The Google Pixel XL is as good as the iPhone 7 Plus and makes the jump to Android painless.
Although the 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL, the first Google-branded phones, the company has a long history of designing and making phones. The Moto X, via Google (albeit briefly) the property of Motorola Mobility, was in fact a Google phone. Google, of course, also honed his telephone making and design skills with the Nexus series of phones dating back to 2010.
Google was already an experienced supplier to call when he introduced the first Google branded phones in October last year, the 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL. And it shows. The Pixel XL in which I’ve used for more than a month has an excellent build quality and is packed with top-notch tech, including a good camera and the most advanced intelligent personal assistant that I have used.
Here are some of the highlights of the Pixel XL that made an impression on me.
The switch: It is an effortless switch to the Pixel XL and Android “Nougat” 7.1 my iPhone 7 Plus. I do not say that it was a permanent switch (I’m still attached to the 7 Plus and my Apple-Watch-Series 2) but it is an easy transition when you’re using a great phone. And once you’re in an app, it is easy to forget which phone you are using.
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Google Assistant: The Pixel is the first Android phone to implement Google Assistant. If smartphones are going to be classified in the future on how intelligent they are, Google is the early leader. I’ve found that the Pixel XL usually gives better answers to the questions that I ask. Google are often more relevant, concise, and information answers than Apple’s Siri, that often just spewed out a bunch of search results.
Camera: I have a lot of photos with both the Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus and both cameras are excellent. The scary thing is that Google was able to come up with a great camera is this fast. Photography review sites like Digital Photography Review, prices the Pixel XL excellent HDR+ mode, and the image detail, and a fast and accurate auto focus, among other things.
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It is close enough between the Pixel XL and the iPhone 7 Plus that I consulted with an amateur photographer. That person, in blind tests, it tends in the direction of the Pixel XL of image quality.
Build: Despite the fact that it is the same size 5.5-inch display, the Pixel XL is smaller and lighter than the 7 Plus. The quality of the construction is on a par with the iPhone 7 Plus, and that says a lot.
Battery life: The XL has a “Doze” mode, which excels in the drawing of the minimum of the energy of the battery when the phone is not in use. This alone can be the life of the batteries out of the iPhone 7 Plus for me. But with active use, the two phones are in the area. This YouTube-test, it is instructive to show how close the life of the battery can be for the two phones. I can usually squeeze a day and a half (or more) of both phones. I call it a tie.
User experience: I’ve had enough back and forth between iphone/ipad / iPhone and Android, that I still think iOS is a slightly more refined experience, since Apple has had more practice on the integration of the hardware and software. That said, Google is well on the way to replicate that hardware-software coherence with the Pixel phone. That is one of the reasons that Google started making its own phones, and that I can only expect this to improve in the future.
Shortcomings: The Pixel XL is not water-resistant as the iPhone 7 Plus and the camera does not have the 7 Plus’ optical zoom. Also raw performance indicators have the tendency to favor the iPhone 7 Plus. These are some non-trivial things to keep in mind.
The Pixel XL starts at $769.