Google Pixel XL review: A U.S. perspective

That is the most productive telephone ever to put on the Google logo.

Even though Google’s “Pixel” logo has existed due to the fact 2013, producing two Chromebooks and a pill in that point, Google’s declaration of two telephones underneath the Pixel umbrella used to be its actual popping out birthday celebration. So few have used a Pixel pc or pill up thus far that the telephones can be most of the people’s first interplay with the logo. The Pixel identify stands for Google’s in-space evolved hardware designed in particular to leverage its tool and products and services to the fullest, and a telephone gives a singular chance to take that formulation to the fullest with probably the most private of units.

The brand new Pixel and Pixel XL are magnificently constructed, come with top-finish specifications and placed Google’s recent tool and lines on show in meticulous style. Dressed in not more than the Google “G” emblem at the again, they are obviously a separate line from Nexuses of the earlier — and Google has so much higher objectives for the Pixel telephones. They are top-finish and for the mass marketplace, in particular relating to the $769 Pixel XL.

Within the U.S., the importance of the Pixel and Pixel XL is magnified through Google’s renewed trust in with the ability to paintings with Verizon to release them. After having what may well be defined as a checkered previous running with the U.S. vendors, Google’s at it once more — doing issues each larger and higher than sooner than, with really extensive advert spending from itself and Verizon.

However regardless of how large Google is going with Verizon, there is the sensation that it is going to need to do much more to promote a variety of Pixels within the U.S. the place a majority nonetheless depend on their service to promote them a telephone. Unlocked availability and band compatibility with the opposite three best providers will lend a hand a few, as will the rising function record and logo consciousness of Undertaking Fi, however does Google have sufficient taking place right here to promote tens of tens of millions of Pixels within the U.S.? We are right here to speak about simply that, and inform you the place to Pixel XL suits within the U.S. phone global.

Approximately this evaluate

I (Andrew Martonik) am scripting this evaluate after five days the use of a 32GB “relatively black” Pixel XL, on each the Verizon and Undertaking Fi networks within the larger Seattle, WA space. The telephone arrived on tool NAE63P and used to be now not up to date right through the evaluate duration. The telephone used to be supplied to Android Significant for assessment via Google.

Lovely shifting footage

Google Pixel XL Video evaluate

To wrap the whole thing up and come up with a really feel for a way I think concerning the Pixel XL, the most productive position to start out is our complete video assessment of the telephone. See what I take into consideration the use of it, the way it seems to be and feels in a herbal environment, after which learn on for my whole written assessment!

The most productive from Google

Google Pixel XL Hardware

If you end up charging this so much for a telephone, you need to nail the hardware. We’ve got all heard at this aspect that HTC is the producer of the brand new Pixels, however do not allow that take anything else clear of Google’s hardware workforce that designed and carried out the whole thing. The 5.5-inch Pixel XL is admittedly stunning, and has the precision construct high quality to compare the appearance. And in the event you’ve noticed any steel telephone made by way of HTC up to now few years you should not be stunned.

Extra: Google Pixel XL specifications

Sure there are transparent tricks of the HTC One A9 and HTC 10 right here, however the Pixel XL has numerous its personal DNA. It does not really feel like a replica of an antique HTC telephone, nor does it glance or really feel like an iPhone any longer than the truth that all up to date telephones more or less have identical shapes and dimensions.

No, it does not glance or really feel like an iPhone.

In the beginning look the layout is rather easy, however while you placed your arms on it you know it’s somewhat extra complicated. The very first thing you realize is the close to-complete steel construct, however there is a glorious edition within the surfaces. The again is totally flat, however in spite of that the telephone does not really feel slippery — that is since you get a curve round to a flat component at the facets, which however bevels in to satisfy the display glass at the entrance. The coating at the steel provides it an extra little bit of grip with out detracting from the truth that it is steel, one thing that in point of fact wasn’t treated correctly on the Nexus 6P. There is additionally a particularly delicate and constant tapering of the frame to make the telephone thinner on the backside, which theoretically makes it more uncomplicated to carry within the position you so much steadily cling it, whilst additionally giving just a little more space for the complicated tech inside of up on the most sensible.

No less than within the “rather black” colour that I’ve right here the Pixel XL is quite unassuming and monolithic, even though one large layout flourish is helping it stand out. A unmarried piece of glass covers more or less the highest quarter of the again, housing all the distracting cutouts and holes, leaving the ground three-quarters to be blank steel. With the exception of while you succeed in as much as contact the fingerprint sensor you’ll be able to rarely contact the glass in commonplace portrait use, however while you do it gives just a little additional little bit of friction to stay the telephone from sliding from your hand. Additionally it is a magnet for scratches: within the first day I had a gouge within the glass, and a couple of days in there have been a few faint strains to be noticed once I held it as much as the sunshine.

Our whole Pixel + Pixel XL evaluation

This Pixel XL evaluation assessment is a little shorter and makes a speciality of the place the telephone suits within the U.S. marketplace. For the whole breakdown of each the Pixel and Pixel XL in excessive element, make sure to learn our whole Pixel XL evaluate from Alex Dobie and Daniel Bader.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL assessment

Hand over being worried concerning the bezels and simply revel in how the Pixel XL feels.

Although few other folks have in reality held a Pixel XL at this aspect, that hasn’t stopped the angst from build up over how large the bezels are. However they have not affected me just about up to I might have idea. The aspect bezels are of a suitable measurement, and clearly save you unintentional touches at the display out of your hands. Under the monitor the bezel is simply high-quality; I did not even take into consideration it till I had used the telephone for a whole day after which set it subsequent to one of the festival. I most commonly simply spotted how it’s kind of more uncomplicated to hit the navigation buttons on the backside of the monitor with out oddly curling my thumb.

I feel the large factor to remind everybody of here’s that that is not simply lifeless area left hole beneath the bezel. There are parts tightly packed into each and every sq. millimeter underneath the glass. Allow’s all in finding one thing else to whinge approximately that in reality issues, k?

I love retaining this telephone; you’ll be able to’t discover a flaw in it.

Previous to the Pixels the Nexus line did not all the time duvet itself in glory while it got here to layout or fabrics, store for the likes of the Nexus One and most likely Nexus 6 and 6P, however the Pixel XL completely steps as much as the best degree of what you’ll be able to be expecting from a telephone these days. I love protecting this telephone — it provides off the similar actual influence of high quality and worth that the up to date telephones from Samsung, HTC and Moto do.

For someone who walks right into a Verizon retailer to peer the Pixel XL on show subsequent to the likes of the Galaxy S7 aspect, iPhone 7 Plus, LG V20 and Moto Z, the primary impact of the Pixel XL goes to be stellar. It simply exudes high quality in the similar means that each and every of those $seven hundred+ telephones do, although it does not have as flashy a layout because the likes of the Galaxy S7 aspect or Moto Z. No one will have the ability to lay a finger at the Pixel XL and in finding anything else unsatisfactory concerning the execution of the hardware, even though they do not in particular take to the understated layout. The sentiments are strengthened while you use it a little longer, noticing such things as the extraordinarily strong aspect buttons, robust haptic comments and strong (for the dimensions) speaker.

So rapid

Google Pixel XL Device, revel in and battery lifestyles

Previous to the release of the Pixel XL, the purpose of Nexus telephones used to be all the time to precise Google’s imaginative and prescient of what Android will have to be, incessantly at the price of letting the hardware slip slightly. However despite such a very good execution of the Pixel XL’s hardware, Google did not make any industry-off within the device aspect of items.

Great visible tweaks, supported through ridiculously rapid efficiency.

Android 7.1 Nougat with the so-referred to as “Google UI” inclusions is masterful in its layout. It is blank, easy and strong on the comparable time. The brand new launcher takes somewhat of having used to with its everlasting Google Seek tab and climate knowledge on the most sensible of the display, however the swipe-as much as screen the app drawer become 2d nature virtually in an instant. The one problem is Google’s unusual determination to modify to rounded app icons — now not handiest are Google’s personal icons a hodgepodge of concepts, they completely conflict with the more than a few configurations and dimensions of non-Google icons. It is a bizarre choice, and until Google needs to place its foot down and pressure all apps to apply the form, I simply cannot get on board with it.

The little visible adjustments are one factor, however what actually makes the Pixel stand out to me is the intense velocity and fluidity of the entire device revel in. I am not positive how so much weight can also be placed at the back of the Snapdragon 821 processor as opposed to common tool optimization, however no matter what voodoo Google has controlled to get into the Pixel XL in reality blows me away.

Each and every app opens in an instant, multitasking is fluid and now not a unmarried app has crashed or hung while it attempted to do one thing. I by no means spotted a dropped body, jerky scrolling or won any signal that the hardware used to be being driven past convenience. It is one thing that is exhausting to give an explanation for as a result of it is not doing anything else up to it is now not doing the dangerous issues we’ve got noticed from Android telephones for years. The Pixel XL is quicker than any Nexus I have used, whilst being clean during the interface like an HTC 10 or Galaxy S7 aspect however in fact with out the additional burden of extra tool cruft and duplicative apps and products and services.

Google Assistant

The so much-lauded function of Google Assistant hasn’t labored itself into my day by day lifestyles up to Google will have was hoping. Having it conveniently out there at the back of an extended press of the house button or from the very good popularity of the “OK, Google” cause word has unquestionably ended in an building up in use over my Nexus 6P. The conversational nature of asking a query, getting unique knowledge after which asking practice-up questions additionally assists in keeping you extra engaged with Assistant than you may have with same old Google Seek. However that does not imply Assistant is the very best AI helper we have all dreamed of.

You’ll be able to temporarily outsmart Assistant with reputedly easy queries.

The primary actual factor is how temporarily you’ll be able to outsmart Assistant by way of assuming it might deal with a few slightly fundamental duties. Easy instructions like “how’s the elements day after today?”, “what is bobbing up on my calendar lately?”, “Open the Alaska Airways app”, “flip off Wi-Fi”, “strike a cord in me to test the mail while I am getting house” or “display me pictures of the Eiffel Tower” all paintings. However asking it reputedly easy questions like “is my flight house on time?”, “while can I test into my lodge?” or “while does my package deal arrive?” gives improper effects or a notice of “I will be able to’t do this but.”

In spite of being proven off as a conversational assistant that bureaucracy into “your personal private Google,” Assistant forgets the context of what you have been simply speaking with it concerning the second you allow. Whether or not that suggests tapping on a card inside of Assistant or hitting the house button to modify to a brand new app, while you come again to Assistant your interplay begins far and wide as in the event you’ve by no means spoken ahead of. It is such as you employed an individual assistant with amnesia — now not a super trait for that line of labor.

That is miles in advance of Google Voice Seek and Now on Faucet, however has room to enhance.

The opposite factor is being pigeonholed into the use of simply your voice. Despite the fact that you’ll be able to cause Assistant with out your voice, it is all the time going to take a seat there looking ahead to your instructions audibly. As we all know that is not all the time the easiest way to engage with our telephones in scenarios if you find yourself with folks, in a noisy surroundings or in all probability an overly quiet state of affairs; on the comparable time, an audible reaction from Assistant while it solutions your question reasons issues for a similar explanation why. The one exception here’s its alternative for Now on Faucet, which helps you to release Assistant if you end up in an app and easily swipe up, the place you’ll be able to get seek effects with additional info in line with what is for your display — it is amazingly fast, and higher than the antique device.

Assistant is admittedly higher than Google Now on Faucet for studying your monitor and supplying you with contextual knowledge, and takes much less attempt to make use of than Google Now is voice interactions, however its content material and solutions don’t seem to be a lot more helpful than the ones antique options. The smarts at the back of Assistant can also be seamlessly up to date within the historical past on Google’s finish, and can best recover as extra other folks use Assistant on their Pixels, however presently it hasn’t been the large promoting aspect it used to be hyped to be.

Battery lifestyles

On paper a 3450 mAh battery for a 5.5-inch telephone is masses, however after seeing how squarely moderate battery lifestyles is at the Nexus 6P with the similar capability, there for sure wasn’t a be sure that the Pixel XL can be a lot better. Fortunately the Pixel XL has met my battery lifestyles expectancies, touchdown proper within the vary of alternative flagships.

A common weekday for me begins just a little prior to 8 a.m., comprises three to four hours of “display on” time, and most commonly makes a speciality of plenty of song/podcast listening, lots of emails and messages coming in, somewhat surfing and lightweight app use, a variety of time spent within the likes of Google Calendar, Google Maps, taking a variety of pictures and the use of a handful of social media apps. I all the time stay the whole thing absolutely syncing, and my monitor brightness set to automated.

The Pixel XL gives a whole day with masses to spare.

This common day of use hardly ever taxed the Pixel XL’s battery, leaving me with more or less 30% left within the tank at approximately 10 p.m. once I began to take into consideration heading to mattress. On a lighter weekend day the place I slept in a bit of and did not use the telephone as so much, I used to be taking a look at 50% battery left on the finish of the day. The ones numbers each line up with the likes of the Galaxy S7 facet, at the same time as outperforming the LG V20 (which I am the use of on pre-unencumber firmware).

It is transparent to me that Doze is doing its process right here, with fantastic toughness while it is resting but in addition whilst in my pocket or bag as I stroll across the town. While the display is off, the Pixel XL actually simply sips energy, and that is the reason the outcome we have been all promised while new enhancements to Doze have been introduced in Android 7.0.

With regards to charging again up, the Pixel XL is not so much other than the Nexus 6P. The USB-C charger within the field is somewhat other and helps USB-C “Energy Supply” for faster, adaptive charging; that shall we Google tout the “seven hours of utilization in 15 mins” metric. The telephone fees in no time while it is at a decrease battery degree, nevertheless it additionally assists in keeping up an effective clip while it is at forty% price and better, charging at approximately 1 proportion aspect in line with minute. Additionally it is value noting that the Pixel XL performed properly with my Pixel C as smartly, letting me rate the telephone off the pill at “Charging on AC” speeds.

Most sensible of the road

Google Pixel XL Digital camera

With the Nexus 6P ultimate yr we were given a glimpse of what Google used to be running on while it got here to digital camera generation. A 12-megapixel symbol sensor that lacked OIS (optical symbol stabilization) however as an alternative used very massive pixels and a number of device processing to take in reality just right pictures. The similar formulation is in play a yr on with the Pixel XL, however element adjustments and dramatically stepped forward execution make all of the distinction.

Giving the Pixel XL a bonus proper from the beginning is the brand new model of the “comparable” Sony symbol sensor, which continues to be 12MP and has 1.fifty five-micron pixels, however has new options as smartly: local segment-discover car center of attention, a stacked BSI CMOS layout, stepped forward on-sensor HDR and better body fee beef up.

The effects completely talk for themselves. Leaving the digital camera in Car HDR+ for everything of my capturing, the Pixel XL treated each and every scene near to completely. Pictures are herbal with simply the correct quantity of punch, or even in excessive low-gentle prerequisites I hardly noticed any grain or blur. All the pictures had sharp strains and high quality colours. I temporarily were given within the addiction of simply taking one photograph and pocketing the telephone, now not being concerned approximately whether or not it “became out” or now not — trust within the consistency like that may be glorious.

Who wishes OIS while the pictures glance this just right with out it?

However simply as I coated within the common device segment, what in reality makes the digital camera revel in come in combination is its blistering velocity. The digital camera launches close to-immediately to will let you get started taking pictures, and with each and every faucet of the shutter key you instantly take a photograph — no seize lag, no on-monitor processing or hiccups. You’ll be able to press and grasp the shutter key for dozens of simultaneous pictures, and the digital camera will mechanically procedure them into lively .gifs and collages at the same time as additionally choosing out what it deems to be the “absolute best” pictures.

Now not best does the Pixel XL’s digital camera placed even the likes of the Nexus 6P to disgrace, it runs proper along — or in advance of — the Galaxy S7 aspect and LG V20 with regards to photograph high quality and usefulness.

Take your pick out

Google Pixel XL Opting for a service

Google has an unusual dating with the U.S. providers, beginning with the failed try to release the Nexus One with service improve again in 2009. We additionally had the Nexus S 4G on Dash, the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, the Nexus 5 more or less to be had on T-Cellular, the Nexus 6 on AT&T and so forth. Nope, Google hasn’t performed smartly with this — however the Pixel XL is to be had from Verizon, and guarantees are that issues are other this time round.

It is not that purchasing from Verizon is dangerous in line with se … there is simply little explanation why to so.

In contrast to many earlier Nexuses, the Pixel XL is not dramatically changed for its availability on Verizon. As an alternative, there are only a few easy adjustments, together with three Verizon apps, an encrypted bootloader and in all probability so much importantly Verizon’s certification to ensure that device updates to hit the telephone. The apps may also be uninstalled and most of the people do not care approximately an encrypted bootloader, however the potential of Verizon to decelerate updates will rub other folks the fallacious means. Verizon claims its updates will hit concurrently Google’s arrive at the unlocked Pixel XL, however we’ve got noticed sufficient updates behind schedule up to now to be skeptical of that state of affairs. It is as a result of this that I do not suggest you purchase a Pixel XL from Verizon, and as an alternative purchase from the Google Retailer — it will have Google’s direct improve, no service involvement and but nonetheless helps complex options like VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling if you select to place a Verizon SIM in it.

With that being stated I feel it is normally nice that the Pixel XL is to be had from Verizon from the point of view of having the Pixel XL out in entrance of “commonplace” consumers who would not ever order from the Google Retailer. The Pixel XL is at the entrance web page of Verizon’s site, shall be in each and every retail retailer and on TV advertisements with Verizon’s branding. That is large, and it is being performed this yr in some way that is not going to bastardize the revel in the best way earlier service-concerned Nexuses have been.

Challenge Fi would possibly not prevent so much cash, however it will prevent from complications.

Striking all of this speak about Verizon apart, we is not going to overlook approximately Google’s personal service Venture Fi. Smartly over a yr into its lifestyles and with the addition of a brand new “workforce plan” construction Challenge Fi is not so much of a challenge anymore — it is a service I would for my part suggest to on the subject of any person going to pick out up a Pixel XL lately. Google has pulled Undertaking Fi up entrance-and-middle with the solution to come with a Fi SIM within the field with each and every Pixel order, and the Venture Fi app is pre-put in at the telephones as smartly.

Sure I do know there are nonetheless purposes to head with a “conventional” service within the U.S., however I nonetheless inspire everybody to no less than believe what they may well be getting from Fi. You truthfully would possibly not most probably keep a host of cash on a per month foundation, however what you get for that money is what is necessary. Simplicity of billing, nice carrier, slick global use and the information that you’ll be able to by no means pay for knowledge you do not use are tough options for a service to provide.

Google Retailer financing

It doesn’t matter what service you would like to use, Google has made an incredible determination to start out providing financing from the Google Retailer for the Pixel and Pixel XL. The U.S. marketplace has very so much shifted clear of shopping for telephones on contracts, nevertheless it without a doubt hasn’t began buying telephones complete worth up entrance. In a wise transfer, the Google Retailer gives 24-month pastime-loose financing simply the similar because the likes of HTC and Moto have performed, in fact along with the providers, to lend a hand reduce the blow of those top-priced Pixels.

Sure there is completely sticky label surprise for the Pixel XL, particularly for those who load it up with 128GB of garage and upload insurance coverage and are taking a look at a invoice north of $one thousand after gross sales tax. However the 32GB Pixel XL begins at “simply” $32 per 30 days in case you finance it … a gadget and per thirty days cost that any one who has purchased a telephone from a service up to now yr is aware of really well and has prevalent as the brand new commonplace.

Well worth the cash

Google Pixel XL within the U.S. Base line

The most productive smartphones are the ones that do not lean on a unmarried function or headline-grabbing spec to take a look at and promote, however as an alternative be offering a perfect general revel in with a couple of options that mix to be very good each and every unmarried day. That is one of the simplest ways to give an explanation for why the Pixel XL is so nice.

The Pixel XL will get the center telephone revel in lifeless-on, after which provides just a little additional.

The hardware is implausible the instant you pick out it up, however you additionally hold that feeling every week on. The digital camera takes very good pictures each and every unmarried time you contact the shutter key. The device is blisteringly rapid and not shall we up. Google’s apps and products and services are most sensible notch, and the Pixel-handiest perks of 24/7 reinforce and limitless Google Pictures backup are somewhat additional deal with. The Pixel sticks out in all of those spaces, at the same time as checking off different bins like a shiny monitor, forged battery lifestyles, higher-than-moderate speaker, an ideal fingerprint sensor and assured tool updates.

There is not any doubt in my thoughts that the Pixel XL is an implausible telephone from most sensible to backside, with only a few compromises or shortcomings to be mentioned — I feel waterproofing is all you’ll be able to realistically want.

It is not so frequently that we are saying it, however the Pixel XL’s very best function is just being a super phone. It does not depend on a ton of gimmicks or bizarre options that you’ll be able to use one day after which disregard approximately. It will get the center of the telephone revel in lifeless-on, after which provides to it a few nice options that wonder, satisfaction and improve some time the use of your telephone.

Should you assume any telephone is value $769, the Pixel XL completely is.

The one actual factor, as ever, is how so much you need to pay. The Pixel XL begins at $769 unlocked, plus an additional $one hundred if you wish to have 128GB of garage or further insurance coverage, or even when you are financing that over an extended time period that is nonetheless a large worth to abdomen. That worth knocks a big bite of the marketplace out of rivalry, and Google is aware of that — however it additionally could not make this degree of telephone and promote it for $399, both.

The best way I view the location is that this: if you are somebody who has traditionally made up our minds that flagship telephones are value $650 or extra, and in 2016 are of the thoughts that the contest of the Galaxy S7 side, Moto Z, LG V20 and iPhone 7 Plus are value that more or less cash, then the Pixel XL is completely value it as smartly. The Pixel XL does what those telephones do, executes it higher in some ways and exceeds expectancies in key spaces of device efficiency, hardware high quality and digital camera prowess. It is merely the most productive Android telephone to be had nowadays.

See at Google Retailer
See at Verizon


Marshmallow Man, blog spiritual leader, has strived to make AppMarsh an independent and free blog from world monetary system. He and his followers are exiled by Google monster.