Say hello to Google’s all new Pixel, a smartphone that has everything, well everything ‘Google’ about it. This feature rich phone is nothing short of a treat for not only Google fans – which is just about everyone on this planet with a computer and internet connection – but anyone on the look-out for a phone that provides performance with simplicity and elegance.
- Great camera, works superbly in low light as well
- Brilliant display
- Google’s own hardware & software makes it an extremely fast phone
- Unlimited media storage
- Isn’t water resistant (splash resistant only)
- Bland, unusual exterior
- Non-removable battery
Will it be able to make a name for itself in a market dominated by Apple, Samsung & LG in similar category phones? Does the phone justify its price tag? Find out in our analysis below.
Google has tried to give its signature, simplistic touch to the general design of Pixel. While it is sturdy and rugged without a doubt, some users find it rather peculiar. The design is a tad unusual with a substantial bezel beneath the display which lacks home key or navigation buttons. Instead, these are embedded within the display. With a dismal 69% screen-to-body ratio, the Pixel fares poorly with upcoming flagships – the LG G6 and Samsung S8, which have significantly higher ratios. Other than that, the metal-glass body is robust and appears durable.
Front display protected by Gorilla Glass 4 has been reported to be almost scratchless even under rough usage conditions. AMOLED screen makes the viewing experience pleasant with vibrant colors and a delightfully bright display. Pixel is available in two sizes: 5-inches and 5.5-inches (Pixel XL).
The rear camera lies flush with the glass rear. Pixel’s prominently chamfered sides add to its ergonomic favorability. Aesthetics aside, the Pixel is easy to handle and is a genuinely solid phone.
The Pixel is powered by Snapdragon’s top of the line 821 chipset, and together with a 4GB RAM provides for a smooth operation. Internal memory is available with 32GB and 128GB options, but memory card slot has not been provided. The Pixel also has a rear mount fingerprint sensor.
The non-removable battery (2700mAh) seems a tad low on capacity but performs satisfactorily. It easily endures a complete day with moderate to heavy usage. The Pixel employs fast charging and the battery can be cranked up to 100% in little over an hour.
With an IP53 rating, the Pixel isn’t waterproof in the traditional sense – its only splash proof. It also lacks stereo speakers and has a single, stock speaker. It does include a standard audio jack, which the iPhone 7 lacks, and is certain to earn it the vote of audiophiles. With the Samsung S7 already marred by battery issues, the Pixel is ready to take on the competition with confidence.
Google has done a masterful job in the camera department, and the Pixel is laced with the best camera setup in the smartphone market today. It competes, and at times outclasses, both the iPhone 7 and S7. While Samsung beefs up the overall picture dispensation in terms of saturation, Google works to add a more natural tone to pictures by balancing contrast. The photo shots are impeccably detailed with rich colors. The option for 4k shots is also available.
OIS hasn’t been provided, but Google has worked hard with its EIS to make up for it. The camera software has been kept simple with standard modes in contrast to Samsung and LG, which have many features and modes.
The front camera (8 MP) with HDR+ provides the best selfies and has considerably less barrel distortion than its rivals.
All in all, the camera renders accurate exposure, making it a perfect choice for photography enthusiasts who want a powerful camera phone, on the go. The immaculate camera setup alone is surely a big selling point, and a deciding factor when it comes to competition amongst similar league phones.
Google has done a wonderful job in making a phone that provides seamless, efficient and fast operation. Although it operates on Snapdragon’s powerful, cutting-edge platform with a generous RAM offering, it’s ultimately the optimization that has worked wonders for the Pixel. From opening multiple apps, scrolling, gaming and performing any amounts of processor intensive tasks, the Pixel handles it all with perfection.
Operating on Google’s very own pure version of Android 7, Nougat, the highly optimized OS provides an enjoyable user interface and its jitter-free, fast operation gives an iPhone like feel.
Google Pixel also has a few delightful extras under its arsenal:
- Google Assist
- Allo (Google’s messaging service)
- Duo (Google’s video service)
- Unlimited cloud storage
- Daydream VR
Google Assist with its creative, conversational style approach has been rated as the classiest personal assistant app to date. It capitalizes on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Google’s massive database cache to provide a far better experience than rival AI based assistants – Apple’s Siri & Microsoft’s Cortana. The more you make use of it, the more personalized and interactive service this machine learning feature throws your way.
Another trend-setting feature, a Google special, is its offering of unlimited cloud-based media storage. All pictures and videos backed up through Google Pixel are stashed in Google Drive. This data does not count towards your allocated drive quota, and yes, that includes media in high resolution – even in 4k. Users have reported having stored up to 100GB of media via Pixel, and the Google Drive space remains unaffected. Mind blowing indeed.
The cherry on top – Google’s very own virtual reality headgear, the Daydream VR which can be paired with the Pixel for an amazing virtual reality experience.
The Google Pixel is available in three colors – Quite Black, Very Silver, or Really Blue. Evidently, Google advertises the color schemes in its signature humorous style while taking a light jab at fellow competitors that often come up with cheesy color naming conventions.
The Bottom Line
The Google Pixel has all the hallmarks of the Google brand – elegantly powerful and wrapped in simplicity. A combo of Google’s very own hardware and software makes for an exhilarating user experience. Like all smartphones, it does have its share of quirks – not being water resistant and having a slightly boring exterior. Other than that, it is definitely a keeper.
The Pixel does, however, come with a hefty price tag. But there’s no doubt that it’s in the same league as that of the higher end phones of Apple and Samsung. With a highly optimized machine, the Pixel is expected to give its competitors a tough time and is easily expected to establish its footprint in the market.