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Google Pixel's Pros & Cons

Whatever you think of Google's new Pixel phones, the one thing we know for sure is that these are the most polarizing devices in recent memory. On the one hand, we've seen reviews in which longtime Android users say they'll be walking away from the OS all together thanks to Pixel. On the other hand, you've got the iPhone-obsessed David Pierce over at WIRED saying he'll be switching immediately.

As I wrote last week, the Pixel isn't an Android phone for the Android fans. These devices are gunning for that premium corner of the mobile market where nobody knows what a bootloader is and the only brands that matter are Apple or Samsung. Well, now there's Google, too. Whether or not the devices succeed in competing with their high-end rivals, these are the pros and the cons of the Pixels as they stand:

Pros

  • Quality build and feel.
  • Excellent camera (great in low light, zero shutter lag).
  • Video stabilization.
  • Unlimited cloud storage for photos and video (even 4K).
  • Latest version of Android, exclusive software, and timely updates directly from Google.
  • Google Assistant is a first-class digital assistant, better than Siri, though features from Google Home aren't activated yet.
  • Daydream VR-compatible (for when Daydream headset is actually available).
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack.
  • No camera bump.
  • Fast charging (from completely dead to 25% in 15 minutes).
  • The phone's touch response is vastly improved.

Cons

  • Boring iPhone-ish design.
  • Not water resistant (IP53 rating to Apple's IP67 and Samsung's IP68 premium tier offerings).
  • Expensive (starts at $649).
  • The only speaker is only okay (Nexus 6P had stereo).
  • In Geekbench speed tests, the Pixel was about 20% slower than both the iPhone 7 and the Galaxy S7, according to The New York Times.
  • Huge chin, aka the large bezel at the bottom of the phone (though who really cares?)
  • Fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone could interfere with some uses.
  • The glass backing on the top of the phone attracts scratches easily, according to AndroidCentral.
  • No wireless charging (but my post about why the iPhone lacks the feature holds true here as well).
  • No iMessage (obviously, but The Verge has really been harping on this fact).
  • The display is dim in bright light, according to CNET, which is annoying when shooting photos outside.
  • The Lens Blur feature, designed to compete with the iPhone 7 Plus' forthcoming Portrait Mode, is hit and miss.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.

Cover image by Google

2 Comments

Thanks for the pros/cons! I think I shall still stick with my Note/Android. There are too many cons that just aren't worth it for me. The only real selling feature seemed to be the camera and the video, but to not be able to adjust the display in daylight, uh what?! No thanks. Also, I have the Google photos app and I have free unlimited Google photo storage as it is (though I pay $2 a month for upgraded quality storage). I may be interested in the next Pixel model, to see what upgrades they make! :)

The Pixel will not pair with my 2015 Ford Explorer fot messaging. I do a lot of messaging and for safety that was a feature that I used to write frequently with my Galaxy. I took a chance on this phone it's just ok. I think it lacks some functionality that I'm used to having. I wouldn't do it again. I'm going to see if I can trade-in to a Galaxy 7.

Step 1: Horrible if Any Message Pairing on Pixel

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