Jump to content
  • Sign in to follow this  

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



    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

    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

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Social

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Hi. When rooting Huawei Mate 8 I had to use "format data" option to remove encryption (it wouldn't take my PIN). Then I flashed magisk and when I rebooted back to system, I found out that there's only 1 basic theme available, HWthemes folder empty, downloaded themes not working (despite "theme applied" notification, not even after reboot). My goldmagazine theme is gone, and the setting "Homescreen style" shows a placeholder drawing where normally my theme picture would show. Does anybody have experience with this sort of special effect? What am I supposed to do to bring my themes back?
    • Is there a safe workaround to format the sd card as internal on the Moto X4 Amazon version?
    • The Mac users who want to transfer the OLM data files into PST file format on the their Macintosh PC then they can take help of Mailvita OLM to PST Converter for Mac OS which surely help in migrating the data safely and accurately.
    • PLAYBOOK LIVE ON GOOGLE PLAY   Hi guys, one of the best storytelling games will be available on June 26, 2019, on Google Play Store. Things that make this game stand out from others, is that you choose your own story, your own path, and your own endings. Our first episode “Awakening” is filled with mystery and adventure. One ordinary girl, Kira and one, at first glance, ordinary guy, Damian, are brought together by a strange twist of fate. All is good until Kira uncovers the truth. Can you help Kira make the right decisions and guide her to the end of the story?   Link to Game Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oaa6dbmM4Nk&feature=em-comments   Features: REAL CHOICES: Make decisions that drastically change the storyline. DIFFERENT ENDINGS: Each episode offers different paths, discover all of them. CHARACTER CUSTOMIZATION: Choose your favorite outfit, hairstyle, and makeup for every occasion! PUZZLE GAMES: Enjoy finding clues, looking for hidden objects, lock picking, assembling broken things, going through a maze. POPULAR GENRES: Mystery, Horror, Crime, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Romance, and more to come. SUPPORTED LANGUAGES: English, Español, and Português, Türk, Polskie, Pусский and Srpski.    Get it on Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.midva.playbook&hl=en    
    • Hello everyone. I need some guidance to avoid doing something irreversible. I had to resort to flashing twrp via SRKtools because all of the official versions for this model failed to work (stuck at 'bootloader unlocked' warning). Is this because they are all for EMUI>=4.1 while mine is 4.0? And why exactly does it matter? I would expect twrp to list compatible emui version(s) if it is so crucial. The srk one worked but asked for decryption password which I don't have. I want to flash magisk. Now, I read somewhere that I should deactivate dm-verity first, for example by flashing no-verity-opt-encrypt zip, also read flashing magisk takes care of it. Would it be a good idea to wipe-format /data, reboot to twrp, flash magisk and reboot to system? What can go wrong? Please shed some insight.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.