Google’s Pixel XL is already being revered by Android fans worldwide. I must confessed I have been over-hyped about Google controlling both the hardware and software reigns, particularly because of the great experience I had with the last year Nexus devices. And having used the new Pixel XL for a while, my passion and devotion stand suitably chastened, and I very well realize that it’s a great phone not meant for everybody. So, if you are willing to take the plunge and spend the premium for the new Google flagship, here is what you should know.
Pixel and Pixel XL Specifications and Features
|Display||5.5-inch, AMOLED, QHD (2560×1440), Gorilla Glass 4 on front and rear||5-inch, AMOLED, Full HD (1080 x 1920) Display, Gorilla Glass 4 on front and rear|
|Processor||2.15 Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset , Adreno 530 GPU||2.15 Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset , Adreno 530 GPU|
|RAM||4GB LPDDR4 RAM||4GB LPDDR4 RAM|
|Internal Storage||32GB/ 128GB||32GB/ 128GB|
|Software||Android 7.1 Nougat||Android 7.1 Nougat|
|Primary Camera||12.3MP rear camera with LED flash, 1.55umpixel, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, LDAF||12.3MP rear camera with LED flash, 1.55umpixel, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, LDAF|
|Battery||3450 mAh non-removable||2750 mAh, non-removable|
|Others||4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ac MIMO (2.4/5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.2 LE, GPS, USB Type-C, 3 microphones, Fingerprint sensor, 3.5mm Audio Jack||4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ac MIMO (2.4/5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.2 LE, GPS, USB Type-C, 3 microphones, Fingerprint sensor, 3.5mm Audio Jack|
|Price||67,000/ 76,000 INR||57,000 INR/ 66,000 INR|
5 Reasons To Buy Google Pixel XL
As expected, Google Pixel XL showcases Andriod at its best. Best, however, is a subjective term. Since a zillion Android skins – some awfully distasteful, some incomplete, some unstable and buggy – are shoved down our throat every year, Google’s simple, stock Android vision on a Nexus device where everyday tasks like browsing, opening apps, multitasking, etc. work as they should, feels like a huge relief.
The same simple software, however, could feel remarkably bland to ordinary consumers.
Thankfully, the Google Pixel XL finds the middle ground. Not only does the Nougat feel incredibly neat, little trinkets and animations spread throughout the software and the intuitive Pixel launcher further keep things fresh.
There are other software perks too. The Google Assistant , that replaces Google Now, can understand the conversation context and that’s cool at first, but it’s vastly limited in what it can do and you’d probably be using it only as often as you’d have used Google Now on Tap in the past year.
On the other hand, free lifetime unlimited cloud storage for images clicked by Pixel phones is a big bonus – one that will definitely make your life easier.
Somewhere down the road, Google will be adding new software features to the upcoming Android versions, and the Pixel XL will be timely updated for you to enjoy these enhancements. Priceless indeed.
All Pixel and Pixel XL devices will get assure version updates for next 2 years and security patches for the next 3 years directly from Google.
Pixel XL camera is super fast. If you compare images shot in a well lit indoor settings with the latest generation Galaxy or iPhone, you will find that it absorbs a lot more details and relays remarkably accurate colors and white balance.
More often than not, you will get your best shot in the very first attempt. In very low lighting, however, the lack of OIS manifests as excessive noise.
Excellent Battery Backup
The 3450mAh battery on the Pixel XL can easily last for more than a day even with heavy usage. We are getting better mileage compared to other flagships that we have tested this year. All that without any compromise in performance.
Unlike OnePlus 3T, Google is using the Snapdragon 821 chip clocked at the same frequency as Snapdragon 820. The main advantage you get is better power efficiency compared to the latter.
You can play all high-end games with ease, apps open fast, browsing is ultra-smooth, memory speeds are excellent, gestures work without delay, Fingerprint reader is accurate, and switching between apps is convenient (you can just double tap the back button to open your last app). Call quality and connectivity is also immaculate.
5 Reasons To Not Buy Google Pixel XL
The 2.D glass panel on the back has received highly polarized reviews, but that’s not something that we personally mind. In fact, we actually like it. However, the thick 8.5 mm body and more than generous bezels surrounding the display on all sides rob it of a premium finish that more or less qualifies as a mandatory requirement at this price point.
Even the side edges appear triple layered (front chamfer, side frame metal strip and the curved part of the rear edges). All that chunkiness wouldn’t have been a deal breaker only if the design were ergonomic. The handling isn’t anywhere as convenient as it were for Nexus 6P. With the last years Nexus, we found ourselves using the Nexus Imprint a lot. On the Pixel XL, it just doesn’t feel that natural.
Body wearing off easy
The thing with thick phones is that they look hideous when planted within a protective case. But with Google Pixel XL, you don’t have an option. The paint on the side metal frame wears off rather easily. The Pixel XL is very susceptible to day-to-day scratches and scuff marks. Even minor drops can deface the seam between metal and glass.
Now this is more of a subjective flaw. The sharp QHD display panel used on the Nexus 6P is undoubtedly gorgeous to most people, but this time around Google is perhaps playing to the galleries and has targeted the NTSC color gamut. As a result, whites shift towards blue and colors appear oversaturated.
An sRGB mode can be enabled from developer settings, but the one on Pixel XL feels bland compared to the sRGB mode on the OnePlus 3 (thanks to the greyscale inaccuracy). Once again, users who aren’t excessively fastidious about their display colors and hue won’t mind the Google Pixel XL display one bit, but we do wish Google weren’t targeting NTSC gamut in the default mode.
The camera on the Pixel XL is great for shooting in Auto Mode. But, if you like to alter basic settings in pro mode and prefer a robust app with different shooting modes, or prefer perks like dual cameras – the Pixel XL Camera would feel drab. We don’t find ourselves firing the camera as often as on Zenfone 3 or Huawei P9.
Another thing we would expect from a premium handset in 2016 is fast charging. Our Pixel XL took more than 2 hours and 20 minutes to fully charge (with the box charger) and that felt painfully slow (perhaps because we were accustomed to OnePlus’s Dash charge before switching to the Pixel XL).
To sum it up
The Google Pixel XL is a mature phone that will once again be favored by Geeks and people looking for classic Android software experience. It’s a great phone but lacks glam quotient, which is more of a mandatory requirement for consumers looking for an iPhone alternative. Galaxy Note 7 would have been a better alternative, but alas, that ship has already sailed. The Galaxy S7 Edge is also an easy recommendation for anyone who is looking to save some money, doesn’t mind Samsung’s software enhancements, is looking for some extra jazz and can live without timely updates (It offers dual SIM card and MicroSD card support too).