is exceptional. I'll post samples pictures in the review of course, but the phone seems to easily hold its own against the Galaxy S7, which is a really great camera phone. That's impressive. The camera app is finally upgraded too, part of an Android OS release that feels tightly integrated, well featured, clean and modern. I like the Nougat refinements to an already well matured Marshmallow OS and the little changes in 7.1 add some visual refinement.

    So far, battery life is on par with what you’d expect given the capacity - no weird battery drains in use and excellent screen off performance (thanks Doze). The phone feels exceptionally smooth to use, with no noticeable glitching or lag (save for what is surely an early bug related to scrolling in some apps).

    Build quality is exceptional and although I think the black would be my preference over the silver (particularly as it's better suited to VR use than the white-fronted model), it’s a good looking phone. It’s unfortunate the blue isn’t in the UK though. The lack of Pixel cues is a bit disappointing (i.e. no light bar to match the Pixel C I'm writing on right now) but it is interesting to see only a simple ‘G’ so far as branding goes.

    Really, I think the only feature you could argue is missing is wireless charging, which still seems to elude metal bodied phones. Since Google’s dalliance with the technology in the Nexus 5, 6 and 7, it seems to have disappeared from the spec sheet, which is a shame I think.

    About that price

    The biggest problem for the Pixel phones is pricing. Sure, they are great phones, but is a £719 Pixel XL 32GB worth the outlay? Obviously that’s very personal, but there are a number of similarly specced phones that are hundreds of pounds cheaper. With the alternatives you won’t get Google’s own interpretation of the Android OS, fast updates and everything else that Nexus / Pixel stands for of course. You pays your money and you takes your choice I suppose.

    Right now, I maybe for the first time have a Google phone in my pocket where I don’t feel like another manufacturer’s Android offering will service me better in a key way and that really is the headline for so far. If you've pre-ordered a Pixel, I don't think you are going to be disappointed.

    Stay tuned for my full review.

    Edited by PaulOBrien


      Report Item
    Sign in to follow this  


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Looks and sounds like a really nice version of what a flagship can be. And hopefully what something in my price range soon will be. 

    By the time OnePlus or similar are churning out something as well integrated as this though, I'd like to see it with waterproofing, wireless fast-charging (just make it ceramic and a bit fatter if the metal case is adding problems) and maybe an sd slot. 

    Looking forward to hearing what you make of Assistant.

     

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    On a side note, EE seem keen to push the Pixel 2, I have a 128gb one in Just Black pre ordered, they waived my early upgrade fee (had a couple of hundred left as my normal upgrade wasnt until Feb next year) and no upfront cost for the phone and my monthly payment has gone up by about £2, another 24 month contract. Also get the free little Google Mini.

    Not a bad deal.

    Edited by Remington Steale

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now


  • Social

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • ZTE Axon 7 Mini Build quality & display
      When it comes to size, the Mini is only slightly smaller than the Axon 7. In fact, the size difference is hard to notice unless you actually put both phones side by side. The Mini measures 5.8 by 2.8 by 0.3 inches and weighs 5.4 ounces, making it just a bit smaller and lighter than the Axon 7 (6.0 by 3.0 by 0.3 inches, 6.2 ounces), but not nearly as small as the more genuinely miniaturized Sony Xperia X. The phone hasn't undergone any major changes in design, either. You get the same metal unibody build available in gray or gold, the same gentlyback, and the same button and port placement. a volume rocker and power button on the right side, a USB-C charging port on the bottom, a 3.5mm audio jack up top, and a SIM/microSD card slot on the left (which worked with a 256GB card). The back is home to a responsive fingerprint scanner set below the camera sensor. The Axon 7 Mini's 1,920-by-1,080, 5.2-inch AMOLED display is smaller, and less sharp, than the 5.5-inch Quad HD panel on its larger sibling. It has 423 pixels per inch, compared with 538ppi on the Axon 7. That said, many other phones in this size range like the 5-inch Google Pixel, and the 5.5-inch Moto G4 also have 1080p panels. The Mini benefits from rich colors, great viewing angles, and a maximum brightness that's easy to see outdoors. Performance
      The phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor. It's a midrange chipset, nowhere near as powerful as the Snapdragon 820 you get the larger device. There's also less RAM, 3GB instead of 4GB. Unsurprisingly, this results in significantly lower benchmark results. The Mini scores 46,859 on AnTuTu, which measures overall system performance, which is a lot lower than the Axon 7's 141,989. It's on par with other midrange phones like the Snapdragon 617-powered G4 (46,260) and the Snapdragon 430-powered X2 (43,984). That said, performance is still fairly smooth. While we encountered some stuttering when running lots of apps in the background, it wasn't any worse than you'll encounter on most midrange phones. A software update pushed out during testing seems to reduce many instances of sluggishness. The phone also handles games like Asphalt 8 and GTA: San Andreas without any difficulty. Camera quality
      Camera performance on the Mini's 16-megapixel rear sensor is solid, but it isn't particularly noteworthy. The phone takes good shots outdoors under brightly lit conditions, but compared with the 20-megapixel sensor on the Axon 7, it doesn't capture as much detail. In a shootout with the Axon 7 (in default Auto HDR mode), we noticed more instances of noise, a slower autofocus, slower shutter speeds, and notably worse low-light performance. The 8-megapixel front sensor is and still takes good selfies and video.   Youtube Review [MEDIA=youtube]zU6Jq175C5Q[/MEDIA] Connectivity
      2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
      3G: WCDMA 850/900/1700/1900/2100MHz
      4G: FDD-LTE B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B19/B20 TDD-LTE B38/B40/B41 For more information please visit ZTE Axon 7 Mini. Thank you :)
    • if you want reinstall pre-installed app in your android mobile without play store Click Here.
    • The first feature of the Nomu T18 will be the ability to connect an external digital camera. The second feature is the possibility of working as a walkie-talkie, that is, a walkie-talkie.
       
    • That's true. A case can’t withstand the drop impact, maybe works a
      little, but all in all it mostly will get scratch, pieces. This phone
      deserves a try. By the way, wearing a case makes phone ugly and makes
      operation inconvenient. I think when most people choose a phone, the
      appearance is a major factor to consider, including the color. But in
      fact most people will put a case on the phone for fear of breaks, then
      it changes the phone look. As a NOMU fan, I strongly support it as I
      never need to wear a case to it as it is super drop-proof.
    • Hello, I have finally managed to gain access to my Dropbox account where I have managed to get my hands on a compatibility patch that we used for these devices. Assuming you now have CM11 installed, this may help matters. Let me know your email in a Private Mail message and I can get the compatibility patch to you.
×